Going Thru The Motions


I’m a fairly routine person, and it’s a routine which I’m sure many of you are quite familair with, as well. All the basics are included: eating, sleeping, working, etc. It gets to be pretty mundane, doesn’t it? While I inwardly groan at the ordinariness of everyday life, I also don’t like unexpected surprises to interrupt what has proven to be tried and true.

My spiritual life varies based on how devotional and pious I am feeling. Questioning “faith” no longer seems to be an option: I have faith in *something *regardless of how actively I work with or against such a presupposition, or how actively I pray, perform devotions, give tithes, etc. The cornerstone has been lodged, I daresay, forever regardless of whether or not I like it! Like most spiritual lives, though, there are highs and lows. I’ve always been captivated by the lows, though, because these seem to be more recurrent than the highs. It’s when we’re experiencing the low-points in our spiritual life that each act we make is an act of sacrifice and love.

Our Lord has said in the Gospel of Matthew, “For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (5:46) I think the same principle applies when we find ourselves going through the motions, as it were: if you can only pray the rosary, or make it to Mass, or go to confession when you are feeling particularly consoled by the Holy Spirit and experiencing a spiritual high, “are you doing anything exceptional?” (5:47) It’s when we find ourselves thinking, “I don’t want to pray,” “I don’t want to go to Bible Study,” and “I don’t want to go to Mass,” that the real action of the Holy Spirit takes place by giving us the grace to do it. We may not *feel *like doing it and we may *feel *distracted while doing it, but if our intention is to glorify God, then we’ll at least be headed in the right direction - and the Holy Spirit will make up for what we lack.


Thanks for posting this today! While you were posting it, I had just arrived at Mass, and I definitely was going through the motions. When I said the rosary on the way into work, I was distracted and almost forcing myself to do it. A few prayers were said this morning that just didn’t have my full attention. I didn’t feel like going to Mass, but I simply couldn’t think of anything else to do with my lunch hours. I was so not in the mood it was distracting to me. But I was there, and I went through the motions, and I did get a boost from the homily, however brief it may have been.

By the end of Mass, I was thinking about how sometimes I try too hard to “drive”, and don’t let go and let myself be guided. I think I can be a little too active sometimes, and I don’t sit back passively, maybe even distracted, and just enjoy the peace and being a follower often enough. I am glad I played along this morning so I could get the message!


Hey…this is a great post. I recently had a discussion with a few people about often we “go through the motions”. When we are upset it definitely is a lot easier to turn to God and put 100% of your energy into really praying and trying to listen to what God is guiding us to do…and sometimes I think myself and others feel guilty when we dont have that same passion and emotion when things aren’t as rough. It’s so easy to go through routines (like Mass, praying the rosary, etc) and completely forget about God’s presence in our life sometimes. But it’s great to remember that God is with us always and like you said, through the Holy Spirit, we can find the courage and wisdom to continue growing deeper into the mystery of our faith. :slight_smile:


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