Today, while contemplating the lives and behaviors of the saints, and while attempting to live what I think might be considered a more devout life, trying to pray through the dryness which I’ve been experiencing most of this week, I had a sudden yet uncomfortable realization: I don’t think I love God.
Or, at least, I don’t know what it’s like to love God.
For instance, I was reading about the interior life and how Pope John Paul II called for the interior life to be lived like a constant conversation with God as one friend speaks to another friend. IT was at that moment that I realized that I’m far from considering God as a friend, and my conversations with him are anything but natural.
What should I do? How can I best develop my interior life?
I certainly am no spiritual advisor, but it seems to me that you are showing love for God… You are trying to obey Him, to grow closer to Him–you said you were trying to become more devout-you have a desire for Him, and you are faithful in praying through your dryness. Normally, we don’t do these sort of things without love.
However, our love for God grows and develops, and I’d dare to say that there are very few of us who make it through this life having learned to love God perfectly. Love for God shouldn’t be confused with warm feelings and consolations. Perhaps one of our greatest examples of this is Mother Teresa, --no consolations, just an extreme airidity, yet she was obedient, faithful to Him, served Him in the poor, whom she greatly loved, through it all. She also had an ardent desire for God.
There is a wonderful little book called The Prayer Primer by Father Thomas Dubay. It has helped me tremendously, because I am not the world’s greatest prayer. It is simple to understand, explains the various forms of prayer, with the ultimate goal of leading us into contemplative prayer and union with God, but that is not covered extensively–this is a primer. This book might just be of some help to you. I loaned my copy to a seminarian and I hope he gives it back soon, because I need to reread it!
Alot of what you say is true. Many of the things I’ve already done, however meager they may seem to me, are signs that I do, in fact, love God. Once again it seems that I’m expecting something better and/or greater than what I’ve been given to work with! The thing is, though, that there’s been a lot of talk on this forum lately about St. Gemma, and as I was reading about her interior life today, even during its development phase, I couldn’t help but feel a little envious! It would be nice if I even knew where to begin in fostering such a prayer life!
And, of course, to add to my chagrin, I could barely muster a single prayer this evening during Mass – so, instead, I just knelt in dumb silence for awhile, said one Hail Mary, then sat down and tried meditating further to find an equally alarming dumb silence.
I will check out this book by Fr. Thomas Dubay. I’m currently reading another by him, but since I intend to be finished with it before this week is finished, it will be nice to receive some further assistance to my dilemmas.