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Discernment of Spirits: Rule 9 “Aridity vs Desolation”

Description: On today’s show, Dan and Melissa talk about the causes of spiritual desolation using St. Ignatius’ “Rule the Ninth” (Rule 9) of The Discernment of Spirits. They also discuss the difference between desolation vs aridity.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Rule 9: “There are three principal reasons why we find ourselves desolate.
    The first is, because of our being tepid, lazy or negligent in our spiritual exercises; and so through our faults, spiritual consolation withdraws from us. The second, to try us and see how much we are and Discernment of Spirits: Rule 9how much we let ourselves out in His service and praise without such great pay of consolation and great graces. The third, to give us true acquaintance and knowledge, that we may interiorly feel that it is not ours to get or keep great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation, but that all is the gift and grace of God our Lord, and that we may not build a nest in a thing not ours, raising our intellect into some pride or vainglory, attributing to us devotion or the other things of the spiritual consolation.”
  • Aridity vs Desolation – what’s the difference?
  • Why does God allow desolation in the soul?
  • How does God show His love through spiritual desolation?
  • What are the causes of spiritual desolation?


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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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