Those in the Dark Night do not pray for consolations or desire to meditate, as those are contrary movements of the Holy Spirit. One does not pray as one did before in the other initial stages. Again, look at the charts from Garrigou-Lagrange for understanding on this.
St. Francis asked, "Who are Thou, Lord, and who am I?" This is the prayer of the person in the Dark Night.
The overall prayer is one for increased self-knowledge in the purgation of the senses and spirit.
Most of one's energies are interiorized. One does motions of activity, but one is more aware of what is happening to the soul, mind, heart than ever before. This is why the Dark Night happens to those who are either older, but not exclusively, or those who are forced into a passivity of life, owing to illness, such as St. Gemma Galgani, or even Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died alone in his own house. His final suffering was a sign of unity, as was that of Therese of Lisieux.
God removes Himself in order to be found. God is hidden in the shekinah glory, which is so bright, it creates a darkness on the mind and imagination. Until one is in this state, it is hard to describe.
Doubt does not have to accompany the Dark Night. In fact, what keeps one going is sheer faith, the continual saying "yes" to God over and over without knowing to what one is saying yes.
God does not want us to even commit venial sins. The Dark Night is the time of purgation of the predominant fault or faults. I have written about these here and one can follow the tags.
The call is to cooperate with grace so that one can move into the Illuminative State, which is the state of action.
Do not kid yourself. Unless you have gone through the Dark Night, all actions are still tainted with ego.
Only those who allow God to purify them enter into the state of Illumination wherein the deeds of God are done, not the deeds of man.
SS. Benedict, Dominic, Francis, Don Bosco, Philip Neri and all others who began religious orders were in the Illuminative State.
The great saint such as SS. Bernard, Aquinas, Therese the Little Flower and Catherine of Siena lived in the Illuminative State, entering into the Unitive before death, which is the sign of the saint.
Those who are canonized entered into union with God before death and show us the way.
I urge those who still think that their actions are building the Kingdom without purification to read the entire perfection series.
As St. Alphonsus reminds us people fear the loss of goods more than the loss of their souls. This is the tragedy of Americans and some Europeans who live only in the consumerist mentality and not in the spirit.
And becoming perfect is the only way to save souls, leading them to God and not to ourselves.
This is the great weakness of the Church today-too many shepherds are leading their sheep merely to them, to the cult of personality, to useless works.
And what is the primary work of the person in both the Dark Night and the Illuminative State? The salvation of souls....
CHAPTER XIV. The Eternal Love of God for us. From Introduction to the Devout Life
CONSIDER the Eternal Love God has borne you, in that, even before our Lord Jesus Christ became Man and suffered on the Cross for you, His Divine Majesty designed your existence and loved you. When did He begin to love you? When He began to be God, and that was never, for He ever was, without beginning and without end. Even so He always loved you from eternity, and therefore He made ready all the graces and gifts with which He has endowed you. He says by His prophet, “I have loved thee” (and it is YOU that He means) “with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” 210 And amid these drawings of His Love He led you to make these resolutions to serve Him.
What must resolutions be which God has foreseen, pondered, dwelt upon from all eternity? how dear and precious to us! Surely we should be ready to suffer anything whatsoever rather than let go one particle of the same. The whole world is not worth one soul, and the soul is worth but little without its good resolutions.
To be continued...