Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement: Conference 2 with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast Seminar


Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMV

Conference 2  – A Spiritual Program – Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Conference talk 2 from the Discerning Hearts Seminar/Retreat held online late spring 2020 with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Letters of Venerable Bruno Lanteri to his spiritual directee, Gabriella Solaro della Margarita

1. My Lady and my Daughter in Jesus Christ,

Your letter just arrived; I was glad to receive it, and it gave me real joy. I am happy to hear that your trip went well, and that your whole family is in good health. I see no reason why you may not entrust your little Louise to your dear sister, the Lady Countess Vidua. She could not be in better hands, and the reasons for doing so are many. In my view, you may do this with total peace of heart.

And it gives me greater happiness still to know that Fr. Ferrero is already there with you. It is important, then, to begin immediately, to arrange with him for receiving Communion, and to do so as often as you can. You must be consistently faithful to meditation and to spiritual reading, if it be only a quarter of an hour of meditation and a single page of spiritual reading, and the same also for the examination of conscience which you can do while you are working. Do not forget to raise your heart frequently, but gently and with peace, to God, and to make acts of mortification, especially interior ones; for you, this means the effort to live each moment with a gentle and joyful spirit. For the love of God, I beg of you to wage continual warfare against negative moods, and never fail to begin again.

Do not wait until you have devotion to begin these things. Begin even without devotion since that will come with time, and this is precisely the means to attain it. Devotion must be the fruit and not the cause of the practices I have recommended. For the rest, you know that true devotion consists in readiness to be faithful to the Lord, and not in sentiment. I hope that soon you will send me consoling news in this regard

I ask you to give my greetings to Father Cesare and to tell him that I would be happy to see him here, and that I always hope to be able one day to visit with him there. For the present, tell Fr. Ferraro that, even though I have not yet had the joy of meeting him, I ask him to give you no rest in committing yourself to practicing all that I have just recommended to you and to call you strictly to account, and I will be grateful to him for this.

I bless you together with all your family, I recommend myself to your prayers, and I am, with the highest esteem and respect,

Your Servant and Father in Jesus Christ, Fr. Lanteri Turin, May 22, 1807

Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri
Venerable Bruno Lanteri
The image of Our Lady of Consolation referred to by Fr. Gallagher

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.


For books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts. Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts


Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

For the other episodes in this series check out
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page


Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

 

 

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement: Conference 1 with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast Seminar

 


Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMV

Conference 1  – Introduction – Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Conference talk 1 from the Discerning Hearts Seminar/Retreat held online late spring 2020 with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Letters of Venerable Bruno Lanteri to his spiritual directee, Gabriella Solaro della Margarita

1. My Lady and my Daughter in Jesus Christ,

Your letter just arrived; I was glad to receive it, and it gave me real joy. I am happy to hear that your trip went well, and that your whole family is in good health. I see no reason why you may not entrust your little Louise to your dear sister, the Lady Countess Vidua. She could not be in better hands, and the reasons for doing so are many. In my view, you may do this with total peace of heart.

And it gives me greater happiness still to know that Fr. Ferrero is already there with you. It is important, then, to begin immediately, to arrange with him for receiving Communion, and to do so as often as you can. You must be consistently faithful to meditation and to spiritual reading, if it be only a quarter of an hour of meditation and a single page of spiritual reading, and the same also for the examination of conscience which you can do while you are working. Do not forget to raise your heart frequently, but gently and with peace, to God, and to make acts of mortification, especially interior ones; for you, this means the effort to live each moment with a gentle and joyful spirit. For the love of God, I beg of you to wage continual warfare against negative moods, and never fail to begin again.

Do not wait until you have devotion to begin these things. Begin even without devotion since that will come with time, and this is precisely the means to attain it. Devotion must be the fruit and not the cause of the practices I have recommended. For the rest, you know that true devotion consists in readiness to be faithful to the Lord, and not in sentiment. I hope that soon you will send me consoling news in this regard

I ask you to give my greetings to Father Cesare and to tell him that I would be happy to see him here, and that I always hope to be able one day to visit with him there. For the present, tell Fr. Ferraro that, even though I have not yet had the joy of meeting him, I ask him to give you no rest in committing yourself to practicing all that I have just recommended to you and to call you strictly to account, and I will be grateful to him for this.

I bless you together with all your family, I recommend myself to your prayers, and I am, with the highest esteem and respect,

Your Servant and Father in Jesus Christ, Fr. Lanteri Turin, May 22, 1807

Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri
Venerable Bruno Lanteri
The image of Our Lady of Consolation referred to by Fr. Gallagher

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.


For books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts. Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts


Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

For the other episodes in this series check out
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page


Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

 

 

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

IP#364 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 2 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we continue with part 2 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

IP#363 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 1 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we begin part 1 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

BA15 – “The Quality and Aim of Our Actions” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Episode 15 – “The Quality and Aim of Our Actions” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, Fr. Gallagher  offers that a clear understanding of one’s state of life and of one’s specific path toward holiness—one’s vocation—forms a basic point of the spiritual direction which Lanteri offers to the laity. It is in “this state…and not in another” that God “wills that I serve Him and gain my salvation.” Lanteri leads men and women to understand their state in lay life as the will of God and to seek to fulfill faithfully the tasks connected with that state of life.

The state of life…in which I find myself is the condition in which I can, I ought, and I desire to become holy. And so I need to see my obligations, and the means to fulfill them. My true happiness consists in the faithful practice of these (To a Married Woman, Positio, 534).

1. My heart must belong totally to God and to my husband, not only because of natural attraction, but also because of a commitment contracted with God Himself. 2. I must make every effort to maintain harmony between all in the house, and to seek and to create a domestic peace. 3. I must strive to win the affection of all who live near to us (To a Married Woman, ibid., 534).

I will seek to understand the inclinations of all those in the house so as to provide for them, and to please them cheerfully in all that is not of offense to God, even though at times this may cost effort (To a Married Woman, ibid., 535).

God has placed me in this state of life, and in no other, so that may I serve Him and win my salvation. All the circumstances and events related to my state in life, such as the different temperaments of those with whom I deal, the matters that arise, the times and places in which these things take place, all this forms the order of providence the Lord has chosen for my salvation (To a Married Woman, ibid., 537).

 

For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit his website: frtimothygallagher.org

Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri

 

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.

 


For books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts.Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts


Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

For the other episodes in this series check out
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page


Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

BA12 – “Spiritual Accompaniment and it’s Fruits ” pt 1 – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Episode 12 – Spiritual Accompaniment and it’s Fruits pt 1 – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the actual spiritual direction Ven. Bruno Lanteri offered to a laywoman, Gabriella Solaro della Margarita, mother of Clemente Solara della Margarita, well known in Italian history as a political figure and faithful Catholic. The mother of six children, she is described as a woman “of faithful heart… with a will constantly inclined toward doing good, but somewhat impatient, almost sharp…” (Carteggio II, 234, note 3).

Fr. Gallagher speaks of this type of spiritual guidance and program and how it can aid not only our own spiritual lives, but how it can effect our families and even our surrounding community.  What may same hidden to us at the time, a quiet accompaniment in the Lord, can be like a small mustard seeds that will grow in extraordinary ways and fruitfulness in God’s grace.

During this series, we find that the Ven. Bruno Lanteri’s life and mission contain significant spiritual relevance to nurture the hearts of today’s religious and lay faithful.

For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit his website: frtimothygallagher.org

Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri

 

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.

 


For books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts.Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts


Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

For the other episodes in this series check out
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page


Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

IP#271 Dr. Peter Kreeft – Practical Theology on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Peter Kreeft

“Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas” by Dr. Peter Kreeft is outstanding! An incredible work that transforms the potentially intimidating Summa Theologiae into a vital life-giving, soul-nurturing work for the pilgrim soul.   Dr. Kreeft offers us the religious wisdom of Aquinas in 359 bite-size pieces that can aid our growth in holiness.  He has framed these readings as answers to questions that people actually ask their spiritual directors. Each answer is taken word for word from Aquinas.  So many topics are covered.  You’ll be returning to this book over and over again throughout your spiritual journey.  An excellent gift to give yourself and those you love!  Highly Recommended!!!

 

practical-theology

You can find the book here

“Its notoriously difficult to synopsize Aquinas on anything. However, if I were to choose someone to do the job well, it would be Peter Kreeft. Many will find this presentation helpful to develop their own replies to the questions that bother the minds of today’s searchers.”
– Romanus Cessario, O.P., Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass.

“A scintillating commentary on the deepest book by the greatest mind. Expert guide Peter Kreeft points out every foothold and crevice you need to scale Mount Summa, and feeds you plenty of oxygen along the way. Brimming with Kreeftian profundity and levity, this book scores a hat trick: it’s informative, formative, and transformative.” —Patrick Coffin, Radio Host, Catholic Answers

“How can we know the living God and attain to everlasting union with God? This is really the only question of life. Kreeft’s dialogue with Aquinas shows us what it means–existentially, not solely academically–to learn from a saint.” —Matthew Levering, Professor of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

“Walk Humbly Before Your God” The Spiritual Journey – In Conversation with Fr. Andrew Apostoli – Discerning Hearts Podcast

“Walk Humbly Before Your God:  Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life” is an all-time favorite.  Fr. Andrew Apostoli, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and a frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network, had a beautiful way of shining new light on fundamental truths.  He graciously took time to teach us about the nature of prayer,  how it develops in our lives and how we can nurture it.  He spoke of Jesus and several aspects of his prayer: praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and how it aids in our suffering.  Our traditional vocal prayers, as well as the depths of contemplation, were also discussed including how do we deal with distractions,   Fr. Apostoli, a humble, holy priest, was a master spiritual catechist! He died on December 13, 2017, the morning after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  Contained in this 50-minute discussion, you’ll find guidance that can last a lifetime.

You can find Fr. Apostoli’s book here

From the book description:

Christians, if they are to have any impact in today s world, have something of the same code: we fight the good fight, side by side, ready to lay down our lives for one another. Such heroism doesn t come naturally. As Walk Humbly With Your God points out, it is in the day-to-day training, in taking the simple steps to holiness, that heroism becomes second nature.

Fr. Apostoli provides an inspirational guide to conquering our faults, growing in prayer and acquiring the virtues that enable us to walk with God and live for others.

IP#273 Fr. Christopher Collins S.J. – Three Moments of the Day on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Three Moments of the Day: Praying with the Heart of Jesus” by Fr. Christopher Collins S.J. is outstanding!

Our conversation with Fr. Collins may leave you feeling that you’ve received a wonderful spiritual “booster shot”!   What seemed old is beautifully new again. What we may have taken for granted is revealed to have delightfully renewing facets for us to explore.   Highly, highly recommended!

From the book description:

On the strength of the Apostleship of Prayer’s worldwide reach, retreat master Christopher Collins introduces a powerful approach to both the Sacred Heart devotion and classic Ignatian spirituality.
In the tradition of Michael Gaitley’s bestselling 33 Days to Morning Glory, Three Moments of the Day presents a classic Catholic tradition in a way that is fresh and compelling. Jesuit retreat master Christopher Collins introduces three simple, yet powerful prayer habits that are at the foundation of both the Sacred Heart devotion and Ignatian spirituality and that assist the reader in turning intentionally toward the Sacred Heart of Christ. Readers are guided through morning offering, evening reflection, and how to ponder the gift of the Eucharist throughout the day.

 

You can find the book here

“Fr. Collins has written a dynamic and entertaining invitation to the Church: Let Jesus love us and heal us at the depth of our wounds. Here, in this accessible source, we can encounter the fire of the Sacred Heart, a fire of love searching for us all.” –Deacon James Keating, Director of Theological Formation, Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University

“This simple yet profound program of three moments a day will bless all who undertake it. In this book, a rich spiritual content is conveyed in heartfelt and accessible language.” —Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., Author of The Discernment of Spirits

 

SD10 – Recalling the Responses to Spiritual Desolation – Spiritual Desolation: Be Aware, Understand, Take Action with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 10  – Fr. Gallagher recalls the pointed responses to desolation found in Rules 5 – 14.  He then shares some personal reflections which demonstrate how helpful the rules helpful in resisting Spiritual Desolation.

From  Setting the Captives Free: Personal Reflections on Ignatian Discernment of Spirits

“The Enemy Claims Power over the Future”

I wrote this next entry after a further surgery, when I could not yet see what lay ahead. The following are notes on a conversation of spiritual direction:

Ed spoke of the fear about the “what-ifs.” This is the taunting of the enemy, meant to discourage you, claiming power over the future. You’ll never return to active ministry, never be able to share community life as before. The enemy wants you to focus on what is dark, and to pull you into the future seen in this way.

The Holy Spirit is helping you to pray in this, and Mary is present to you. Turn quickly to the Lord, ask Mary’s intercession, in such times.

The enemy is all about the negatives, the “nos.” The truth, even on a medical level, is that there is progress, and you are getting stronger. The medical situations are moving ahead. There is real hope, and the Lord with his love is with you. So, be quick to turn away from the negative thoughts. Don’t even open the door! Renounce the lies. Even imagining what might happen is a temptation. Be in the present, be open to his grace today, surrender to his will today. As Ed said this, I realized that this I could do.

Surrender to his Heart as best you can today. The surrender is not a surrender to “the worst” but to his faithful love for you. This is the one you surrender to.

I found it very helpful to talk about this spiritual desolation and receive guidance regarding the enemy’s discouraging tactics (rule 13). This was a nonspiritual vulnerability after a surgery that gave the enemy an opening for spiritual desolation. A common trait of spiritual desolation—the enemy’s claim of power over the future, always seen in a dark light— was also evident that day. Ed’s advice to reject this tactic of the enemy immediately reflected Ignatius’s counsel in rule 12: resist in the very beginning, before the burden can grow. Ed was right, too, that objectively things were improving on the medical level. In the nonspiritual and spiritual desolation, I found it hard to see that on my own, and it was encouraging to hear Ed and recognize the truth of what he said.

You can find this book here

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life:  The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”. For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit  his  website:   frtimothygallagher.org

For the other episodes in this series check out Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page