Desert time

I've been struggling for a number of months now with a terrible sense of "taking to myself" when praying, of God not being present, of little consolation in my spiritual life.  I found this very sensible treatment of the issue from 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…)

2 comments:

  1. So inspiring to read of how intense Mother Theresa's Dark Night was, and yet, she didn't skip a beat in her service to her Savior. My favorite quote of her's goes something like (talking to Jesus) Well, if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you don't have that many." Ha! Having adopted special needs children as well, I have read most of her books on suffering. I would imagine you have also.

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  2. I have read some on Mother Teresa's struggles. Her faithfulness is inspiring, especially given the rigors of the work she did, and the fact that she was the spiritual center of her community.

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