Discernment and Spiritual Desolation

Hello everyone:

I had a question in spiritual desolation and discernment. Has anyone ever been in the middle of dicerning a vocation, whether religious or otherwise, you feel the Lord calling you to go into a certain direction, you are confident you are being called that way and then all of a sudden you feel spiritual desolation like you are making a wrong choice or far from God?

I felt God was calling me to go a certain path in my life and the closer I got to making this decision, the farther away from God I felt and harder it was to pray. Has anyone ever encountered this and what is the best way to handle a situation like this?

Thank you!

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St. John of the Cross wrote about this when he talked about the Dark Night of the Soul. It is not at all uncommon. You can read him directly, or you may want to start with this essay by Carmelite Nun Constance FitzGerald: https://www.baltimorecarmel.org/wp-content/writings/CF_Impasse_and_Dark_Night.pdf

I’m not sure it is all that appropriate for strangers to guide you in this way - we don’t know anything about your circumstances, history, desires, or what you even are talking about precisely.

Stick to the classic spiritual authors (I would not necessarily agree with the thought that a passive purgation is what is occurring - though maybe it is), and talk to a real live person who is wise and prudent in the spiritual life and knows you well enough to advise you on the point.

Yes, I was even in religious life. Every day is new. We start over, one step at a time.

My best advice is to find a spiritual director. I can’t stress that enough.

Find a spiritual director, and discuss this with them.

Not knowing you or your journey, I’m not going to begin to speculate.

Discuss this with a spiritual director.

I think I forgot to mention the most important part …

… discuss this with a spiritual director.

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do you really know what is spiritual desolation?
is supernatural, its not common

Actually, it can be quite common, as the writing of St. John of the Cross suggests.


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