Unknowing is part of knowing.  St. John of the Cross, in his writings and spirituality, says that he knows that he does not know, can never know, and does not even need to know!

He says this in the context of the dark night of the soul.  He calls this dark night a work of mercy, it leaves us without understanding.  John often speaks in paradoxes.

When one is travelling in this dark night, one cannot understand what is happening.  Those who have had experiences of God can begin to have expectations of what that experience should be.

In this time of darkness, a person can feel miserable and unworthy, sometimes even convinced that God has abandoned them.

In this time of confusion, a person is in fact being taught by God in a secret way, a way with which the faculties of sense and reason cannot interfere.  These can take the forms of a distaste for payer and religious practices.

Inside the person the love-longing for God is in fact intensified.

God is whispering to the inner self, whispers of love.

Here, indeed, a purification is going on.  There is a dying to old images, immature spirituality.

The person is moving from seeking a ‘high’ in God.  There is a movement from spiritual gratification to loving for love’s sake.  There is a movement from the ‘me’ to ‘us’, to relationship, and the focus is on the other, i.e., God.

We can stay ‘small-minded’ and ‘small-hearted’ in the spiritual life.  We can even create a ‘God’ in our own image.

By an act of surrender we let God lead us and guide us in this loving relationship with Him.

It is important to stay in touch with the deeper desires, the hunger that we have in our hearts for God.

It is a great mystery that God, the Beloved, longs for union with us.

Sometimes, of course, it can be helpful to speak with someone about our spiritual journey.

It is possible to run away from union with God during this time of darkness.  When we do not run away and remain open to God guiding us, we are most true to our real self, we are most authentic.

Bishop Charles Signature.jpg