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Pope speaks on desolation, discernment at weekly audience

October 26, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: At his regular weekly public audience on October 26, Pope Francis spoke about the role that desolation plays in the process of spiritual discernment.

On one, the Pope said, desolation can be a sign of “the change from a life oriented towards vice can start from a situation of sadness, of remorse for what one has done.” He quoted St. Thomas Aquinas, who classified sadness as a “pain of the soul,” which helps someone to recognize the need for reform.

On the other hand, the Pope continued, desolation can be a temptation for someone who seeks to do the right thing; in that case “sadness is an obstacle with which the tempter tries to discourage us.”

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