Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Beginning of Blessedness…

The dark night is not an abstract notion on some list of spiritual experiences every seeker is supposed to have. The dark night descends on a soul only when everything else has failed. When you are no longer the best meditator in the class because your meditation produces absolutely nothing. When prayer evaporates on your tongue and you have nothing left to say to God. When you are not even tempted to return to a life of worldly pleasure because the world has proven empty and yet taking another step through the void of the spiritual life feels futile because you are no good at it and it seems that God has given up on you, anyway.

This, says John, is the beginning of blessedness. This is the choiceless choice when the soul can do nothing but surrender.

(Source: Dark Night of the Soul: St. John of the Cross)

Mirabai Starr, with thanks to inward/outward

This fits closely, it seems to me, with my post on Monday. There is so much we do not understand, cannot understand, of God’s ways with man and time. We simply do not have the senses required to perceive it—we might as well try and see ELF radiation with the naked eye. All we can perceive are the effects God has on the heart of man—ultimately I think, what we know as the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-23).

All our prayer is to be prayed in the dark, then; all the light we know is the light of Christ, and that the patch directly before our feet, the next step (Psalm 119.105)

Don’t think, though, that all this is something esoteric, reserved for the special people, the chosen ones. All it is is love. David had it right:

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
   my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
   too great and too marvellous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
   like a weaned child with its mother;
   my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

(Psalm 131)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner…


  1. Yes, yes, yes. Inward/Outward sends good messages. Have you ever read about the Church of the Savior, which originates those emails? Gordon Crosby is the pastor and founder, an admirable man.

  2. Yes, Jan! (As you've seen with Cosby...) It's a wonderful story, the founding of that church. One of the churches I've love to go to one day, but probably won't get the chance...