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Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Soul in the Dark

St. John of the Cross noted that the house which is stilled, that is, one in which the senses are mortified, the fire of the passions put out, and the appetites, is in the Dark Night of the Soul. In this phase, the person does not have any consolations or clarity about God.

This is the stage of waiting.  There is great suffering in this stage, as a person has no trust in his or her own judgement and are not moved by consolations. The person lives in a holy fear, and a dryness. The reason for this dryness is so that the soul seeks God only.

John of the Cross gives us three signs of the Dark Night.

1) Self-knowledge causes pain and suffering.Truth about one's self brings a misery. Self-knowledge brings true humility.

2) There are no consolations, either from God or from men. This is a good sign, as God is weaning the person away from all things but Himself.

3) The soul in literally in the dark about all things, including what he should do and his own spiritual life.

One could add two more points outside these three; these are the necessity of silence and the loss of memory, which means that one is no longer concerned about the sins and failings of others.

Nothing matters but the search for God.

But, this search is NOT ACTIVE. In the passive purgation of the soul and body, God does all the work. One only needs to cooperate with grace and suffering. Mother Teresa's dark night was almost 50 years of silence and turmoil.

St. Gemma Galgani described her dark night:

No one will believe you and you will suffer scorn and reproof. No one will give you comfort; not even those you look up to. In fact, all will reproach you and you will feel great confusion. What will cause you more grief will be that the Heavens will be like bronze to you . Jesus will appear to you as a severe judge. You will pray, but you will feel as if you did not. You will look for Jesus, but you will not find Him.

You will feel that He is rejecting you. When you will try to recollect yourself, you will feel distracted. When you call upon the Blessed Mother and the Saints, no one will pity you. You will feel that everyone has abandoned you. When you will go to confession in order to receive Jesus, you shall not feel anything, and furthermore you will feel aversion for these things. When you will practice devotions, it will be out of necessity, and you will feel as if it was wasted time. You will believe, but without belief, you will hope, but as if you had no hope. You will love Jesus as if you did not love Him, because during this time you will not feel Him. You will hate living and you shall be afraid of death; you will not even be able to cry...

One must persist in prayer, even though one is in the dark.
I have cheated and gone back to the perfection discussion because of questions. But, a good teacher is always the one who gets off the main point and goes off on tangents.

I never taught to a test...I covered more than the tests..............

To be continued...