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Note From Our Pastor (Parish Bulletin for October 11, 2015)

Greetings Parishioners,

This is part of a Pastor Column series. Remember that along with a group of others, I received an email from a parishioner entitled "Fabulous, Fabulous........To Those Who Are So Dear to Me !!!!!" You can tell he was excited about this email, and I want to share his excitement with you.

5 Simple Steps to Improve your Prayer Life

Step Four:

“What can I do when prayer gets really difficult?”
When our prayer life becomes dry, it’s important that we understand what is happening. Some might think that when prayer becomes difficult or dry, that they are doing something wrong, that they have offended God in some way, or something in that arena. This is especially true if we have experienced spiritual consolations and the joy of prayer. The hardship of prayer can come as a swift and firm lesson. What is happening in these moments? What is God doing?

This part of the spiritual life is known as the purgative way. The expression reflects the reality: we are being purged in these dark times of prayer. God is removing the consolation and teaching us to love him for himself and not for the blessings we receive from him. As St. Theresa of Avila, the great Doctor of Mystical Prayer, teaches us, “We worship the God of consolations, not the consolations of God.” In the purgative way, God has moved from “soul triage” to “soul surgery.” In this process, he is teaching us dependency and trust.

We should not be afraid of these moments. Even as we wrestle, the spiritual masters teach us that God is closer to us in our purgation than in our times of consolation. God is doing more in our souls than we could ever imagine. Our task is to persevere and let God work. The purgative way usually concludes with an illumination of some form. The Lord imprints a knowledge within us in a profound way. This could include a mystical awareness of love, mercy, hope, healing, or other areas that we need in our discipleship. After this illumination, the purgative way begins again and the process continues within us leading us from “glory unto glory” (John 1:16).

Taken from the writings of Father Jeffrey Kirby, author of “Lord Teach Us To Pray: A Guide to the Spiritual Life and Christian Discipleship”

Blessings in Christ,

Fr. Rob