And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.Matthew 28:20
So how has prayer been lately?
For me, it hasn’t been that great. In the planner that I use for Radiant with Joy, I like to track my prayer habits. As if I didn’t need to feel myself slipping, I can see it too. As this pandemic began, I had a great prayer life. I was praying a daily Rosary, I’d spend a lot of time doing intercessory prayer, and while I still could I would go to daily Mass often. When I couldn’t go to Mass, I’d read the Mass readings and make an act of Spiritual Communion.
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Having classes online and grieving my senior moments at SRU has me feeling really disheartened lately. It’s hard to concentrate on homework and even get out of bed in the morning. When I feel downtrodden like this, it’s hard for me to pray. It’s easy to lay around and remain in a bad mood, so I stay there. I get in the habit of dwelling in that sad, dark place when I get there, which makes it harder to get out.
If the FOCUS missionaries at Slippery Rock hadn’t encouraged us to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena, I probably wouldn’t have prayed at all this week. They asked several of us students to pray for an important intention, and because I love the missionaries, I had a good reason to pray the novena.
Even though praying only the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day didn’t make for a very fruitful prayer life, it was better than not praying at all. I learned to give myself credit for what I can do instead of beating myself up for what I could be doing. Yes, it would be ideal to not have gotten in this slump, but given the circumstances, this was unavoidable. Yes, I could try to dive right back into my prayer routine, but that would have overwhelmed me and pushed me deeper into my slump. I know I’ll be better this week because I didn’t give up on prayer. From here, I’ll take baby steps to get back to where I was. Little by little, my prayer life will be beautiful and fruitful again.
(Click here to read Why Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy?)
What do you do when you get in a prayer slump? Do you push through? Do you let yourself feel the way you feel? Do you pull yourself back up on your feet bit by bit? No matter what route you choose, the Lord is there amidst it all. As the perfect gentleman, he’s patient and doesn’t pursue you uninvited. Even though he waits for you to lean on him, he’s still there.
He promised to be with us always, and he still upholds this promise. I know it can be hard to feel his presence. When I watch the Mass, I long to be there and receive him in the Eucharist. Understandably, the Lord feels distant right now as we’re forced to separate ourselves from the sacraments, but the wonderful thing about him is that we don’t have to go to him to be near him. He comes to us. He’s here in our homes as we stay safe and protect others. He’s waiting for us to turn to him, to lean on him, to trust in him. He’s ready to embrace us and remind us of his love.
Life is uncertain, overwhelming, and scary right now, but that’s all the more reason to get out of your prayer slump. Take the smallest step that you might need and the Lord will meet you on your walk. Reach out your hand and he’ll take it and tell you “I am with you always.”
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