Into This Dark Night: How It Descends

Step through the doorway?

The dark night of the senses descends when the beginner’s interior life has become more attuned to God than to the world. Her allegiance is firmly planted in God, even though she is yet young and childish in her desires for God. There’s no concern she’ll flee from God to the world when change descends on her joy-filled spiritual life. 

And so it’s time to grow.

That’s when, John of the Cross says: 

“God suddenly darkens all that light. He slams the door shut.

… This feels very strange. Everything seems backwards!”

Again, this has nothing to do with the soul’s decreasing desire for God. She has not done anything wrong. She has not fled the spiritual life. If she had, this would not be a dark night. 

In a dark night of the senses, the soul loses her felt experience of everything — material and spiritual. Nothing holds pleasure for the soul in this place. And the soul’s response at the start of this experience is grief.

She cannot seem to find God anywhere, and she thinks she has somehow lost him — or been lost to him.

Have you ever experienced this?