Love this rule! Basically because it says that if God allows me to experience desolation, it's because He knows I can handle it and not only that: He is giving me the grace to handle it WHETHER I FEEL IT OR NOT. And so that knowledge, even when I am not feeling his great fervor, love and grace, reassures me that I CAN PERSIST: in prayer, in good works, in loving my neighbor and letting them love me in turn.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: Let him who is in desolation consider how the Lord has left him in trial in his natural powers, in order to resist the different agitations and temptations of the enemy; since he can with the Divine help, which always remains to him, though he does not clearly perceive it: because the Lord has taken from him his great fervor, great love and intense grace, leaving him, however, grace enough for eternal salvation.
I was cooking for a Thanksgiving bake sale the other day. As I mixed the ingredients together I thought how gross, ugly and unappetizing the food in front of me looked...seriously how did anyone ever put this stuff together and think they could eat it in the first place?
And that's how desolation works. It robs life of it's purpose. We can see the random gobs of raw eggs, lumps of fat and gloppy mashed pumpkin as they mix together but we don't understand why such unappetizing, ugly things are necessary. Can't we just remove them?
Desolation also dampens our ability to trust and love the one throwing the ingredients into the bowl. When we taste the baking soda, we make a face...how can something that tastes so awful contribute to something delicious, yummy, filling?
And yet with time, it does. My mess eventually turned into a delicious pumpkin soufflé (family recipe)...and so eventually will the trials and tribulations of life lead to something bigger and better than what we see right now.
Don't let desolation pull you away from the big picture...God is the master baker. He is giving you exactly what you need and the grace to bear it, whether or not you feel/see/think so. Rest assured. He will not leave you forsaken.