Fr. John Bartunek:
....desolation can flow from God’s direct action on the soul. God can
take away the consolation of his presence, without actually taking away
his presence. This is a method he uses to purify the soul and to
increase the soul’s capacity for love. If we can keep following God’s
will in our lives even when we are passing through “a valley as dark as
death” (Psalm 23:4), we will emerge with a much more mature faith, a
more vibrant hope, and a deeper love. These are the theological virtues
that unite the soul to God – and union with God is what we were created
for, and what God yearns us to achieve and deepen.
So when he takes away interior consolation in this way, we can rest
assured that his wisdom and goodness will permit us, when emerged from
the darkness, to undergo greater consolations than we ever imagined,
because our soul’s capacity to experience God will have been increased
by God directly. These periods of purification initiated by God are
often called the “dark night.” We can have dark nights of the senses,
of the spirit, of the intellect… It is when God, the doctor of our soul,
lays us on the spiritual operating table and takes direct action. Our
job in this case is to trust and endure by continuing to seek and
embrace God’s will in our lives (the commandments, the duties of our
state in life, etc…)
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