Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spiritual Desolation: Part II

The time of spiritual desolation is also a time for being resigned.
When a soul begins to cultivate the spiritual life, God usually showers
his consolations upon her to wean her away from the world; but when he
sees her making solid progress, he withdraws his hand to test her and
to see if she will love and serve him without the reward of sensible
consolations. “In this life,” as St. Teresa used to say, “our lot is
not to enjoy God, but to do his holy will.” And again, “Love of God
does not consist in experiencing his tendernesses, but in serving him
with resolution and humility.” And in yet another place, “God’s true
lovers are discovered in times of aridity and temptation.”

Let the soul thank God when she experiences his loving endearments, but
let her not repine when she finds herself left in desolation. It is
important to lay great stress on this point, because some souls,
beginners in the spiritual life, finding themselves in spiritual
aridity, think God has abandoned them, or that the spiritual life is
not for them; thus they give up the practice of prayer and lose what
they have previously gained. The time of aridity is the best time to
practice resignation to God’s holy will. I do not say you will feel no
pain in seeing yourself deprived of the sensible presence of God; it is
impossible for the soul not to feel it and lament over it, when even
our Lord cried out on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me [69] ?” In her sufferings, however, the soul should always
be resigned to God’s will.

Uniformity With God's Will
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

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