For the most part we are caught up in the repeating cycles of our ordinary lives. The French have a way of saying it: metro (subway), boulot (job), dodo (sleep). Repeating patterns can be daily or weekly or monthly or yearly. We may wish to escape the boredom that they bring, but they give us some security.

This is true of the spiritual life as well. We chafe at what appears to be endless repetition. Nothing seems to really happen once and for all. We may have had a conversion experience, or a wonderful retreat but then we wake up one day and realize that the struggles of our lives are still with us. We remain ourselves.

We keep on reentering into a pattern of retreat, graces received, the blurring of our renewed vision under the pressures of life, of the recurring of old issues, of the emergence of new ones, after which we feel the need for return to a time of retreat. Or else we experience the pattern of confession, forgiveness and liberation, followed by the continuation of our struggles with sin, confession again, and so on. And many simply give up.

Praise the Lord

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