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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dark Night Queries

A highly spiritual and intelligent reader asked me some questions on the Dark Night and I shall attempt to answer these in bullet point form.

  • The dryness of the Dark Night has nothing to do with circumstances of Liturgical aberrations or bad clergymen. 
  • The dryness of the Dark Night is personal, and internal, not external. God can use circumstances to begin the suffering, but the externals are not what is important.
  • Not having a community is not a sigh either of the Dark Night or Illuminative States. One can be alone in the secular world without support and still enter the Unitive State. It is God's call how this happens.
  • Those who are in the Dark Night for years are not to be judged, as God sees with His Eyes and we are extremely limited in discerning such growth. The short period of time for St. John of the Cross, about nine months, compared to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's fifty years cannot be understood by us at all. God leads different people in different ways. The main point is that the Dark Night is the time of purgation of the senses and the spirit, as explained in the long series.
  • Depression and despondency are not necessarily indicators of the Dark Night. In fact, depression is a spiritual state not recognized as part of the spiritual life of purgation. None of us would necessarily recognize a person in the Dark Night, as they may be joyful with St. Therese's "unfelt joy" and working hard in the Church or in other jobs, or as parents in a family. Again, it is the interior journey which must be emphasized.
  • A good spiritual director may help, but I know from experience that these are few and far between. Many priests have not allowed themselves to enter into the Dark Night and live on the level of Faith. I have discovered about five in my entire life. The best priests to seek out with regard to the experience of the Dark Night are traditional Carmelites, FSSPs and Opus Dei priests.
  • DO NOT ask in the Dark Night "What am I to do?" One does not change direction of vocation in the Dark Night and the Dark Night is not about doing but being, and being passive. Asking what one should do is pride in disguise. One must ask for the graces to be purified.
  • Bitterness, cynicism, impatience and other connected sins rearing up in the Dark Night point to the predominant fault(s) of a person, such as pride, anger, greed and so on. Quickly deal with those in Confession and the process will continue more quickly.
  • The Dark Night is about learning who one really is before God-nothing, basically, but a sinful creature.
  • One is the Dark Night waits on God.
  • Meditating on the Passion of Christ must be part of the Dark Night and if one is doing this already, this is an indication that one is in the time of purgation.
To be continued...