Ignatian Discernment: Spiritual Consolation

My notes from the book, God's Voice Within - The Ignatian Way to 
Discover God's Will by Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ

Third Rule. The third is of spiritual consolation. I call it consolation when some interior movement is caused in the soul, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord, and, consequently when it can love no created thing on the face of the earth itself, but only in the Creator of them all. Likewise when it sheds tears that move to love of its Lord, whether out of sorrow for one’s sins or for the passion of Christ our Lord, or because of other things directly ordered to His service and praise. Finally, I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and charity, and all interior joy that calls and attracts to heavenly things and to the salvation of one’s soul, quieting it and giving it peace in its Creator and Lord. (316)

I am in consolation when I have:

  • faith, hope & love
  • the sense of God’s closeness
  • peace & tranquility
  • great desires
  • transparency

I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and love…

  • If my thoughts, feelings, and actions are not increasing my faith, hope & love, then what good are they? (cf. 1 Cor 13)
  • If confused & disoriented by the false spirit, ask yourself in prayer:
    • What is the most loving thing to do?
    • What is the most hopeful thing to do?
    • What is the most faith-filled thing to do?

I call it consolation when some interior movement is caused in the soul, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord, and, consequently when it can love no created thing on the face of the earth itself, but only in the Creator of them all.

  • One of the strongest signs of consolation is the strong, deep, and lasting sense of God’s presence and God’s personal love for us.
  • We begin to love God, who is labouring to love us in all created things on earth.
  • In God’s providence, He uses chance and random happenings to communicate with us.

I call consolation…quieting [the soul] and giving it peace in its Creator and Lord.

  • The peace of consolation = a divine peace about those difficult, unresolved issues of my life. A sense that deep down God is working through even the most difficult parts of my life.
  • Example: read Acts 4-5. Despite their troubled & uneducated pasts, threats, beatings, and incarceration, Peter & John display an amazing sense of confidence that God will provide for those who are doing God’s work, regardless of how hard it may seem.
  • True perspective = a subcategory. You trust that God will enlighten your mind when the time is right, according to the divine timetable, so it’s okay not to have all the answers… confusion is okay.

I call consolation… all interior joy that calls and attracts to heavenly things and to the salvation of one’s soul…

  • Great desires = holy desires that inflame my heart to do good in the world.
  • When I am in tune with God’s ever-creative love, I too, have that passion to create, that desire to bring forth new life (cf. Genesis 1).

Transparency

  • Whereas the false spirit works through secrecy (Rule 13), we know that “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

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