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The Dark Night of the Soul

Discussion in 'On prayer itself' started by padraig, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I thought I would write, for a little while on the Dark Night of the Soul.

    In the Hail Holy Queen we describe ourselves as , 'Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears'. We are all sinners , living in a sinful fallen world. None of us can avoid this suffering . We have only two choices. Either to lie on the Cross and suffer for our own Salvation and the Salvation of the World. Or to try to build some modern Tower of Babel in being convinced we can avoid such suffering, still suffer and go onwards to the Eternal Torments of Hell.

    In other words The Cross is not an option, it is not some kind of optional bolt on extra. It lies at the very centre of our Faith and of we are True Catholics must be emblazoned on our hearts in letters of Gold.

    But as we know there are sufferings and there are sufferings. Some Crosses are so severe and so sear are souls that we are burnt by them to the very core of our being. In a sense we are melted and remade by them in such a way that when we remerge from them it is not as the same person we once were.

    A for instance is a statistic I heard one time from Ireland that over 90% of Irish male alcoholics become so after the deaths of their mothers. They are tested in fires of sorrow and mourning and are undone by it.

    You do not have to walk far down the path of life to meet these huge testings of sorrow, of Crosses that reach to teh very sky, the death of a loved one, serious life threatening illness, wars, poverty, the beak up of marriages, enmity in families and so on.

    On the other hand there are too the Golden Crowns of Joy which can change and remake us too. The birth of a child, marriage, love deep friendships, a return to the Faith and so.

    But over and through all the shadow of the Cross is always present. We were born to die. We all of us walk to Calvary, towards Eternity.

    djmoforegon, Beth B, Julia and 5 others like this.
  2. padraig

    padraig New Member


    “We sinned for no reason but an incomprehensible lack of love, and He saved us for no reason but an incomprehensible excess of love.”
    Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock
    HeavenlyHosts, Julia and josephite like this.
  3. grimisocks

    grimisocks Angels

    I was born with a limp, had a serious fall in 2008 which required a plate and pins put into my leg. I suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve entrapement. My gout is ever present. Im a walking hospital case. I plead to the Father, the Son and Blessed Mary for relief and am hoping that the Miracle will happen. This is MY cross, I know that but im weary. I don't have the energy or heart to offer it up anymore. I see opportunities in love/ marraige dissapearing over the horizon with every passing day. I call out for a sense of meaning to it all. Why do I have these afflictions? Is it a test? Well its certainly testing. Is there a bigger picture? If so I can't see it. This is a ramble and possibly self absorbed. But hey, im human after all.
  4. josephite

    josephite Powers

    Your sufferings Grimisocks have many demensions and they are the most painful ones! sometimes we don't know why we have to suffer so long and for what purpose but we will know in heaven! I will pray for you please pray for me.

    After the death of my forh child Erin Therese on Christmas day 1987 , I thought I had accepted everything for Love of God and my life was one big absorption in grief, prayer, penance and sacrifice, about 10 months after Erins death, to my horror, I realised I was angry with God! I confessed this in confession to my beautiful holy parish priest (Fahter O'Hallaran).

    To my surprise Father O'Hallaran said.... you're allowed to be angry with God! God has big shoulders! And God not only wants your sorrows, your joys, your yearnings. He wants the truth! He wants it all!
    Father went on to explain that some of the psalms are statements of anger towards God and that anger is all right as long as we turn to God and depend on Him for everything we need.
    Father said the problem with anger is not that a person is angry, (thats a normal human feeling), the problem is that the person turns away from God in their anger instead of coming to God and allowing Him to heal.

    Our Heavenly Mother tells us at Fatima (I think) to offer all that distresses us to God.
    I use the beautiful Fatima prayer.

    O Jesus this is for Love of you , for the conversion of sinners, for our Holy Father the Pope and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    And repeat and repeat, even in tears, for how ever long it takes!
    Mary is such a loving Mother she drys them all, she also gives peace, joy and hope.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  5. grimisocks

    grimisocks Angels

    Ill pray for you too but my prayer life has taken a battering if truth be told. I don't have the words to respond to your post but give me a little time, I'll get back to you.
    Andy3, Julia and josephite like this.
  6. Seagrace

    Seagrace Angels

    I know a little of this weariness, and it often breaks me. Some days it works to keep plodding on; some days it works to offer up our pains for the salvation of others.

    But there are many days when I don't want to do either. I'm on empty and nothing left to give, everything is meaningless. It used to be the worst days - till I discovered that it's alright to lean against Jesus, and tell Him, Lord, I can't do it anymore. Please hold me, just hold me.
    In fact, that is indeed just what Jesus wants us to do.

    There are many different forms of this same prayer of surrender. We need to say them, because then, we give up, but we give up to the Lord. That is the difference, that is important.

    And as you give up to Him, when thoughts and hopes gone flash by, reach out and take each one and press them into the Sacred Heart. You could use words for this. You could just imagine doing it.

    Give Him even your emptiness. And let Him hold you - as you rightly deserve.
    Yellowcoffeecup, Julia, AED and 4 others like this.
  7. soldier of christ

    soldier of christ Principalities

    I will pray for you and for all here who find that the burdens and pains of life are too great sometimes. I too am going thru various pains. After I finally surrendered my will to God, I found it is much easier to see his grace at work as well as to bear the pains. Although some days I do still feel like I can't go on, he sends me a little sign to reaffirm my faith in him so that I can pull myself back up again and keep going. I know not what God's plans are, and I have stopped trying to figure them out. He is God and I am nothing. But I know he loves me and knows what is best and for that I am most thankful
  8. Praetorian

    Praetorian Powers

    Grimisocks, please offer your sufferings up. Even if it is just a quick prayer at the beginning of the day. You have no idea how much good you can do. I wish I was a strong person to be able to suffer with joy, but I am not. I am very weak in that way. I know it doesn't seem like a lot of consolation right now as you are suffering but just imagine if you arrive in Heaven and are greeted by thankful souls who would be in Hell were it not for you offering up your suffering. You will get joy and glory in heaven for every second of your suffering if you offer it up. I will pray you have the strength to do so.

    May Our Lord and Our Lady watch over you ever second of your sufferings and aid you in carrying your crosses.
  9. Mario

    Mario Powers


    It's wonderful that you're an honest human!:) Prayers!

    Safe in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
  10. AED

    AED Powers

    Grimisocks--I know about that great void where no prayers are found. Been there once or twice myself. That's when (I believe) we ask the Holy Spirit. "Pray in me Holy Spirit. I have no words." St. Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit prays deep within us with groanings for we have no words and don't even know what to pray for. I'm willing to bet St. Paul knew a thing or two about that battered feeling in your soul. I don't have a lot of confidence in the power of my own prayers but I do know that Jesus tells us to keep knocking at the door and not give up. So I'll knock at the door for you and join my prayers to everyone else here for your intentions. That makes a much more powerful arrow pointed toward heaven. God bless!!!
    Julia, Seagrace, Mario and 2 others like this.
  11. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I am always a bit in awe and speechless when I hear of other peoples sufferings, especially such great ones. I think we ahve to fall to our knees a little at the immensity of it all. I have been praying for some of the people who post on Mother of God for many years now and will continue to pray for them as long as the good Lord permits. I think of the psalmist;

    'Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap'

    Psalm 126:5

    The Lord has Done Great Things for Us
    …4Restore our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South. 5Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. 6He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.…

    I have often thought about Mother Teresa when she left her home in the comfortable Lorreta Boarding school to wader alone into the depths of the slums of Calcutta, led by the Holy Spirit for the very first time. What on Earth did she think as she saw people dying alone in the gutter covered with sores and in great pain? What a shock to the spiritual system!! Not only that but she seems to have spent most of her adult life, right up to her death in the Dark Night of the Soul. So she was surrounded by astounding desolation all around her , physically and the blackest of spiritual desolation within , a huge double Cross.

    Yet , fed by the Light of the Holy Spirit she appears to have grasped meaning and consolation in all she did and saw and experienced and became a true fire of Light in the Dark to millions of others.

    In this reminding me so much of another modern saint Padre Pio , burdened with so much pain within and without and yet like Mother Teresa by all reports a constant bubbling spring of joy.



  12. Seagrace

    Seagrace Angels

    Beautifully said.
    Julia and Mario like this.
  13. padraig

    padraig New Member

    There are a few lessons I have been taught through being led through suffering. The first and greatest is that God loves us , even when He does not seem to show it.

    St Therese of Liseaux describes this wonderfully well. She compared herself as like a child's doll whom God, like a child could pick up and discard just as He pleased. She knew what she was talking about for nearly all her adult life she lived right up to her death in the deepest of Darkness dying a terrible, terrible death , horrendous of TB which was not properly treated with painkillers.

    But name a saint and you will find the same. To such an extent , indeed that it is safe to say , the greater the saint the greater the suffering. Paradoxically it is also true to say the greater the suffering the greater
    the joy and peace they evinced.

    I heard a comment one of the Carmelite sisters who nursed the very young St Teresa of the Andes made while she was dying of septicimea. She said that she had noticed one thing from nursing dying sisters and that was this, that the holiest nuns always died the most painful agonising deaths.

    Such mystery!!


  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I have not forgotten this and will get right back to it.:)

    A very Holy New Year to you all, may you all become great saints in the coming moths. St Teresa of Avila said it was possible to become a saint just by saying one, 'Hail Mary' with proper devotion, for the depths of our hearts. So twelve months is more than time enough. What the Church needs now more than anything, more than it ever did is great saints.

  15. AED

    AED Powers

  16. AED

    AED Powers

    No question that I am tech challenged today. I responded to your beautiful post on suffering but I see it didn't show up. I had to leave the computer suddenly and hit "post" but I guess it didn't go through. Any way just wanted to commend your wisdom on the suffering we are privileged to share with Christ. And the quotes from St. Therese and Mother Teresa. All so good. thank you.
    Julia and padraig like this.
  17. padraig

    padraig New Member

    You are blessed with your Spiritual Director, good ones are rare as hen's teeth
  18. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think the psalmist shows the perfect disposition of the soul going through trials and sufferings:

    Psalm 123:2

    As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

    ..and this is reflected by Mary at the Annunciation when she said:

    Luke 1:38

    And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

  19. padraig

    padraig New Member

    This, 'Yes ', to God is the very humblest of , 'Yes's' and comes from the heart of one who naturally takes the lowest place at table.

    Luke 14:10

    But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    djmoforegon and Julia like this.
  20. soldier of christ

    soldier of christ Principalities

    Someone once said to me , "that there are two types of people in this world. Takers and givers". To which I agree. And it almost seems like they are that way right from birth. So do you think it is harder for those"taker" types of people to be more humble and take the lowest place? I often wonder if this is something the "takers even ponder" until they really have a deep conversion. Perhaps it takes longer for a deep conversion to occur for these type.

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