As she fights distraction and spiritual dryness, Sherry Antonetti prays that God will peel away anything that keeps her from growing closer to Him.
Recently, I struggled with spiritual dryness. We all know this is part of faith formation, growth and maturity, to weather when it is not easy to pray. Trusting in God when He feels distant, or more accurately, when we feel estranged for whatever reason (fatigue, frustration, anger, hurt), is part of the journey we see over and over again in Scripture. We are not called to be successful, but to be faithful, and anything else is a Gospel of good feelings and prosperity.
Still, I would like to recover some of that focus that seemed so effortless only three years ago and always was. Now everything is willed, and willed admittedly with no small amount of distraction. I've tried multiple methods of helping with focus: readings, writings, Adoration, the Rosary or some other prayer discipline—and my brain seems perpetually looking for elsewhere. I fall asleep in Adoration. My brain meanders in Mass. It feels like every attempt at devotion is a strikeout or, at best, a walk.
Fortunately, God knows me well enough to pull me in deeper differently. Recently, my son who struggles with the faith, decided it's time to talk about the homily after each Mass—and his need to explore what it means and why it means, is a means for me to go deeper than I knew. So his struggle with the faith is a severe mercy for me, because it pierces my distraction in a way I could not on my own.
It is the reality of our spiritual lives. We may wrestle with God, but we only come to really know God through loving Him and others ... and so we come to how I go to Adoration or my prayers now as a 55-year-old with teens and older children ... where the prayers become a means of asking God to peel away all that distracts me from loving them or Him.
God wants me to want Him for His sake, just as I love my children for their being. God wants me to stop coming to Him for the next miracle, and to sit at His feet knowing that this is the better portion. I'm not yet there, but I'm grateful for this dryness and what it has revealed even if I don't like the process of knowing it.
It is God's attempt to peel away at my mistakes and misunderstandings about what it means to love them or love Him. The only answer is, "Peel away, God. Peel away."
Copyright 2022 Sherry Antonetti
Image: Canva Pro
About the Author
Sherry Antonetti is a Catholic published author, freelance writer and part-time teacher. She lives with her husband and 10 children just outside of Washington, DC, where she's busy editing her upcoming book, A Doctor a Day, to be published by Sophia Institute Press. You can find her other writings linked up at her blog, Chocolate For Your Brain! or on Amazon.