In today’s Advent reading Isaiah mentions fresh joy. Those words struck a chord with me. I have not quite been in desolation lately but I have been close. I have been numbing a bit on video games which is never good for me. I need a dose of fresh joy to counter the heaviness of all that is dragging me down.
I have slowly regained some energy after being sick with the flu, caring for parents, recovering from some hard news that friends are going through, and staying up too late to get a good night’s sleep. I am sad which does not mean I am in desolation. I have been avoiding prayer time today though and that has told me that I could be heading in that direction. I went to mass this morning without having already done the readings and when I got home, I did not really want to hear them again. In fact I have only skimmed them tonight, latching onto the words fresh joy and unable to continue in a prayerful manner.
I have definitely entered Advent darkness and am trying to keep my eyes on the Light of the World. Usually I find solace in the readings at this time of year so to avoid them is a good warning light for me. I think starting tonight I should get a good night’s sleep and awake rested. I cannot control what is going on around me but I can monitor what is happening within me. One of the great benefits of the Spiritual Exercises is that I can take stock of how I am feeling — am I in consolation or desolation? Is it hard consolation where I am struggling but feeling close to God still? Is it subtle desolation where I think I am happy but I am actually turning away from God. I am on the cusp. I need to turn and face the Light again, turning away from the distractions that threaten my sanity. I need a healthy dose of fresh joy.
May we be attentive to the movements of the Spirit in our lives.
What would some fresh joy do for you right now?
How would monitoring your spiritual movements toward consolation or desolation assist you in your faith journey?
Light of the World, shine on my path and help me to freely move forward with you. Amen.