Here is he writing “to a lady living in the world”, who was evidently concerned that her duties in everyday life were distracting her and preventing her from enjoying a “spiritual life” (italics are in original, bold is added):
If we are really uniting ourselves with God’s Will, then we accept passively the duty of being active; whether active in external matters, or active about our own soul. We find God wishes us to be Martha, when we want to be Mary; and this happens every day in external matters. We throw ourselves into them because we do not choose them, but they are there to be carried out. (p.103)
“I am so very busy I can’t be very ‘spiritual'”, Abbot Chapman tells the same woman in an earlier letter (p.102). He puts this more bluntly in another letter to her:
I quite understand that you “used to have a supernatural life”, “a spiritual life”. I hope that is gone for good! We have to become like little children. We have just the feelings God gives us; and we thank Him for them, whether they are joys or temptations. (p.99)
You are on the look out for “consolation”, merely because you still imagine that you are not serving God properly when you are in dryness. Make up your mind once and for all that dryness is best, and you will find that you are frightened of having anything else! Embrace aridities and distractions and temptations, and you will find you love to be in darkness, and that there is a supersensible light that is simply extinguished by consolation! (p.99)
This reminds me a little of Luther’s concepts of tentatio and Anfechtung: the spiritual trials that make us despair of finding any comfort from within ourselves (what Abbot Chapman would call “consolation”), and instead encourage us to look entirely outwards from ourselves to Christ and God’s promises.