About 15 years ago or thereabouts, I was so much more spiritually connected than I sometimes feel I am now. I used to actually read the religious and spiritual books I bought rather than bringing them home and having them sit on the shelf for years. I used to pray more consistently.
I did have a few issues with wanting to acquire more spiritual reading than maybe was realistic, and my spiritual director had cautioned me not to overdo it or to think having the books or devotionals was a substitute for real faith. Point well taken at the time, and remembered to the present day.
In 2000, I started working at a Catholic book and gift shop, and I learned of the existence of even more spiritual writings that interested me, and devotionals and such that I hadn’t heard of. I tried to bear in mind the words of my director, though. In 2003 my father died unexpectedly, my mother’s health took a downturn, and years of stress and financial and work difficulties ensued. I think it was during this time that sometimes prayer got put off due to exhaustion. But some good things were happening, such as I was getting back to going to daily Mass.
At other times, I was enjoying things such as doing artwork, and I think it was a gift from God but sometimes it could take all my mental energy and there again, the balance tipped away from being calm and focused on spiritual matters.
There are other factors too numerous to list, but I know I’d like my spiritual life to undergo a renaissance. In some ways, I’ve made a start - I started going to weekly Adoration, just tagging along with friends, and somehow now I see the parish has put my name on the regular list - and I’m A-OK with that. I’m reading the Bible and I feel aware of Advent and in the spirit of it, just not as structured with it as I used to be.
Daily prayer is still a struggle - mornings are not my best time. I don’t work an outside job and have a poor track record sticking to any self-imposed schedule. Winter depression has set in some, although that may be just my wimpiness - I might have pleaded summer blahs 6 months ago. The spirit is willing but the flesh is flabby and weak.
Finally, I just feel I have so much I need to do, want to do - living in a small space that gets disorganized quickly, projects, creative stuff, etc. - again, my creativity is a gift from God but I can’t let it take me so far away from just sitting quietly with Him. To sum up, I have such strong Martha tendencies and I remember when I used to be able to be a Mary - things were more in balance. Please, share if you relate, and how you reconnected with your “inner Mary of Bethany.” Thanks!