DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS SUMMARY – First Rules (1-14)
Process: 1) Awareness 2) Understanding 3) Action: Resist/Embrace
- Desolation: Inspirations to Doubt – Despair – Narcissism
- Consolation: Inspirations to Faith – Hope - Love
Sources: 1) Yourself, 2) Good Spirits (GS), 3) Bad Spirits (BS)
- Persons moving away from God to serious sin: BS facilitates movement through imagination of sensual pleasures. GS stings the conscience to help the person to turn back to God.
- Persons moving away from sin toward God: BS bites, stings, saddens, places obstacles, disquiets with false reasons. GS encourages, strengthens, consoles and takes away obstacles.
- Consolation: Soul becomes inflamed with love of God; increase in faith, hope and love that quiets and attracts to heavenly things.
- Desolation: Darkness of soul to doubt, despair, narcissism, low and earthly things, disquiet, agitations and temptations, cowardice, feeling slothful, tepid, sad, as if separated from God. Permitted but not caused by God.
- Desolation Resilience: Never make a change of spiritual proposals made in consolation. BS voice is loud and influential. GS voice is faint.
- Desolation Fight: Resist desolation by increasing intensity and commitment to prior resolutions and through much prayer, meditation, examination and suitable penance.
- Desolation Consider: Reflect on how/why He has allowed the trial so you can resist. Affirm God’s presence/sufficient grace for salvation.
- Desolation Patience: Pursue patience – affirm the temporal nature of the battle and that consolation will soon return.
- Desolation Causes: 1) Tepid, slothful or negligent in spiritual disciplines, 2) try us and test/reveal our motivations, 3) to remind us that all consolation is a gift – mitigate pride.
- Desolation Preparation: In times of consolation consider how you will conduct yourself in the coming desolation.
- Humility and Trust: Receive consolation with humility remembering your struggles in desolation and God’s provision. Fight desolation with trust in God.
- Enemy’s Cowardice: The enemy will flee when resisted but will ravage when yielded to or not resisted firmly with conviction.
- Desolation Secrets: The enemy will flee when his attempts are revealed to holy persons.
- Awareness: The enemy seeks to find and exploit our weaknesses – sins – attachments. We must know and mitigate them to fortify our souls.