On the Dark Night of the Soul (7)
TODAY IS THE Feast of St. John of the Cross, the eminent Carmelite Mystic whose understanding of the Christian Life has greatly shaped my own spiritual landscape, along with Julian of Norwich and St. Teresa of Avila. Here is the collect for today:
Judge eternal, throned in splendor, who gavest Juan de la Cruz strength of purpose and mystical faith that sustained him even through the dark night of the soul: Shed thy light on all who love thee, in unity with Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
AS MOST OF you know, I began a series of posts in July about my own Junior Version of The Dark Night of the Soul that I have been in for at least a few years now. Here are the posts:
- The First Post gives most of the autobiographical information about my life since graduating from Milligan and "the perfect storm" that began to swirl around me. (You can also add my reposted "On Love" post to that maelstrom of discontent to further understand what is going on). I also talk about St. John of the Cross' three signs of The Dark Night.
- In The Second Post, I write about the shame and the loneliness that I have experienced from all of this. It includes these sentences that were very liberating both to write and to share: "Right now, who I am in Christ is confused, in pain and feels a deep loneliness from God (and thus, other people). Who-I-am-in-Christ knows nothing but these terrible things. And as it came from God, so too, do I give it to you, this darkly-wrapped Night of pain, loneliness and suffering."
- The Third has my answers to my most frequently asked questions.
- I write about Evelyn Underhill's five signs of the Dark Night in the Fourth Post.
- St. John of the Cross wrote about the three spirits that visit during the Night: Fornication, Blasphemy (focusing mainly on reverse ecstasies) and Vertiginis -- which I still have yet to write.
- Finally, "On Sinking In the Mud" which may be one of the best things I have ever written and is the summation or natural conclusion of the rest of the posts.