The Dark Night (2)
By Velma Ruch of Lamoni, IA, USA
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:8-9 NRSV
Shortly after my birthday I was diagnosed with a case of the shingles. That didn’t even disturb me because I knew that whatever form it took, my suffering and dark night were not over. I kept trying to learn from my day-to-day experiences what was yet lacking in my life. Regardless of how long or how short the rest of my life would turn out to be, I had to come down off my “plateau” to experience the spiritual authenticity yet possible for me. It could well be my last chance.
I did not choose to go through the dark journey; none of us do. I had to be forced into it.
Most of us would like to be through it as soon as possible, but we are the grain of wheat that must fall into the ground and die for a rich harvest to come forth. It is part of the paschal mystery. That process may involve physical death as well as paschal death. I was struggling with both of them at the same time and went through various phases of them both. It is hard and we can’t help asking the question, as did Mother Teresa, “When will it be over?” The answer to that may well be that it never will be over.
The “resurrection” may be that we have learned to carry the pain and to find fulfillment in the burning glow of the inner life that has been born in us. Even the dark, perhaps especially the dark, can teach us truths about the self that we need to know.
(Excerpted from “The Dark Night of the Soul: A Personal Account” by Velma Ruch)
Spirit, now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.