So here's a little something something from the 8th rule of St. Ignatius for the discernment of spirits...
Sometimes it feels like we are far from God, or God is far from me. I don't think that I have done anything wrong yet it feels like God has jumped ship, fled the scene, hung me out to dry. What happens? The thoughts start to come...this is going to last forever...there is no end in sight...I can't stand this- why is this happening?...I am going to watch a movie, listen to music, go...anywhere! Whatever it takes (besides prayer, of course) to feel better and get through this.
Devil alert! The enemy of my soul is present when those are the thoughts that I am thinking, repeating, believing...hook, line, and sinker. In rule 8 of his rules of discernment, St. Ignatius says that we should think positively. God does not abandon us but does allow for moments of trial. I should think that God is about to end this spell of desolation and trial. He is about to draw near once more. The previous lights and graces that I enjoyed are soon to return!
The other option is thinking negatively. Thinking that this period of spiritual darkness will last forever is what can make the time of difficulty actually unbearable. I remember a powerful seen in Lincoln when the president is speaking with his wife, Mary. She is imploring him not to let their son enter the army because she does not want to endure again that pain and suffering that she continued to carry after the loss of their first son. President Lincoln speaks strongly to her of his own suffering, of the grief that has overwhelmed him almost to the point of being unable to carry out his duties. He concludes by telling his wife that she alone will determine whether or not the agony will indeed be unendurable.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:26:
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"