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Discernment of Spirits: Rule 10 “Preparing for Spiritual Desolation”

Description: During this episode of Divine Intimacy Radio, Dan and Melissa explore what it means to prepare oneself for spiritual desolation and to place one’s confidence in God.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Rule 10: “The tenth: Let him who is in consolation think how he will be in the desolation which will come after, taking new strength for then.”Discernment of Spirits: Rule 10
  • When in consolation, how do we prepare ourselves for upcoming desolation?
  • How does a melancholic personality approach this strategy without falling into desperation and depression?
  • What does it mean to place our confidence in God?
  • How do we discern between desolation and anxiety of daily life?
  • How can we properly discern a vocation to the religious 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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  • B.

    Good Morning: I was listening to your Rule 10 this morning …. Melissa was talking about her discernment of Religious Life and mentioned “a sense of peace”. I am presuming that one must be “open” to the possibility — meaning that in the discernment you need to be neutral to either possibility. Is it possible to “miss” God’s call and never be at peace in the discernment of one (or the other) because “your” heart set on one vs. the other? Or is that to read that the one your heart is set on is better than the other and it is God’s call? Thanks

  • Jeanette

    Thank you for the reminder about Fr. Timothy’s book: Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide to further Discernment of Spirits. I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to search through my books for this…I had read it years ago. Time for a reread! God bless you both!

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