Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V. Struggles in the Spiritual Life: Their Nature and Their Remedies. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Paperback $18.95. 192 pages. Available from the publisher.
“A person says, ‘I’m struggling in my spiritual life. I don’t understand what’s happening, and I don’t know what to do.’ Have you ever felt this in the past? Do you feel it now?,” asks Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV in the beginning of his captivating and crucial new book Struggles in the Spiritual Life: Their Nature and Their Remedies.
Fr. Gallagher’s wisdom aids readers in smoothly trekking through the painful desolations of life’s terrain. Each chapter opens with an engaging vignette about a priestly spiritual director and one of his directees who come for assistance in their spiritual difficulties.
Souls receive caring and compassionate advice, as Fr. Gallagher masterfully addresses the root causes of their spiritual desolations and thoughtfully shares possible remedies.
Readers will learn to discern whether their struggles derive from medical or psychological conditions or whether their struggles are spiritual.
Fr. Gallagher lays out sources of nonspiritual desolation (natural, human, physical) and how to remedy these vulnerabilities. Additionally, he explains what spiritual desolation (“heaviness of heart”) is, why one is assailed, and what to do when it occurs.
Guided by the fourteen rules of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, readers will find out how to navigate through times when they experience “darkness of soul” and discouragement. They will also learn how to be aware of, understand, and reject the enemy’s ploys to foster a sense of hopelessness within.
Fr. Gallagher tackles key struggles and explains that during desolation the enemy will try to confuse and discourage souls to give up. Then, he reveals solutions to overcome these difficulties and temptations.
Most significantly, he teaches readers how to fight back during times of desolation. He reveals ways to find healing amid life’s pain and attain Divine intimacy.
Their prayer lives will be invigorated as they learn how to meditate upon the Gospels using the Ignatian method. Examples of journal reflections are thus included as a helpful guide.
Readers will be consoled in discovering how God’s love is at work especially in trials to enlighten their minds, renew their hearts, and strengthen their souls.
“Struggles are not the heart of the spiritual life. God’s love is – His deep, warm, faithful, and personal love for you. That is the center. That is the source of your joy. Because you know this, you love the spiritual life,” explains Fr. Gallagher. In these pages, “We turn now to a wisdom that will protect this center and guide us into its richness.”
Members of the media may send an email to Sophia Institute Press’ Director of Publicity, Sarah Lemieux at slemieux@SophiaInstitute.com to receive a physical or digital copy of Struggles in the Spiritual Life, and/or to schedule an interview with Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V.