The long, dark sickday of the soul

posted by Mike on March 21st, 2007

I’ve felt spiritually derailed this year, and the Lenten season just makes it that much more obvious. A day or two of prayer and fasting usually gets me back on track–in fact, I’ve never known it to fail. But I’ve been sick for a week and a half, and in no mood to take on any more spiritual disciplines till I’m feeling better.

Part of the trouble is that I haven’t lived in a Catholic Worker community for six months. For all the drawbacks of the Catholic Worker lifestyle, it does make it easy to integrate spirituality into the flow of your life.

When my life isn’t spiritually grounded, my activism isn’t grounded, either. When the rest of my life is going well, activism is a joy, or at least fun in a quixotic way. But these days, my projects have been a real chore.

Many radicals of vastly more experience than myself refer to their work as “resistance,” which is a word I don’t really like. As a Christian, I think that Truth and Love are the background of reality. I don’t want to stand up to Evil like a wall, I want my life to be sharp like a pin, so that when confronted with Evil I can make little pinpricks in it, letting Truth and Love seep through, eventually eroding it. But at the moment, my work feels like “resistance,” as though I’m standing against evil alone, rather than being a tool of God’s love.

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One Comment Leave a comment.

  1. On March 21, 2007 at 16:44 Tracy Novick said:

    Mike,
    You have my great empathy on this…empathy, because I feel the same this Lent. Someone, however, suggested to me that I am “living Lent” this year: that the spiritual aridity is my trudge through the desert. And that happens, sometimes. We just have to keep walking until we feel inspired again.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re sick. Need some soup?

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