Reflection 237: The Darkness of Faith Purifies our Love

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Many of the great saints, including Saint Faustina, experienced an interior darkness in their relationship with God.  This is quite a mysterious experience.  As a soul grows intimately close to God there are numerous consolations and feelings of love along the way.  However, there comes a point on the spiritual journey when God hides Himself.  This is not on account of any sin on the part of the person; rather, it’s God’s way of entering much deeper into the person’s life so as to sustain them without the help of emotional or even spiritual consolation.  The soul is plunged into a darkness that can be quite painful.  But in this darkness, the person is invited to know God with a new silence and surrender.  The communication it receives on this new level is beyond words and beyond human experience.  There is a knowledge of God and His Divine Will, but not an experience of Him.  The soul is invited through this darkness to choose God and His Will despite the absence of any feelings or spiritual consolations (See Diary #1235).

Most likely your prayer life has not brought you to this experience of darkness.  But even though few enter into this level of communion with God, it’s good to be aware of it and to understand the experience that the great saints had.  Knowing that this is the path of holiness will allow you to set aside desires to feel the love of God in exchange for a desire for God Himself.  God is not a feeling; He is a Trinity of Divine Persons.  Seek to love Him no matter what you feel and your relationship will grow deeper than you could ever imagine.

Lord, at times I do not understand Your perfect love for me.  When I feel close to You I am so very grateful for this experience.  However, I pray that you give me the grace to love You even when I do not sense Your presence.  Please purify my faith, dear Lord.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above: Sorrowful Mother Shrine Chapel (Bellevue, Ohio) – stained glass, Mercy of Christ by Nheyob

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