|The Battle for Heaven by Raphael|
First Rule. The first: It is proper to God and to His Angels in their movements to give true spiritual gladness and joy, taking away
all sadness and disturbance which the enemy brings on. Of this latter it is proper to fight against the spiritual gladness
and consolation, bringing apparent reasons, subtleties and continual fallacies.
Second Rule. The second: It belongs to God
our Lord to give consolation to the soul without preceding cause, for it
is the property of
the Creator to enter, go out and cause movements in the soul,
bringing it all into love of His Divine Majesty. I say without
cause: without any previous sense or knowledge of any object
through which such consolation would come, through one’s acts
of understanding and will.
Third Rule. The third: With cause, as well
the good Angel as the bad can console the soul, for contrary ends: the
good Angel for the
profit of the soul, that it may grow and rise from good to better,
and the evil Angel, for the contrary, and later on to draw
it to his damnable intention and wickedness.
Fourth Rule. The fourth: It is proper to
the evil Angel, who forms himself under the appearance of an angel of
light, to enter with the
devout soul and go out with himself: that is to say, to bring good
and holy thoughts, conformable to such just soul, and then
little by little he aims at coming out drawing the soul to his
covert deceits and perverse intentions.
Fifth Rule. The fifth: We ought to note
well the course of the thoughts, and if the beginning, middle and end is
all good, inclined
to all good, it is a sign of the good Angel; but 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.
Sixth Rule. The sixth: When the enemy of
human nature has been perceived and known by his serpent’s tail and the
bad end to which he
leads on, it helps the person who was tempted by him, to look
immediately at the course of the good thoughts which he brought
him at their beginning, and how little by little he aimed at
making him descend from the spiritual sweetness and joy in which
he was, so far as to bring him to his depraved intention; in order
that with this
experience, known and noted, the person may be able to guard for
the future against his usual deceits.
Seventh Rule. The seventh: In those who go on from good to better, the good Angel touches such soul sweetly, lightly and gently, like
a drop of water which enters into a sponge; and the evil touches it sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop
of water falls on the stone.
And the above-said spirits touch in a contrary way those who go on from bad to worse.
The reason of this is that the disposition of the
soul is contrary or like to the said Angels. Because, when it is
they enter perceptibly with clatter and noise; and when it is
like, they enter with silence as into their own home, through
the open door.
Eighth Rule. The eighth: When the
consolation is without cause, although there be no deceit in it, as
being of God our Lord alone, as
was said; still the spiritual person to whom God gives such
consolation, ought, with much vigilance and attention, to look
at and distinguish the time itself of such actual consolation from
the following, in which the soul remains warm and favored
with the favor and remnants of the consolation past; for often in
this second time,
through one’s own course of habits and the consequences of the
concepts and judgments, or through the good spirit or through
the bad, he forms various resolutions and opinions which are not
given immediately by God our Lord, and therefore they have
need to be very well examined before entire credit is given them,
or they are put into effect.
Link (here) to CCEL to read St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises.