Praying When in Consolation

woman sitting content outdoors

Don’t you love praying when it’s easy to show up to prayer? Or when you feel God’s presence during your prayer? During a season of consolation, it is easy to name the graces given to us by God.

St. Ignatius offers us wisdom on what to do when we are in this season of prayer.

  • Relish the graces. “For it is not much knowledge that fills and satisfies the soul, but the intimate understanding and relish of the truth.” (SE 2) When we feel God’s presence and are receiving clarity in prayer or new insights, we are invited to savor the graces.
  • Pray for graces given to us to deepen. Ignatius invites us to return repeatedly to what we’ve received so that what we were given can take deep root. When God bestows on us a gift or a grace, our hope is that the gift is not just a flash in the pan, but something that is long-lasting.
  • Prepare for the desolation that will surely come. “When one enjoys consolation, let him consider how to conduct himself during the time of ensuing desolation, and store up a supply of strength as defense against that day.” (SE 323) This is still one of Ignatius’s rules of discernment that I don’t always love to implement. When I’m in a season of consolation, I don’t want to think about desolation. However, if I look at the history of my own prayer life, I know I will not stay in consolation forever. The gifts of consolation help me fight the desolation that will eventually come.

Our faith lives ebb and flow between consolation and desolation and between abundant seasons of prayer and dryer seasons. So when we are in a season of consolation, we store up graces by savoring them and praying for them to deepen so that they can carry us through the season of desolation that we know will come.

About Becky Eldredge 106 Articles

Becky Eldredge is a writer and spiritual director in Baton Rouge, LA. The author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, Becky holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans. She has her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Spring Hill College. Becky has been involved in ministry for more than 15 years, with the majority of her work in retreat ministry and adult faith formation. While ministry is one of her passions, her greatest joy is sharing life with her husband, Chris, and her children, Brady, Abby, and Mary.

4 Comments on Praying When in Consolation

  1. How true! I recently experienced a long period of desolation but didn’t realize it immediately. Now that I am in consolation I can look back to understand better what triggered the desolation. I want to pray for the grace to understand better living in both desolation and consolation. Thank You!

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