Friday, February 27, 2009

Spiritual Langour

1. Sometimes we become tired and sleepy. The love of God no longer warms our hearts nor prompts us to perform good works. We experience a kind of disgust for spiritual things and prayer becomes a burden. We no longer feel any pleasure in speaking with God, for our souls have grown arid and cold. We neglect our spiritual exercises and are careless about meditation and the Sacraments. We go on living on the edge of the abyss and never consider the fact that it is a very short step from spiritual inactivity to actual sin.

This kind of langour is not always sinful, however. Sometimes God permits dryness of spirit to test our humility and to make us understand that without Him we are capable of nothing. Saints like St. Theresa and St. Francis de Sales were tried by spiritual aridity. In such cases the only remedy is to be patient and humble and to trust in God. We must ask God to let us die rather than be separated from Him, and to restore to us our former fervent love for Him.

2. Sometimes this state of ineptitude is the result of pride. We are too fond of ourselves. We seek to satisfy ourselves in everything and therefore God abandons us. Whoever seeks God finds Him. Whoever seeks his own ends finds disillusionment and emptiness. God abandons him and allows him to fall humiliatingly in punishment for his pride and self-confidence. St. Peter is an example of this. God withholds spiritual consolations fom the arrogant soul. If our state of tepidity is the result of pride, let us humble ourselves before God. Let us implore Him to deprive us of all worldly consolation rather than of His friendship.

3. More often this langour and inertia is caused by our neglect of the means necessary to preserve our spiritual life. We begin by omitting the prayers and penances which it is our duty to to perform and by postponing Confession and Communion. Without frequent Confession our sins increase like noxious weeds which stifle the good grain. Without Holy Communion we lack the protection and grace of God. Let us examine ourselves and make good resolutions. Fervour of soul, the love of God and a strong and effective inclination to virtue cannot be attributed purely to ourselves. They are the result of God's grace, for which we should pray without ceasing.

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