We unite our pining for Heaven with the Sacred Wounds of Jesus in solidarity for all suffering souls on earth and in Purgatory. Life — in its darkness — becomes vibrant and purposeful. Perhaps we are the ones in the midst of this darkness; we can now become more aware of the potential goodness that can be derived from the blackness of our sorrow. Like St.
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The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition. Washington, D. C:ICS Publications. She is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and contributes to several online and print Catholic periodicals. Jeannie, her husband, and their three daughters plus one baby boy live in northern Indiana. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press.
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Fulton J. Sheen as a Lenten Guide feat. We were just Christians — young Christians and all we knew what to do was just how to pick up the Bible and in the power of my self just read, try to raise my children, try to do whatever.
And so the truth is, much of our virtues by the time we reach middle age - These are virtues that are good and people have benefited from them. You couples have been benefiting from one another, but these were not necessarily virtues developed in the power of the Spirit. And this dark night is a call. Apart from the Vine, I can do nothing. Now number three.
This is in particular. This is what they said in particular. These ongoing dark nights throughout our life for those of us who are spiritually middle age, what is going to happen. But now, these things hinder you. I know how to study the Word. This to me is the major issue — the major issue that middle-aged Christians are going to hit. I want to trust You anew. I want to open to You. Doug, what a good guy. We have the real journey of a lifetime. This is where the power of transformation and the church alive could be.
The darkness in the intellect. Well, what does this mean? That God during these dark nights will try to provide you darkness in the intellect. Too much. When you were a beginner and hearing the Word, you were taking it in. You know what you were doing? You were developing what I call a mind map to what the Christian life was.
This was food for you. This was a necessity. This is where it began. And as you developed this mind map, you began to see — I remember coming to the Lord at Look at that. This is what I should do. And, you know, while you were taking all that in, this mind map. It was all working. But in the dark nights as in these ongoing dark nights, God wants to then begin to bring darkness to the intellect. Now, what does that mean? God wants to bring darkness to your mind map. That mind map that you have that has helped you and guided you in understanding God, in understanding how to live and respond to God, God is now going to bring in a little darkness in that.
Because what He wants to move you is this: He wants to move you from depending upon that theological mind map to depending on Him. The Christian life is not about depending upon a set of theological principles. And so you know what happens during these times as you grow up? God, What is going on? God, how can You do that? My daughters and I are reading The Chronicles of Narnia. My theology of the pocket is too small.
My theology of even the Christian life becomes too causal. I asked God to answer this prayer. You see, because my theology of the pocket — You know what that really is? As a beginner it was very causal: God, if I do this God will respond. I can count on this. And as we mature, God is taking us on a journey. God is moving us now from trusting in our intellect — trusting in this map that we have developed.
You are good, but you are not tame. Theologians are not to trust in their theology. And so I want to trust in Him. The second thing they say happens is emptiness or vanity in the memory. What is that? Emptiness or vanity in the memory — And what the ancients meant by memory was the character, the character of a person. You see, our memory is, in part, what really we have become. And now for the beginner - think back to when you were a beginner in the faith - this was an incredible time where God was training your mind and your character, where you were becoming a kind person, you were growing.
You were beginning to open up to the other person and caring for them. Wives respecting; husbands loving. You did this with your children. You did this with spiritual disciplines. And you know what this character became? It became like a roadmap for you. This is the way God is.
Dark night : a gift of God, The - sähkökirjat Spirituality Hidden God - Terkko Navigator
God, this is great. My kids are having problems. I have this character I can appeal to to enter into this fray and to try to love them and teach them. Character is such a wonderful and beautiful thing, but these roadmaps were often much the result of our fortitude. We saw principles in the Bible. These are wonderful roadmaps, but much of it was just in our power. This is to me the greatest temptation that you will have in middle age.
You will come to trust your roadmap. You will trust in your character. You will trust in your character to give you this set of answers.
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- The Dark Night of the Soul.
You know, when I was coming here tonight, my wife and I were in the car with the girls and they were having, you know, a little thing about, you know, working out some problem. I think we should do it this way. And you know what my first response was? It was to interrupt the conversation with my good character. And the Lord just caught me from all of that. I want You. I want the first move in this middle-life of John Coe. The first move is to find You. I want to live with You. I want to learn what it means to abide in the Vine in this. People at work think of me as a person of good character.
And I can trust that and appeal to that in working out problems, and this also gives me hope that I can work out things in the future. God begins to bring emptiness or vanity to your roadmaps. God begins to open up your roadmaps and they begin to feel vain. Well, others are still going to be blessed by it. My kids will still be blessed by me. And Greta, to some degree, right? That is a call to another journey.
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Come on John. Work harder on your prayer life. And so God, thank you. Thank you that You are now beginning to open up the vanity of trusting in this. You might begin — and no one else will see this — you middle-aged folk out there, to the old aged in the faith — you might begin to see the vanity of your own egoism behind it all. You might begin to see right through your good character deep vices that are way down there or deep selfishness or deep pride or deep just hardness.
Dark Night of the Soul
And God, there are not these rivers of living water. This is an incredible time. How wonderful a gift. But even now you can begin to open this to the Spirit. That is life in the Vine. The first psychological move of life in the Vine. God, I want to open to You in this. God, I want to teach You. I want to invite You. And so God is moving us so that He can become the map. This is where God is moving me from trusting myself, my good character, to trusting Him. This is where God is moving me away from natural hope. I want to hope in You, God. I want to learn that new habit of heart.
The third thing in these dark nights is they cycle in and come in — They just may be for a moment. They may be in a part of a day. Who knows what this is? But this dryness in the will. Well, for the beginner our will and our emotions are conditioned to the joy and the pleasure of God. I love Him. But you know what I can get hooked on here? I can get hooked on religious experience. You know, so many books right now written on spiritual formation are mostly about how to experience God.
At times the spiritual disciplines will just be tasteless. You just stay there. This is real charity. You know what this is? This will fully happen when you die. I want to experience You more. Faith Penetrating the Veil of the Ordinary It is never enough to just believe in the notional. There was nothing speculative about the newborn infant shivering in the cold of the night. There was nothing intangible about wine at a wedding feast or fish so numerous and large that the boat nearly sank.
There was nothing abstract about the scourging, the spitting and the nails. That is why our response must enter into our everyday existence — in the very fabric of our very human and ordinary routines. He encourages us to develop and maintain a supernatural vision of the daily events in our lives. Faith is Always Person-Centered Faith is anchored always in relationship — a relationship with a person. Faith is my intellectual ascent to the word of another person.
When faith falters, it is because the friendship has faltered. The relationship has been allowed to grow distant. If faith is kept healthy — growing, vibrant, dynamic — the integrity of both persons must always be respected. Each of us must come before Him just as we are and allow Him to come to us just as He is. There are almost 3, articles in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the very first one, the foundation supports all of the tenets of our faith. It tell us that God, infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself, in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created us so that we could share in His own blessed life.
For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to us. He calls usto seek Him, to know Him, to love Him with all our strength. He calls together all people, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of His family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior.
In and through Christ, God the Father invites us to become, in the Holy Spirit, His adopted children and thus heirs of His blessed life. Faith alone gives an accurate view of the unfolding of providence in daily life. Without faith, it is so easy to get tangled in conflicting desires. As St. Because each soul is unique, the workings of the Holy Spirit are unique in each one of us. However, there are general patterns of growth that we all experience.
God inspires us to do the good and to avoid the evil. As we grow in our faith, He leads us to use all of our senses only for that which will bring us into deeper union with Him. At first, we take an active part in this growth. For example, we might choose not to watch movies that could be disruptive to the soul, or we could decide to clear off of the computer anything that has become addictive. We are actively moving toward God. Our efforts at purification, however, are not sufficient by themselves. God, in His love, steps in and aids our efforts.
John of the Cross calls it the Dark Night. It consists of a prolonged series of profound aridities. In reality, our prayer is not dry; however, it feels dry because the senses, being inferior to the spirit, cannot grasp what the spirit is experiencing, and therefore feel deprived of their former consolation. Since love is in the will and not in the senses, God is leading the soul away from the senses. Thomas Aquinas tells us that in the spiritual life there is no standing still. If you are standing still you are necessarily going backwards. We are short- sighted and tend to become myopic, seeing only immediate goods.
We undersell ourselves. We settle for less. We settle for the immediate. Consequently, we must be purified from any spiritual luttony. This means that we could become in time inordinately attached to sense consolations and forget that consolation is not the end but only the means. The soul must be cleansed also of spiritual sloth. This refers to a laziness or mediocrity concerning holy things. This is particularly a temptation to those who live and work closest to holy things.
With sloth, comes impatience, sluggishness, even disgust for the works of sanctification. The soul needs to be strengthened in its battle against spiritual pride. During this phase, the person is tempted to pride because of their moderate progress in the spiritual life. This often leads them to critical judgment of others. Trials During the Dark Night of the Senses Some of the trials during the Night of the Senses include the temptation to return to former modes of prayer in search of consolation; the temptation to discouragement can lead some people to simply quit seeking the Lord at all.
Often during the Dark Night, one experiences added temptations against patience and against chastity.