Friday, April 26, 2013

Remember This?

            I have dibs on the last tree!

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'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!) 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 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."


  1. Wow, this was great to read, again, Mary!

    I'm just thinking about what types of prayer might work, in the desert? If the Rosary and other recitations aren't working, then, would other forms be more fruitful?

    I might be off track here but I'm thinking of days spent talking to God, offering up little pleasures and sacrifices, and referring all our actions to Him. I guess the risk is that we could give up the Rosary altogether but, then, if we're still spending our days in union with Him, we'd be able to trust Him to bring us back, do you think? Especially, if we persist in praying to be more faithful prayerers (now why doesn't Spellcheck like that word? There needs to be a different word for prayer and prayER!).

    Anyway, just thoughts - the sandstorm's blurring my vision, these days:-}

    God bless, Mary:-)

  2. Hi Vicky,
    I was looking through some posts in order to find a few to place on Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network when I came across this one and decided to read the comments again. I forgot how funny they were! And how insightful too!

    Thanks for the great comment - these are definitely things we should be doing on a daily basis.

    I guess the key is patience and faithfulness :)

    God bless!

  3. You know ... when I'm in the desert ... of despair ... and I can pray no longer. All seems so tiring and so fruitless. I stop, and I say just that: "Lord, I can pray no longer. I'm too tired and I no longer know what to pray, and what to say! You know how I feel, take whatever prayer there is to take!"

    The Lord knows when we're in the desert, and He knows that as long as we pray, or even think of Him, that itself is a sign of Faith.

    Praying for you.

    God bless.

  4. Hi Colleen,
    Nutty bloggers, right? Lol.

  5. Hi Victor,
    And there just ain't no Chianti in the desert to help make the journey more interesting ;)

    Thanks for your consoling words and prayers!

    I think there's such a thing as cactus whiskey though.

  6. Mary,

    I enjoyed reading those comments again!

    Yes, there isn't much we can do about dryness if God places us there, just continue on. I really do believe we have to accept where God puts us. He knows exactly how we're feeling. Acceptance bears much fruit.

    Now I'm off to do that one act of devotion Nancy was reminding us of the other day. Why is that one act so difficult? I guess love isn't meant to be easy.

    God bless!

  7. Those comments WERE funny. Why didn't you "friend" me back then, Mary? Anyway, call me the odd tree out, but I actually ask Our Lord for spiritual dryness because it means He can't give me a physical cross. So I'm thankful to be a tree instead of being physically nailed to the cross.

  8. I Soooooo remember this and loved and it and yes...I claimed the one with no leaves LOL!

    Despite the desert aridity, I feel I have grown closer to the Lord. By making many acts of faith, we draw closer to Him even though we may feel we are far.

    Hope all is well!

  9. Hi Sue,
    I loved the comments on this post! Isn't it odd though that so many people suffer from aridity at the same time? Lol...everyone could relate to this post :)

    God bless!

  10. Hi Anabelle,
    Can you elaborate on your comment a bit? Why can't we have both a physical cross AND dryness? I know people who have both but I'm asking because after my healing I DID notice prayer became much harder with less "perks" so I'm curious :)

  11. Hi Theresa,
    Yeah, it was you :) I didn't use any names on purpose but your comment cracked me up and made me understand just HOW dry you

    I'm glad you have grown closer to the Lord!

    All is well here and I hope all is well on your end also :)

  12. Hi Mary. Yes mature people can have both but I told god I can only handle one at a time and so far he's honored that. I'm weak of faith so he treats me like a baby.

  13. Nothing better than being a babe in his arms ;)

    But I don't think you are weak of faith!

  14. Love it Mary. Hugs to you my dear.

  15. Mary did you get the email I sent? Thanks, Monica

  16. Hi Monica,
    No, I didn't. I checked my inbox after reading your comment but there's no e-mail from you in it. Can you try again? I even checked my junk mail in case it went there by accident. Thanks!

  17. Thank you Mary. Will be back to read your post more thoroughly :)

  18. Enjoyed reading all these comments about aridity. I have been going through bouts of droughts lately...well for a long time. There seems to be too much chatter in my brain that makes it hard to pray. I keep asking God, Where are you? I do very like the comment: "The more that is purged the more light the soul is capable of receiving..." I have to give that one 5 stars! It's so right on target!