Today I picked up a used book entitled "Companions For Your Spiritual Journey" by Mark Harris, published by Inter Varsity Press. Harris quotes from many of the mystics from past generations including Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich.
Harris writes the following as the introduction to one of the chapters:
OBSTACLES ON THE JOURNEY:
"Some travelers never make it to their destination because they are unprepared for obstacles they encounter. Too often these obstacles leave pilgrims frustrated or disoriented, resigned to making little or no headway. Spiritual dryness, prayerlessness, temptation and discouragement can make us wonder whether it is possible or worthwhile to stay the course of Christian pilgrimage. John Newton, Origen, the Desert Fathers and Evelyn Underhill assure us that there is a way through these obstacles. More than that, these masters of the spiritual life invite us to understand that, appreciated rightly, these obstacles have the potential to move us forward on the hard but joyful road of Christian pilgrimage."
Sounds good to me! I can't wait to get started on this book but...right now...I better get into bed.