Tag: Distractions

How To Tell If Satan Is Speaking  To You According To St. Ignatius Loyola

How To Tell If Satan Is Speaking  To You According To St. Ignatius Loyola

Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish Basque priest and theologian, who founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General.


In his teaching on the discernment of spirits, St. Ignatius Loyola lays out specific rules for how to identify the voice that is speaking in your soul. In particular, Loyola explains how to tell if Satan is speaking to you.

He notes, “if in the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disquiets or disturbs the soul, taking away its peace, tranquillity and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our profit and eternal salvation.”


While in most cases this is true, there is also an added dimension of discernment in regards to the state of a person’s soul. If the soul is moving from “good to better” the good Angel touches “sweetly” and the bad Angel touches, “sharply and with noise and disquiet.” If the soul is moving from “bad to worse” than the opposite is true and the good spirit can seem sharp and try to kick us back in the right direction, while the bad Angel will try to lure us into even worse sin, “sweetly.”

Therefore, it is important to understand the state of our own soul before determining whose voice is talking to us.

Loyola’s observation came from years of discernment in his own life and has found confirmation in other sources. For example a 16th-century priest named Dom Lorenzo Scupoli wrote, “The devil does his utmost to banish peace from one’s heart, because he knows that God abides in peace and it is in peace that He accomplishes great things.”


The next time you hear a voice in your heart influencing your feelings and emotions, take a step back and use Loyola’s guide to discernment. It may just be the devil trying to tear you away from God, leading you into the depths of despair.

St. Teresa Of Avila Tells Us How To Deal With Distractions During Prayers

St. Teresa Of Avila Tells Us How To Deal With Distractions During Prayers

The “Little Flower” gives advice to those who think that distractions during prayers are a problem

It happens with a lot of people: just sit and pray that distractions come soon. The ticking of the wall clock, the car horn on the street, or even a flurry of thoughts about various people or problems in our lives is enough for the concentration on prayer to go away.

It is then difficult to focus our attention on God and establish a conversation with Him. However, sometimes these distractions are not “distractions”; are thoughts presented by God that aim our spiritual benefit.

To exemplify, we present what Saint Teresa wrote about the distractions during prayers:

“I also have a lot of [distractions], but as soon as I take care of them, I pray for those people who appear in my thoughts and divert my attention, and thus, they benefit from my distractions.”

Sometimes God wants to divert our attention to remind us of a friend or family member who is experiencing difficulties. They may need our prayers or our charity. In this way distraction is put on the right path and, instead of turning us away from God, brings us closer to Him and His divine plan.

Sometimes God wants to divert our attention to remind us of a friend or family member who is experiencing difficulties. They may need our prayers or our charity. In this way distraction is put on the right path and, instead of turning us away from God, brings us closer to Him and His divine plan.

The key is to stay tuned when this happens and realize when you’re thinking about someone or even something you’ve seen on Facebook. God may be wanting you to pray for that individual or reach out to him.

St. Josemaria Escriva said that “the closer an apostle is to God, the more universal are his desires. His heart expands and absorbs everything in the name of his longing to place the universe at the feet of Jesus.”

So the next time you feel distracted during a prayer, offer your thoughts to God and open your heart to what God wants to speak to you at that moment.

How To Pray The Rosary (3) – Fighting Distractions

How To Pray The Rosary (3) – Fighting Distractions

FIGHTING DISTRACTIONS


WHEN THE ROSARY
is well said it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and it is more meritorious for the soul than any other prayer. But it is also the hardest prayer to say well and to persevere in, owing especially to the distractions which almost inevitably attend the constant repetition of the same words.

When we say the Little Office of Our Lady, or the Seven Penitential Psalms, or any prayers other than the Rosary, the variety of words and expressions keeps us alert, prevents our imagination from wandering, and so makes it easier for us to say them well. On the contrary, because of the constant repetition of the same Our Father and Hail Mary in the same unvarying form, it is difficult, while saying the Rosary, not to become wearied and inclined to sleep or to turn to other prayers that are more refreshing and less tedious. This goes to show that one needs much greater devotion to persevere in saying the Holy Rosary than in saying any other prayer, even the Psalms of David.

Our imagination, which is hardly still a minute, makes our task harder and then of course there is the devil who never tires of trying to distract us and keep us from praying. To what ends does not the evil one go against us while we are engaged in saying our Rosary against him.

Being human, we easily become tired and slipshod—-but the devil makes these difficulties worse when we are saying the Rosary. Before we even begin he makes us feel bored, distracted or exhausted—-and when we have started praying he oppresses us from all sides. And when, after much difficulty and many distractions, we have finished, he whispers to us: 

“What you have just said is worthless. It’s useless for you to say the Rosary. You had better get on with other things. It’s only a waste of time to pray without paying attention to what you’re saying; half an hour’s meditation or some spiritual reading would be much better. Tomorrow when you’re not feeling so sluggish you’ll pray better; don’t finish your Rosary until tomorrow.” 

By tricks of this kind the devil gets us to give up the Rosary altogether or else hardly say it at all, and we keep putting it off or else change to some other devotion.

Dear Rosary Confraternity members, do not listen to the devil, but be of good heart even if your imagination has been bothering you throughout your Rosary, filling your mind with all kinds of distracting thoughts—-as long as you really tried hard to get rid of them as soon as they came. Always remember that the best Rosary is the one with the most merit, and there is more merit in praying when it is hard than when it is easy. Prayer is all the harder when it is (naturally speaking) distasteful to the soul and is filled with those annoying little ants and flies running about in your imagination, against your will, and scarcely allowing you the time to enjoy a little peace and appreciate the beauty of what you are saying.

Even if you have to fight distractions all through your whole Rosary be sure to fight well, arms in hand: that is to say, do not stop saying your Rosary even if it is hard to say and you have absolutely no sensible devotion. It is a terrible battle, I know, but one that is profitable to the faithful soul. If you put down your arms, that is, if you give up the Rosary, you will be admitting defeat and then, having won, the devil will leave you alone.
But at the Day of Judgment he will taunt you because of your faithlessness and lack of courage. 

“He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater.” [1] 

He who fights even the smallest distractions faithfully when he says even the very smallest prayer he will also be faithful in great things. We can be absolutely certain of this because the Holy Spirit has told us so.

So all of you, servants and handmaids of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, who have made up your minds to say the Rosary every day, be of good heart. Do not let the flies (it is thus that I call the distractions that make war on you during prayer) make you cowardly abandon the company of Jesus and Mary, in whose holy presence you always are when saying the Rosary. In what follows I shall give you suggestions for getting rid of distractions.


1. Luke 16:10.


Source:

Secret of the Rosary By St. Louis Marie De Montfort.

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