Monday, January 11, 2010

As I do more reading and reflecting, it has become more and more obvious that I am experiencing a dark night - la noche oscura. It probably began two years ago when some energy and spirit left me. It really came out this past year and now, I am in the thick of it. Struggling with it. Living with it. Wrestling with it.
I have been through a dark night before and it lasted quite some time. This one seems to have settled in for the long haul. I don't want to grope around in dark obscureness, searching for God, longing so desperately to feel God's presence. I know that I can never be beyond the realm of God's care or presence (that came out of my last dark night) but it still feels that way at times in my heart and in my soul.
A colleague's dark night lasted seven years. God knows that I can't function with such a protracted dark night. At least I hope God knows me well enough for that.
Of course, Mother Terese struggled for years as well. What makes me think I should be spared?
Trusting God, trusting the darkness in which God is so mysteriously at work, takes all that I am. There is preparation for something in this time and I have to let it unfold in all its mystery, unknownness, and surprising wonder. As a seed sits in the cold dank dark ground all through the winter, as Jesus lay in the dark tomb on Saturday, God works in the dark as well as in the light. Jesus was born in the night, arrrested at night. When he died, darkness covered the land. Even Nicodemus came to Jesus in the dark of the night to ask his questions. God guided the Israelites through the wilderness with a pillar of fire by night. God created from nothing and darkness.
I don't know how long this dark night will last but I pray that I may endure it, learn from it, befriend it. But I am not there yet. Not quite ready to befriend it. But pray about that I shall to the Great Silence.
I feel more like I am mired in this dark night. I went into it to kicking and screaming and died or am still dying into it. Now that I know, that I am in this dark night and that God works in this dark night, that awareness brings me some measure of comfort and assurance and makes it a shade less painful.
How have your dark nights been for you? Have they been of long endurance or shorter times? How best have you dealt with your dark nights?

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