Chronic Dryness in Prayer

From Contemplative Provocations,  by Fr. Donald Haggerty (pp 74-75)

“Sometimes souls serious about spiritual life become demanding of affection and regard from others, desirous to draw others close to themselves.  It is a flaw that may have a background in a prayer life that resisted purification.  The connection is not difficult to perceive.  Purification in prayer is self-emptying.  Long aridity if undergone with perseverance burns away our desire for satisfaction.  The dryness is a humbling deprivation.  But some souls cannot bear this impoverishment.  When prayer has settled into chronic dryness and God shows no closeness, the response may be to seek love from others.  Instead of embracing poverty, we may react by becoming possessive and demanding of human affections.  It is as though we seek to secure a confirmation of being loved which the life of prayer withholds.  Finding ourselves needed by others grants a spiritual worth not being received in prayer.  It is good to recall that in surrendering to God, we give ourselves to real poverty.  If we make no peace with our poverty in prayer, the pursuit of consolation in human relations may strongly attract us.  Without our realizing it, being needed by others placates the anxious thought that God has chosen other souls for his greater love and we have been left behind.”


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