As a quick summary
of Ignatius’ Rules of Discernment, we divided the types of souls into 3 categories: Underwater / Air / Space.
It is important to remember how God and the devil speak to souls according to what stage they are in.
To the type of soul living in AIR, God and the Devil work in a similar way. These are the souls who are purifying their sins, and going from good to better. That is, they are still attached to sin in their habits, but are doing their best to detach themselves and to grow closer to God.
Understanding the 3 steps in discerning the Voices of AIR:
1. EXTERNAL elements, such as a sunset
, a plane ride
, or dust
can touch us in a moving way – positively or negatively, but still not spiritually.
2. We then experience SPIRITUAL consolation or desolation – actions of God or of the devil – as they cause either a happy or sad affectivity which attacks us or supports us. The attack or support has to do with our life of faith, or our fulfillment of God’s will in our lives.
3. As a result we begin to THINK in a certain way. Doubt and lies as opposed to confidence and truth are caused directly by the consolation or the desolation we experience.
Example: External – A guy overworks himself. Doesn’t get enough sleep. He become worn out. Spiritual – as a springboard his exhaustion makes him feel sad. He truly doesn’t feel like praying his night prayers tonight.” Think – Thoughts come as a result of that feeling. “You can’t pray well when you are tired.” “You can’t truly experience God anyway.” “Obviously God doesn’t even want you to pray, he is the one who is making you feel bad in the first place.”
Part of the secret to battling the negative thoughts that come from desolation, or or learning to follow the positive thoughts that come from consolation, is to discern where they are coming from. To recognize, going in a backwards fashion, from the THOUGHTS, back to the AFFECTIONS, back to their cause in God or the devil.
In this way we gain clarity as to who is speaking to us and how, and we do not simply allow ourselves to be carried away by what we feel, or by the voices we hear.