Spiritual Consolations

Souls but little confirmed in piety, advance well and happily, when the Lord gives them consolations in prayer. But if He afterwards deprives them of these, they immediately become languid and discontented, like children who thank their mother when she gives them sweet things, and cry when she takes them away, because they are children, and do not know that a long course of such things is hurtful to them, and causes worms. Sensible consolations of the soul often produce the worm of self-satisfaction and that of pride, which is the poison of the soul, and corrupts every good work. This is the reason why the Lord, who gives them to us at first to encourage us, afterwards takes them away, that they might not hurt us, and therefore merits no less thanks in taking them away than in giving them. -St. Francis de Sales

Whoever wishes to profit by prayers, should not take account of spiritual consolations. I know by experience that the soul which has started on this road with a full determination not to consider whether the Lord gives or denies him consolations and tenderness, and really acts on this determination, has already made a great part of the journey. -St. Teresa

I should never wish,” said St. Teresa, “for any other prayer than that which would cause me to grow in virtue. So I should consider that a good prayer, which was attended by many aridities, temptations, and desolations, that left me more humble.”

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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