Response to Pope Francis’ Article on Desolation

Response to Pope Francis’ Article on Desolation

The Saving Loving Light of the Holy Spirit

“Pope Francis tells us Desolation is not primarily “a logical procedure …. because God speaks to the heart”.

“the problem is how to interpret it, because it too has something important to tell us, and if we are in a hurry to free ourselves of it, we risk losing this.”

Thesaurus explains ‘interpret’ as, among others, take, translate, decode etc. all these things are the work of our intellect. However, when I put in ‘interpretation’ I get words such as, clarification, illumination, exposition, revelation, words which for me have sacred connotations and for which I find meaning through pondering in my heart.

In the darkest loneliest times of my life, I have encountered the saving loving light of the holy spirit illuminating my sadness and revealing my neediness, hopelessness, and helplessness to such a degree that I could not but call out to a God I could neither see nor hear or feel and in that calling out experience the redeeming love of the resurrection.

In the preparation days of The Spiritual Exercises, we encounter a God who loves beyond measure. [ Isaiah 43: 4 – 7], and who never leaves us, [Psalm 139], We carry this knowing through the journey of the Exercise and beyond. We cannot be separated from God, regardless

of how it seems, God is waiting on that call and ready to lead us to consolation, redemption, and change. Mark Thibodeaux SJ tells us.

“The sad truth of the matter is that usually there is no direct trip from desolation to joy-filled consolation. Instead, we must allow the lord to carry us on a long and arduous journey through difficult consolation. We must spend a while there, and then when we have received the hard graces that come only from difficult consolation [such as the best of them: humility], the Lord will carry us to the state of joyful consolation.”1

With thanks to Terry Fanning from JISA Campion for this contribution to the JISA Discernment Series. Terry is an Ignatian Spiritual Director, a Giver of the Spiritual Exercises, a formator and supervisor. She is a mother and devoted grandmother and loves spending time with her grandchildren.

Painting: Cloudy Mystery” Acrylic on Canvas by Lynne Head-Wier, Spiritual Director and Giver of the Spiritual Exercises with JISA Faber, Queensland