The Discernment of Spirits

Front cover for The Discernment of Spirits

The Discernment of Spirits

An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living

This bestseller reveals keen insights into the human soul and makes sense of the real-life experiences of spiritual seekers today. Fr. Gallagher shows us how to listen to our hearts to hear God’s guidance. A powerful tool for renewing the spiritual journey.

Ignatius of Loyola is one of the most influential spiritual leaders of all time, yet many readers find his Rules for discernment hard to understand. The Discernment of Spirits explains the Rules through the experience of contemporary people, showing the precision, clarity, and insight that they offer us today.

This book is for all who desire greater awareness of God’s action in their daily lives. It is widely used by individuals as well as spiritual directors and directees; priests and religious; counselors; and others who want to understand the application of Ignatian discernment.

Gallagher shows us that the powerful feelings that move through us—from inspired highs to moments of despair—can help us draw closer to God if we work to understand their nature and see them clearly.

Reviews and endorsements

“It becomes clear in Gallagher’s work that a persevering practice of spiritual discernment helps us to gather the fragments of life into a pattern of greater freedom and hopeful living.”
The Way

“By providing a sound understanding of Ignatian principles and applying them in a skillful way to daily life, Fr. Gallagher meets the pressing needs of retreat directors, students of spiritual theology, and others interested in deepening their spiritual lives. I know of no comparable volume that proves so helpful.”
Harvey D. Egan, S.J., professor of systematic and mystical theology, Boston College
(From the Foreword)


“I recommend The Discernment of Spirits. The author shows a profound understanding of Ignatius’s rules for discernment and uses good examples to illustrate them.”
William A. Barry, author of Letting God Come Close

Paperback / 232 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9