The Dark Night (3 November 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
    to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
    I have not been rebellious,
    I have not turned away.
 I offered my back to those who beat me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
    from mocking and spitting.
 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame…
 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.

Isaiah 50.4-7, 10 (NIV)

Reflect

There are times in the life of every Christian when time alone feels like exactly that - being alone. We feel no sense of the reality or presence of God, and all we can see is empty darkness. It is then we must ‘set our faces like flint’ (50.7) and hold fast to what we know to be true. We must choose to trust God in the darkness (50.10).  This is where our faith is tried, and where it becomes strong.

Respond

Are you experiencing God in solitude or do you feel his absence? However you answer, ask the Lord to deepen your trust in his goodness, and strengthen your resolve to follow him.

Midday Meditation:

'The darkness of the soul…puts the sensory and spiritual appetites to sleep…it blinds the imagination and impedes it from doing any good discursive work. It makes the memory cease, the intellect become dark and unable to understand anything, and hence it causes the will also to become arid and constrained, and all the faculties empty and useless…'

(St John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul)

Evening Reflection:

'A person at the time of these darknesses…will see clearly how little the appetites and faculties are distracted with useless and harmful things and how secure he is from vainglory, from pride and presumption, from an empty and false joy, and from many other evils. By walking in darkness…the soul advances rapidly…'

(St John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul)

 

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