I have been in a period of Spiritual Dryness for a very long time now…its been really discouraging. Hopefully, with the Grace of our Lord, I will emerge soon. Anyway, I have been in this drought for about a year, by far the longest trial I have ever faced, which got me wondering. What is the longest time that any of you have spend in a spiritual drought? I am really curious about this, so please respond, but only if you feel comfortable doing so.
3 months but I go thru a shorter period once every two weeks. My spiritual advisor went thru one that lasted 10 years.
My longest was eight months. I periodically had moments with the Lord in there, but only very rarely, and as soon as they left me it was emptiness and darkness again. One of my friends is still going through a dry period that has lasted many years.
I must be very weak cause for me, my trials last a short time but are followed by more trials soon after. So one week I feel a lot of spiritual dryness, the next week everything is great, then I feel spiritual dryness again… and so on.
Once I talked to my priest about this and he mentioned …I think it was St Catherine of Siena, who went through her ‘dark night’ for around 20 years or more… I don’t know what I’d do lol!!
Just keep on praying and don’t give up, remember God is with you even if you can’t feel Him there. This can be a time of growth and sanctification for you if you let it. When things get especially tough, unite your suffering to that of Jesus on the Cross, when He felt abandoned by the Father.
I recommend reading about the Life of Mother Teresa who had a long dry period. Additionally, A Story of a Soul by St. Therese de Llisieux as well as Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross. Writings on Prayer by St. Teresa of Avila are also very helpful ( The Way of perfection and Interior Castle )
– Cadian :knight1:
PS. If you enjoy reading the above links I encourage you to add these books to your library or donate them to your parish library.
2 years so far.
1 month… I call them desert times. They are not very common for me though. But no matter how short they are they are always terrible, like being in hell with no presence of the Lord… I have worship cd’s (protestant music), I listen to them and they help. :heaven:
Praise the Lord that he hears our cries when we call him, he is like a worrior that can never ignore the cries of the suffering souls on earth.
Hi. My deepest sympathy to you. What I say here may not be true however it is just my best attempt. You don’t need to agree with me if you don’t feel it am right as I may not be right on this one. It is just my best attempt. Of course I think I am right however.
I believe that Spiritual Dryness is not want God wants for us. This is not His plan for our life. There is a disconnect with God in which causes this dryness and God wants this disconnect fixed. This disconnect is not sin in the regular sense. It is not a rebellion against God either. This is different. I believe that spiritual dryness comes from a deep loneliness which overtakes everything else and makes doing God’s work dry. One can be meeting and caring for people every day and one feels still alone and like ****.
This loneliness I believe comes from an inbalence in ones relationships with others and thus one’s experience of God in others. What I mean by this inbalance is that the forms of love one gives although totally true and for Jesus are limited in the type.
Mother Teresa is a classic example. Now I know lots of people are going to hate me for this but this is my understanding and I realize I may be wrong. Mother Teresa in my opinion was for God. She worked her life for God however in my opinion she did not take the jump she had to to leave her loneliness. She worked day in and day out loving people however to be straight forward she did not have a boyfriend. She never had intimate love she worked with people in loving them unconditionally but there was not one that was her’s and she was not anyone’s special person. ( I mean as a girlfriend etc) Without this type of love and also without persuing it she was lonely very very lonely. This made her feel dry in all her work and caused her to suffer in much of her life. I do not believe God wanted this.
This dark night that the Catholic church talks is total bull **** in my opinion. Mother Teresa in my opinion was advised wrong by her councellers. Dark night is not abandonment by God. Dark night is not experiencing God in all the other ways a human is suppose to. In my opinion Mother Teresa should have quit being a nun and found herself some guy who was into the same work that she was into and carried on. With a special partner I believe that Mother Teresa’s dryness would have ended.
Of course lots of people out there will be throwing rocks at me for this and you know what it is possible that I am wrong but I don’t think so. Mother Teresa had a lot to teach us both in her open life and her secret life. She was human and she made some big mistakes. She is my hero but I almost cry when I read her desperateness. Anyway I thus believe that dryness is due to an inbalance in the type of love that one is giving.
I’ve never kept track of their duration, but I have most certainly had them.
What I try to keep reminding myself of is that He desires and treasures obedience above all else. What greater test is there of obedience when all surrounding circumstances seem to urge us to disobey and go our own way?
The Lord is always close to us - He is always nigh to our situations. The real test is will we stay close to Him and be faithful as He is faithful.
Continue seeking Him for He has promised that you will find Him. :heaven:
Hi, what is obedience to God? Is there not something wrong when you are in the dark night. Perhaps you are not exactly obeying Him right and he wants you to learn and expand. Perhaps you have to rethink what what obedience is and what He really wants. Is not God joy? If you change your situation that would bring that joy is that not moving towards God even if it is leaving some conventions that you may hold dear.
Note: I don’t know you and I don’t know your situation. Also I am just going from my understanding which can be very flawed. I just think that God does not want you to have the dark night and you can walk out of it but you have to go where the joy is.
Sorry to sound stupid, but what do you mean by spiritual dryness? There are times when I feel very lazy and find myself really have to struggle to pray, etc., when there are things in the world that seem much more attractive than the things of God. But I wouldn’t characterize that as spiritual dryness. I find that as a fault in myself, allowing the temptations of the world to be stronger than my love of God.
I’m a reconvert, having come back to the Church only 2 years ago. Is spiritual dryness when you feel no joy in the things of God? If so, please tell me what that is like. I can’t imagine not feeling awed by the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ and all he has done for us. But I do know that there is a “dark night of the soul” I’ve asked others about this, including priests, but I’ve never really gotten answer.
St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux, would say otherwise.
The Dark Night is actually a blessing. It is thru this period that we must perservere in prayer and try to reach deep into our hearts where in dwells Christ. Dryness should not be seen as a plague. Nothing from God is a mistake. View this dryness, this Dark Night as a signal that God wishes you to push yourself further. Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days. Look what God allowed Job to endure. Look what Mother Teresa had to endure. At the end of the Dark Night is a renewed closeness with Jesus. St. John of the Cross speaks of the in his poems quite beautifully as does “The Song of Songs”. The Dark Night serves as a time to draw one so close to God that is is like you become one with God. As we will be when we enter into Heaven.
Be glad for the Dark Night if it falls over you. Be glad for any suffering that befalls you. This is Gods way of saying you are on the right track and to Perservere. Our Lady will help anyone who is in this state. Pray the Rosary.
– Cadian :knight1:
Spiritual Dryness is a term used to decribe a feeling of being alone as if not even God is listening. I believe Mother Teresa described it as having a conversation with God and She was the only one talking.
– Cadian :knight1:
five years, with short spirts of consolation every once and a while (consolation every 6 mos to 1 yr.) Not so bad now: found water in the dessert
that’s the essence. but don’t get dryness and night confused. Sometimes dryness or dessert experiances are due to unrepented behaviour or some imperfection or sinful attachment. In people leading holy lives, they are both blessings and chastenings (in the sense that the scripture says: God chastizes those whom He loves). “dryness” in someone without a relationship with God is due to the lack of relationship, and in the mystics it is a means of purification and union. The experiance of dryness is common to all, but the undertones, reasons God has for granting the experiance, and way that they play out differ and can be classified according to cause/purpose/reason and effect that they have on the soul
you sound like a nice person, but you flat out have no idea what you are talking about. Please do more research before writing six paragraphs.
This is making more sense to me. Thanks for making the clarification between dryness and dark night. I definitely have not experienced a dark night - I’ve got a long way to go before I get to that point, if ever. But dryness for me, where it seems like a lot more work to pray and do spiritual exercises, has been the result of giving my affection to the world instead of to our Lord.
I’ve read St. John of the Cross, and as you say, it seems a dark night, which Mother Theresa experienced for so many years, is actually a gift from God, although it hardly seems like that.
When people say they are going through spiritual dryness, I almost feel a twinge of envy because I just figure they are in a much higher spiritual state than I am.
Spiritual “dryness” can be caused by two things:
Neglecting to pray, not paying attention to the Lord, indifference to the Sacraments, etc. (one’s own fault).
Spiritual dryness can be allowed to a very devout person in order to strengthen their faith. It is easy to pray and act according to the mind of Christ when we have spiritual consolations. But, there comes a time when the Lord withholds consolations to allow us to grow in faith. So, if the person does not lose heart and continues to pray and receive the Sacraments, making acts of faith and trust in the Lord, then that spiritual dryness is being used to his/her best advantage, and there will be growth in the virtues.
It is true I may not know what I am talking about as I am always learning. My previous post was my best attempt. My ideas were not however just thought up on the spot. These came from months of thinking about Mother Teresa’s letters. I am a Protestant but Mother Teresa’s books were always my favourites and I read them often for 20 years. I had no idea that she felt how she felt. I find this dark night situation socking and very disturbing. I cannot accept that God pulls His joy away from us. I can accept being wronged, physical injury, disease and other misfortunes of this life but God’s joy should be always there especially for the ones who really pursue Him. It seems to me there are some very very good people who really seek God and they should always have God’s joy. I cannot accept that God with holds joy. There has to be a way out.
The Lord chose to sanctify Mother Teresa with a long, dark night, as He saw that she was up to it, and did not stop loving or trusting Him. She had a capacity to be a very great saint, and He saw to it that she was filled to the fullest with His grace.
Now she enjoys endless, glorious joy in His Presence forever!