Spiritual mushrooms and empty consolations

The summer storms have started here in the lightening capital of the world. They are however, a tremendous relief from the intense and merciless heat I never seem to accurately recall in February. A few days ago a gully washer came through unannounced except for the thunder and lightening that caused everyone on the local golf course to scatter in every direction.

But, it was the next day while walking my dog I noticed unannounced, uninvited guests on my front lawn: mushrooms. These ugly light brown speckled mushrooms had popped up everywhere; some near the flower beds, some under the giant oak tree, some near the mailbox.

Later after evening prayer as I sat reading on the front porch, I found a section from one of the saints titled “Empty consolations from the Devil.”

Some people when they reflect on the goodness of God and the passion of Christ, are powerfully moved to sighs, tears, prayers and other devout actions, so you might suppose their hearts were seized with a very fervent devotion.

But when they are tested we find that they are like the passing rains of a hot summer, which may fall heavily on earth, but do not penetrate it, and bring forth only mushrooms.

In the same way, these tears and emotions in a corrupt heart do not penetrate it and are all together fruitless……

He goes on to say that these people would not give a penny of their “unjustly acquired wealth or renounce any of their perverse actions,” and neither would they “endure the slightest suffering in the service of that Savior, over whom they have wept.”

Their good impulses are like spiritual mushrooms. Not only are they a false devotion, but too often they are actually the deep wiles of Satan. While he amuses souls with empty consolations, he induces them to remain satisfied with them instead of seeking true and solid devotion, which consists in a constant, resolute, prompt, and active will to carry out what we know to be pleasing to God.

St Frances de Sales

I should mention this quote is from a book that I highly recommend, Manual for Spiritual Warfare, by Paul Thigpen. For a few weeks now, I’ve carried it with me so that in addition to my regular prayer, I can have immediate access in these very challenging times to better do battle against the wiles of the devil. It has helped me as I struggle daily to,

..demolish sophistries and the arrogance that tries to resist the knowledge of God;

every thought is our prisoner, captured to be brought into obedience to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 a


Well, who knew there could be such a spiritually deep lesson bound up in those ugly mushrooms?

Another unannounced storm coming through as I write, however this time when I see the mushrooms in the morning, I will ask the Lord to keep me from the empty consolations of the enemy.



  1. Nancy
    Jun 18, 2015

    What a striking quoted from St. Francis de Sales. It’s the kind of quote that, if I’m honest, I would just as soon pass over while I go along my merry way. But it is so true, and the saint has said it so well, and this quote is one to pray with and ponder.

    I’ve been considering the Manual for Spiritual Warfare, thinking it looks helpful. So thank you for what you’ve said about it. I greatly value your opinion on such things!

    • Caroline
      Jun 18, 2015

      Nancy, St Frances de Sales says so many things to ponder and pray about. Actually, you were the one who awakened me to his great and practical wisdom, which like you in some instances I could jut as well pass over since they cut like a knife. But, isn’t this what we’re missing in our modern day; wisdom that cuts to the core and penetrates to the heart? That’s the kind that brings true conversion.

      That manual for spiritual warfare hasn’t left my side. It has proved one of the best tools I’ve ever had as an aid in battle.

      Blessings always +

  2. Victor S E Moubarak
    Jun 19, 2015

    Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for visiting me. Hope you are keeping well.

    God bless you and your family.

    • Caroline
      Jun 19, 2015

      Victor, Thanks for the blessings. I truly enjoy your site +

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