Often it happens that the people who go on the path of the good Christian living all of a sudden and apparently without any reason begin to feel a paralysis of all the spiritual powers and as a result of that they feel an estrangement of all their spiritual endeavours from before. This thing happens to everyone from time to time. It is mentioned by all those who write about the spiritual life. Saint Mark the Hermit mentions three enemies: ignorance and oblivion, idleness and recklessness, callousness and hardening.
It may be possible that God in person sends these for teaching a lesson – not to put our trust in ourselves. Sometimes we undertake too many things and expect a lot from our endeavours, means and toils. But we see that God takes away the grace and leaves us alone, seemingly saying: `Come on, try your powers.`
The more are the natural gifts the more necessary is this lesson. If we understand this thing, we should endure. These are also sent as a punishment for the irrational passionate tendencies we allow and don`t condemn and don`t repent for.
The indifference and coldness come the most as a result of anger, injustice, annoyance, condemnation, pride and the others alike them. One thing remains to us – to pray for escaping from this dryness and callousness. When we feel coldness and callousness it is difficult to keep in mind the words of the prayer but it is possible. We must strive against our self. Exactly the wear of our self will be the means for convincing God to be merciful and return grace. We must never renounce at prayer.
Saint Makarios says: `God sees how sincerely you wish this good and sends it to you. Make the prayer against the coldness of the heart with your own words before the customary prayers and after that as if you brought before Him a dead soul: `See God how my soul is. Say therefore a word and it shall be healed.` Sspeak to God more often during the day with the same words.
Excerpt from Wise counsels– Saint Teophanus the Recluse, Egumeniţa.