I took this picture while on retreat at the Abbey of Genesee
"On our journey through life we do not wish to meet any difficulties or
contradictions. We want constant consolations, no periods of dryness, no
unpleasant times; health without sickness, repose without work, and peace
without disturbance! But can't you see our folly when we want to have something
we cannot have? Unallayed good is found only in paradise, as in hell is found
nothing but evil. The great Chrysostom says: "O man, you who get all upset when
things do not always go your way, are you not ashamed when you ponder that what
you want was not to be found even in the family of Our Lord? ... Consider, I beg
you, the events, the contradictions, and all the things that happened. The angel
of the Lord said in a dream to Saint Joseph, 'Get up, take the child and his
mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise. Herod is
searching for the child to destroy him.' [Mt. 2:13] This, indeed, was a moment
of great sorrow for the Virgin Mary and for good Saint Joseph." (St. Francis De Sales)
As our spiritual journey becomes challenging and often plagued with dryness we must not lose hope. There is a part of us that longs for a consistency of serenity and peace amidst our walk with the Lord. If we give ourselves so fervently to prayer and devotion how can we expect anything less than this?
These moments of dryness awaken us to the imperfect nature of ourselves and of the human condition in need of redemption. Our spiritual dryness awakens us to our need of further purification and humility. It is helpful for us in these times to reflect upon the difficulties and trials of our beloved Saints and Holy Family in order to gain proper perspective.
Throughout Scripture we hear the voices of God's children crying out to Him amidst their difficulties and desperation. Through their cries we also hear the echo of such profound and unshaken faith; a faith assured of the only true and sustaining consolation that can be provided by our Lord.
Through our own dryness and afflictions we are each called to turn to God in the hope of His consolation. If we are deprived of this, then may our longing for Him be the only fitting remedy. May the gift of our faith aid us in persevering through the drought. May we come to the understanding that our Lord is Love and that He always keeps His promises. Let us remember the words of St. Paul to the Philippians. (C.C.)
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:5-8)