I have many posts in the next day or two or three on the Dark Night, via Fr. Kieran Kavanaugh's commentary and translation of this event.
I shall try and simplify the ideas. The first point is that Kavanaugh points out that the ascent of the spirit is initiated by us, but the Dark Night is initiated by God.
I do know this is true. Only God can take us into the passive part of the Dark Night.
The center of the ascent and the Dark Night is the same-humility.
One must really allow God to take all away, all attachments which hold us back from His Pure Love.
When one has the center of humility, as St. John notes, nothing weighs us down, and nothing casts us up. To be in pain and defeat would be the same as being successful.
This is complete detachment. Humility is complete detachment from expectations and the tendency to sin.
Humility is detachment from even the good. This is a great mystery.
St. John writes, "To come to be what you are not you must go by the way in which you are not....and when you come to the possession of all you must possess it without wanting anything."
God takes us there in baby steps. But, these steps involve pain and letting go.
Until one stops looking for consolation and trusts completely in God, humility cannot grow in the soul.
Let humility grow.
to be continued....