“…the enemy characteristically weakens, loses courage, and flees with his temptations when the person engaged in spiritual endeavors stands bold and unyielding against the enemy’s temptations and goes exactly opposite them. But if, in contrast, that person begins to fear and lose courage in the face of the temptations, there is no beast on the face of the earth as fierce as the enemy of human nature when he is pursuing his damnable intention with his surging malice.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises #325
[This is a reposting of the talks I gave on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s rules for discernment of spirits, drawing on Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s material as well as from the actual rules from the Spiritual Exercises. We cut out the Spanish translation from these teachings, as many English speakers found it cumbersome to listen to. If you hear unnatural pauses or if it sounds clipped, that is the reason why. We hope you find these important principles helpful in living the spiritual life.]
Rule #12 – St. Ignatius gives us an example of what the enemy is like and applies it to the spiritual life. The key moment to resist temptation is right at the beginning of it. Otherwise, it snowballs and grows in force and strength and can overpower us.