Dealing with Dryness

Posted: May 25, 2012 in bible, books, quotes

Something that I need to be reminded of regularly:

It is not necessary that we should have any unexpected, any extraordinary experiences in meditation [on God’s Word].  This can happen, but if it does not, it is not a sign that the meditation period has been useless.  Not only at the beginning, but repeatedly, there will be times when we feel a great spiritual dryness and apathy, an aversion, even an inability to meditate.  We dare not be balked by such experiences.  Above all, we must not allow them to keep us from adhering to our meditation period with great patience and fidelity. … It is here that our old vanity and our illicit claims upon God may creep in by a pious detour, as if it were our right to have nothing but elevating and fruitful experiences, and as if the discovery of our own inner poverty were quite below our dignity.  With that attitude we shall make no progress.  Impatience and self-reproach will only foster our complacency and entangle us ever more deeply in the net of self-centered introspection. … We must center our attention on the Word alone and leave consequences to its action.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York: HarperCollins, 1954), 83-84

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