Remember the post I did on aridity and dryness in prayer? Well, things haven't changed all that much since I wrote it.
I was reading through the comments on my post about aridity, Desert Dwellers Unite, and I couldn't help but laugh at some of the hilarious comments left in the combox. For example:
"Who are you and how did you get into my head?"
"Oh, I claim the first one (tree)...the one with no leaves!"
"If you can claim THAT tree I think you're in pretty good shape! Count your blessings...that one looks to me as if it will catch on fire at any second now :) Once we catch on fire a good "dousing" will surely follow, right? Right? RIGHT?
"Oh, I get a "perk" now and then... but it comes from the coffee pot."
"Sheesh! You know things are getting really bad when you feel you have to fanny the Lord."
"We can all chow on a few tumbleweeds together while we eat our slices of humble pie."
"Being an ocean girl myself, the thought of being in a place with nothing but sun and sand scares the bejeebers out of me. I can feel my mouth frying up as I write this!"
"maybe if I get a tattoo of the Holy Spirit dove on the entire back of my right hand that I use to type comments to blogs etc. I might remember to pray Come Holy Spirit and try to be quiet?"
" When we meet St Peter I'm sure he will not check whether our knees are callous through endless prayers and Rosaries."
But after the laughter passed I realized that mixed in with these funny comments were some very insightful words:
~ "As long as you are still concerned with doing what is pleasing to God and still can say *I love you* without any feelings attached, and still pray, distracted and dry as it it, you do not need to blame yourself for being in the desert. God permits it many times to test our love...it's in the desert He truly speaks to us."
"On the other hand, if you are cutting corners with prayer time, falling back into venial sin or habitual faults and really not making an effort in your relationship, then I would say, you have placed yourself in the desert."
~ "If God chooses to keep me there for awhile, then that's where trust and surrender come in- not easy in a place like this, but this desert can bear much fruit in our souls."
~ "If anyone feels up to it, reading St. John of the Cross's Ascent of Mt Carmel and Dark Night of the Soul will help to give many insights into this dry and empty place on the spiritual journey."
"The Carmelite mystics advise us to just be faithful to prayer..even if it means sitting there for the entire prayer time and just telling the Lord how hard it is to pray. The big temptation is to get frustrated and cut back on prayer time."
"It may mean constantly having to return to God's presence after being distracted or to a scripture verse or spiritual reading during prayer, but the faithfulness IN the dryness is so much more pleasing to God. It may mean God is calling some to a quieter, less forced prayer too. I disagree with St. Pio (yikes...don't strike me!)...it is apparent throughout all the Carmelite readings (three of which are Doctors of the Church) that it can be permitted by God and is even considered a great grace...as long as we remain faithful...that is key."
~ "It's only a tree tested by dryness that can be truly set ablaze."
~ "The more that is purged the more light the soul is capable of receiving. As the dross is burnt off the yearning for God also increases in intensity as He prepares the soul for its complete transformation in Him."
~ "If we are still praying, reading, etc., and not cutting corners, then God has brought us to the desert. If not and we see that we are truly cutting corners, then the good news is there are things we can do to get back on track."
~ "I agree with the desert having wonderful times - it seems to show up 'worldly' things as just emptiness and our love for God seems to grow stronger."