Jesuit Thomas Green, in his book “When the Well Runs Dry” draws the following insight from Ignatius. He says:
“..if the dryness of prayer is due to my own culpable infidelity, I will find myself drawn to ‘low and earthly things’ (St. Ingatius’ phrase), and will gradually seek my satisfaction more and more in them to the neglect of prayer.”
When we sin, it gets difficult to pray. Our sin clouds our ability to speak to God, makes us afraid and skittish to approach Him. We know we’ve done wrong, and we kn0w (even if we won’t admit it) that we must make amends by confessing and righting the wrong (if possible). But there is another effect as well. When we’ve allowed sin to come between us and God in prayer, and when our prayers become dry and dull as a consequence of our own disobedience, then we find ourselves more and more drawn to Ignatius’s “low and earthly things.” Spurning heaven, we embrace the earth, and try to suck our life from that dry well. Then, in a cruel spiral, we become hungrier and hungrier for God, filling ourselves more and more with the emptiness of the things of this life. Bloated, we are spiritually starving.
Have you been trapped in that spiral? Has your prayer life been dull, not because God is dull, but because you have unresolved sin in your life? Go before the Throne right now and ask God if there’s anything between you and Him–and prepare yourself to be surprised!