All the best stuff comes from Mount Carmel, it seems. A very wise priest suggested The Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross -- it was tough to get into at first, but very nutritious. Really squirmed on reading this:
"During the time, then, of the aridities of this night of sense [i.e., the lower element of the human soul] ... spiritual persons suffer great trials, by reason not so much of the aridities which they suffer, as of the fear that they have of being lost on the road, thinking that all spiritual blessing is over for them and that God has abandoned them since they find no help or pleasure in good things. Then they grow weary, and endeavor (as they have been accustomed to do) to concentrate their faculties with some degree of pleasure upon some object of meditation, thinking that, when they are not doing this and yet are conscious of making an effort, they are doing nothing. ...
"The way in which they are to conduct themselves in this night of sense is to devote themselves not at all to reasoning and meditation, since this is not the time for it, but to allow the soul to remain in peace and quietness, although it may seem clear to them that they are doing nothing and wasting their time, and although it may appear to them that it is because of their weakness that they have no desire in that state to think of anything. The truth is that they will be doing quite sufficient if they have patience and persevere in prayer without making any effort. What they must do is merely to leave the soul free and disencumbered and at rest from all knowledge and thought ... but contenting themselves with merely a peaceful and loving attentiveness toward God, without the ability and without desire to have experience of Him or to perceive Him."
This is rough stuff. For one like myself, whose instinct is generally to go and do something in any given situation, the counsel "Be still and know that the Lord is God" is unwelcome.
It's very easy and pleasant to be a Christian at first. God gives us many of what are technically called "sensible consolations," positive emotions and mental illuminations and the like. Conquering temptation is easy -- graces are abundant. But of course, as C. S. Lewis notes in The Screwtape Letters and St. John of the Cross here, this state of affairs does not last for ever. Physical children must be weaned from their mother's milk; spiritual children must also be weaned, given adult food -- "bread with crust," as the Carmelite mystic charmingly says in another passage.
We must not be discouraged by a loss of consolations; admittedly it is unpleasant to not have pleasant feelings, but that is why sacramentalism is such an important element of the Catholic faith. In every sacrament -- in the Blessed Sacrament -- there is something objective going on, something that does not depend upon our emotional state at the time. The Eucharist depends upon the spiritual office and intention of the priest, and that is one of the precious things about it: it exhibits the objectivity of God. ("Reality is that which, when you stop thinking about it, doesn't go away." -- Philip K. Dick.) We believe it is far more than a reminder, yet it is a reminder, that our faith is a faith in reality and not in ourselves.