Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breathe deeply, part II -- the turbulence of spiritual apathy

The other day, I wrote a piece called, Breathe deeply, after someone had mentioned that I should just stop, and learn to say NO. I am a solid 15 years into my faith reversion, and I marvel at how I continue to experience periods spiritual discouragement, how I so easily busy myself with other important things. You know what I'm talking about -- the things that make devotional prayers hard to say because the world encroaches, making it impossible to find the time; the same way life can just get overwhelming for all the wrong reasons. It's as if something has deprived me of spiritual oxygen, causing confusion and apathy when it comes to the necessity of persevering in prayer.

I'm not flying solo here, I know. It happens to all of us.

It's that time when the Lord lets go of the yoke (control column of an aircraft), requires us to take hold of it ourselves, and fly on our own a bit. (Remember, His yoke is easy, and his burden is light -- convenient for this analogy, don't you think?) Sometimes, I hit turbulence and have trouble controlling the aircraft -- neither the yoke, nor the burden is easy without His grace when I get overwhelmed, overloaded and discouraged. When my prayer life starts a downward spiral.

I'm such a foolish child of God not recognizing these moments for what they are. As I read St. Catherine's Dialog this morning she spoke these words to God and to me:
So, that soul, wishing to know and follow the truth more manfully, and lifting her desires first for herself—for she considered that a soul could not be of use, whether in doctrine, example, or prayer, to her neighbor, if she did not first profit herself, that is, if she did not acquire virtue in herself—addressed four requests to the Supreme and Eternal Father. The first was for herself; the second for the reformation of the Holy Church; the third a general prayer for the whole world, and in particular for the peace of Christians who rebel, with much lewdness and persecution, against the Holy Church; in the fourth and last, she besought the Divine Providence to provide for things in general, and in particular, for a certain case with which she was concerned.
The oxygen mask has been dropped from the ceiling of my spiritual flight. It's time for me to put on that mask of surrender and prayer again; to bring myself out of the turbulence of spiritual apathy and back into the correct flight path, to assist my family, friends and neighbors with their spiritual oxygen masks, as well. It's time to breathe deeply of that wonderful and necessary revitalizing Spirit -- to remember to stop, pray for my own holiness, and have constant, not occasional, conversations with God.

What an Advent this has been. Breathe! It's time to for this soul to take flight toward welcoming the Savior. Breathe deeply -- pray -- repeat.

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