SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Discernment of Spirits Rule 1

Discernment of Spirits: Rule 1

This week, Dan and Melissa discuss the first rule of the discernment of spirits by Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Rule 1  “In the persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy will propose apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual delights and pleasures in order to enslave them DivineIntimacyRadioWithDan&Melissa for Discernment of Spirits: Rule 1more and make them grow in their vices and sins. In these persons, the good spirit uses a contrary method, pricking them and disturbing their consciences through the process of reason and moral judgment.”
  • The devil will work to convince someone with a poorly formed conscience or who might be new to the spiritual life that peace obtained through sinful behavior is from God. However, this is a false sense of peace.
  • God will “prick us” to disturb the conscience through the process of reason and moral judgment. He will cause an uneasiness within us to bring us back to living a virtuous life.
  • Knowing how the enemy works and how the flesh works can help you fight sinful inclinations.
  • The life of Saint Augustine is a good example of overcoming habitual, mortal sin through the grace of God.


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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, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director 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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