Getting out of a spiritual “funk”
It’s frustrating, isolating and downright sucks. This week, while sitting in Mass, I wasn't feeling it at all. Distracted by the baby crying behind me, the off-tempo canter and a crooked tablecloth on the altar I realized I needed a spiritual re-centering. The voice of my spiritual director floated into my head … “ Are you praying and are you reading scripture?”
My answer “no”
While we all know there is no silver bullet to have a full spiritual life (wouldn’t that be wonderful? ) there are some things that can help get back on track. St. Ignatius in his spiritual practices has 4 steps to get out of spiritual desolation; pray, meditate, examine and penitence.
Let's take the spirit of Ignatious and break that down to a practical list:
Read the Bible - Pick it up and start somewhere. Read some of the psalms, take a week or two and read through a gospel two chapters every morning. Be intentional about reading the daily mass readings in a magnificat or rely on trusty Pinterest to search for creative week or month long reading plans.
Pray - Pray a rosary, open a prayer book or just pray from the heart. Even when the emotions are their the practice of prayer is fundamental to staying on track. I always find myself tapping in Mary to help me get my emotions and spiritual posture in the right place.
Pick up a spiritual book - Sometimes I just need to get out of my day to day routine and see something from a different perspective. Books are an amazing way to refresh your perspective or to get you out of a funk. It never fails that even if I don’t feel like reading, once I pick something up I find it hard to put it down. Here are some of the ones I’ve been reading recently:
Tell a friend - Accountability is helpful. Talk to a friend and ask them to keep you accountable for your spiritual practices. While God can work through all things, not going to Mass, confession or taking time for reflection doesn’t set you up well for a closer relationship with God. Commit with a friend to read a book together, to pray a decade each day or to do a bible reading plan together. Accountability helps when you can’t do it alone.
Take a mini retreat - Sometimes a change of scenery can make all the difference. Check if you have a weekend retreat center nearby. Is there a or on a more practical note, can you go to a coffee shop for a few hours, turn off your phone and journal? A new location and taking time for quiet can help you see things in a new way and setting aside time for reflection gives the Holy Spirit some extra attention to say “okay, i’m listening”
Do an examination of conscious. Is there something keeping you from right relationship with Christ? Often I find doing a prayerful and thoughtful examination of conscious will help me realizing what is standing in the way of my relationship with Christ. Going through the examine methodically can help. And don’t forget to go to confession or talk to a priest after you’ve completed the examine!
God is more powerful than our actions and event Saints struggle with feeling the relationship with God (Pray for us Mother Teresa!). Our relationship with Christ is a journey and we should ensure we are putting practices and actions in our life to draw close to him.
What do you do when you are feeling spiritually disconnected?