Ignatius Writes: Why We Get Discouraged

Ignatius Writes: Why We Get Discouraged

St. Ignatius wrote nearly 7,000 letters over his career and asked his companions in the Society of Jesus to write regularly in return. Much of Saint Ignatius Loyola’s spiritual teaching is found in his letters, and these have always been regarded by Jesuits as an important source of their spirituality. He wrote to Jesuit superiors, Jesuit novices and those in formation, and lay friends. Though these were written 500 years ago, they still remain relevant until today.

“Our ancient enemy sets up all possible obstacles to turn us aside from the way on which we have entered. He makes use of everything to vex us. We find ourselves sad without knowing why. We cannot pray with devotion, nor contemplate, not ever speak or hear of things of God with any interior taste or relish. He goes on to suggest that we are entirely forgotten by God our Lord and that all that we have done and all that we desire to do us worthless. He thus endeavors to bring us to a state of general discouragement. We can thus see what causes our fear and weakness: it is a too-prolonged gaze at such time in our miseries.” St Ignatius of Loyola (The Letters of St Ignatius of Loyola by William J. Young, SJ)

Climbing out of deep discouragement can take a long time and it can involve untangling many knots, but it begins with getting our minds off ourselves.

*Does you experience of discouragement match Ignatius’ analysis? How is it different? Speak to the Lord about it?

Source: An Ignatian Book of Days

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