We must be intellectually pious, that is, our piety should rest on the bedrock of principle, and not on mood, on sentiment, on spiritual consolation.
COMMENT: In the Gospel of St Matthew Jesus tells us that it is an unfaithful and wicked generation that looks for a sign. But despite this, how many of us continue along this path, seeking consolations and signs in all sorts of ways? There are those who are overly fascinated with apparitions and with miracles and signs and wonders and with the mystical gifts of saints rather than with their witness of heroic virtue. These things are not bad in themselves, but they can be a distraction, for they do not touch upon the truly essential thing. Our task is to love God simply because he is God.
It is true that God may for a time give some people special consolations and gifts. However, it is more likely that we will face many periods of dryness and spiritual aridity. Many of the saints experienced long periods of spiritual darkness, but they persevered because they loved Jesus. They were not mercenaries…
St Josemaria Escriva has expressed the attitude we should adopt very succinctly:
When you go to pray, let this be a firm resolution: Don’t prolong your prayer because you find consolation in it or shorten it because you feel dry.