Wisdom of the Saints about spiritual aridity

“Emulate the tiny ant; be an ant of God. Listen to the word of God, and hide it in your heart. Collect plenty of food during the happy days of your spiritual summers. You will then be able to endure the difficult days of temptations during the winters of your soul.” St. Augustine (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“Let us endure, let us endure…no suffering will be so richly rewarded as weariness of heart and spiritual pain. These are the greatest sufferings there are, and so they are deserving of greater fruit.” St. Catherine of Siena (14th-15th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“As to the aridity you are suffering from, it seems to me our Lord is treating you like someone He considers strong: He wants to test you and see if you love Him as much at times of aridity as when He sends you consolations. I think this is a very great favor for God to show you.” St. Teresa of Avila.  (16th century, Doctor of the Church)

“While you are in darkness and emptiness of spiritual poverty, you think that everyone and everything are failing you. This is not surprising, for then it also seems to you that God is failing you too…He who does not want any other thing than God does not walk in darkness, however dark and poor he finds himself…You are in a good way…Do not seek for any way but this and calm your soul, for all is well.” St. John of the Cross (16th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Consider the workings of Divine Providence and think that the refusal you meet with now is only God’s stratagem to increase your fervor. Remember how He acted towards the Canaanite woman, treating her harshly and refusing to see or listen to her. He seemed to be irritated by her importunity, but in reality He admired it and was delighted with her trust and humility, and for that reason He repulsed her. With what tenderness does He repulse those whom He most wishes to be indulgent to, hiding His clemency under the mask of cruelty! Take care not to be deceived by it. The more He seems to be unwilling, the more you must insist…Do not lose courage when you have begun so well to struggle with God. Do not give Him a moment’s rest. He loves the violence of your attack and wants to be overcome by you. Make importunity your watchword, let persistence be a miracle in you. Compel God to throw off the mask and say to you with admiration ‘Great is thy faith, be it done as thou wishest. I can no longer resist you, you shall have what you desire, in this life and the next’.” St. Claude de la Colombiere (17th century)

“Never leave prayer because of dryness or difficulty. Remain before God entirely plunged in His holy love, detached from all desire for your own pleasure. It might help to send out little darts of love, such as, ‘O my God, my true Good, I am Yours!’ and then remain in peace.” St. Paul of the Cross of  (17th-18th centuries)

“Sometimes, when I’m in such a state of spiritual dryness that I can’t find a single thought in my mind that will bring me close to God, I say an Our Father and a Hail Mary very slowly indeed. How they take me out of myself then!” St. Therese of Lisieux (19th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Jesus is realizing His work in your soul: let yourself be made and unmade, unmade with a smile, loving your actual situation whatever it may be. Be faithful in spiritual dryness, in drought, in the Gethsemane of the soul, and ‘He Who must come, will come.’ When? When He pleases to do so, but do not doubt His love…” Ven. Conception Cabrera de Armida (19th-20th centuries)

“No matter how great the trial to which the Lord is to subject you, no matter how unbearable your spiritual desolation at certain moments of your life, never lose heart. Have recourse with more childlike trust to Jesus Who will never be able to resist bestowing on you some little solace and comfort. Turn to Him at all times even when the devil tries to cast a pall over your life by showing you your sins.” St. Pio of Pietrelcina (19th-20th centuries)

“Fortunately, God does not always heed our protests and our cries of anguish. Instead He pours out upon us those precious graces, even though they may be bitter, which involves temptations, aridities, and even faults, as a mother, despite the wailing and the protests of her child, firmly applies the painful remedy that will give him health. Someday we shall understand that among the greatest graces God has given us in our life are precisely those disconcerting ones which make us think that God is abandoning us, when, on the contrary, He is attracting us; those which cause us to judge that we are falling away from our ideal, when, on the contrary, we are drawing nearer to the sweet goal of our hopes.” Servant of God Luis Martinez (19th-20th centuries)