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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. Can you explain to me what it means to be spiritual dry?

A. 1. In Catholic spirituality, spiritual dryness is a lack of spiritual consolation in one's spiritual life. It is a period of time that can be from days long to years in length when one experience a great distance from God. It is a time frame during which one feel deprived of spiritual feelings, especially during contemplative prayer.

According to # 2731 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the matter of spiritual dryness, "Another difficulty, especially for those who sincerely want to pray, is dryness. Dryness belongs to contemplative prayer when the heart is separated from God, with no taste for thoughts, memories, and feelings, even spiritual ones. This is the moment of sheer faith clinging faithfully to Jesus in his agony and in his tomb. 'Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if dies, it bears much fruit.'[Lk 8:6, 13] If dryness is due to the lack of roots, because the word has fallen on rocky soil, the battle requires conversion."

A number of Saints have experienced spiritual dryness. We find this in the lives of Saint John of the Cross and St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Teresa of Ávila experienced a 20 year period of spiritual dryness. Mother Teresa spoke of it frequently in her diaries, indicating she experienced it most of her life (50 years).

Separation from God in spiritual dryness often leads to a greater closeness to the Divine Presence afterwards.

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