prayer and Jesus

How do I begin? It has been so very long (five months) since I last wrote anything here. Even now, as I write, I can only hope that this will be the beginning of a prolonged period of writing. We shall see…

I think it is appropriate to take a look at what spiritual writers have called the “Dark night of the soul.” Not really sure if that is what is going on in my life, but I can tell you that the Sun seems to be behind some clouds, right now.

At Mass yesterday, the priest mentioned that how we feel and what we do should not be related. (At least, that was my take on the sermon.) That gave me something to think about. When we feel good – God does seem very close, but when things are going astray and everything seems to be coming apart…well, God seems to be looking the other way.

But that cannot be. God is constant. That is how we define God. He does not vary. His love for us is always there, always present. He created us out of love, and that love is still there, still with us, always with us. It is we that change. So, why does this happen? How do we change? I would like to use myself, my period of drought, as an example. In short, I would like to pour out my feelings, my thoughts as to why I felt that God was so distant to me. (At least that was my perception.)

It begins when we feel uneasy about something, distraught about an event, concerned about our actions or someone else’s actions. Stop! Think about your life. What, right now is in your life, that you are uncomfortable with, that occupies your thoughts, is consuming you? This very “something” may very well be separating us from our God.

For me, it began with a doubt, a doubt that God still loves me. Why the doubt was there in my life is unimportant. The fact that something could distract me from my God, could have my full attention, and separate me from my God — this fact, alone, made me doubt His love. The slippery path downwards had begun. If, God is distant from me, has stopped loving me, then where do I turn? To whom, do I turn? To whom, do I rely on for answers? Why, ourselves of course! And the slide downwards, continues. The more that we feel alone, and abandoned, that is when we shore up our defenses and think that since we are alone, we will have to provide the answer to our problem.

Our pride seems to dictate that since it is our problem, we alone will have the solution. That is not true. That is not how it is. It is then, during those times of trial, of doubt, of being uncomfortable, of being totally absorbed with a problem, when we most need to turn to our loving God. He has not changed, WE have. Trusting in Him is really the only way that we can free ourselves from those distracting thoughts. God really does love us. Yes, with all of our faults, and doubts. He loves us.
So what, then, is the answer? Our EMOTIONS do not really indicate if God loves us. Our EMOTIONS cannot tell us if our prayers are valid or not. Whoa!!!! What does that mean???

“I don’t feel like praying”.

“They are just words that I am repeating”.

These are expressions that we often use when speaking of our prayer life. We are looking to our emotions, our feelings, to provide us an uplift of our entire being…. so that we can simply talk to our God!. These feelings were preventing me from walking down the street with my God. They are sentiments really being expressed by our unconscious, not our mind nor our soul. Our feelings are dictating to us. Let me ask you, When we talk to a neighbor must we be effervescent, and bubbling over, before we can simply say, “Hello”? Feelings have no place in our talking to God. Yes, they make it easier. But to say, “I love you” to our spouse or someone, means you are concerned about their welfare … not that you feel good.

Our conversation with God, our prayer life, is just that, a conversation. We do not have to feel great, nor in the mood. We simply want to speak to our Maker, about our love, and our problems. Why are we telling Him these things? He already knows everything about us. In the telling, we are really laying our lives out before Him and saying, “You take care of my life. I trust in You”. And with that, we truly release the worry, the concern, and the absorbing cloud over us, knowing that He really will take care of us.

Here are some other Posts that blend with this one. Continue the thread:

1) Conversation with Christ
2) How Do We Pray
3) The Nature of Prayer
4) Listening to God
5) Trusting Like Children