I have tried, on one other occasion, to make it through the entirety of The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross. It is, to put it bluntly, a laborious task. When I tried to read it last year, I gave up halfway through. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what St. John of the Cross was talking about. After all, I have read many commentaries on the Dark Night of the Soul. That’s pretty much the same as reading it all the way through, right?
Armed with the determination to fully understand my own spiritual plight, I plowed through the book again. I’m glad I did!
There is so much unenlightened blabbering about spirituality on the Internet. Everyone and their mother tries to tie the Dark Night into their own experience of spiritual growth. Chances are though, very few have actually read St. John’s exposition. Because, if they had, they would realize there are two Dark Nights. One of the soul, and one of the spirit.
They do not occur together. Very few people get the ‘honor’ of being led by the Divine into the second Dark Night. Or so St. John of the Cross believed.
Im not going to try to apply any of St. John’s experience to my own. I think it would be spiritual hubris to attempt to do so.
All that I know is that I’m convinced the trials I’m going through have a purpose and are part of Divine plan. So, I’m going to suck it up and bear with it all.
If Prosperity Theology (or any theology of self-exaltation) has let you down, you may want to read some of what St. John of the Cross has to say about purgatio, and his experience with it. You may not be cursed by God, or utterly faithless, or succumbing to the temptations of the devil… You may just not recognize the work of God in your heart. If we love God, the Light of His Love will shine into our own darkness, and that process can be painful indeed!