Side Effects of Spending Time With God

mountain high

 

Luke 6:45

“A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

 

When we love something, we have a tendency to talk non-stop about it. Think of your local sports fanatic, a friend who is about to get married, or look on tumblr at all the fans swooning over Hamilton and the endless comic book adaptations on TV and in the movies. For me, especially, I can’t stop talking about how much I love or hate something.

Last week, however, I couldn’t seem to stop talking about how much I love God. I spent so much time in Daily Mass, Adoration, Stations of the Cross, and praying in general last week that I ended up talking about my faith in a job interview and offering prayers to people who aren’t particularly religious. This is not something that I would often do, nor was it something that happened intentionally. I was so filled up with God that He comes pouring out of me.

In other words, I was basically on a spiritual high. I was receiving a lot of consolations as a side effect of spending so much time with God. But it makes sense. When you spend so much time doing something or thinking about something, it becomes all that you talk about.

In last Sunday’s gospel, Peter, James, and John had their own version of this experience during the Transfiguration. Peter wanted to stay in that moment so much, he wanted to build three tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. As moronic as he was (since the Gospel even said he didn’t even know what he was saying), I can totally relate to it. I wanted that feeling I had to stay with me for the rest of Lent. Alas, it didn’t.

I still feel God’s presence in my life, even if it’s not as strong as it used to be. Besides that, I’m in my first week of renewing my Marian Consecration, so there are still many graces that will hopefully come my way this Lenten season. In the meantime, here’s a little reminder about spiritual highs from Blimey Cow:

Lent Day 13: Aftermath

At the end of the retreat I staffed yesterday, there was a talk about how to take what you’ve learned from the retreat and carry it with you. 

It seems like after a retreat, there are five stages that retreaters go through.

  1. Adding everyone you met at the retreat onto social media accounts, whether you really bonded with them or not
  2. Having a spiritual high, feeling totally motivated to go out into the world and spread the good news.
  3. Getting caught up in everyday life and eventually slipping up
  4. Feeling guilty about slipping up
  5. Realizing that God’s mercy is infinite and all the stuff you heard at the retreat was seriously true.

But as the awesome young adults at Blimey Cow pointed out, a spiritual high is just a feeling. And feelings, as I’ve learned recently are not always reliable. However, as I said before, pushing away emotions is just as unhealthy as dwelling on your emotions.

So the question remains: What exactly can you do when the spiritual high is gone?

One suggestion from Fr. Robert Barron is to take prayer with you on your daily commute. Pope Francis suggested something similar, only he used a train ride as a hypothetical situation instead of a car. Think of it as a tiny spiritual energy boost. It saves you from being rude to other drivers and you can forgive said other drivers if and when they are ever rude to you.

But that’s everyday life, you say. What about when we find ourselves at our lowest point?

“Hand it over.” Also known as “Offer it up.” Catholics say either one of these phrases a lot. But what does it mean?

Handing your problems over or offering up your sufferings means sharing in Christ’s suffering, putting meaning to your suffering. Also, be joyful in your suffering. NOTE: THIS IS NOT A FORM OF MASOCHISM! Being joyful in your suffering means acknowledging that whatever bad things are happening in your life are temporary. Even if the entire year seems to suck for you, eventually it will pass over and a new year will begin.

This is definitely easier said than done, I know. But I put that list of songs yesterday for anyone who felt like they were at their lowest point.

After all, according to The Legend of Korra, “When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I will end this post with a prayer attributed to him:

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