It is good that we are here.
“It is good that we are here.” These words from St. Peter in the gospel proclaimed today are very simple. Many of us may have these moments in our life when we become so aware of God’s presence that we are blessed by a feeling of security or even euphoria. In the spiritual life we call these moments “consolations”, and the opposite is “desolation” Here are the characteristics of these different moments in the spiritual life as identified by St. Ignatius of Loyola:
- turns us in on ourselves
- drives us down the spiral ever deeper into our own negative feelings
- cuts us off from community
- makes us want to give up on things that used to be important to us
- takes over our whole consciousness and crowds out our distant vision
- covers up all our landmarks
- drains us of energy
- directs our focus outside and beyond ourselves
- lifts our hearts so that we can see the joys and sorrows of other people
- bonds us more closely to our human community
- generates new inspiration and ideas
- restores balance and refreshes our inner vision
- shows us where God is active in our lives and where he is leading us
- releases new energy in us
These moments of consolation are gifts from the Lord which will get through the moments of desolation. St Ignatius also give is advice on what to do in each moment:
- Tell God how you feel and ask for help.
- Seek out companionship.
- Don’t go back on decisions you made in consolation.
- Stand still and remember your inner map.
- Recall a time of consolation, and go back to it imagination.
- Look for someone who needs your help, and turn your attention toward them.
- Go back to 1.
- Tell God how you feel and thank him.
- Store this moment in your memory to return to when things get tough.
- Add this experience to your life map.
- Use the energy you feel to further your deepest desires.
- Let the surplus energy fuel the things you don’t like doing, and do them.
- Go back to 1.
Originally from https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/ignatian-spirituality/discernment/discernment-consolation-and-desolation
It’s good to recognize that we all have mountains and valleys in our spiritual life and to be attentive to what the Lord is saying to us in each moment. It is my prayer that each of us grows closer to the Lord as we make our Lenten Pilgrimage.
In Christ, Fr. Casey