Sometimes we just find ourselves lost. We recall a time when it seemed we were so much closer to God, when those around us didn’t seem to be questioning all we did, when all we believed in made sense.
The separation we feel at times like this can be genuinely painful. We recall how our faith was before and a holy longing takes over, wishing for those times to return. There are many words used for such times in our spiritual journey. “Periods of dryness”, when we thirst for God, but cannot connect; the “Dark Night of the Soul”, when the separation appears severe and somehow permanent. However, it is often these dry periods which cause the greatest deepening of faith and relationship with God. It is then we seek for more, try new prayer forms and stimulation to bring ourselves closer to Him, search for meaning in other paths in a desperate attempt to fulfil our desire.
At times like this we may find ourselves moving from a relationship of obligation to one of deep longing and desire to be close to God. We know God is always with us, but we want to “feel” God, not just learn about Him. This search for an experience of God in our lives is at the root of our relationship to Him and all those around us.
So, as we hit these dry spells, let us remind ourselves the greatest of saints have encountered them. St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta has one such spell for twenty-five years! The deepening of her faith which resulted is recognized as one of the most beautiful spiritual stories of our age.
Next time we see the dryness coming, let’s try and welcome the deepening and challenges it may bring; and not always be looking for a short-term reward for each request we make to Him.
For the dry spell may precede a monsoon of felt consolation.