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Suffering is our path to glory #265219
11/28/07 09:06 PM
11/28/07 09:06 PM
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theophan Offline OP
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(from The Communion of Love, Matthew the Poor Man, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984, pp. 138-139)

Suffering is our path to glory

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the crucified, for they shall be transfigured.
Blessed are those who are totally crushed, for they shall rule.
Blessed are the hungry, for they shall be filled.

All their sufferings will be forgotten and their tears will be wiped away. In their place a light will point to the horrors they underwent and the mystery of the glory that was the result. The greatness of human fortitude will be revealed along with the power of the merciful acts of God. Suffering will be seen to be almost ludicrously light in comparison with the glory that results from it. Everyone will see that suffering was a sacred trap prepared by God to catch us and bring us to glory. The bearing of suffering is more powerful than worship.

One of the saints says that he saw in a vision a group of martyrs more dazzling in glory than the angels who appeared with them. Around the necks of those who had been beheaded he saw garlands of red flowers in the place where the sword had struck, and these shone and sparkled more brilliantly than any other light in the vision.

For Christ, the mystery of the cross is the mystery of His glory. The overwhelming suffering the Lord underwent, His psychological torment at the injustice and crookedness of his trial, the desertion of His disciples, the treachery of Judas, and the knowledge that the high priests had agreed with one of His disciples to put a value of just thirty pieces of silver on His life—all this was a path for Him to leave the world of passing trivialities and enter into the glory of the Father. We in every time and place must tread the same path. The cross with its enormous suffering cannot be compared with the glory it brought forth. The cross did not come by chance into the life of the Lord; He was born for it. “For this purpose I have come to this hour” (John 12:27). Man is born for suffering, and suffering was born for man. But at the same time the cross was not an irrevocable imposition on the Lord. We feel this from His words and are sure of it in view of His holiness and divinity. He made it irrevocable for Himself—“Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?” (John 18:11)—in order to share with us the inevitability of suffering. God manifested Himself in the person of Christ His Son as one compelled to suffer, in order to make suffering under compulsion equal to suffering by choice, so no one would be deprived of the mercy of God and the cross would be extended to include all who suffer unjustly.

Last edited by theophan; 01/21/08 10:58 PM.
Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #265221
11/28/07 09:17 PM
11/28/07 09:17 PM
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Even so. Amin.

Edmac

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Edmac] #265304
11/29/07 10:30 AM
11/29/07 10:30 AM
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Thank you, BOB, for the spiritually edifying material and thoughts which you offer us.

May our good Lord bless you always,
Alice

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Alice] #265741
12/01/07 11:46 AM
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I would love to say something about the mystery of suffering .. to carry on with what Bob started... but I am aware I do not explain things well and have odd opinions.

If someone is interested I will try.

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Ray Kaliss] #265744
12/01/07 12:28 PM
12/01/07 12:28 PM
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Beloved Brother in Christ, Ray,

I would love to see your thoughts about the mystery of suffering. Please, be aware that I understand your words, even if I am not an English speaker, and your opinions and thoughts are absolutely not odd for my soul, but very welcome.

Please, share. I am a person who is often overwhelmed by suffering.

May God fill your soul with eternal life and bless you together with all your beloved ones. Amin.

In Christ,

Marian+

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Marian] #265749
12/01/07 12:47 PM
12/01/07 12:47 PM
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I agree with Marian...

We are called to edify, uplift, and inspire each other...

Please share your thoughts Ray! I missed you while you were on your long hiatus from Byzcath.

In Christ,
Alice

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Marian] #265825
12/02/07 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Marian
Beloved Brother in Christ, Ray,

I would love to see your thoughts about the mystery of suffering.

Marian+


For you Marian and for you Alice .. I will try.

Give me a day or two as I did write something ... but as usual .. it was far too long and not easy to read yet (if ever!).

Let me just say for now ... that one should be radical (whole hearted - full speed ahead!!) in listening to and following one's own conscience - no matter the personal cost.

This is - not easy. And one usually does this in steps. Habits (old ways) are not easy to change. Our old view of the world (devoid of being aware of the acts of Providence within the events that happen to us each day) is deeply rooted in the subconscious. God - must make these changes in us. He needs our cooperation to transform us. I will tell you how later.

Without this ingredient .. (radically following our conscience) ... suffering is .. well just suffering ... and has no value at all for our sanctification.

-ray

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Ray Kaliss] #265841
12/02/07 07:42 AM
12/02/07 07:42 AM
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“SPE SALVI facti sumus”—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24).

II. Action and suffering as settings for learning hope

35. All serious and upright human conduct is hope in action. This is so first of all in the sense that we thereby strive to realize our lesser and greater hopes, to complete this or that task which is important for our onward journey, or we work towards a brighter and more humane world so as to open doors into the future. Yet our daily efforts in pursuing our own lives and in working for the world's future either tire us or turn into fanaticism, unless we are enlightened by the radiance of the great hope that cannot be destroyed even by small-scale failures or by a breakdown in matters of historic importance. If we cannot hope for more than is effectively attainable at any given time, or more than is promised by political or economic authorities, our lives will soon be without hope. It is important to know that I can always continue to hope, even if in my own life, or the historical period in which I am living, there seems to be nothing left to hope for. Only the great certitude of hope that my own life and history in general, despite all failures, are held firm by the indestructible power of Love, and that this gives them their meaning and importance, only this kind of hope can then give the courage to act and to persevere. Certainly we cannot “build” the Kingdom of God by our own efforts—what we build will always be the kingdom of man with all the limitations proper to our human nature. The Kingdom of God is a gift, and precisely because of this, it is great and beautiful, and constitutes the response to our hope. And we cannot—to use the classical expression—”merit” Heaven through our works. Heaven is always more than we could merit, just as being loved is never something “merited”, but always a gift. However, even when we are fully aware that Heaven far exceeds what we can merit, it will always be true that our behaviour is not indifferent before God and therefore is not indifferent for the unfolding of history. We can open ourselves and the world and allow God to enter: we can open ourselves to truth, to love, to what is good. This is what the saints did, those who, as “God's fellow workers”, contributed to the world's salvation (cf. 1 Cor 3:9; 1 Th 3:2). We can free our life and the world from the poisons and contaminations that could destroy the present and the future. We can uncover the sources of creation and keep them unsullied, and in this way we can make a right use of creation, which comes to us as a gift, according to its intrinsic requirements and ultimate purpose. This makes sense even if outwardly we achieve nothing or seem powerless in the face of overwhelming hostile forces. So on the one hand, our actions engender hope for us and for others; but at the same time, it is the great hope based upon God's promises that gives us courage and directs our action in good times and bad.

36. Like action, suffering is a part of our human existence. Suffering stems partly from our finitude, and partly from the mass of sin which has accumulated over the course of history, and continues to grow unabated today. Certainly we must do whatever we can to reduce suffering: to avoid as far as possible the suffering of the innocent; to soothe pain; to give assistance in overcoming mental suffering. These are obligations both in justice and in love, and they are included among the fundamental requirements of the Christian life and every truly human life. Great progress has been made in the battle against physical pain; yet the sufferings of the innocent and mental suffering have, if anything, increased in recent decades. Indeed, we must do all we can to overcome suffering, but to banish it from the world altogether is not in our power. This is simply because we are unable to shake off our finitude and because none of us is capable of eliminating the power of evil, of sin which, as we plainly see, is a constant source of suffering. Only God is able to do this: only a God who personally enters history by making himself man and suffering within history. We know that this God exists, and hence that this power to “take away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29) is present in the world. Through faith in the existence of this power, hope for the world's healing has emerged in history. It is, however, hope—not yet fulfilment; hope that gives us the courage to place ourselves on the side of good even in seemingly hopeless situations, aware that, as far as the external course of history is concerned, the power of sin will continue to be a terrible presence.

37. Let us return to our topic. We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love. In this context, I would like to quote a passage from a letter written by the Vietnamese martyr Paul Le-Bao-Tinh († 1857) which illustrates this transformation of suffering through the power of hope springing from faith. “I, Paul, in chains for the name of Christ, wish to relate to you the trials besetting me daily, in order that you may be inflamed with love for God and join with me in his praises, for his mercy is for ever (Ps 136 [135]). The prison here is a true image of everlasting Hell: to cruel tortures of every kind—shackles, iron chains, manacles—are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief. But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always; he has delivered me from these tribulations and made them sweet, for his mercy is for ever. In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone —Christ is with me ... How am I to bear with the spectacle, as each day I see emperors, mandarins, and their retinue blaspheming your holy name, O Lord, who are enthroned above the Cherubim and Seraphim? (cf. Ps 80:1 [79:2]). Behold, the pagans have trodden your Cross underfoot! Where is your glory? As I see all this, I would, in the ardent love I have for you, prefer to be torn limb from limb and to die as a witness to your love. O Lord, show your power, save me, sustain me, that in my infirmity your power may be shown and may be glorified before the nations ... Beloved brothers, as you hear all these things may you give endless thanks in joy to God, from whom every good proceeds; bless the Lord with me, for his mercy is for ever ... I write these things to you in order that your faith and mine may be united. In the midst of this storm I cast my anchor towards the throne of God, the anchor that is the lively hope in my heart.” 28 This is a letter from “Hell”. It lays bare all the horror of a concentration camp, where to the torments inflicted by tyrants upon their victims is added the outbreak of evil in the victims themselves, such that they in turn become further instruments of their persecutors' cruelty. This is indeed a letter from Hell, but it also reveals the truth of the Psalm text: “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I sink to the nether world, you are present there ... If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light' —for you darkness itself is not dark, and night shines as the day; darkness and light are the same” (Ps 139 [138]:8-12; cf. also Ps 23 [22]:4). Christ descended into “Hell” and is therefore close to those cast into it, transforming their darkness into light. Suffering and torment is still terrible and well- nigh unbearable. Yet the star of hope has risen—the anchor of the heart reaches the very throne of God. Instead of evil being unleashed within man, the light shines victorious: suffering—without ceasing to be suffering—becomes, despite everything, a hymn of praise.

38. The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society. Yet society cannot accept its suffering members and support them in their trials unless individuals are capable of doing so themselves; moreover, the individual cannot accept another's suffering unless he personally is able to find meaning in suffering, a path of purification and growth in maturity, a journey of hope. Indeed, to accept the “other” who suffers, means that I take up his suffering in such a way that it becomes mine also. Because it has now become a shared suffering, though, in which another person is present, this suffering is penetrated by the light of love. The Latin word con-solatio, “consolation”, expresses this beautifully. It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude. Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme. Truth and justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life itself becomes a lie. In the end, even the “yes” to love is a source of suffering, because love always requires expropriations of my “I”, in which I allow myself to be pruned and wounded. Love simply cannot exist without this painful renunciation of myself, for otherwise it becomes pure selfishness and thereby ceases to be love.

39. To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves—these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himself. Yet once again the question arises: are we capable of this? Is the other important enough to warrant my becoming, on his account, a person who suffers? Does truth matter to me enough to make suffering worthwhile? Is the promise of love so great that it justifies the gift of myself? In the history of humanity, it was the Christian faith that had the particular merit of bringing forth within man a new and deeper capacity for these kinds of suffering that are decisive for his humanity. The Christian faith has shown us that truth, justice and love are not simply ideals, but enormously weighty realities. It has shown us that God —Truth and Love in person—desired to suffer for us and with us. Bernard of Clairvaux coined the marvellous expression: Impassibilis est Deus, sed non incompassibilis 29—God cannot suffer, but he can suffer with. Man is worth so much to God that he himself became man in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way—in flesh and blood—as is revealed to us in the account of Jesus's Passion. Hence in all human suffering we are joined by one who experiences and carries that suffering with us; hence con-solatio is present in all suffering, the consolation of God's compassionate love—and so the star of hope rises. Certainly, in our many different sufferings and trials we always need the lesser and greater hopes too—a kind visit, the healing of internal and external wounds, a favourable resolution of a crisis, and so on. In our lesser trials these kinds of hope may even be sufficient. But in truly great trials, where I must make a definitive decision to place the truth before my own welfare, career and possessions, I need the certitude of that true, great hope of which we have spoken here. For this too we need witnesses—martyrs—who have given themselves totally, so as to show us the way—day after day. We need them if we are to prefer goodness to comfort, even in the little choices we face each day—knowing that this is how we live life to the full. Let us say it once again: the capacity to suffer for the sake of the truth is the measure of humanity. Yet this capacity to suffer depends on the type and extent of the hope that we bear within us and build upon. The saints were able to make the great journey of human existence in the way that Christ had done before them, because they were brimming with great hope.

40. I would like to add here another brief comment with some relevance for everyday living. There used to be a form of devotion—perhaps less practised today but quite widespread not long ago—that included the idea of “offering up” the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating “jabs”, thereby giving them a meaning. Of course, there were some exaggerations and perhaps unhealthy applications of this devotion, but we need to ask ourselves whether there may not after all have been something essential and helpful contained within it. What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ's great “com-passion” so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy of good and of human love. Maybe we should consider whether it might be judicious to revive this practice ourselves.

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Pani Rose] #265842
12/02/07 07:46 AM
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I was able to get through to it about 5:30 this morning. Here is the link...
ENCYCLICAL LETTER
SPE SALVI
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
BENEDICT XVI
TO THE BISHOPS
PRIESTS AND DEACONS
MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS
AND ALL THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON CHRISTIAN HOPE
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/b...f_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html

IT IS SO EASY TO READ. AMAZING!

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Pani Rose] #265918
12/02/07 06:39 PM
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Quote
40. I would like to add here another brief comment with some relevance for everyday living. There used to be a form of devotion—perhaps less practised today but quite widespread not long ago—that included the idea of “offering up” the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating “jabs”, thereby giving them a meaning. Of course, there were some exaggerations and perhaps unhealthy applications of this devotion, but we need to ask ourselves whether there may not after all have been something essential and helpful contained within it. What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ's great “com-passion” so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy of good and of human love. Maybe we should consider whether it might be judicious to revive this practice ourselves. (emphasis added)


Talk about a return to tradition! This was exactly what we were taught as kids by our mother: "I don't want to go to school!" "Offer it up." etc. We knew to Whom we were supposed to be offering it up also -- she taught us that, too.

This wonderful encyclical is very timely -- the beginning of the Advent Season (in the West), a time of hope, in which we meditate on the two major comings of the Lord: the Incarnation and the Last Judgement.

Infant Babe of Bethlehem, come and take birth in our hearts this Christmas Day!


Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Marian] #266175
12/03/07 08:20 PM
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Quote
I am a person who is often overwhelmed by suffering.


Quote
. . . all this was a path for Him to leave the world of passing trivialities and enter into the glory of the Father. We in every time and place must tread the same path. The cross with its enormous suffering cannot be compared with the glory it brought forth. The cross did not come by chance into the life of the Lord; He was born for it. “For this purpose I have come to this hour” (John 12:27). Man is born for suffering, and suffering was born for man.


Marian:

Take a look at this kernel of the passage I quoted. We are made for suffering. That is, we are born to be "plunged into Christ" (Greek, baptizein) and participate in His suffering by accepting our own in this world in order to participate in His glory and have Him give us a glory of our own at the same time. We are also called by this baptism into His suffering to "leave this passing world" by becoming detached from "stuff" and "habits" and anything else that can come between us and our God. Suffering is a purification, a way that we can come to realize that our true home is not here; that we are on pilgrimage here; that our best made plans are not necessarily those of the One Who wants to give us "every good gift and every perfect gift" from above.

I, too, suffer continuously from a work-related injury some years ago. It and the years of rehabilitation taught me a few things and continue to teach me. One of the things I learned was that there is one important thing that no one can take from you: your faith relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else can be taken: spouse, children, house, riches, even your good name among men. But this latter--a good name--should be something we are concerned with in relation to Christ. In the end, what He thinks of me is the only thing that matters. And this is a second thing that impressed me deeply in my rehabilitation.

The idea that we are already in Resurrection by accepting our suffering is another that has caught me and I have yet to work it out completely. Somehow we are already rising with Christ prior to our own death, just as He was already the Risen Lord at the Last Supper. We are rising to glory as we accept this gift of Christ--this purification gift--now and see in it His boundless love for us. Because we are already baptised into Him, our suffering has eternal value--a value we cannot see except vaguely because our bodies, bound to the earth, rebel against pain, suffering, humiliation, limitation, etc.

Suffering is often associated with some physical limitation that reminds us as it progresses that we will never be an olympic athlete, that we will never be the most handsome man that attracts all the women, that we will never be the great ones of the earth. But the fact that Jesus, during His lifetime, was none of these ought to remind us that we are not called to be the great ones of the earth. We are called to be like Him: to do the work that the Father gives us to do in the place He has put us and with the gifts He has given us. Most of us will never leave a great impact on the world: much like the man who tries to write his name on the surface of a bucket of water, most of us will pass and be forgotten by the world. But we attach our suffering to the One Who came here to suffer for us--to bridge the gap left by sin. Christ obtained again His glory when He returned to the Kingdom and made it possible that we, by our own suffering, might also have glory in the Kingdom with Him by being in communion (that intimate relationship established in and through the Church in the Mysteries) with Him now. By Christ's coming, returning to the Father but still remaining with us in the Mysteries, He has enabled those of us chosen to be part of Him to share what He has had before the foundation of the world--so that everything He allows us to have has an eternal value, especially, as Father Matta says, our suffering.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that suffering is for our purification now. It helps us to remember the One thing necessary--a Person with Whom we have communion, a "coming into union" relationship.

In Christ,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 12/04/07 09:18 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #266231
12/03/07 11:19 PM
12/03/07 11:19 PM
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That is awesome, from the heart and true.

Humbly,
Alice

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Alice] #266286
12/04/07 10:48 AM
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Marian:

To add to what I've already sent to you, ponder this. The Lord Himself tells us that God chastises the son(s) He loves. What does that mean? It seems to me to mean that He ALLOWS us to have the suffering of this age as a gift, the same gift He gave His Only-Begotten Son and the same gift the Son accepted as the Father's Will. Now, Jesus did not accept this with a sullen attitude. I believe that He accepted everything that the Father gave Him with love, joy, peace, and faith that each thing, including His Suffering, was for a benefit not only to Himself but to all who would be part of Him.

We are part of Him. We benefit by His suffering. We also have our own suffering made part of His Suffering so that it has an eternal value, both for us and for others. And this latter is an important part, often missed. Our suffering is not in a vacuum. It is part of Christ because we are part of Him. So when we suffer, our suffering--like the suffering of Christ--has value for others. I once made this point to my spiritual father and asked him to consider what he would feel like if he walked into Heaven and someone completely unknown to him ran up and revealed that through his suffering this person had his entry into Heaven--that the Lord had used his suffering for the benefit of another.

I believe that this stems from how God is: other-directed. The Trinity is a model of other-directedness in the relationships of the Divine Persons to each other and to all created beings. So our participation in Christ makes us part of that other-directedness (or should).

(The opposite of other-directedness, the Enemy's stance, is self-centeredness, selfishness: the "me first and only me" attitude.)

In Christ,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 12/04/07 03:49 PM.
Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Michael McD] #266708
12/05/07 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael McD

This was exactly what we were taught as kids by our mother:



I was taught this by a very good priest .. and have done it ever since (not every day). In the Prayers forum ... I ask for prayers for Melony .. and mention that I had given up my day for her.

Another devotion I used to practice was giving up my day for the souls in purgatory.

During the day one gives up .. one is especially mindful of accepting those troubles one should accept. Any merit gained (virtues) are shared with the person one gave up the day for.

If the day goes smooth for me (no particular troubles) I think to myself "Well... this person is not in need of much help." but if real troubles come my way I think to myself "Well... now .. I am doing something! Now ... I am helping. Now I am gaining something for that person." and am mindful of trusting in Providence for how things turn out.

-ray

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #266722
12/05/07 11:59 PM
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Dear Bob ...

Well said.

I had been fumbling around to try to write something ... but you said it all so very well. I wish I could write like that and put it as well as you can. Hey! I seemed to me I said that before smile

Allow me to try to expand just a bit more on the good foundation that you laid.

St. John of the Cross mentions two Dark Nights. The dark night of the senses and the dark night of the spirit.

For those in progress toward God .. the dark night of the senses is most often ... times of physical suffering. Its purpose is to purify the senses from any obsessive attachments to the things of the senses. Otherwise we might become too attached to material things and chase after luxury homes, expensive cars, wealth and public fame .. and do anything necessary for this type of self-providence and personal gain. And so God uses physical suffering to 'cut us off at the pass' and prevent us from becoming too obsessively attached to material life. While this type of physical troubles are rightly called pain ... the suffering part is mental and in degree to our attachments. But one should remember ... these pugations are not only to detach us from the things of the material world .. but also to prevent us from developing attachments to the material world (which attachments we humans would develop if it were not for God 'cutting us off at the pass').

This night (of the senses) is a necessary purgation of the senses and must take place before the person can progress any further.

The dark night of the spirit (the mind) is a spiritual suffering which detaches us from pride, self-providence, and from spiritual things. This dark night has the purpose of changing our habits ... a purgation of the subconscious mind. And for this reason sanctification is said to be the re-formation of our habits (into habits of virtue).

While many Christians who have some dedication to God will experience the dark night of the senses ... only those few who have progresses into contemplation will expereince the purgation of the spirit ... in preparation for union. And of these ... only fewer still will accept this type of suffering - and go all the way to mystical union.

The dark night of the spirit can be mistaken for depression. The person can think that his spiritual life has gone wrong. And since the sweetness and security he had before (in thinking of God) is taken away ... he can also think that God has abandoned him. And so he may stop contemplation and return to lower forms of prayer in which he was so well satisfied before.

While we can pass through the occasions of purgation to our senses ... without being aware that God is doing it, what God is doing, and why ... the purgations of the spirit (mind) are much more violent .. and the person needs to know that it is God doing this to him .. so that the person can cooperate. And the person needs to know exactly how to cooperate with God when he is plunged into this type of spiritual suffering.

I hope I have contributed a bit.

Peace to you.
-ray



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