Q - Can you offer some advice on your motivation and commitment to live each day immersed in the faith? Do you ever have feelings of apathy which I have been experiencing for a while? Any advice on how to stay focused would be appreciated!
A - Thanks for the question. Rest assured, you are in good company! All of us have difficulties with prayer and faith-issues and this is not abnormal. But, there is good news, you can go beyond these feelings.
Prayer and a spiritual life is like any other relationship. Many of us start out basing it, in many ways, on experience and emotion. This, as in a romantic relationship, is a good thing, because it helps bring two people closer together. But, real love can only be fostered once we stop relying on emotions and how we feel about the other. Once the emotions leave, we must decide to love the other. Real love being choosing what is best for another regardless of the cost to myself.
This kind of love doesn't come easy and there are times when you will feel far from God and that your prayer is dry. But, you are not alone and should seek the help of a good spiritual director or confessor to help you. Also, you need to continue to pray, even though it may not feel good to do so. This is a sign of true love - to choose to pray, even when you may not want to, because you know it is the best thing to do. If you continue to pray, your faith will continue to grow beyond the feelings.
These dry times are a gift from God. They may not feel like a gift, but they truly are. The reason they are a gift is because we have the opportunity to leave behind our feelings and go deeper into a true loving relationship with God. So, don't waste such an opportunity!
I will keep you in prayer.