girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Thursday, December 21, 2006

my dark night

ken posted on our wellspring blog about james fowler's 'stages of faith' and within it was the mention of st. john of the cross. i had studied him once upon a time in my hermeneutics class...and thought i'd look him up again. this is what i found:

"Dark Night of the Soul is a term used to describe a specific phase in a person's spiritual
life. It is used as a metaphor to describe the experience of loneliness and desolation that can occur during psychic or spiritual growth.

The term and metaphysicality of the phrase "dark night of the soul" are taken from the writings of the Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic St. John of the Cross
, a Carmelite priest in the 16th century. 'Dark Night of the Soul' is the name of both a poem, and a commentary on that poem, and are among the Carmelite priest's most famous writings. They tell of his mystic development and the stages he went through on his quest for holiness.

The "dark night" could generally be described as a letting go of our ego's hold on the psyche, making room for change that can bring about a complete transformation of a person's way of defining his/her self and their relationship to God. The interim period can be frightening, hence the perceived "darkness". In the Christian tradition, during the "dark night" one who has developed a strong prayer life and consistent devotion to God suddenly finds traditional prayer extremely difficult and unrewarding for an extended period of time. The individual may feel as though God has suddenly abandoned them, or that their prayer life has collapsed.
Rather than being a negative event, the dark night is believed by mystics and others to be a blessing in disguise where the individual is trained to grow from vocal and mental prayer, to a deeper
contemplative prayer of the soul. Particularly in Christianity, it is seen as a severe test of one's faith.
this is my abandonment.
traditional prayer is difficult...
collapsed is a great word.
and st. j is right...this isn't a negative thing.
i'm okay with it, and for the first time in a long time,
i've had words to put to what i'm feeling right now.
it isn't 'bright and shiny'
but i'm okay with that...
even around christmas time it's alright.
if st. j and others i trust are right...
then when the dawn finally comes,
if it ever comes (which i really think it will),
the dawn will be brighter than anything i can imagine now.


Post a Comment

<< Home