I feel like I've been living an odd double life lately. Several weeks ago I went on retreat and came home feeling very refreshed in spirit. I've been greatly inspired the writings of Elisabeth Leseur and Julian of Norwich. In the middle of the night I wake up and experience what I guess you could call "consolations": a sense of peace and joy, a desire to pray, the desire to forgive, material for fresh and fruitful meditation.
And yet, it doesn't seem like this spiritual goodness is bearing a lot of fruit in action. I'm as disorganized as ever. I can't seem to discipline my will to stay on task or to keep the kids on task with their lessons and work. Am I more patient and loving? Maybe. I don't know. My kids probably don't think so. Am I more present to my family? I don't feel like it. I feel checked out and immobile, unready for action, unwilling to enforce order, schedule, or basic routine. I am not the wife from Proverbs 31 who gets up when it's still dark and manages her family and spins her flax and clothes her charges and makes her own headcheese, etc.
In short, the consolations come without my exerting any effort, and though I am deeply grateful for them, I find that in matters which do require me to exert effort and discipline my will to do boring, routine, or frustrating things -- which is about 90% of my daily existence -- I'm slacking off, again. I'm not actually feeling the discontents of bootstrapping it at the moment, but I'm also not sure if I'm even kinda doing my work. Is there a benefit to being spiritually at peace if it doesn't lead to improvement in other areas of life? Am I making life better for my husband and children, or is this just like hogging all the chocolate? And yet I didn't ask for this gift, so God must know that I need it in one way or another.
St. Anselm/John of Fecamp, Oratio XXVII (for priests)
50 minutes ago