A routine of misplaced spiritual efforts can only be cured by our receptivity to the action of God’s grace in us. “Misplaced” might be too strong a term. “Static” is more descriptive. If we think our spiritual journey has become mired at some point, I suggest it is because we have lost or ignored the necessary receptivity to Your actions within us. It may be necessary to occasionally take time for discernment about what’s going on in our spiritual life.
The will to discern is itself an indication of receptivity and a desire to move on from where we’re at. I think spiritual efforts become misplaced when what once moved us along in our journey from point A to point B now has become a mode of comfort and habit at which, because we have comprehended it, we wish to dwell. The tricky part is in discerning these points.
One spiritual writer has said that, most simply put, the process of discernment yields that within us which is consoling, peaceful, certain, joyous and right, OR, that which is desolate, confusing, anxiety-ridden and dreadful. The former, of course, being those things which are good and worthy of pursuit.
But there are pitfalls in this simple form of discernment: if we discern that what we are doing presently is consoling, peaceful, joyous and certain we might logically decide to “stand pat.”
There should always be the influence of progress in the discernments we make. Attempts to get a clear picture of where we’re at should not be made so we can stay there but rather to move on. Even “refinements” of what we do now are signs of progress. But if in our discernments we find a dry, desolate boredom in our present journey it’s time to alter our course and set sail in new directions.