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

IP#346 Gary Jansen – MicroShifts on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

Gary Jansen is one of my favorite authors; I love our conversations.  He has a spiritual tenderness that appreciates the practical need to help the everyman find a way to deepen his relationship with God.  “MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time” is a beautiful response to that need!  In its pages, Gary offers an effective way to navigate the travails of the spiritual journey. We highly recommend this and all of Gary’s books.

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Is it really possible to change my life—in ways that will last?

Author Gary Jansen knows how difficult it can be to create significant, sustainable change in our lives. Sometimes we feel too overwhelmed to even start, and in other cases this self-work seems like one more burden. In his new book he offers an answer that he calls “microshifting”—small, incremental adjustments that gradually reshape our deeply rooted patterns.

With a blend of masterful storytelling and dozens of practical tips, MicroShifts suggests simple, small changes across many aspects of our lives—everything from how we greet others to how we try to talk to God—to generate big results physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you are looking for steps to improve your life that are achievable, sustainable, and potentially life-changing, MicroShifts is a powerful place to begin.

SD9 “Pre-Event” 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 9  – Fr. Gallagher offers insights on a form of Spiritual Desolation he terms as “Pre-Event” Desolation.  He uses this description to define a type of desolation that can affect someone who, for example, is about to enter into a retreat or pilgrimage, or some type of spiritual or ministry based undertaking.

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

It is liberating to know that spiritual desolation is an ordinary experience in the spiritual life, that every disciple of the Lord for two thousand years—including the canonized saints—has undergone this experience, that there is no shame in experiencing spiritual desolation, that times of spiritual desolation are normal in a well-lived spiritual life (SpirEx 6), and that, therefore, we are not the only ones. Experiencing spiritual desolation is simply part of what it means to live the spiritual life in a fallen, redeemed, and loved world. What does matter is to live the discerning life: to be aware of spiritual desolation when it is present, to name it for the lie of the enemy that it is, and to reject it. The principle focus of these fourteen rules is to help us do precisely that.

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

IP#121 Fr. Larry Richards – Surrender on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will” is another outstanding offering from Fr. Larry Richards!  From start to finish Fr. Larry challenges us to place Jesus Christ first in our lives and our relationships with others and the world.  Once we can do that, things begin to fall into place.  Then he helps us to recognize the difference between God’s will and our will, and to trust that His will be better for us if we trust, love and….SURRENDER!

Fr. Larry Richards is an engaging writer, who never fails to keep us hooked through the entire book.  This will be one of those books that you want to purchase at least two copies, because you’ll want to pass it on to another, and you’ll want to keep one for yourself for years to come.

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

…Surrender outlines concrete steps you can take to dwell in peace. Simply put, God wants every one of us to be a saint which is a lot of work! It requires developing a plan for your life, in accordance with the Lord’s will.

Prayer is the key to this, as it opens the soul to hearing God’s voice and accepting his guidance. But prayer too requires discipline and planning. Father Richards is the life coach every one of us needs on the sidelines of our daily life the tough love coach who calls it like he sees it.

Allow yourself to move out of the driver seat and surrender to the one who knows all God.

 

 

IP#318 Fr. John Burns – Lift Up Your Heart on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast


“Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales” is outstanding.  A wonderful “introduction to the devout life”… literally!  Fr. John Burns breaks open up the teachings of the great spiritual director and Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales in a wonderfully fresh new way.  Very practical and perfect for meditation during prayer times during the day, this is a mini-retreat we can all benefit from.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This practical book goes right to the heart of helping you kick the habit of floating along on your spiritual journey to start actively pursuing holiness and devotion to God. During the course of the retreat, you ll learn the basics of forming a daily prayer routine, including how to offer yourself to God, meditate on his love, and maintain peace in the face of suffering and clarity in the midst of temptation.

The meditations will help you:

  • Adopt gratitude as a daily prayer practice.
  • Examine and reorder your priorities and relationships to better reflect your love for God.
  • Discern between good and evil in your life.
  • Desire to love and serve as Jesus did.

In a very real sense, Burns helps you take St. Francis de Sales as your spiritual director for ten days. As you do so, you’ll feel God’s fatherly love and restart your faith life, equipped with the tools to connect with God and live for heaven now.

BKL#28 – Discerning Daily the Spirit – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff


Msgr. Esseff reflects on how we are to daily discern the movement of Christ in us and the movement of the self, the world, and the activity of the enemy.

Transition:
Become aware of the love with which God looks upon me as I begin this examen.

Gratitude
Note the gifts that God’s love has given you this day and give thanks to God for them.

Petition
Ask God for an insight and a strength that will make this examen a work of grace, fruitful beyond your human capacity alone.

Review
With God, review the day. Look for the stirrings in your heart and the thoughts which God has given you this day.
Look also for those which have not been of God.
Review your choices in response to both, and throughout the day in general.

Forgiveness.
Ask for the healing touch of the forgiving God who, with love and respect for you, removes your heart’s burdens.

Renewal.
Look to the following day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for your life.

Transition:
Aware of God’s presence with you, prayerfully conclude the examen

*The above text was adapted from a pdf online entitled “The Examen” found here

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.    

SD3 A Brief Overview of Rules 10 through 14 – 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 3 – Fr. Gallagher offers a  brief overview of the Rules for Discernment 10 – 14 in relation to spiritual desolation.

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

Tenth Rule. The tenth: Let the one who is in consolation think how he will conduct himself in the desolation which will come after, taking new strength for that time.

Eleventh Rule. The eleventh: Let one who is consoled seek to humble himself and lower himself as much as he can, think- ing of how little he is capable in the time of desolation with- out such grace or consolation. On the contrary, let one who is in desolation think that he can do much with God’s sufficient grace to resist all his enemies, taking strength in his Creator and Lord.

Twelfth Rule. The twelfth: The enemy acts like a woman in being weak when faced with strength and strong when faced with weakness. For, as it is proper to a woman, when she is fighting with some man, to lose heart and to flee when the man confronts her firmly, and, on the contrary, if the man begins to flee, losing heart, the anger, vengeance and ferocity of the woman grow greatly and know no bounds, in the same way, it is proper to the enemy to weaken and lose heart, flee- ing and ceasing his temptations when the person who is exer- cising himself in spiritual things confronts the temptations of the enemy firmly, doing what is diametrically opposed to them; and, on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself begins to be afraid and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so fierce on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with such growing malice.

Thirteenth Rule. The thirteenth: Likewise he conducts him- self as a false lover in wishing to remain secret and not berevealed. For a dissolute man who, speaking with evil inten- tion, makes dishonorable advances to a daughter of a good father or a wife of a good husband, wishes his words and persuasions to be secret, and the contrary displeases him very much, when the daughter reveals to her father or the wife to her husband his false words and depraved intention, because he easily perceives that he will not be able to succeed with the undertaking begun. In the same way, when the enemy of human nature brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wishes and desires that they be received and kept in secret; but when one reveals them to one’s good confessor or to another spiritual person, who knows his deceits and malicious designs, it weighs on him very much, because he perceives that he will not be able to succeed with the mali- cious undertaking he has begun, since his manifest deceits have been revealed.

Fourteenth Rule. The fourteenth: Likewise he conducts him- self as a leader, intent upon conquering and robbing what he desires. For, just as a captain and leader of an army in the field, pitching his camp and exploring the fortifications and defenses of a stronghold, attacks it at the weakest point, in the same way the enemy of human nature, roving about, looks in turn at all our theological, cardinal and moral vir- tues; and where he finds us weakest and most in need for our eternal salvation, there he attacks us and attempts to take us.

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

IJCY4- Your Peace is Found in Jesus – Is Jesus Calling You w/ Fr. Paul Hoesing ep 4 – Discerning Hearts

 Fr. Paul Hoesing - Is Jesus Calling You? Discerning Your Vocational Call 3

The Fourth Spiritual Lesson: It Takes Time. “The Father simply wants you to trust him enough to take the next step, not the 10th or 20th step.  He wants you to focus on going from A to B, not ongoing from A to Z.  When you take that step, Jesus will reveal the next one.”

Questions: What is the next step God is asking of you?  Are you afraid to take it? If you are, ask him into the situation or reality that causes you fear.  Are you focusing too far down the road?

The Fifth Spiritual Lesson: Your Peace is Found in Jesus. “Christ’s presence is enjoyable; it gives us peace, stillness, clarity, and gratitude.  Our job is to desire it.”

Questions: Where do you experience peace, stillness, clarity or gratitude in God?  Wherever that is happening in your life, you need to do two things: (1) realize that this is the presence of Christ and ; (2) desire it throughout your day…above all thins.  Relish his presence, enjoy his presence, long for his presence, keep coming back to his presence, adore his presence and express gratitude for his presence.

 

Based on “Is Jesus Calling You To Be A Catholic Priest: A helpful guide”, published by National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Director.

Fr. Paul Hoesing serves at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary as Dean of Seminarians & Director of Human Formation

SD1 Introduction – 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 1 – Serves as an introduction to this series on the subject of “Spiritual Desolation.”

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

Five hundred years ago, Ignatius entered the realm of the heart and crafted a set of guidelines for responding to interior experience, both joyful (spiritual consolation) and discouraging (spiritual desolation), on the spiritual level. These guidelines, when well explained, equip hearers to be aware of, understand the significance of, and take action in response to their spiritual experience. Said differently, they take Christian anthropology—the fact that only in Christ can the human person be understood fully—seriously, and render it operative. When one applies these guidelines, the full Christian understanding of the human person ceases to remain a theological construct and is rendered concretely applicable in daily living. For over three decades, I have seen many apply these guidelines with much fruit.

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

IP#337 Mark Joseph – Overwhelming Pursuit on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

What a delight to talk with Mark Joseph about “Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live.”  He presents in this very compelling book a practical approach to transforming your life.  I simply could not have put any better than Dr. Scott Hahn who said in his ringing endorsement of Mark’s work: “In these pages you’ll learn, step by step, how to do the hard stuff: forgive from the heart, apologize, open yourself to the healing power of God’s mercy. If these graces have seemed remote, theoretical, or elusive to you, seek here and find everything you need: a prescription for spiritual health and lifelong conversion.”  Excellent!  Get a copy for yourself and someone in your life who really needs this solid yet caring message.  Mark’s website is: https://markjosephministries.com

You can by the book here

From the book description:

“Success lets me and everybody else know that I’m important – that I’m worth loving. Success is how I prove my worth in this world.”

That’s what Mark Joseph thought.

He was driven to achieve, and he did. Through his success, he felt loved and respected. He worked night and day to keep feeling important.

But success came at a price.

If you’re overwhelmed, unfulfilled, and running in circles chasing happiness, this is the book for you.

You’ll learn, as Mark did, that the overwhelming pursuit of success stems from our underlying belief that we need to earn love, and that striving for it will somehow cure our lack of self-love. He’ll show you, through his experiences and those of others, that fulfillment has nothing to do with success. It comes from knowing that – despite success or failure you were created by God for greatness, for love and to be loved.