December 21, 2000
“It is above all on days of weariness, sickness, impatience, temptation, spiritual dryness, and trials, during hours of sometimes terrible anguish which press upon a soul, that holy abandonment is most pleasing to God.” (Blessed Columba Marmion)
“Take a step at a time in the darkness, and the path will unwind beneath your feet. It is not necessary to understand God’s purposes. Just follow his will.” (St. Thérèse Couderc)
“So when we prayed and have a multitude of distractions like troublesome flies, as long as they displease us and we do what lies in our power to turn from them faithfully, our prayer doesn’t stop being good and acceptable to God. We may be sure of this.” (St. Jane Frances de Chantal)
And my final excerpt from Fr. Marc Foley’s book, The Context of Holiness:
Acts of faith are expressed in two ways. The first is our willingness to jump into the darkness, that is, choosing to trust in God’s guidance as we venture into the unknown. The second is our willingness to sit in the darkness, which is continuing to do God’s will when our emotional resources are depleted and life seems hollow, meaningless and absurd. . . .
These are the worst times in our life of faith when viewed from a psychological and emotional perspective. But from a spiritual vantage point, they are potentially the best of times. For when we continue to do God’s will without emotional support, our love for God and neighbor grows and is purified.
Why does God seem to hide from us?
“‘. . . Then he also went, not publicly, but as it were in secret’ (Jn 7.10). This preference for hiddenness, for remaining unseen, seems to have been a definite impulse of Jesus, clearly depicted on a few occasions in the gospel. It appears he wanted to go unobserved during certain interludes, to pass shrouded through the crowds, inconspicuous and ordinary, even after he began his public life. Surely this desire to remain unrecognized cannot have been a capricious gesture. What is happening here, since in other places he is intent on revealing himself? Does it give hint of a divine attribute which we have not named properly, and yet of vital importance for knowing God’s relations with our soul? These occasions when he desired to remain concealed and unnoticed, are they showing us the shape and contour, as it were, of the only encounter with God at times available to us? Must we necessarily seek him in his hiddenness if we are to find him?” (Fr. Donald Haggerty, Contemplative Provocations)
- “Time spent faithfully every day in mental prayer that is poor arid, distracted, and relatively short is worth more, and will be infinitely more fruitful for our progress, than long, ardent spells of mental prayer from time to time, when circumstances make it easy.” (Fr. Jacques Philippe)