The Interplay of Consolation and Desolation by Horn

Desolations have many valuable lessons to teach:

  •  awakens a lax conscience (Ex #314)
  • brings a person’s sloth and tepidity to light (Ex #322)
  • tests & teaches the person that consolations are strictly God’s gifts (Ex #322).

“Our hearts become much wiser through desolation” ~ Msgr Trapp

And yet, Ignatius ALWAYS has the believer FIGHT this experienced state of the soul (Ex #319). 

Spiritual consolations & desolations = are the positive & negative echoes of a person’s own being, the manifestations of our hidden affections abiding and active in the human heart.

  • Consolation = self-surrender
  • Desolation = self-refusal

Consolations and desolations are the measure of the soundness or sickness of the person’s human nature.

Spiritual Desolation = exposes a person’s affective disorder and allows him to work out inordinate attachments, to allow healing in much the same way that a person works out a cramp in a muscle. Always be experienced as something running counter to a person’s authentic inner core.

Spiritual Consolation = will always be experienced in the person’s heart as the more natural, more fitting, deeper, truer experience.



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