1. A heart gets broken and shuts out the world refusing to love again.
2. Discouragement in prayer leads to a lack of hope--stops praying.
3. Loss of faith leads to a loss of purpose.
4. Loss of purpose leads to apathy and indifference.
5. Eventually, the heart grows so cold that life is simply endured.
How often do these types of things happen slowly? Numerous broken relationships cause a person to withdraw from opening their heart to more pain. Discouragement comes in small quantities until it becomes a way of life. Faith is not simply centered on going to church, but how often do we see a gradual process in skipping Mass occasionally to becoming a Christmas and Easter attendee? The faith grows cold after a period of time simply being lukewarm.
On the other hand, do we see cycles of life in the other direction?
1. A heart experiences profound love and that overflows to everyone around.
2. A person finds great peace and hope in prayer--prays even more.
3. An increase in faith leads to a deeper commitment to holiness.
4. A sense of purpose leads to great fervor and enthusiasm.
5. A heart is on fire with love of God and neighbor--a saint impacts the world.
How often do these things grow gradually? A person experiences positive and loving relationships and this has a ripple effect unto others. We will not always get the warm fuzzies when we pray, but do we still sense the meaning and purpose of prayer? Does it prompt us to pray more? Do we truly strive for holiness with a little more zest and zeal with each passing year? Do we comprehend our calling to be a saint and strive to live out that calling well?
Reflect upon your own journey. What areas need to be addressed?
In three words or less, describe your spiritual journey at this very moment.