Ave Maria Meditations
We must make our life “Christ-centered” instead of self-centered. Then we shall be satisfied by the hope that the dreary minutes we spend in prayer will lighten His cross. Very often, if we would but make up our mind to share His cross, we should rediscover our divine Lover, who seems to have abandoned us. However that is not always the case. He may still remain far away, despite our generosity in sacrifice, and we shall have to be content to serve Him at our own expense until He sees fit to come again to set our hearts on fire.
That He will come again if we persevere in prayer is certain, for this arid stage is but the desert that guards the approach to the promised land of contemplation. There is indeed a very close parallel between the progress of the soul when this paralysis in prayer has become a permanent condition and the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert.
Despite everything, there is, deep down in the soul, a vague habitual hunger for something that it may or may not recognize to be God. Nothing in creation can give it solid satisfaction; and even though it may sigh for the joys it previously knew in the spiritual life, it knows in the depths of its heart that these can no longer satisfy its needs. It has left “Egypt and its fleshpots”; it has not yet reached the Promised Land; meanwhile it must learn to content itself with the daily manna God gives it. Nor will it receive more than a day’s supply, for God gives the soul only enough grace to meet the needs of the moment, so that it may learn that of itself it can do nothing, but that His grace is always sufficient for it.
When a soul in this condition feels itself moved to kneel before God, doing nothing except, in a general way, waiting for Him, there need be no doubt that it is really praying and, in fact, that God is preparing it for further graces of prayer.
+Dom M. Eugene Boylan, O.C.R.