aka Dryness in Prayer/
aka Spiritual Desolation/
aka Prayer of Futility

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"Hope and Despair" - by Evelyn de Morgan


The time of Spiritual Desolation is 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 Saint 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 Tenderness's, 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".

One (1) Single Act done with Aridity-of Spirit is Worth more than many done with Feelings of Devotion.

Eternal Wisdom, in Suso's "Little Book of Eternal Wisdom", says: "If thou hast no liking to Meditate on My Passion with Weeping Eyes, because of the Bitter Agony I Suffered, then oughtest thou to Meditate on it with a Laughing Heart, because of the Joyous Benefit thou wilt find in it. But, if thou hast no Mind either to Laugh or to Cry, thou oughtest to Meditate on it in the Dryness-of thy Heart, to My Honor and Praise, by doing which thou wilt have done no-less-than, if thou hadst been Dissolved-in Tears or Steeped-in Sweetness; for then thou Actest from Love of Virtue, without regard to thyself".


Aridity/Dryness in Prayer/Spiritual Desolation

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There are times when the Heart seems Dull, Cold, and Indifferent. Though there is Joy and Sweetness and Effulgent Emotion in Prayer as a Rule, yet doubtless to every one there comes times when God seems Far Away and the Heart to have no-depth. Prayer seems to be from the Lips only. The Heart is an Arid Desert where never a Flower Bloomed nor Refreshing Spring babbled forth. There are no Sweet Odors nor Voices of Melody. All is Empty, Cold, and Still. But why such Dryness / Aridity / Desolation / Futility?


No Pain . . . . . . No Gain
No Guts . . . . . No Glory
No Cross . . . . No


angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) Consoling Thoughts on Suffering

(by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) Spiritual Desolation

(by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) The Gift of Dryness in Prayer

(by Mother Angelica of EWTN)

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) The Prayer of Futility

(by Father Humbert Van Zeller, O.S.B.)

angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) Spiritual Aridity

(by Theologian, Father William G. Most)

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) Aridity

(from The Spiritual Combat by Father Dom Lorenzo Scupoli)

angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) Spiritual States of 'Consolation' and 'Desolation'

(from the Catholic Encyclopedia)

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) Coping with Dryness or Spiritual Aridity

(by Father Matta El-Maskeen of the Coptic Church)

angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) Prayer Persevere in Dryness

(by Father Miguel Marie Soeherman, MFVA)

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) Prayer is a Battle

(from the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) Struggle of a Soul's Purification

(by Mother Angelica of EWTN)

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) Hold on to His Will in the Dark

(by Theologian, Father William G. Most)

angel_02.gif (2330 bytes) Father John Corapi on Aridity

Father John Corapi's Inspiring Dialog on 'Holy Saturday' equates our Darkness, Dryness and Aridity with the time Jesus spent in the Darkness of His Tomb before the coming of the Light of Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We must all follow Our Savior in a similar way through our own Tomb of Darkness if we are to enjoy the same Resurrection of Life.

angel_01.gif (2832 bytes) Father Robert Levis on Aridity

Father Robert Levis talks about Aridity and the Dark Night of the Spirit and Senses; the Three Signs of the Dark Night of the Senses; how we can deal with it; how we have to surrender to the Lord. We all have Aridity at times. Devotion to Our Lady helps us get through these times. The Dark Night of the Spirit is hard, but we shouldn't be afraid of it.



Psalm 88
A Despairing Lament

LORD, my God, I call out by day; at night I cry aloud in Your Presence.

Let my Prayer come before You; incline Your Ear to my cry.

For my Soul is filled with Troubles; my life draws near to Sheol.

I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit; I am weak, without strength.

My couch is among the dead, with the slain who lie in the grave.

You remember them no more; they are cut off from Your care.

You plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the darkness of the abyss.

Your wrath lies heavy upon me; all Your waves crash over me.

Because of You my friends shun me; You make me loathsome to them; caged in, I cannot escape; my eyes grow dim from trouble.


All day I call on You, LORD; I stretch out my hands to You.

Do You work wonders for the dead? Do the shades arise and praise You?

Is Your love proclaimed in the grave, Your fidelity in the tomb?

Are Your marvels declared in the darkness, Your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?


But I cry out to You, LORD; in the morning my Prayer comes before You.

Why do You reject me, LORD? Why hide Your Face from me?

I am mortally afflicted since youth; lifeless, I suffer Your terrible blows.

Your wrath has swept over me; Your terrors have reduced me to silence.

All the day they surge round like a flood; from every side they close in on me.

Because of You companions shun me; my only friend is darkness.