Vatican, 26 October, 2022 / 4:22 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis explained on Wednesday how times of spiritual desolation — described by St. Ignatius of Loyola as feelings of unquiet, temptation, sadness — can also help bring us closer to God.
“No one wants to be desolate, sad. We would all like a life that is always joyful, cheerful, and fulfilled. Yet this, besides not being possible — because it is not possible — would not be good for us either,” the pope said during the general audience on Oct. 26.
In fact, he added, feelings of sadness or remorse can be the impetus for turning away from a life of vice.
Pope Francis continued his lessons on discernment with a reflection on spiritual desolation at his weekly gathering with the public in St. Peter’s Square.
Quoting from St. Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual exercises, he said desolation is defined as “darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when the soul finds itself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from its Creator and Lord.”