My husband recently listened to St. John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul on his iPod.
After hearing the description of this phase of spiritual growth, I’m not sure I can claim to be passing through the Dark Night. But what about the Dusky Hour?
Since I lost my job, I’ve not posted for two reasons:
- I’ve been pretty much consumed with rebuilding our kitchen (which you faithful readers will recall was taken out by an overflowing toilet… see: How Bad Can it Get?? Apparently Worse… ).
- My doubts have returned. My confidence in God has waxed and waned over the past two months. It’s been disconcerting, to say the least.
I do wonder if this dark passage is part of God’s way of answering my prayer that He would help me repent of anything that prevented greater intimacy with Jesus (see Compelled by Love ).
Anyway, I told a friend I was in this dark passage and she sent me A Hell of Mercy by Tim Farrington which discusses its author’s trip down Dark Night lane and back.
There were some passages in the book that were just spot-on about how I feel right now. Such as:
You will be graced by the disaster your soul requires to find its way home. (p. 79)
A wise friend of mine once said that God gives us the exact curriculum we each need for our spiritual growth. To me, these two statements say that God knows exactly the disaster – the life loss – each of us requires in order to find Him in a deeper way; He knows what idols to remove so that we turn from them to Him.
One way or another, life will bring us to the point of feeling we have nothing left to lose, in spite of our best efforts to avoid it. But the miracle of this thing we call death is that it is only in our seemingly final defeat, only through suffering the annihilation of everything we know and think ourselves to be, that we find ourselves capable at last of knowing God’s real mercy. (p. 90).
I’m not there yet, but I sure do look forward to more deeply knowing God’s “real mercy,” the mercy of the cross.
Just not too crazy about this dusky hour.
More observations coming in future posts…