The dryness which we sometimes experience in Meditation

October 9, 2021 • 3 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 59
By St. Francis de Sales


The dryness which we sometimes experience in Meditation.

Should it happen, Philothea, that you feel no relish or comfort in meditation, I conjure you not to disturb yourself on that account, but repeat some of the prayers which are most dear to your heart. Complaining of yourself to our Lord, confess your unworthiness, and beseech Him to assist you. Kiss his picture if you have it at hand, addressing to Him those words of Jacob: “I will not let Thee go, O Lord, till Thou hast given me thy blessing” (Gen. xxxii.); or those of the Canaanean woman: “Yea, Lord, I am a dog; but yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” (Matt. xv.)

At other times take up some spiritual book, and read it with attention, till your spirit is awakened, and returns to you. Or stir up your heart by some exterior act of devotion, such as prostrating yourself on the ground, crossing your hands before your breast, or embracing a crucifix—provided you be alone or in some private place.

But if you should, after all, receive no comfort, do not disturb yourself, be the dryness ever so excessive, but continue to keep yourself in a devout posture. How many courtiers go a hundred times a year into the prince’s presence-chamber, without hope of speaking to him, but only to be seen by him, and to pay their court to him?

So ought we come to prayer purely and solely to pay our homage, and testify our fidelity to God; and should it please his Divine Majesty to speak, and entertain Himself with us by his holy aspirations and interior consolations, it would doubtless be to us a great honour, and most delightful pleasure; but should it not please Him to grant us this favour, but leave us, without taking any more notice of us, than if we were not in his presence, we must not therefore depart, but remain before his Sovereign Goodness with a devout and respectful deportment: and then observing our diligence, our patience, and perseverance, He will, when we again come before Him, favour us with his consolations, and make us experience the sweetness of holy prayer.

Yet, if He should not do so, let us rest content, Philothea, for it is an exceeding great honour for us to come before Him and be admitted into his presence.

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