Into This Dark Night: The Night of the Spirit

Hero of faith.

The night of the spirit. 

This is a really difficult reality to write about.

Whenever I think of this most difficult journey in the spiritual life, I think of Mother Teresa. Most likely, you have heard that after her death, the world learned she had carried a spiritual darkness in her life for 40 long years. 

Forty years. 

How can we begin to wrap our minds around that? 

I remember when the news of this broke.

The news agencies didn’t know what to make of it. They were, in short, flabbergasted. That small, humble woman everyone in the world knew as the face of love, as one who had wholly given herself to God in every single moment she lived, had walked blindly in spiritual darkness for 40 years. 

She didn’t know where God was. She felt wholly abandoned. 

And yet she continued to love God and people broken in both body and spirit.

The media outlets questioned her faith. They questioned her life. They questioned everything she stood for and everything we thought we knew of her. 

But those of us acquainted with the deeper realities of the spiritual journey knew, immediately, this: 

She had endured the most difficult season of all. She had endured the dark night of the spirit. 

This is a difficult one to write about. And truthfully, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to say about it here. We’ll discover the answer to that question together over the course of the next few days.