Friday, December 16, 2011

Struggles...we all have them

My life is a mess right now. I am in the midst of very trying times. Lost my home to foreclosure, dealing with illness-including these miserable shingles-moving, financial problems, deep dark depression, if it weren't for bad luck, etc. So I have to remind myself of some things. Our lives are lived half in light and half in dark. In Hebrew scripture God assures us in Isaiah(45: 6-7)...

I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

This scripture helped me to understand that those times when I am  experiencing the feelings that I compare to the dark night of the soul, those times were created for my good by Most High God. Now, how can feeling separate from my Creator be for my good? Because it is in those times that I truly have to believe that I would seek my Creator even when I am not feeling like  Most High is there. The times when my prayer life seems devoid and dried up, I can continue in my prayer life, because I know that God exists no matter how I feel. 

In the New Testament sacred literature it seems to me that the followers of Christ were the only one's who doubted. The Romans, the Sanhedrin, the enemies, they knew that here was someone who was going to change everything. But, just as Thomas became forever called doubting Thomas, the followers of the Christ had questions. They were right there with him, they heard what he was saying, they saw the miracles,and yet, we see time and again them questioning and the Christ explaining. If questioning continues even in darkness, the answers must come,though I don't have them right now. So, as darkness must turn into daybreak, waiting on the Most High God must be able to survive the darkness. Sometimes it is just the natural progression of light (activity) and darkness (rest or passive)that is normal in everything.

In Dark Night of the Soul (which is a poem and a treatise on the meaning of the poem) St John talks about the darkness as stripping away the ego. In psychoanalytic jargon the ego is that part of us, the self,serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality.So John of the Cross would say that 'greater is the darkness wherein the soul journeys and the more completely is it voided of its natural operations, the greater is its security'. In other words, the more of self we are stripped of, the more secure we are in the fact that God is out there.That the planet will turn and the light will follow, and growth will have happened as the natural progression of times of activity and rest.

None of us follow the same path in our spiritual growth. Many of us experience many different traditions in our journey. We are asking questions, looking for answers. The Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, everyone that asks receives. The word used for receive has the meaning of gaining. So those who question gain. Those who can embrace the dark as times of rest and growth can relax and know that the questions that inevitably arise in these times will be answered. So while I am struggling,I have to hang on, continuing to question.

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