Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dark Night Of The Soul-by Linden Malki

The coming of the Holy Spirit into our life may be dramatic, it may be profoundly deep, it may be the still, small voice. The drama is less important than the connection with God. And we may not always "feel" the presence of God, but that does not mean that we have been abandoned. There is a not uncommon experience in the spiritual history of the church known as "the dark night of the soul", when God may want us to know Him by faith, not by feedback. Our relationship with God does not depend on an emotional high. I mentioned this in a Life Group discussion of the Holy Spirit recently, and one of the group members said "That's it! I've been there! And it was years later when I recognized how God got me through a really dark place in my life." In the Catholic tradition, this experience is common in people recognized as saints--part of the process of radically following Jesus.

  The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel had a vision of the Glory of God living with His people in His temple. However, this was a very bad time in Judah's history, as the people had turned from worshiping God to bringing the pagan idols of their neighbors into the Temple. In Ezekiel's vision, the Spirit of God left the temple, which was destroyed by invading Babylonians and the people scattered into exile. Later, he had another vision of a clean and restored Temple, and the Spirit brought him back to see true worship reestablished and the Glory of God return.

Five hundred years later, Jesus was sent to enable us to be temples where His Spirit can live; to let Him get rid of whatever is not fit for His Presence.  He assures us that He is with us, even if we don't have the warm fuzzies all the time. This is when we get through the dark nights by the knowledge that even though all we see is the dark clouds, the Light is still there behind them, and He will bring us through to the dawn. 

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