Dark Night of the Soul

A watch in the night for the approach of Mystery

To be a contemplative is to be a watch in the night for the approach of Mystery. And it is a readiness to be transformed in an engagement with that Mystery.

~ Fr. Iain Matthew in DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL, newly translated by Mirabai Starr

The emptiness of the dark night

The emptiness of the dark night is a yielding emptiness that gives way to the fullness of all possibility... If all your spiritual activities have grown empty and you are compelled to walk away, tie yourself to one practice only: contemplative silence. Abandon discursive prayer if it has become mechanical and meaningless. Let go of holy images if they no longer evoke the sacred. Refrain from spiritual discourse if it tastes like idle gossip in your mouth. But do not turn away from the silence.

~ from DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Mirabai Starr, translated by Fr. Iain Matthew
Dark Night of the Soul
By John of the Cross

Humility is the gentle acceptance of that most tender place inside ourselves

Humility is not a matter of beating ourselves up. It is not a question of judging ourselves as stupid or sinful, as hopeless and bad. Who are we to judge these things? Humility, it seems, is the gentle acceptance of that most tender place inside ourselves that throbs with the pain of separation from the Beloved. It is that deep knowingness that identification with the false self brings nothing but further separation. It is an initially reluctant dropping down into the emptiness and an ultimate experience of peace when we stop doing and rediscover simple being . . . when we heed the call to cease creating and remember we are created.

~ from DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Mirabai Starr

The soul's love for God is God's love for the soul

If we are in intimate union with God in the center,
then the soul’s desire is Love’s desire.
The soul’s love for God is God’s love for the soul.

 
~ from DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Gerald May

So in the end I am left only with hope

So in the end I am left only with hope.
I hope the nights are transformative.
I hope every dawn brings deeper love,
for each of us individually and for
the world as a whole.  I hope that
John of the Cross was right when
he said the intellect is transformed
into faith, and the will into love
and the memory into—hope.

~ from THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Gerald May
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