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Discernment of Spirits: Rule 6

Description: St. Ignatius’ Discernment of Spirits: Rule 6, teaches us that when one is experiencing spiritual desolation, he or she needs to make a change against the spiritual desolation. Listen as Dan and Melissa unpack the meaning and application of this Sixth Rule.

Topic/Questions covered in the show:

  • Sixth Rule: “The sixth: Although in desolation we ought not to change our first resolutions, it is very Discernment of Spirits: Rule 6helpful intensely to change ourselves against the same desolation, as by insisting more on prayer, meditation, on much examination, and by giving ourselves more scope in some suitable way of doing penance.”
  • Is suffering meritorious for the soul when experienced outside of or without Christ?
  • What are the characteristics of true peace vs. false peace?
  • How can one experience the peace that Jesus promises in Scripture?
  • According to Rule 6 of the Discernment of Spirits, we must insist more on prayer, insist more on meditation, be spiritually awake, and insist more on penance.
  • How does spiritual desolation manifest itself in everyday life?


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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, and Divine Intimacy Radio, 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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