last modified: Tuesday - III - 4 - 2003   

Saint Ignatius Loyola: Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome



Prayer in Desolation

My Lord and my God, I am tempted and in. desolation; my soul is sad and languishes within me; my spirit droops; I am as if separated from Thee, without hope, without love. I am anxious, agitated, and uneasy; my heart is troubled. I am tormented, I falter, I am languid, overwhelmed and weary with the conflict. Inferior and terrestrial things are enticing me, they charm and draw me to them.

O my God, help! Come to my assistance, give me courage, give me strength, allow me not to be overcome by the assaults of the evil one: discover to me his snares and artifices.

If Thou hast left me, it is because I have been tepid and negligent in my exercises of piety. My faults have deprived me of Thy consolations.

Perhaps also it is that Thou willest to show me how little I can do when left to myself - how little I can do alone, for Thy service, for Thy glory - how weak and powerless I am when deprived of Thy aid. Or Thou art proving me; Thou willest to see how I employ myself for Thy service and glory, when Thou dost not bestow on me every day the rewards of Thy Spirit in gifts and sensible graces. Thou desirest to prove what I am, and if serve Thee for Thyself, or only for the reward of Thy divine consolations. Or perhaps Thou willest to detach my heart from a certain self-confidence, and thus to hold it back from the pitfall of pride and self-love, so dangerous to our salvation; to forbid it to seek elsewhere than in Thyself its repose, its security, and its peace.

But what I do know is, that with Thy grace, which Thou wilt never refuse me, and of which wilt never deprive me although I may not always be sensible or conscious of its presence. I shall be able to resist and overcome all my enemies: therefore, establishing my confidence on Thy divine strength, I will not lose courage.

It only remains for me to humble myself, to abase myself to the very dust at the sight of my nothingness, and to persevere in my former resolutions made in the day of consolation, awaiting in patience and calm for, and looking with hope and confidence to, Thy next visit: for I know that the day of desolation will pass, and that consolation will not be long in coming.

Give me patience and hope, give me the courage to remain fixed in my resolutions, to attack and fight with the enemy without making any change in my former decisions; but, in order to dissipate this desolation, let me change myself, by being more recollected, more attentive, more silent, more mortified; above all, by applying myself more fervently to prayer and meditation.