The Meaning of the Dark Night of the Senses


One must wonder what the purpose of this detachment is, why go through this dark night? Why subject yourself to the terrible provisions of detachment?

from The Science of the Cross
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

In the beginning this being inflamed in love is not commonly perceived. The soul feels rather only dryness and emptiness, sorrowful fear and concern. And if she does feel any of the love, it is as a painful yearning for God, a smarting wound of love. Only later will she recognize that God has purified her through the night of the senses and wished to make the senses subject to the spirit. The she will exclaim: "Oh happy fate!" And she will clearly see what gain the "unnoticed esacpe" means for her: it has freed her from the servitude in which the sense had kept her, and little by little she is detached from all creatures and attracted to eternal goods. The night of the senses was for her the narrow gate (Mt 7:14) that leads to life.

Nothing more need be said. While we live it, we do not know how enslaved we are to our senses. When our love of God is greater than our love of His Creation, we will be led toward Him and through His grace and mercy we can undergo this purification that allows the senses to become subordinate to the spirit. We will finally see clearly.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 2, 2004 8:26 AM.

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