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Friday 2 August 2013

"Any American reader who wants to know where Obamification will lead should spend a week with me in the European Parliament. I’m working in your future and, believe me, you won’t like it.

 I am a great fan of Daniel Hannan, except we would disagree on drugs. Does anyone know his position on abortion?

And another interesting point of view from him....

Dark Night of the Soul, Part 19

As mentioned before in the perfection series, St. David himself is an example of one who knew this movement of the Holy Spirit. John of the Cross makes here the distinction between the dark night of the senses-the purification of the senses, and the dark night of the spirit, the purification of the spirit.
John of the Cross' texts are all from the same site.  One can see the overlapping of ideas and experiences with St. Teresa of Avila. But, whereas Teresa is more descriptive, John is more systematic.

6. And in order to prove more completely how efficacious is this night of sense, with its aridity and its desolation, in bringing the soul that light which, as we say, it receives there from God, we shall quote that passage of David, wherein he clearly describes the great power which is in this night for bringing the soul this lofty knowledge of God. He says, then, thus: ‘In the desert land, waterless, dry and pathless, I appeared before Thee, that I might see Thy virtue and Thy glory.’90 It is a wondrous thing that David should say here that the means and the preparation for his knowledge of the glory of God were not the spiritual delights and the many pleasures which he had experienced, but the aridities and detachments of his sensual nature, which is here to be understood by the dry and desert land. No less wondrous is it that he should describe as the road to his perception and vision of the virtue of God, not the Divine meditations and conceptions of which he had often made use, but his being unable to form any conception of God or to walk by meditation produced by imaginary consideration, which is here to be understood by the pathless land. So that the means to a knowledge of God and of oneself is this dark night with its aridities and voids, although it leads not to a knowledge of Him of the same plenitude and abundance that comes from the other night of the spirit, since this is only, as it were, the beginning of that other.
7. Likewise, from the aridities and voids of this night of the desire, the soul draws spiritual humility, which is the contrary virtue to the first capital sin, which, as we said, is spiritual pride. Through this humility, which is acquired by the said knowledge of self, the soul is purged from all those imperfections whereinto it fell with respect to that sin of pride, in the time of its prosperity. For it sees itself so dry and miserable that the idea never even occurs to it that it is making better progress than others, or outstripping them, as it believed itself to be doing before. On the contrary, it recognizes that others are making better progress than itself.

8. And hence arises the love of its neighbours, for it esteems them, and judges them not as it was wont to do aforetime, when it saw that itself had great fervour and others not so. It is aware only of its own wretchedness, which it keeps before its eyes to such an extent that it never forgets it, nor takes occasion to set its eyes on anyone else. This was described wonderfully by David, when he was in this night, in these words: ‘I was dumb and was humbled and kept silence from good things and my sorrow was renewed.’91 This he says because it seemed to him that the good that was in his soul had so completely departed that not only did he neither speak nor find any language concerning it, but with respect to the good of others he was likewise dumb because of his grief at the knowledge of his misery.

Breaking News for Americans and English Update

Re-posting and reminder of June 6th chart and the Dark Night, Post 18

By request, a repetition...of the fruit of Garrigou-Lagrange...The Dark Night is part of the Illuminative State.

For those who love charts...on the way to perfection, start bottom up

(To be read from the bottom up)

Unitive life of the perfect
◊ full◊ extraordinary, e.g., with the vision of the Blessed Trinity
◊ weak
◊  ordinary
• eminent contemplative form
• apostolic form
◊ initial◊ not very continual union, often interrupted
Illuminative life of proficients
◊ full infused contemplation
◊ extraordinary or accompanied by visions, revelations
◊ ordinary
clearly contemplative form
 active form, or form ordained to action, e.g., gift of wisdom under practical form
◊ weak◊ transitory acts of infused contemplation (d. The Dark Night, Bk. I, chap. 9)
◊ initial◊ passive purification of the senses more or less well borne (initial infused contemplation)
Purgative life of beginners
◊ full or generous◊ fervent souls pious and devout souls
◊ weak◊ tepid or retarded souls, not without relapses
◊ initial◊ first conversion or justification

The Dark Night, Part 17

One of the main reasons why God calls the Bride into the desert is for detachment. Now, one does not go around in sackcloth and ashes in this stage, but continues doing whatever work God is calling one to do. The cleansing is private, the detachment quiet. In fact, in the Dark Night, one needs more and more solitude in order to hear the very still, small voice of God, as He does not speak to one in thunder or lightening at this stage.

The great gift of the Dark Night is self-knowledge.

Many people fight God instead of entering into the Dark Night of the Soul. This merely delays the stage to purgatory.

4. And here we must note another excellent benefit which there is in this night and aridity of the desire of sense, since we have had occasion to speak of it. It is that, in this dark night of the desire (to the end that the words of the Prophet may be fulfilled, namely: ‘Thy light shall shine in the darkness’84), God will enlighten the soul, giving it knowledge, not only of its lowliness and wretchedness, as we have said, but likewise of the greatness and excellence of God. For, as well as quenching the desires and pleasures and attachments of sense, He cleanses and frees the understanding that it may understand the truth; for pleasure of sense and desire, even though it be for spiritual things, darkens and obstructs the spirit, and furthermore that straitness and aridity of sense enlightens and quickens the understanding, as says Isaias.85 Vexation makes us to understand how the soul that is empty and disencumbered, as is necessary for His Divine influence, is instructed supernaturally by God in His Divine wisdom, through this dark and arid night of contemplation,86 as we have said; and this instruction God gave not in those first sweetnesses and joys.
5. This is very well explained by the same prophet Isaias, where he says: ‘Whom shall God teach His knowledge, and whom shall He make to understand the hearing?’ To those, He says, that are weaned from the milk and drawn away from the breasts.87 Here it is shown that the first milk of spiritual sweetness is no preparation for this Divine influence, neither is there preparation in attachment to the breast of delectable meditations, belonging to the faculties of sense, which gave the soul pleasure; such preparation consists rather in the lack of the one and withdrawal from the other. Inasmuch as, in order to listen to God, the soul needs to stand upright and to be detached, with regard to affection and sense, even as the Prophet says concerning himself, in these words: I will stand upon my watch (this is that detachment of desire) and I will make firm my step (that is, I will not meditate with sense), in order to contemplate (that is, in order to understand that which may come to me from God).88 So we have now arrived at this, that from this arid night there first of all comes self-knowledge, whence, as from a foundation, rises this other knowledge of God. For which cause Saint Augustine said to God: ‘Let me know myself, Lord, and I shall know Thee.’89 For, as the philosophers say, one extreme can be well known by another.

The Dark Night, Part 16

Aridity and abandonment were the two words I wanted to highlight in the last post. In this one, the word is detachment. In the Dark Night, one has given all to God and is becoming more and more detached from things, people, places. No longer does it matter where one is or what one is doing. All is in the enveloping shadow of God's Will. One may not even know what to do, but follows daily, step by step.

In a nutshell, one can say, "I no longer care what happens to me, as long as I am in the Will of God."

3. In the first place, the soul learns to commune with God with more respect and more courtesy, such as a soul must ever observe in converse with the Most High. These it knew not in its prosperous times of comfort and consolation, for that comforting favour which it experienced made its craving for God somewhat bolder than was fitting, and discourteous and ill-considered. Even so did it happen to Moses, when he perceived that God was speaking to him; blinded by that pleasure and desire, without further consideration, he would have made bold to go to Him if God had not commanded him to stay and put off his shoes. By this incident we are shown the respect and discretion in detachment of desire wherewith a man is to commune with God. When Moses had obeyed in this matter, he became so discreet and so attentive that the Scripture says that not only did he not make bold to draw near to God, but that he dared not even look at Him. For, having taken off the shoes of his desires and pleasures, he became very conscious of his wretchedness in the sight of God, as befitted one about to hear the word of God. Even so likewise the preparation which God granted to Job in order that he might speak with Him consisted not in those delights and glories which Job himself reports that he was wont to have in his God, but in leaving him naked upon a dung-hill,82 abandoned and even persecuted by his friends, filled with anguish and bitterness, and the earth covered with worms. And then the Most High God, He that lifts up the poor man from the dunghill, was pleased to come down and speak with him there face to face, revealing to him the depths and heights83 of His wisdom, in a way that He had never done in the time of his prosperity.

On the Dark Night Again, Part 15

Mother Teresa was in the Dark Night for fifty years or so. One must understand this is a necessary step to perfection.

St. John of the Cross describes the Dark Night of the Soul better than most saints and invented the term. In the next few days, I shall cover some, not all, of his points. If I could distil his wisdom in a few words, it would be these points.

One, consolations are either completely absence or rare at this stage of purification.

Two, one rests in suffering rather than resting in consolation.

Three, God is Present, but veiled, as in the Eucharist. He surrounds the person with love, but a love which cannot be grasped or understood in any human terms. He is totally Other.

Four, a person cannot rush through this stage. In fact, for many saints, it is very long.

Five, the two keys words are aridity and abandonment. But, one is at peace in both.

2. This is the first and principal benefit caused by this arid and dark night of contemplation: the knowledge of oneself and of one’s misery. For, besides the fact that all the favours which God grants to the soul are habitually granted to them enwrapped in this knowledge, these aridities and this emptiness of the faculties, compared with the abundance which the soul experienced aforetime and the difficulty which it finds in good works, make it recognize its own lowliness and misery, which in the time of its prosperity it was unable to see. Of this there is a good illustration in the Book of Exodus, where God, wishing to humble the children of Israel and desiring that they should know themselves, commanded them to take away and strip off the festal garments and adornments wherewith they were accustomed to adorn themselves in the Wilderness, saying: ‘Now from henceforth strip yourselves of festal ornaments and put on everyday working dress, that ye may know what treatment ye deserve.’81 This is as though He had said: Inasmuch as the attire that ye wear, being proper to festival and rejoicing, causes you to feel less humble concerning yourselves than ye should, put off from you this attire, in order that henceforth, seeing yourselves clothed with vileness, ye may know that ye merit no more, and may know who ye are. Wherefore the soul knows the truth that it knew not at first, concerning its own misery; for, at the time when it was clad as for a festival and found in God much pleasure, consolation and support, it was somewhat more satisfied and contented, since it thought itself to some extent to be serving God. It is true that such souls may not have this idea explicitly in their minds; but some suggestion of it at least is implanted in them by the satisfaction which they find in their pleasant experiences. But, now that the soul has put on its other and working attire—that of aridity and abandonment—and now that its first lights have turned into darkness, it possesses these lights more truly in this virtue of self-knowledge, which is so excellent and so necessary, considering itself now as nothing and experiencing no satisfaction in itself; for it sees that it does nothing of itself neither can do anything. And the smallness of this self-satisfaction, together with the soul’s affliction at not serving God, is considered and esteemed by God as greater than all the consolations which the soul formerly experienced and the works which it wrought, however great they were, inasmuch as they were the occasion of many imperfections and ignorances. And from this attire of aridity proceed, as from their fount and source of self-knowledge, not only the things which we have described already, but also the benefits which we shall now describe and many more which will have to be omitted.

All sourcing will be from here. 

If you want to read the others posts, use the tags or just type in dark night in the search bar.

Highlighting a Reader

I want readers to take a look at the references in the comments over the past week written by Martina Katholik. The references she has provided are dynamite. If you do not know German, use a translator on line. She has a blog at

Her comments are based on theological articles and links.  I do not give out gold stars, as that is done on another blog by my superior (smile), but she deserves a look and a commendation.