Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Prayer drought : When faith seems dry

There are times in our lives when our faith life seems dry.  We may still be doing our ordinary prayer life but seemingly only going thorough the motions.  We may seem in a rut or be going thought a particular trail where we cannot feel the presence of God in our life.  There a few things we can do to jump start our spiritual lives.  They may not all work for everyone an they may take time an effort, so expect results on Gods time rather than the schedule that we put Him on.  There may be a reason that we are going through this that can be turned into a greater good.  If you have been though a prayer drought before you may have found that God used that experience at a later time for you to help someone else. But there are some things you can do to use this prayer drought to grow closer to God.

Talk to God
If you are feeling in a rut the first thing upon realizing the rut is to bring it to God.  Put it all on the table, tell God about what you are feeling.  Because you are in a rut the answer and feeling that you may have previously felt when you were close to God may not happen.  You may feel that you are just talking to yourself but be assured that you are not.  No need to sugar coat with God.  Though we treat God with respect and awe  don't hide things from him.  If you angry tell God your angry, getting out the anger can help walk through it. 

Don't give up
As we know from the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8) that we have to be persistent in our prayer even if we think that nothing is happening.  Things may not change, there is no guarantee that you will get the results that you are looking for. 

There are certain TV preachers that will tell you that you are not getting what you want because you are not praying hard enough.  The Catholic Church doesn't teach that.  God loves you and wants to bless you but if you pray to win the lottery and don't it is not because you didn't have enough faith.  Jesus does say that if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move mountains.  Persistent prayer will change your interior life which can lead to an external change.  

Take a step back and try something new
Perhaps a step back form your current prayer ritual could give a new perspective.  If you have become too comfortable or bored with your routine then changing it up could spark you emptiness.
Adding a new prayer or routine to your life could spark a new way to come to good.  Perhaps daily mass once a week or a rosary on Wednesday night could add to what you are doing and make you feel less like you are not pulling your weigh in your relationship with God.  Often it is us who get complacent and feel empty because we have gone so far away from god and need to come back. 

Entering the nothingness to find God
Our relationship with God is a two way street.  Sometimes we feel he has left us and other time we feel we have left him by putting him on a shelf every Sunday till we return to him.  Both of these feeling are natural and will happen at different points in our lives.  Sometime we have to enter into the despair and let go of our conceived notions of who God is and find him in the nothing. 

This entering into the nothing is something that will be elaborated in future posts but finding God in the silence is a theme that goes back to the Old Testament and has taken many different nuances and perspectives, some bordering on heretical.

Spiritual dryness is something that can happen at anytime, whether letting everyday life distract us from God or just feeling like He is not there even though we are praying diligently.  Shaking up our prayer life is a start and truly seeking God and telling him our desires rather than just falling into the trap of just reading prayers.  God knows where we are in our struggle and is working to help us through it, we just need to continue to trust in our heavenly father.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A good thing vs a God thing

There are certain situations that cause us to doubt God.  When things don't seem to work out our way or when we make choices that seemed good on the onset, don't pan out like we had hoped.  It is easy to blame God for these things.  But as we point our finger at Him we must keep in mind that all good things are not God things.  This is a hard concept to grasp, especially if you came from a line of thinking that all good things come from God and all bad things come from the devil.

 All good things are not God things
God has a plan for us and invites us to share in that plan.  God wants to bless us and gave us free will to chose him or not to.  This is not to say if God plan was for you to turn left on Main street and you when right, you are doomed because you didn't follow God plan.  But if you intentally when right to sin then that's a different story.  

But we can be presented with many good things that are wonderful things.   But we do not need to choose them all and if we were to put them all on our plate we might stumble under the weight of all of the good things.  God gives us lot of good things to do and choose from but we have to discern which ones are merely good things and which ones are God things which will bring us closer to him and increase our holiness.  

This is difficult and part of being human.  We may also have some regret about the choices we make and which good things we choose but if we are working with God in prayer and activly discerning which will bring us closer to him, God will bless our choices more than we can see from the results we calculated will happen at that moment when we made the choice.

This "good" thing "God" thing is in every decision we make on where we work, where we live or how we spend our money.   We have to make the decision on how we feel God is calling us with the information we have at hand.  We cannot predict the future nor can be change the past.  We have do what we feel God is asking us to do then, "Let go and Let God."  He will handle the details and bless us in ways we may never have imagined were possible.