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Discernment of Spirits: Rule 2

Discernment of Spirits: Rule 2

Dan and Melissa discuss the second rule of Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Discernment of Spirits, focusing on movement toward God and recognizing the effect of the enemy on our spiritual progress.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Discernment of Spirits – Rule 2: “In persons who are going on intensely purifying their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, the method is contrary to that in the DivineIntimacyRadioWithDan&Melissafirst rule. For then it is proper to the evil spirit to bite, sadden and place obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, so that the person may not go forward. And it is proper to the good spirit to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations, and quiet, easing and taking away all obstacles, so that the person may go forward in doing good.”
  • When confronted with temptation it is important to recognize the thoughts pushing us toward sin are from the “bad spirit” who seeks to disrupt our spiritual progress.
  • Using an examination of conscience at the end of the day can make us more acutely aware of our daily sins and successes.
  • God is always drawing us to Himself, but we must recognize His work in our souls through the world around us.


What is Divine Intimacy Radio?

The Divine Intimacy Radio Show is a haven of rest and wellspring of spiritual life for those seeking intimacy with God and the enlightened path of Catholic mystical and ascetical wisdom.

Every week, Dan Burke and Melissa Elson explore topics related to the interior life and Catholic teaching, including prayer, spiritual direction, meditation, contemplation, and holiness.

Divine Intimacy Radio Show and EWTN!

This radio show can also be heard every Sunday on EWTN Radio Sundays at 6:30 am1:30 pm, and 11:00 pm Eastern time. We are grateful to EWTN for their support!

  • Questions? Send an e-mail to or call 818-646-7729. — please leave your name, location and question.
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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, 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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  • Judy Silhan

    When you spoke, Melissa and Dan, of God, the angels and others encouraging you on this path of discernment, I thought how providentially true this is, in light of Divine Intimacy Radio today. Mentioning the fact that whenever you attempt something new in your prayer life, the evil one will always try and dissuade you, reminded me of starting to pray the Liturgy of Hours a while back, and the spiritual battle that ensued for two years. For a lot of people, praying the Rosary is not difficult, and Mary has requested this practice for a very long time. Despite this, I have not, for whatever reason, made this commitment, even though I have had a desire to become closer to Our Lady. So, I brought this up to my Spiritual Director, who asked – Do you pray the Rosary? Not very often, was my response. Yesterday, not thinking of your program today, nor remembering the struggle with the Liturgy of the Hours, I began that discipline of praying the Rosary. Satan did not hesitate with the onslaught of persuasion. Even though I have taken your class, Dan, read the book, etc. I had, as you warned, fell asleep and was temporarily driven crazy by the insanity of what the evil one was saying, to the degree that I doubted the truth of everything. Fortunately, you had also given us 40 Days as a resource, to which, God, in His goodness, led me to, immediately after getting through this confrontation with Satan.
    Then, as I said earlier, providentially, I listened to the show just now, and you and Melissa were the encouragement you spoke of God providing.
    For those who have not been blessed, as I have been, with being a student at Avila, or having a Spiritual Director, your programs on Discernment of Spirits are, in my humble opinion, of infinite value. One of your last statements, Dan, really touched my heart – When not actively pursuing God, we don’t see him. For many years of illness, I was not aware of His presence, nor any role that He played in my life, with regards to dealing with this. Possibly, there are many listeners struggling with this, and thanks to your efforts, there is hope for them. I remain forever grateful for the help you have provided, through Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, to experience God’s love and to discern daily, how I am returning that love.

    • DianeVa

      Beautifully shared Judy! I agree! This apostolate,, and the Avila Institute is a blessing form God!

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