A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
A temporary darkening of the mind and disturbance of the will and emotions, permitted by God to purify the souls of his followers. It may be caused by the evil spirit or brought on by a variety of other causes, but it is always purposeful, namely to withdraw a person's affections from dwelling on creatures and bring them closer to the Creator. (Etym. Latin de, from + solus, alone" desolatio, devastation, loneliness.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.