Chances are if you’re a Christian living out your Faith, you’ve experienced both some very high highs in your spiritual life and some very low lows. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a spiritual rut where you feel distanced from God or like you’ve become lazy in living out your Faith. Here are some practical ways to help get through the spiritual desert we all sometimes find ourselves in:

1. Go visit the Blessed Sacrament outside of Sunday Mass. When you find yourself in a spiritual wasteland, so to speak, the most important thing is, of course, to continue to pray, even if your prayer feels less inspired or devoted than it has in the past. If you’ve gone for a time without praying at all or only a little, you may need to reteach yourself how to pray and how to converse with God again. And it might take a great deal of effort and cause discomfort at first if you’ve broken the habit of prayer and need to reacquaint yourself with the person to whom you’re praying. The only way to reestablish a closeness with Our Lord, however, is through spending time with Him. You can of course pray anywhere and at any time throughout your day, but it is especially helpful when you are trying to rekindle your prayer life to physically go somewhere specifically to pray. To carve out a half hour or an hour in your evening and get in the car, drive to a church, and sit in a pew before the Tabernacle may require more effort, but it will hold you accountable to at least trying to pray for that amount of time. Ideally, you could go at a time when there is Adoration and pray before Our Lord face to face. But either way, set aside time in your day to spend praying in a quiet church in front of the Tabernacle.

        2. Go to an event or talk at your parish. When you’re in a rut and you’re feeling distanced from God, a very good way to feel closer to Him is to spend time with His Bride, the Church. Look up events, talks, or retreats happening at your parish or another one near you and put one in your calendar. Give yourself the opportunity to converse with or listen to other Catholics about their faith life as it will hopefully inspire you in your own faith life. Sometimes just being around others who are not stuck in a spiritual rut themselves will help pick you up out of yours. 

        3. Engage your intellect and spend time contemplating God. The best way to do this is probably to find good spiritual reading, but you could also just start listening to a Catholic podcast. Maybe replace the political or sports podcast you listen to in the morning on the way to work with one of the many great Catholic podcasts out there. Or maybe spend 10 minutes before you go to sleep reading a chapter of a spiritual book rather than scrolling online. Simply making sure God occupies more of your thoughts throughout the day will help get you out of a spiritual rut and hopefully lead to deeper and deeper contemplation of Him and of the Faith.

        4. Choose a patron saint to help you specifically at this time in your life. If you have special devotions to certain saints already, then you can certainly continue to ask for their intercession to help get you through your spiritual desert. However, it could be helpful to befriend a new saint at this time in your life that you’ve maybe never prayed to before and ask that they specifically help you get out of this particular rut. We all have friends at different points in our lives that help us through whatever trials we’re going through at that time. Maybe it’s always the same friend, but more likely, we’ve been close to different friends at different times that have helped us. The same can go for our friends in heaven. No matter which saint you choose to pray to, they will have experienced being in a spiritual desert and they will know how to intercede for you. By choosing a new patron saint to pray to specifically at this low time in your spiritual life, you will be gaining a new friend in heaven that you may have otherwise never prayed to.

        5. Lastly, remain close to the Sacraments. Even if you have been continuing to go to Mass and Confession during this low time in your spiritual life, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that those Sacraments have been doing nothing or having no effect. You may not feel the effects of the grace you’re receiving at this particular moment in your life as strongly as you have at others, but God is undoubtedly still working on you through the Sacraments. Try to receive them as reverently and devotedly as you can and seek out every opportunity you can to receive as much grace as possible, as, in the end, it is God alone who can and will always help pick us up out of our spiritual ruts time and time again.