What do you do when you feel like you’ve hit a spiritual roadblock? Not low or depressed, but losing your enthusiasm for the faith and becoming lukewarm. I’m going to confession for this this week, but I wanted to know what you guys turn to when you feel yourself slipping away from God. I don’t feel on fire anymore. :nope:
It is nothing unusual, it can be in fact a testing time for you - whether you will perservere in your faith when the enthusiasm is gone and you are no longer on fire. Even mystics went through Spiritual Night - that is not to say that you are going through the same, but it is a very normal thing in our spiritual journey .So what can you do? Just perservere and be faithful as long as God will wish for you to remain in that state. Read maybe the diary of St Faustina, not in the hope that the present state will go away, but to see how she coped with her experience of Spiritual Night.
There is also another possibility, sometimes when we undergo a conversion, we are all on fire and full of enthusiasm, but we overdo it, we forget that we are mortals and that our life is not only prayers and spiritual things, but also work, friends and duties and as a result we might become soon burnt out. Because even comtemplative monks/nuns spend a lot of time just working, for lay poeple, wiht no spiritual guidance - there is this danger of livign in the clouds
I just blogged on this very topic yesterday. Perhaps something I wrote will be helpful. It’s similar to what Danuska said in post 2.
The one thing that gave me a spiritual boost was attending a Christ Renews His Parish weekend for the men. Don’t know if they have one in your area. But the men’s weekend just gave me perspective on a lot of things. Sometimes just talking to your parish priest might give you a spiritual boost as well
I recently attended Spiritual Exercises which was helpful.
I have sought recourse from reading about Saints who have also experienced these times of darkness…so many of them have…Mother Theresa, St. Theresa of Avila, Padre Pio…I understand also St. John of the Cross. I also read about Job for a perspective in the heart of suffering. I listened to talks on suffering by Father Corapi, Dr. Peter Kreeft.
One book I really related to was Secrets of a Soul about Padre Pio’s letters to his spiritual director. He struggles with reaching the joy of Jesus often…feeling as if Jesus is “hiding” from him for lengths. Yet in his misery he loses no faith, despite often feeling on the edge of hell. The lesson is, no matter how dark we feel…feelings don’t count in the end.
The other tidbit of advice I offer (and need to follow more myself) is to ask God straightforward the joy you would like Him to bless you with in His mercy. And the other is to go to Mary, like the servants at Cana who said, “We have no wine,” and tell her, “Mother, I have a dry faith.” She will know what to do.
Can't Pray - What's Wrong?
Here are some of the things that work for me:
Listen to music.
Walk the grounds of a beautiful monastery and then sit in silence.
Look at the sky.
Get eight hours to sleep, but sometimes staying awake all night for vigils will help too.
Pray the divine office slowly and think about each word of the psalm, hymn, antiphon, prayer, reading, or litany.
But everyone is different, you are wise to ask and then try what seems to fit where you are. You are not alone.
It might just be because your mood. Our moods are fickle; there are plenty of days that seem to be so-so in comparison to our spiritual “highs”, but maybe the fire is ablaze within in a way our emotions cannot recognize.
Remember, the Holy Spirit is always in our hearts making intercessions for us.
For me, reading spiritual books. Just like MarcoPolo, I love reading books about the Saints who struggled similar problems and usually I’ll ask myself, if he/she could experience that, why can’t I?
I’ve been reading the diary of St. Faustina, it helps me tremendously. She had such a hard life with difficult people, and yet she was able to overcome the difficulties and became a Saint.
After all, I’m not the only one.
Keep praying, even if it just seems like “habit” and you’re not really “feeling” anything. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words and to help you remember that no matter what your feelings tell you, God loves you and wants a relationship with you!
I am old and gave up expecting feelings, fire and the like long ago. my solution in the doldrums is to find someone to serve. it never has failed.