3 Tips from Mother Cabrini on Overcoming Spiritual Dryness

In 1892, one of the Missionary Sisters wrote to Mother Cabrini, concerned about how dry her prayer life had become. She received what was probably a surprising reply.

“I rejoice with you for the eminent degree of holiness to which God calls you with the gift of great aridity,” wrote Mother Cabrini, “Courage, my daughter, it is in the battle that the valor of a soldier is proved and so it must be with a true missionary. Would that God willed that I could suffer like you, but instead He always treats me like a child.”

What Mother Cabrini suggests to the worried Sister is that dryness and difficulty are merely paths some of us are asked to walk as we draw near to Christ. From her perspective, the issue isn’t how rocky or smooth the path is, but where it leads.

In other letters to other Sisters, Mother Cabrini offered wisdom on strategies for navigating the path:

1. Ask God for Help
“Cast yourselves into the arms of God, enclose yourselves in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ask Him to work freely in your soul and promise Him never to complain or say “no” to anything He asks of you. Do not exaggerate by making things seem big when they are really small, for all earthly things are small in comparison with God’s love.”

2. Tell Jesus You Love Him
“Tell Jesus often that you love Him ever so much and repeat it often whenever you feel tepid or like a rock. An act of love for Jesus is the only means of enkindling the fire in your heart.”

3. Invoke the Holy Spirit
“If you languish with tepidity and it seems you can do no good but you still wish to be fervent, try to be devout to the Holy Spirit, invoking him often and with your whole heart.”

Mother Cabrini would urge us, of course, to whole-hearted persistence in all of this because “the spirit of prayer knows no obstacles, admits no delay, despises dangers. Its end is the glory of God, the prosperity of Christ’s interests, the extension of His kingdom, our personal sanctification and that of our neighbor.”

St. Frances Cabrini, pray that we may strive to love and serve Jesus as deeply as you did.

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© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.