I will admit it. I am suffering from a dry spell. I feel like I am just going through the motions when it comes to my spiritual life. The root cause of all this, I believe, is my own PRIDE. C.S. Lewis mentions that the core of every sin we commit is pride. In my pride, I stray away from God; I do not see Him as necessary, and I become consumed with my own business and my own preoccupation with myself. Through writing this, I hope to come up with some solutions to get back to where I was or where I need to be. If I had a friend who came to me with the same dilemma, this is the advice I would offer:
- Go to Confession. I feel rejuvenated every time I experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A clean slate is so much easier to deal with. This quote from St. Faustina should help get me on the right path: “A soul does not benefit from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.” I have to be honest with myself and put aside my pride in order to get all I can out of Confession—to be truly cleansed of my sin and able to move forward out of my dryness.
- Pray. That sounds so simple and it is, yet it is not. I have just “not felt like it” most days, and this lack of associating with God in this way reminds me of Adam and Eve in the Garden. “They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8. I am hiding for some reason, something that could be alleviated with #1. It is a vicious cycle. No prayer, no confession. God knows my heart, but He also wants me to reveal it to Him on my own accord. Prayer will certainly help. It is probably the single most effective strategy at alleviating this dryness.
- Adoration. How can I help but do #2 if I am placed right on front of the Lord Himself? As is in #2, I have to make sure not to hide from Him. This will take some initiative on my part to make the extra effort to get to the Adoration Chapel. I tend to be quite humbled while in Adoration. I avert my eyes if I am feeling ashamed; I look straight at Him if I am imploring His help. I need to just push myself and go see Him. Blessed Mother Theresa said: “The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth.”
- The Blessed Mother. Perhaps if speaking to Him seems daunting because of my shame, going to His Mother might be less daunting. Asking her to pray for me will help get me out of the rut I am stuck in. The Memorare would be perfect in a time like this:
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen
5. Daily Mass. Fortunately, I am not so stuck that I have missed Sunday Mass, but incorporating more Masses, more opportunities for receiving the Blessed Sacrament, will most definitely bring me to a place closer to God. The sacrifice of the Mass is so very humbling, so that helps with the problem of pride. A reminder of Christ’s love and sacrifice is most definitely in order during times that I am not feeling very close to God. So, back to #1 to make this possible.
The process of strategizing how not to stray away from God and the means by which I am able to dispel the lack of fervor I have for prayer spurs me on the right path. I am able to find myself becoming pro-active and an advocate for my own faith life.
What are some means by which you end your spiritual dry spells or keep from becoming complacent in this area? I would love to hear some more ideas.