DOS#6 The Fourth Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcasts

Episode 6 -The Fourth Rule:

Of Spiritual Desolation. I call desolation all the contrary of the third rule, such as darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord.

Because, as consolation is contrary to desolation, in the same way the thoughts which come from consolation are contrary to the thoughts which come from desolation.

 

In this episode with Fr. Timothy Gallagher, in conversation with Kris McGregor, explores of St. Ignatius’ Fourth Rule of Spiritual Desolation. Spiritual desolation is described as the opposite of spiritual consolation, characterized by feelings of darkness, disturbance, movement to earthly things, lack of confidence, hopelessness, and feeling separated from God. The episode discusses the importance of recognizing, understanding, and acting against spiritual desolation to grow in one’s spiritual journey.

Fr. Gallagher explains that spiritual desolation is a common obstacle in the spiritual path, where individuals may feel discouraged, leading to a withdrawal from prayer and church involvement. He emphasizes that spiritual desolation is allowed by God as a test, teaching us to depend more on Him and less on our feelings. The episode provides practical advice on dealing with desolation, such as persevering in prayer and seeking balance in life to avoid non-spiritual desolation, which can impact one’s spiritual life.

The conversation also explores the difference between spiritual desolation and the “dark night of the soul,” highlighting that spiritual desolation should always be resisted as it is a tactic of the enemy, while the dark night is a special kind of purification that comes from God and should be accepted with perseverance. The discussion concludes with the importance of discernment in identifying and overcoming spiritual desolation, encouraging listeners to engage with their spiritual struggles through awareness, understanding, and action.


Discerning Hearts Reflection Questions:

    1. Reflecting on Personal Experience of Spiritual Desolation: Reflect on a time when you experienced spiritual desolation. How did you feel separated from God, and what were the specific thoughts or emotions you encountered?
    2. Identifying Feelings of Darkness and Disturbance: St. Ignatius describes spiritual desolation as including feelings of darkness, disturbance, and a pull towards earthly things. Can you identify instances in your life when you felt this way? What triggered these feelings?
    3. Responding to Spiritual Desolation: Fr. Gallagher emphasizes the importance of recognizing, understanding, and taking action against spiritual desolation. Reflect on how you have previously responded to spiritual desolation. What steps did you take to counteract it?
    4. Overcoming Withdrawal from Prayer and Church Activities: Spiritual desolation can lead to discouragement in prayer and participation in church activities. Have you ever felt this way? How did you overcome the urge to withdraw?
    5. Understanding the Difference Between Spiritual Desolation and the “Dark Night of the Soul”: The podcast discusses the distinction between spiritual desolation and the “dark night of the soul.” How do you understand this difference? Have you or someone you know ever experienced the “dark night of the soul”?
    6. Resisting the Work of the Enemy: Ignatius teaches that spiritual desolation should always be resisted as it is the work of the enemy. Reflect on strategies that you could employ to resist and reject spiritual desolation in your life.
    7. Maintaining Balance to Combat Spiritual Desolation: The concept of balance is mentioned as a way to combat spiritual desolation. How do you maintain balance in your spiritual and daily life to prevent non-spiritual desolation from affecting your relationship with God?
    8. The Role of Discernment in the Spiritual Journey: Reflect on the role of discernment in your spiritual journey. How can discernment help you to distinguish between spiritual desolation and other challenges in your life?
    9. Persevering in Prayer During Dry Spells: Fr. Gallagher highlights the importance of persevering in prayer even when it feels dry or difficult. Share a time when you continued to pray despite not feeling God’s presence. What was the outcome?
    10. Learning from Spiritual Desolation: Finally, consider the idea that spiritual desolation can teach us valuable lessons. What lessons have you learned from your experiences of spiritual desolation? How have these lessons helped you grow in your faith?

The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DOS#7 The Fifth Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 7 -The Fifth Rule:

In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly..

ignatius3 The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DOS#8 The Sixth Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 8 -The Sixth Rule:

Although in desolation we ought not to change our first resolutions, it is very helpful intensely to change ourselves against the same desolation, as by insisting more on prayer, meditation, on much examination, and by giving ourselves more scope in some suitable way of doing penance.

ignatius3 The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DOS#10 The Eighth Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 10 -The Eighth Rule:

Let him who is in desolation labor to be in patience, which is contrary to the vexations which come to him: and let him think that he will soon be consoled, employing against the desolation the devices, as is said in the sixth Rule.

ignatius3 The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DOS#11 The Ninth Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 11 -The Ninth Rule:

There are three principal reasons why we find ourselves desolate.

The first is, because of our being tepid, lazy or negligent in our spiritual exercises; and so through our faults, spiritual consolation withdraws from us.

The second, to try us and see how much we are and how much we let ourselves out in His service and praise without such great pay of consolation and great graces.

The third, to give us true acquaintance and knowledge, that we may interiorly feel that it is not ours to get or keep great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation, but that all is the gift and grace of God our Lord, and that we may not build a nest in a thing not ours, raising our intellect into some pride or vainglory, attributing to us devotion or the other things of the spiritual consolation.

ignatius3 The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DOS#12 The Tenth Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 12-The Tenth Rule:

Let him who is in consolation think how he will be in the desolation which will come after, taking new strength for then.

ignatius3 The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DOS#13 The Eleventh Rule – Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 13-The Eleventh Rule:

Let him who is consoled see to humbling himself and lowering himself as much as he can, thinking how little he is able for in the time of desolation without such grace or consolation. On the contrary, let him who is in desolation think that he can do much with the grace sufficient to resist all his enemies, taking strength in his Creator and Lord.

ignatius3 The Discernment of Spirits: Setting the Captives Free – Serves as an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola can be found 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: www.frtimothygallagher.org

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

DPD1 – The Daily Prayer of Discernment: The Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 1 The Daily Prayer of Discernment: The Ignatian Wisdom of the Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – The Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy GallagherServes as an introduction to the coming series and the Examen Prayer.  

Can we live with our spiritual eyes open to catch the action of God?  The Examen Prayer is the one prayer St. Ignatius could not imagine doing without.   You can’t stand still in the spiritual life if you are praying the Examen Prayer.   

As outlined from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
(translated from the autograph by Fr. E. Mullan, S.J.  1909 in the public domain)

METHOD FOR MAKING THE GENERAL EXAMENSt.-Ignatius-4
It contains in it five Points.

First Point. The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received.
Second Point. The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out.
Third Point. The third, to ask account of our soul from the hour that we rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts, in the same order as was mentioned in the Particular Examen.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to ask pardon of God our Lord for the faults.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to purpose amendment with His grace.

OUR FATHER.

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 books and audio available for purchase from Fr. Timothy Gallagher check out his website: www.frtimothygallagher.org

 

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

 

DPD2 – The Daily Prayer of Discernment: The Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 2 The Daily Prayer of Discernment: The Ignatian Wisdom of the Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy Gallagher.   The First Step in the Examen Prayer:  Gratitude.  Taking time out of the day when our hearts are free to receive the Lord’s presence.  Prayer involves two persons in relationship…ourselves and God.  Then together with the Lord, we see what the gifts of love God have poured out upon us.  The key in this first step is not to look for our missteps (that may come later), but to look for the gifts and give thanks.

As outlined from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
(translated from the autograph by Fr. E. Mullan, S.J.  1909 in the public domain)

METHOD FOR MAKING THE GENERAL EXAMENSt.-Ignatius-4
It contains in it five Points.

First Point. The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received.
Second Point. The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out.
Third Point. The third, to ask account of our soul from the hour that we rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts, in the same order as was mentioned in the Particular Examen.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to ask pardon of God our Lord for the faults.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to purpose amendment with His grace.

OUR FATHER.

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 books and audio available for purchase from Fr. Timothy Gallagher check out his website: www.frtimothygallagher.org

 

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

 

DPD3 – The Daily Prayer of Discernment: The Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 3 The Daily Prayer of Discernment: The Ignatian Wisdom of the Examen Prayer with Fr. Timothy Gallagher.
 The conversation continues on the subject of the first step in the Examen – GRATITUDE.   Why?  Because first, above all things, God is love.  So at the start of the prayer, we should recall the gift of love God has blessed us with that day and give Him thanks and praise and be concrete.  Fr. Gallagher offers examples of what that could look like.  Then the conversation begins the next step – PETITION.  Asking God to show you what see clearly the spiritual realities of that day.  

As outlined from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
(translated from the autograph by Fr. E. Mullan, S.J.  1909 in the public domain)

METHOD FOR MAKING THE GENERAL EXAMENSt.-Ignatius-4
It contains in it five Points.

First Point. The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received.
Second Point. The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out.
Third Point. The third, to ask account of our soul from the hour that we rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts, in the same order as was mentioned in the Particular Examen.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to ask pardon of God our Lord for the faults.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to purpose amendment with His grace.

OUR FATHER.

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 books and audio available for purchase from Fr. Timothy Gallagher check out his website: www.frtimothygallagher.org

 

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