With His gentle hand He wounded my neck And caused
all my senses to be suspended.
Part poetic masterpiece, part mystic treatise, The Dark
Night of the Soul by 16th century Carmelite monk,
St. John of the Cross, addresses the feeling of being
forgotten by the Presence of the Almighty that every
Christian desirous of walking more closely with God
must pass through in order to learn to walk by faith and
not by sight.
Spiritual persons suffer great trials...by reason…of the
fear which they have of being lost on the road, thinking
that all spiritual blessing is over for them and that God
has abandoned them since they find no help or pleasure
in good things. Then they grow weary, and endeavor to
concentrate their faculties with some degree of pleasure
upon some object of meditation, thinking that, when
they are not doing this and yet are conscious of making
an effort, they are doing nothing.
Perhaps one of the most widely recognized of the mystical
writings, St. John’s classic Dark Night of the Soul is not
only practical theology but a beautiful balm of healing to
anyone whose heart has ever echoed the words of Christ,
“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”