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Growth – Struggles in the Spiritual Life with Fr. Timothy Gallagher O.M.V.
Fr. Timothy Gallagher and Kris McGregor continue a 20-part series on the various Struggles in the Spiritual Life. This episode explores spiritual discouragement and various forms of dryness in the spiritual life, focusing on growth in prayer.
You can pick up a copy of the book here:
An excerpt from the chapter, “Growth”:
“Yes, this situation can be confusing. What is happening in Cathy’s prayer? It has become dry. Is this because she lacks formation (chapter 15), has grown negligent (chapter 16), or has permitted an inconsistency between her life and prayer (chapter 17)? None of this appears to be present: Cathy has received formation in prayer, is faithful to it, and shows no sign of inconsistency between her life and prayer. Yet her prayer is dry. Something else, then, is at work, and in this case, something blessed. Cathy finds herself less drawn than before to reflect on or imagine a scriptural text. She esteems this way of praying and has found it fruitful in the past.
Now, however, when she reflects or imagines, she says that “it felt like work, ‘busier’ than I wanted to be in prayer.” On the other hand, at one point “I let the imagining go and just sat with the Lord. That felt better.” Very likely, Cathy’s prayer is simplifying. At times, her heart desires to relinquish the “busyness” of reflecting and imagining and simply be with the Lord, her heart with his heart, with little activity, simply together in a blessed and loving communion. She fears that when she gives her heart this freedom, she is not really praying — not thinking about the meaning of a text or participating imaginatively as it unfolds.
On the contrary! Cathy, and anyone in her situation, needs to know that this silent, loving communion is genuine prayer.”
Gallagher O.M.V, Fr. Timothy ; Gallagher O.M.V, Fr. Timothy. Struggles in the Spiritual Life: Their Nature and Their Remedies (p. 111). Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition.
To find more episodes from this series, visit the Struggles in the Spiritual Life Podcast
From the book’s description: “Here is a powerful, life-changing book that will help you understand and conquer the struggles you face in your spiritual life. It’s a book for those who love the Lord and desire holiness yet often feel adrift or stagnant in their search for spiritual growth.
All of us encounter valleys on our journey with the Lord — those periods of spiritual desolation that are a painful yet unavoidable feature of our prayer life. Spiritual desolation is as complex as we are, so understanding what is happening and responding to it properly are critical to reaching the heights of holiness.
With warmth and understanding, Fr. Gallagher carefully identifies in this book the various forms of spiritual and nonspiritual desolation and supplies the remedy for each. You’ll learn how to discern whether your struggles derive from medical or psychological conditions or whether those struggles are spiritual and permitted by the Lord for reasons of growth. In each case, you’ll be given the remedy for the struggle. You’ll also learn the forms of spiritual dryness and of the Dark Night — and how to respond to them.
In chapter after chapter, Fr. Gallagher presents a particular struggle as experienced by fictional characters and then provides the advice he gives to those who come to him for spiritual direction about that struggle. You’ll gain confidence as you journey through desolation, and you’ll learn to reject the enemy’s ploys to infect you with a sense of hopelessness.”
Did you know that Fr. Timothy Gallagher has 14 different podcast series on Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts?
Visit here to discover more!