Book Review - The Discernment of Spirits

Following the Home of the Mother silent retreat in November 2017, where guided meditation and the Ignatian style of prayer were explored, I began a series of reviews of books written by Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV. This is the third and final book review in the series.

Review of The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living, by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV

This book covers the first set of rules for discernment of St. Ignatius of Loyola: the explanation of spiritual consolation and desolation, as well as the respective rules for how to govern oneself within each state. These rules were introduced during the Home of the Mother silent retreat. Within these pages Fr. Gallagher lays out the text of each rule as written by St. Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises, provides an expounded explanation of the wisdom of each rule, and then provides real life examples from his experiences in spiritual direction to give tangible references for the appropriate application of each rule. This material is indispensable knowledge for one dedicated to growing in their life of prayer!!

This material forms an individual to be more perceptive of the spiritual movements which are already taking place within their daily life, and provides practical instruction on how to most appropriately respond to these movements. Equipped with this instruction, one benefits not only in the moments of acknowledging particular spiritual movements, but also during daily Examen Prayer to perceive the spiritual movements in the context of the overall day. Thus, one is better able to recognize spiritual movements in retrospect as they review their day, and resolve to respond appropriately.

This book is 187 pages in length.

Article contributed by Christopher Fernandez