Navigating through the Dry Desert


Spiritual aridity is as different from spiritual apathy as Rome is from Tokyo. There can be many causes for spiritual aridity, but explaining each cause would turn this into a book of Christian spirituality and psychology, Let’s settle for the existential experience of spiritual aridity.

Existentially, spiritual aridity can best be described as thirst in a sandy desert. Once looks for a connection with God in prayer, the Sacraments, the Church, even the Gospel. At the end, not finding that spring that we once experienced in the spiritual life, we become despondent. We argue that there is no spiritual gain in prayer, the Mass, the Church, or even those around us.

The biggest problem is that we fault all religious activity as falling short and not meeting our spiritual needs. We fail to look into our soul. We are afraid of the darkness we might find there. Our reasoning ability becomes weak.

But God is not found through human reasoning, As complete and perfect, God is far superior to the collective of human wisdom.

God is that body that illuminates the night. The darker the night, the more visible are the stars of space. The stars that shine in the night are the sunlight that light up our day. Do we give up on prayer, the Sacraments, and the Church because of the human weakness that we find there, or the catastrophic mess that we are?

We need to remember that through the centuries, many have seen the weakness that we see…however, some of those people cry out to God to brighten the darkness that they see around them. Some of our most admirable saints have spent years calling out to God, the light of the night and the water in an oasis.

The more the cry out to God, “come be my light,” the stronger we become without realizing it. Grace is not a human feeling. It’s a seed planted in the soul where the Divine Gardener will water it and protect it from death as long as we persevere, “Come be my light”.

We carry on with whatever good the Church, Sacraments, and the Sacred Scriptures will offer. But each time we come into contact with the cold desert night, we call out to Him who can be the light we seek. The search for the light of God, however, requires that we never give up on calling, “Come, be my light”. God has never abandoned one who called out to Him. Those who give up calling out to God will be burned by the light of the Son whom they have given up. Man gives up hoping for the light. The Light for each man will always allow Itself to be seen; but only when God knows that it will do some good for us and through us.

We can never forget that we are the sheep that can’t find the Good Shepherd. But He is always closer to us when the desert looks the darkest or feels the coldest.

May the Immaculata always guide us through the dark desert.

Our Lady of Solitude“, Madrid School, 17th Century

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