3rd Rule of Discernment

Dear Beginner,

    The third rule explains more about consolations, which I wouldn’t be surprised if you have probably already experienced some. St. Ignatius says: “I call it consolation when some interior movement in the soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord; can in consequence love no created thing on the face of the earth in itself, but in the Creator of them all.”

    I don’t think much explanation is needed; maybe it is an intense joy, or even tears of repentance, to think about Christ’s passion, or of love.  It could be an experience of the love of God, a comfort to know that God is your Father and He cares for you. Whatever moves you to love God, to serve Him, and to praise Him. Sometimes it feels like your heart is on fire with love for God.  Whatever increase in faith, hope, charity, or any other virtue is a consolation. The Lord gives consolations a lot in the beginning, to help the soul leave things and give to Him whatever He asks. They give us strength and encourage us to commit ourselves more to God.  

    Just remember, consolations are gifts from God, they are not from your doing, so don’t let your head get too puffed up. Thank God, and remember what He has given you, so that when the desolation comes, you are ready.

In the Eucharist,
Another Beginner, student of St. Ignatius