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Introduction to Discernment of Spirits

Introduction to Discernment of Spirits

This week Dan and Melissa explore Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s techniques for tackling the negative thoughts and lies that enter into our minds and lead us away from God.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is the best way to expel the negative thoughts, lies, and/or feelings of depression that enter into our minds?DivineIntimacyRadioWithDan&Melissa
  • Reject the lies and negative thoughts and replace them with the truth from Scripture.
  • Saint Ignatius of Loyola presents a type of spiritual warfare to handle these lies called, Discernment of Spirits.
  • Discernment is understanding the forces working for or against us and what to do with them.
  • Discernment of spirits is the ability to join God and fight the enemy with respect to our thoughts.
  • Saint Ignatius begins his rules for Discernment of Spirits by suggesting that we become aware of the lies, understand the source, and choose to reject or accept these forces.

Resources:

  • EWTN Religious Catalogue – online
  • Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • EWTN Global Catholic Radio
  • Philippians 4:7-8 – “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – USCCB Bible link
  • On Suffering – Prose by Dan Burke on SpiritualDirection.com
  • Romans 8:6 – “The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” – USCCB Bible link
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 – “For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ, and we are ready to punish every disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Evagrius of Pontus: Talking Back
  • Ephesians 1:3-4 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him” – USCCB Bible link
  • Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” – USCCB Bible link
  • James 4:7-8 – “So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Divine Intimacy – A book of daily meditations by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen
  • John 16:33 – “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Matthew 16:24 – “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Navigating the Interior Life – Book on spiritual direction by Dan Burke
  • Consolation and Desolation…What are Spiritualized Capital Sins?Post on SpiritualDirection.com
  • Discernment of Spirits: Rule 1 – Next week’s show
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Questions? Send an e-mail to Questions@myavila.com or call 818-646-7729. — please leave your name, location and question.
  • Click on the arrow below to listen to the show! Don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and help us get the word out. If the show is inspiring to you and you would like to help us make it a daily show, please click here to donate. All donors will receive a signed copy of your choice of Dan’s new books: Finding God through Meditation30 Days with Teresa of Avila, or Navigating the Interior Life. Click HERE for mobile devices or on the arrow below to listen to the show:
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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, 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, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. 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.

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  • jcsmitty

    Helpful. Thanks.

  • Bev Mabry

    too bad I’m almost deaf and do not do radio or podcasts. I need text and/or captions – 🙁

    • LizEst

      Hi Bev… Please pray that we are able to have captions on videos in the future. We are looking into it. God bless you!

      • Bev Mabry

        Thanks for your response and I will pray! I’m sure it would be helpful to hundreds of Deaf and hard of hearing folks!

  • Jeanette

    It’s not just the lies and negative thoughts that we have in our heads that the evil one suggests to us, but also those that come from the world and others around us, sometimes even those closest to us, that influence the negative way we may think about ourselves. We may wonder if others think that about me, then maybe it’s true. We must remember that the evil one will influence those closest to us for this purpose…to embed negative thoughts about ourselves so that we feel discouraged and unable to effectively fulfill the destiny God desires for us. Thank you Lord God, for the angelic spirits who counter the efforts of evil.

    Thank you for this. I’m looking forward to hearing the future podcasts on discernment of spirits.

    • LizEst

      Yes, if memory serves, Catherine of Siena said that when she was tempted to pride, she humbled herself. Then, the devil would tempt her to discouragement, the remedy for which was that she would remember that God loved her and that she was a child of God (I don’t know if I’ve got all the words correct there, but it was something along these lines). The evil one finally tired of this because he could not get her to give up this excellent strategy for fighting against these temptations he put to her.

  • marybernadette

    True Judy re: ‘despair and suicide’ of course, it is
    the devil’s ‘strategy’ is to tempt us to ‘despair.’ It is also helpful to know, that some of the Saints were tempted to ‘despair’ too.

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  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    There were two books mentioned at the beginning of the show that I missed. One was by Timothy Gallagher, and I caught that one, but there was another one, maybe 40 Weeks? Help?

    • LizEst

      Hi Sarah — The book mentioned at the beginning of the show is in the show notes. It is by Evagrius of Pontus and is called Talking Back. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879073292/cathospiridir-20

      • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

        That’s weird, I don’t think that was it. I’m going to rewind…or maybe I clicked on the wrong show notes…I’m listening to the April 29 notes.

        • LizEst

          That’s why you and I differed, Sarah. You commented on the April 22nd show notes.

      • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

        Just rewound it…He said it’s Father Watson’s book Forty Weeks.

      • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

        PS Thanks for replying so quickly, Liz!!!

  • Pingback: Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Ignatian Spirituality Series - SpiritualDirection.com SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction()

  • Bev Mabry

    how disappointed I am to find this is voice only! I am almost deaf and must have videos with subtitles – or text only. I like text with video best. 🙁 : ( 🙁 This relaly looked like a very interesting series – but apparently us Deaf and Hard of Hearing folks don’t need it, right?

    • LizEst

      Hi Bev – You’ve raised this issue before and we’ve indicated our interest in this. In fact, our operations officer has indicated a very great interest in this as well. So, we are looking at getting subtitles. But, it takes time, effort and funding to get an initiative like this off the ground. We wish it could happen right away, but it cannot. And so, we beg your patient indulgence. Thank you so much. We have not forgotten.

      • Bev Mabry

        sorry. not intending to nag. I forget where and when I’ve complained about this! And I’m very glad to hear you are working on it. God bless you too.

        • LizEst

          Too funny! Might be a good idea to keep a list! God bless you, Bev!

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