“Because we are offered so many things that are immediately satisfying (albeit in a superficial way), it is hard to remain spiritually hungry. We give answers too quickly, take away pain too easily, and too commonly stimulate ourselves with nonsense. In terms of soul work, we dare not get rid of pain before we have learned what it has to teach us. Much that we call entertainment, vacations, or recreation are merely diversionary tactics, and they do not ‘re-create’ us at all. The word vacation is from the same root as vacuum, and means to ’empty out,’ not to fill up. One wonders how many people actually have such vacations!
We must be taught HOW to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions, and some days without meaning. That is the path, the perilous dark path of true prayer. It is how contemplative prayer differs from the mere recitation of prayers (which can actually be another diversionary tactic instead of any kind of self-emptying).” -Richard Rohr