The Dark Night And Reason

I’ve managed to get a virus. I’m in the coughing stage now. <cough, cough> Bummer, eh?

Here’s a quote that should provoke a little thought, especially given the whole point of religion these days. Again, it’s from the master of mystic life, John of the Cross. The Sayings of Light and Love. In The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross. Rev. Ed. Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez. Washington, D.C. : ICS Publications, 1991.

The soul that in aridity and trial submits to the dictates of reason is more pleasing to God than one that does everything with consolation, yet fails in this submission.

Where it says “in aridity and trial” read “in the Dark Night.”

Notice that the master of mystics returns to “reason” to please God. Mysticism is not some ethereal thing that makes no sense. Further more, John does not consider the remedy for the Dark Night to be consolation, that is, the feel good emotional lift that many seek. The remedy for the Dark Night is submission to “the dictates of reason.”

All of this makes sense only if one’s goal is to please God, not oneself.

Sometimes the most beautiful of things are surrounded by thorns.

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