He will bring light, when the time’s right for you and me. In his poem, he talks about the journey of the soul towards a magical reunion with God. Struck down, but not destroyed. Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever taught a “dark night of the soul.” The ideas contained in “The Dark Night of the Soul” have been applied in contexts outside of Catholicism. Once the Holy Spirit has flooded our hearts with a joy unspeakable, how can there be room in that chamber for such darkness? Grief is a legitimate emotion, at times even a virtue, but there must be no place in the soul for bitterness. I sat in bed stunned, remembering my living room prayer. 4:7-10). By Bill Gaultiere. But about three weeks before her birth, we came across the name “Eliana,” which means “my God answers” in Hebrew. The God of your joy is also the God of your pain. Discouragement, worry, or exhaustion press in on us. The meaninglessness seemed at once compelling and untrue at the same time. During the Dark Night process, the soul brings so much energy to the new path that going against it or resisting it is futile. Dark Night of the Soul . And so will diligence without God. I knew I wasn’t wrong to treasure God’s gifts, but I also knew that as long as his steadfast love didn’t taste better than life to me, my heart’s affections were disordered and idolatrous (Psalm 63:3). In fact, it must have been right around this time.” So I got out my journal and looked and was stunned again: Eliana was born on the 365th day after God answered me — on the exact corresponding Saturday a year later. I kept my hand to the vocational plow God had given me, and sought to keep providing for my wife and child. "—Isaiah 26:9 . Sproul is senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and he is the author of the book Truths We Confess. It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life… an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. Our Lord Himself was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He answered when I asked that he not allow me to lose my faith altogether. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, OCD , a 19th-century French nun and Doctor of the Church , wrote of her own experience of the dark night. Yes, he will. I had been asking for it, though I didn’t know I was asking for that. So I bless God for this gift of discipline. Our prayers seem to go unanswered. An acute awareness of the soul’s nothingness without God comes to light. I did not wish to commit suicide, but I knew I could not endure this darkness indefinitely. Life was mostly ministry, and mostly wonderful. The presence of faith gives no guarantee of the absence of spiritual depression; however, the dark night of the soul always gives way to the brightness of the noonday light of the presence of God. Many spiritual greats have written about the Dark Night of the Soul, which is a troubling and incredibly difficult phase of spiritual awakening.. Not everyone on the spiritual path experiences this challenging period, but for those who do, it has the potential to be incredibly transformational. A Christian can have joy in his heart while there is still spiritual depression in his head. For more than 50 years of her life, "Mother Teresa was wrapped in a dark, pitiless silence", according the soon-to-be-saint's biographer, David Scott. Just whisper to me I’m your son!”. I believe that as a person is nearing death, their final words are carefully chosen, deliberate and spoken for a specific purpose. Sometimes He even wants to destroy your ability to believe and have faith until you know that you can believe and have faith in grace. I remember the terror of realizing that if I embraced this unbelief, the wonder of my wonderful wife and child would disappear, for whatever “love” I felt toward them would be nothing more than some genetic illusion to encourage and protect reproduction. This is what I experienced as a young man in the meat market. Pain is real and shouldn’t be minimized, but emotions betray us. "With my soul have I desired thee in the night. The other best-documented case is that of the 16th-century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross. There is an intimate connection between the body and soul. It vacillates. When a pilot flies into a dark cloud and loses his points of reference, it becomes a dangerous thing for him to trust his physical perceptions. For this reason he says, "that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." It’s about facing the places where you are stuck and working with God to clear them. The depression may be profound, but it is not permanent, nor is it fatal. The dark night of the soul is a stage in personal development when a person undergoes a difficult and significant transition to a deeper perception of life and their place in it. He calls the dark night a necessity if … The poem is obscure metaphor. It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. In writing to the Corinthians in his second letter, Paul commends to his readers the importance of preaching and of communicating the Gospel to people. My Dark Night of the Soul. What Does it Look Like to 'Do Justice, Love Mercy, and walk Humbly' Today? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. By touchofgod77 February 24, 2017 Dark Night of the Soul, Newsletter Index Dark Night of the Soul The Dark Night of the Soul James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. And then I prayed something very specific: “Lord, if you just somehow whisper to me that you’re still there, and I’m your son, and all this is for your good purpose, I think I can endure anything. I was disturbed at the difference I saw between my experience of satisfaction in God and what I read in the Bible. These are powerful images that describe the conflict that Christians must endure, but in every place that he describes this phenomenon, he describes at the same time its limits. I didn’t waver through my teen or early adult years, as I grew in grace. Night appears to be a time peculiarly favorable to devotion. But in the midst of that, he reminds the church that the treasure we have from God is a treasure that is contained not in vessels of gold and silver but in what the apostle calls "jars of clay." To reach that union, however, one must travel through the darkness. By himself even with ordinary grace, man cannot be transformed totally in God. Devotions for Psalm 13:1-6–Dark Night of the Soul June 12-18, 2017 . All rights reserved. Essentially, the “dark night” of your soul is not just a bad day, it’s a complete reboot of your entire operating system. It was Saturday, August 23, 1997. All Rights Reserved. We were part of a growing, healthy, vibrant church that was reaching its local community and sending people to the far reaches of the globe with the gospel. The Dark Night is a long, pervasive, and very dark experience. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”. If you’re experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul, you will constantly carry around within you a sense of being lost. And my God answered. Yes, I have also experienced it. It was the malady that provoked David to soak his pillow with tears. I claim in no way to perfectly value death as gain, and with Paul, I’m pressing on to greater realization (Philippians 3:12–14). When we get to a certain age, typically around 17 to 35, we become who we are going to be for the rest of our lives. by John Mark Comer. It took no time for the void of God to produce in me the void of meaning. I have learned to turely love God and I wouldn’t take it back for anything.I didn’t want to identify with Job and all of his struggles … And twenty years ago this week, light dawned in my darkness (Psalm 112:4). We are told that it is perfectly legitimate for believers to suffer grief. Of course, death is always painful, but nothing real has actually died there – only an illusory identity. Its solemn stillness helps to free the mind from that perpetual din which the cares of the world will bring around it; and the stars looking down from heaven upon us shine as if they would attract us up to God. The dark night of my soul is what taught me to love God. We may lose heart completely. The ‘dark night of the soul’ is a term that goes back a long time. But I can say this: that dark night of hopelessness revealed to me, like nothing else ever has, that God in Christ is the Joy in all the true, pure joys that exist. Dark night of the soul Subscribe to Our Newsletter! We think of the prophet Habakkuk, who in his misery remained confident that despite the setbacks he endured, God would give him feet like hind's feet, feet that would enable him to walk in high places. The dark night of the soul. Dark night of the soul Subscribe to Our Newsletter! A dark night of the soul is often considered to be a crises point in one’s relationship with the Universe. This passage indicates the limits of depression that we experience. Dark Night Of The Soul I have made the statement over the past several weeks during this sermon series that the last words of a person are important words. I think having this information will make the darkness easier to navigate. Dr. R.C. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? The Dark Night of The Soul is about giving up and grieving. It pulls you towards a direction of love, joy, and peace because the soul knows that you are ready for growth. In like manner, we see that it is a good thing to go to the house of mourning, but even in mourning, that low feeling must not give way to hatred. I determined that God, not my doubts, deserved the benefit of my doubt. Article Images Copyright ©, Overcoming The Dark Night of the Soul with the Presence of God, How to Start 2021 Strong in the Midst of Chaos. "With my soul have I desired thee in the night. Throw yourself on the living room floor if you must. In the Ascent, John wrote of the "active" night; the Dark Night addresses the "passive" night of purification of the sense and spirit to prepare the soul for union with God. But I remember praying something that struck me odd even then: “Lord, just don’t let me lose my faith.”. She experienced what St John of the Cross described as the "dark night of the soul". not religiousely just speaking from my mouth and my heart was far from it. No soul will ever grow deep in the spiritual life unless God works passively in that soul by means of the dark night.” We have a hard time with the dark night. We may also think that the dark night of the soul is something completely incompatible with the fruit of the Spirit, not only that of faith but also that of joy. St. John's term has now been adopted by people of all belief systems to refer to a transformational journey that takes place when you are suffering. His poem is what gave us the name Dark Night of the Soul. The third phase is the unitive way, in which a soul’s heart and will becomes united perfectly with God. The Dark Night of the Senses is the first of two distinct types of Dark Nights of the Soul according to Saint John of the Cross. It is mobile. What dies is the egoic sense of self. The dark night of the soul doesn't come at the beginning of one's journey to God. A Prayer for the Dark Night of the Soul. My doubts and fears were only leading me into deeper confusion and darkness. God’s comfort is absent. It is God’s plan for preserving us and bringing us safely to glory. A dark night of the soul is not something that one can choose to initiate — or participate in. The “dark night of the soul” is a concept that has been discussed for millennia, typically associated with a poem written by St. John of the Cross. As I thanked God for Eliana and a safe birth and how God had answered me, I got to thinking, “It was about a year ago the Lord answered my cry. If the eclipse had a corona, I couldn’t see it. About an hour later, as I got into bed, I opened my Bible to Hebrews 12:3–11, the text I would read the next morning (italics mine): Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Night appears to be a time peculiarly favorable to devotion. At some point in the spiritual journey, we come to what St. John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul” – a season in which our experience of God feels more like absence than presence. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. In the afternoon, my wife and child were running errands, and I was alone in the house. Wait for him. Spiritual depression is real and can be acute. "—Isaiah 26:9 . Dark Night of the Soul is an old concept. I was leading a new and rapidly growing ministry, working alongside a mentor and friend I loved and esteemed highly. “The Dark Night of the Soul is not merely “having a bad day” or even week. However, the Dark Night of the Soul is a process initiated by the soul. The “dark night of the soul” is a concept that has been discussed for millennia, typically associated with a poem written by St. John of the Cross. I suddenly saw the world as if God … The first is the purgative way, where we break habits of vice, acquire habits of virtue and learn to live a Catholic life. The dark night of the spirit, however, occurs when God focuses His spotlight on our "inward man" and who we are. God disappeared from my spiritual sight for the first time in my memory. And that’s what disturbed me: that my life could be mostly ministry, and mostly wonderful, to the point that gaining Christ Jesus my Lord through death did not feel surpassingly worthy to me (Philippians 3:8). The hopelessness all the existential philosophers describe raged through me. In the Dark Night Remember God. The poem narrates the purpose of the Soul. The person's role in such a time is not significant. The joy that we have sustains us through these dark nights and is not quenched by spiritual depression. The dark night of the soul is a stage in personal development when a person undergoes a difficult and significant transition to a deeper perception of life and their place in it. We suddenly see the fragility of ourselves, other people, and existence. That God does answer the prayers that we pray. Moving Through A Dark Night of the Soul Into A New Phase of Awakened Light. I held nothing secret from those closest to me and those who needed to know. He might feel like he’s flying straight, when he is actually descending toward the ground. Regular, disciplined Bible intake is not optional for God’s people. For me, it’s fitting that a solar eclipse occurred this week. Our churches are practical places, and we generally tell people the answer to any spiritual problem is more: … At some point in your life, you will experience the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ where it seems that everything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong. This phenomenon describes a malady that the greatest of Christians have suffered from time to time. We often know what we want, but when we ask God for it, we usually don’t know what we’re asking for to receive it. St. John's term has now been adopted by people of all belief systems to refer to a transformational journey that takes place when you are suffering. Pixabay. I kept in church fellowship and involved in our inner-city ministry. Traditionally, spiritual directors identify three primary stages (or ways) of growth in holiness. Step Sheet. DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL INTRODUCTION SOMEWHAT reluctantly, out of respect for a venerable tradition, we publish the Dark Night as a separate treatise, though in reality it is a continuation of the Ascent of Mount Carmel and fulfils the undertakings given in it: The first night or purgation is of the sensual part of the soul, which is treated in the Its solemn stillness helps to free the mind from that perpetual din which the cares of the world will bring around it; and the stars looking down from heaven upon us shine as if they would attract us up to God. When God Works Deep Inside You. The soul desires growth and expansion. That day I was seized with a Grand Doubt, and scales, rather than falling off, filled my heart-eyes. By Eckhart Tolle. The dark night is a time of refining. 3. We move from faith to faith, and in between we may have periods of doubt when we cry, "Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief.". Everything appeared hollow. 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