I'm risking some TMI (too much information) here. I do so to show the deep struggle that is the life of earnest prayer---not just praying for things, but the deeper way of prayer leading to the goal of the spiritual life: union with God. In July of 2009, I was wrestling with the pain and humiliation of a failed marriage and wondering what it all meant, how I could continue on.

"What is this school you've got me in, Lord?"

And God said: "You once prayed, 'Teach me to love, till I love Love above all, till I am Love.' This school's is an answer to your prayer."

"Yes, I remember, but I didn't think learning to love would require this. I guess I thought love would be enjoyable."

"Love will cost you everything."

"Then I didn't mean it."

"You didn't know then what learning to love would mean. Who does? But I mean for you to learn it. Do you think this was only your idea?"

"Then I'm tired of it. I'm hurt, broken, pretty much a failure. I guess I'm tired of You too. You make things pretty tough."

"And sometimes I'm tired of you. You make things pretty tough. But this doesn't have to be as hard as you're making it. It's your attachments that make it feel like this learning-to-love is killing you. That part of you must die. Unless it does, you'll never live in Love. This isn't the end of you; it's the beginning. So stop resisting, and let Me take these lesser things from you. They are not the true you anyway."