Consolation

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CONSOLATION

 To console someone is to comfort them. Other Biblical terms conveying the same concept are “succor”, solace, sympathetic, sooth and reassure.

  The Holy Spirit is called “The Comforter”. When God gives someone consolation is it a marvelous experience. No one can comfort like God, and nothing can compare to it.   When, during contemplation, a person experiences the presence of God these can be extremely consoling events. He can bring a sense of acceptance, love, reassurance, approval, encouragement and affirmation. To personally feel the love of God is an addicting experience.   Often times the advanced contemplative enters into “the beauty realm”. That is, everything becomes beautiful. A person’s vision can change and where previously they only saw normal sights now they see a stunning beauty in everything. Even the smallest and most ordinary object can exceed the Grand Canyon in beauty.   The consolations of God can also take the form of reassurance. It is often the case that following a trial or an attack by Satan that God will bring comfort and reassurance. This consolation brings with it a sense of being right with God and not “guilty as charged”. Jesus himself received such comfort the night of his betrayal.   Consolations are obviously enjoyable and, of course, we all desire to be consoled. Nevertheless it is the consistent teaching of the monastics that spiritual progress will cease if we desire God’s consolations more than God Himself. For this reason contemplative prayer must be pursued regardless of whether consolation or dryness is the prevailing experience.