Navigating Consolation, Desolation, and Discernment of Spirits (The Inner Life with Patrick Conley)

“How can I be sure that God is leading me to take the next step into something?”

“Why do I feel “spiritually dry?”

“Is the devil playing tricks on me?”

These are all questions that can be taken into Ignatian discernment, and you’ll learn a little about it in this clip of The Inner Life with Patrick Conley.

Patrick Conley dives deep with Fr. James Kubicki, S.J., into the spiritually electrifying realm of consolation and desolation. It’s all guided by none other than St. Ignatius of Loyola’s profound insights.

🙏 Consolation: When God Gives You That Heavenly Hug 🙏

Imagine, if you will, a moment of prayer so powerful, it feels like a divine embrace. That’s consolation for you! It’s not about the fleeting thrill of worldly pleasures but a deep, abiding peace that whispers, “You’re loved beyond measure.” Fr. Kubicki explains that it’s God’s way of drawing us closer, igniting our hearts with faith, hope, and charity. Ever cried tears of joy in prayer? That’s consolation playing its heavenly chords.

😈 Desolation: The Spiritual Slump 😈

But wait, the spiritual life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Enter desolation: that dry spell where heaven seems silent, and your spiritual life feels like it’s on a hiatus. But don’t be fooled; this isn’t just about feeling spiritually “meh.” It’s a battleground where discernment is key. Is this a test, or is the enemy playing tricks? Fr. Kubicki shares that desolation can lead us away from God, tempting us with earthly consolations. Yet, it’s also a call to deeper trust and purification.

🔍 Discernment: Heavenly Detective Work 🔍

So, how do we tell if it’s God’s voice or just spiritual junk mail? Fr. Kubicki lays down some Ignatian wisdom to help us discern the source of our spiritual experiences. True consolation leads to an outpouring of love for God and neighbor, while desolation pulls us into a self-centered spiral. The key? Look at the fruits: love, joy, peace, and charity are divine hallmarks.

🎢 The Spiritual Journey: Not a Feel-Good Festival 🎢

God isn’t in the business of keeping us spiritually consoled 24/7. Why? Because our faith journey isn’t about chasing divine “feel-goods” but seeking the God of consolation itself. It’s about love, sacrifice, and sometimes, walking through spiritual deserts to truly find the oasis of God’s presence.

💡 Takeaway: Seek the Giver, Not Just the Gifts 💡

Fr. Kubicki and Patrick Conley remind us that our spiritual life is a rich tapestry woven with moments of joy and trials. It’s a divine adventure that teaches us to cherish the consolations but not to idolize them. Instead, we’re called to seek the God who offers these gifts, growing in faith, hope, and love, regardless of our spiritual “weather.”

Catch the whole episode here!

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.