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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Keeping the Goal in Mind in The Dark Night

Before I move on to more on the Dark Night of the Senses and Spirit, I shall share a positive goal, which many need to remember when going through such suffering.

Here is St. John of the Cross on this goal.

If a model for the painting or retouching of a portrait should 
move because of a desire to do something, the artist would be unable to 
finish and the work would be spoiled. Similarly, any operation, affection, 
or thought a soul might cling to when it wants to abide in interior peace 
and idleness would cause distraction and disquietude, and make it feel 
sensory dryness and emptiness. The more a person seeks some support in 
knowledge and affection the more the soul will feel the lack of these, for 
this support cannot be supplied through these sensory means.

10.6. Accordingly, such persons should not mind if the operations of their 
faculties are being lost to them; they should desire rather that this be 
done quickly so they may be no obstacle to the operation of the infused 
contemplation God is bestowing, so they may receive it with more peaceful 
plenitude and make room in the spirit for the enkindling and burning of the 
love that this dark and secret contemplation bears and communicates to the 
soul. For contemplation is nothing else than a secret and peaceful and 
loving inflow of God, which, if not hampered, fires the soul in the spirit 
of love

These blessings are attained when by means of this night the soul 
departs from all created things, in its affections and operations, and 
walks on toward eternal things. This is a great happiness and grace: first, 
because of the signal benefit of quenching one's appetite and affection for 
all things; second, because there are very few who will endure the night 
and persevere in entering through this narrow gate and treading this 
constricted road that leads to life, as our Savior says [Mt. 7:14].