Do you have any words of wisdom regarding “spiritual dryness”?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and the word that keeps coming to mind is “perseverance.” Paul tells us, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb 12:7). Spiritual dryness is meant to discipline us and to mold our faith. Our faith becomes stronger when it perseveres through times in which God seems utterly absent from our lives. St. James tells us, “Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him” (Jas 1:12). Grace and fellowship with God is our reward, if we will only persevere.
“Patience” is another key word. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom 8:25). Prayer takes time, persistence, and effort. It is certainly not something that we master over night. I get frustrated quite often by this, and many times I have succumbed to the temptation to just give up on prayer. But, this is foolish , and not befitting of a man with discretion (Prov 14:17).
Finally, Paul tells us, “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom 12:12). The answer to spiritual dryness seems to be the combination of the two key words I have mentioned: perseverance and patience. These two virtues are seen together in many passages of Scripture:
Col 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy
2 Tim 3:10 Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness
Heb 6:15 And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.
Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth.
“Patient endurance”… this is key to the Christian life, and John speaks of it in Revelation as if it were one of the characteristics of the faithful Christian. “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev 14:12). May you be so qualified.
Peace of Christ to you,
Nicholas Hardesty, WIMM Board Member
Director of Religious Education, Blessed Mother Catholic Church
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