St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us that we should have a spiritual friend who is there to talk to, as the Devil often comes at us unawares...and often in speaking with such a friend the devil is routed by the very knowledge that someone else sees what he is about. Not only is this important: it is necessary. I loved the dvd series I watched about the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius by Fr Timothy Gallagher. He made this so easy to understand as he broke them down into a clear approach to consolation and desolation.
After listening to this series I vowed to consistently make an examination of conscience and review the exercises. Unfortunately as things often happen, I left off this practice (even though I had programmed my phone to alarm a reminder once a week) several months ago.
But God is so good and even as I lament my lack of faith, He provides...baby steps...but when it is a step in the right direction...it is a step in the right direction.
A friend wrote to me this week in response to my complaint of spiritual dryness: "Remember when you came home from Poland and Rome and you couldn't understand the consolations that came one after the other? I think this is a time of desolation."
And she is so right and I am so bummed...cause desolation still stinks...even when you know what it is. However! The first step to dealing with desolation is to identify it for what it is. You can't fight an unknown enemy. And just because God permits desolation does not mean he desires for us to give in to it.
I think it is time for me to review the rules.
First Rule. The first Rule: In the persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy is commonly used to propose to them apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual delights and pleasures in order to hold them more and make them grow in their vices and sins. In these persons the good spirit uses the opposite method, pricking them and biting their consciences through the process of reason.
My conscience is being bitten. A very dear and generous friend offered to pray my rosary for me. I needed that kick. I resumed my daily rosary yesterday. Today I prayed it. Tomorrow I will work to say it again.
Praise God that I can be bitten...that my pricks are from a good spirit and that I am not finding delight in apparent pleasures. Glory to God!