Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates / Catholic Spiritual Direction

I can’t escape the darkness, please help…

Desolation of the soul is easy to come by in challenging times. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a master at studying and understanding the darkness that too frequently overshadows the soul. In his spiritual exercises he describes desolation this way:

“I call desolation… darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to low and earthly things, disquiet from various agitations and temptations, moving to lack of confidence, hopelessness, finding oneself totally slothful, tepid, sad, and as if separated from one’s Creator and Lord.”

Have you ever felt these difficult realities pressing on your soul?

You are not alone. This desolation is no respecter of Man with conceptual spiritual body art for post on I can't escape the darkness Webinarpersons. Every living person experiences it – no matter how blessed, holy, or positive they may be.

Unfortunately, many are trapped within this dark world and never escape. Others are victim of the pressing gloom on a regular basis and don’t understand how or why it has settled upon them and how to escape it

Thankfully, St. Ignatius not only defines this desolation he also provides deep insights into understanding:

  • Where does it come from?
  • Why do we suffer from it even when we are on the right track spiritually?
  • How we can endure it with greater peace?
  • How we can overcome it?
  • What does God desire from us when facing it?

If you are tired of this storm of the soul tossing you about, join me for a webinar where we will explore this important topic and where you will no doubt will find relief from the forces that can sometimes anchor our souls to the depths of despair.

Here are the Logistics:

Date: March 26th at 7:30 PM Central (8:30 PM Eastern)

Duration: 1 Hour plus Question and Answer Time (As long as needed)

Cost: The cost of the webinar is a suggested donation of $25.00. To make a donation and sign up for the webinar click on the “Make a Donation” box below. This helps us to cover our costs and to raise scholarship funds for the formation of priests and religious attending the Avila Institute.

Webinar/Technology Requirements: All you will need is a computer with an internet connection and speakers that work. Optimally, if you have a webcam and a headset or earbuds, we can then better see and communicate with one another. Once you register, you will receive a link (within one week). 20 minutes before the start time of the webinar, click on the link and log in to the webinar with the information we provide. It really is very easy.


Yours in Christ,

Dan Burke


Art for this post on a webinar on how to escape the darkness: provided by Dan Burke.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • P Terry Kissell

    Dan, where is the link to register for the webinar.
    Fr. Terry Kissell

    • Fr. Terry – there should be a “Make a Donation” box at the bottom of the post. Let me know if you don’t see it there. If you don’t see it, let us know if you are on an iPhone, iPad or what browser you are using.

  • Tom

    What if you cannot make a donation?

  • Victoria Campbell

    Would love to participate but unable to on that date please provide additional dates


  • Clanci45

    I have struggled with this horribly. Actually, I had prayed for something this Lent to help me. I cry through Divine Intimcy every morning. Weep through prayer time. Have purchased spiritual books to fill a library. Sometimes I feel myself to be actually evil. Find no consolation even after reconciliation. Have been anointed for healing in case I can not even see my sin. I can no longer feel God’s love nor mercy. It is interesting because as a Protestant I found joy, peace and confidence….yet, I truly believe this is the true Church…yet now I actually am “fightening this spiritual life”. Have lost all joy, peace or assurance….I am so hoping to hear answers. I have no way of communicating from my IPAD but am praying I will hear something which will help me!!

    • Eve

      Hi. My heart goes out to you. All I can think of is maybe this is a Cross God wants you to carry for a greater good and that, many wonderful things will come from it. You might see it in your life time or will know about it in the next. Do no give up hope and continue to pray.

      Here’s a link that might be of some help:

      Please say a Hail Mary for Father who is giving the talk. This comes from the link a

      And this is wonderful too:

      Will pray for you and your journey,
      God bless,

    • Patricia

      This is a time of growth and development. It seems hopeless but st ignatius s
      does give out sugesstions too. I myself have suffred desolation but realized i had too look at my soul and see what i may be holding onto. I too have felt myself evil. Sometimes i still do i find having a good confessor and spiritual director can help
      on you as did me and still does. For me asking for a penance or exercise to help stay focus and remain in God’s love. I will pray for you. Remember let God steer the ship and let God be the pilot.

    • Patricia

      St. John of the Cross writes about this in depth. Souls go through purification processes and during those times must “walk in faith” through the darkness, without the light of understanding, but keeping our eyes on God in faith, trust, hope, and love. The focus shifts from self to God…seeking Him in love, rather than turning our eyes inward to our own thoughts, feelings, ideas etc.

      P.S. another Patricia has also written today 🙂

  • catma27

    I cannot attend that day. Is there any way to watch it after if I sign up now?
    I would really like to participate !

  • Judith

    Will be traveling that day. Any other times available?

  • P Terry Kissell

    Thanks, Dan. I found the “Make a Donation” box. God bless you in your health recovery and for all you do. Fr. Terry Kissell

  • Patti Maguire Armstrong

    I am passing this on to others. We don’t always know what a person is going through so sharing this information might help someone who really needs it.

  • jdobbinsPHD

    Clanci45 and Patricia, you are not alone. Many struggle with feeling unworthy, and, as you have said, actually feeling like you are evil. Assuming there is no underlying medical condition driving you to this state, then recognize the dynamic. You are struggling to find God, to develop a relationship with Him. That is good. Who does not want that? Who is the only one who will try to convince you that you are evil and unworthy to possess God? Satan. We are in a time of spiritual warfare and the prize is our soul. But God loves you infinitely, and His love for you is more powerful than anything else. St. Padre Pio had some very good advice for us. He said that for every vice there is an opposing virtue. When we want to get rid of a vice, we do not attack the vice, for that just keeps the vice always before us. Instead, practice the opposing virtue. They cannot coexist equally, and the more you possess the virtue the less room there is for the vice. So, meditate on how much God loves you, not on how unworthy you feel. Recognize WHO you are, not WHAT you think you are. You are a child of God, and God loves His children, including you, and calls them to be be with Him for eternity. Say the first two lines of the Our Father, over and over. But instead of Our Father, say My Father. Take your place as His child, and trust in His infinite and unconditional love for you. Place yourself in His healing hands. Total confidence in the unconditional love of our Father was one of the secrets of St. Therese’s Little Way. I pray you find the peace you seek.

    • Clanci45

      Thank you. I see some definite things I can apply. I appreciate you taking the time to fully address so many things which directly affect me. I am saving your advice so I can refer back to it.

  • Patricia

    Could you elaborate on finding joy in suffering?

  • Noreen

    Im suffering this darkness of the soul an its taken its toil on me .. I no its the dark night if the soul cause its comes from nowhere i struggle everyday just to get through my day im very low feelings of hopelessness fears dispair you name everything that’s dark oh an tbe doubts … I dont want to get out of bed i prsy everyday for Gods light an holyspirit to come back to me i feel tbe lord an our lady an tbe whole of heaven have deserted me … Im living with my daughter whos little girl my grandchild is termillay ill an needs 24/7 care i have a daughter an son who have mental illness an i have 3 sons who dont talk to me … I have given my life to God along time ago an only through his grace that i im copi g hanging in there by my finger nails but oh boy is it hard also my husband left me 16 yesrs ago do i desl with everything on my own .. Please God send me some light in this darkness Amen

    • LizEst

      Noreen – Please find a spiritual director or at least make an appointment with your pastor and tell him all these things. You may also need some psychological counseling. Don’t wait until the darkness has completely overwhelmed you. Hopefully, you have a spiritual friend with which you can talk about these things. If not, please seek some assistance…and may God bless you and keep you safe in his most Sacred Heart.

Skip to toolbar