Home » Spiritual Direction » Desolation and Consolation

Desolation and Consolation


Moves our perspective from God and others to ourselves

Pushes us down the spiral of darkness ever deeper into our own negative feelings

Tries to cuts us off from relationships both individual and community

Makes us want to give up on the things that used to be important to us

Seeks to take over our whole consciousness and limits our vision of hope

Hides and distorts all our landmarks [the signs given by God for our journey]

Drains us of energy and distracts us from love

Can move us toward the influence of the enemy of humanity


Directs our focus outside and beyond ourselves toward God and others

Lifts our hearts and increases empathy, compassion, and celebration

Bonds us more closely to God and our human relationships

Generates new inspiration, spiritual desires, visions, dreams, and hope

Restores balance and refreshes our Kingdom perspective

Shows us God is active in our lives and that God loves us and is leading us

Revitalizes our energy and brings joy to our attitudes and actions

Should move us toward a deeper commitment to God

Understanding these two spiritual states is vital in a person’s ability to discern the will of God for each of us. Desolation is a time of spiritual struggle. Consolation is a time of spiritual renewal. Everyone will go through times of both. Taking a spiritual inventory, or developing the practice of using and Examen prayer can help us become aware of which of these states we might be experiencing so that we can respond accordingly.

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