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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Growth in Darkness

I stepped into the darkness of night to take the dog out and my eyes lit upon the white buds in a nearby bush. It seems they appeared after the sun went down tonight, as they weren't there before.

It occurred to me, then, how much growth takes place at night, while we sleep. God so ordered the world so that all of creation is open to receiving the light, but at night, in deprivation, the real growth occurrs.

How often we complain about suffering. How often we lament a deprivation of consolations, wanting to "feel" God close to us, or wanting to "feel like" praying or going to Mass. How often, if we don't "feel like it" we skip our devotions and obligations.

Yet, just as God ordered nature around us, He ordered us. He wants us to be open and receptive in our joy, but part of that state of reception is recognizing that the darkness will come, and it will be a time to remain hidden, holding in what we know, and waiting for the sun to rise again.

We can't grow in the spiritual life unlesss the darkness comes. We can't know true holiness if all we have known is joy and sunshine. We must know deprivation, we must experience it, and we must shudder within it, for only in this can we truly understand the fullness of God. Only in the privation of light do we ever have the chance to reflect back what we have absorbed.


KAM said...

Wonderful metaphors! This was a post that truly spoke to me. I (we, maybe), strive to make our spiritual life as hunky-dory as possible, doing all our prayers right and at the correct time, yet sometimes feeling as if not much has happened. Sometimes we need to really FEEL the darkness, whether it be day or night. Sometimes the darkness is not darkness at all but the Spirit probing, taking away our bit of complacency with a reminder to us just where our priorities lie.

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Yes but it can be very painful can't it?

KAM said...

Painful, sad, frightening, for me it's always different. The only time I can get an even keel is if I'm either on retreat or spending the day alone, in a meditative, prayerful sort of way.(NEVER HAPPENS!) So we just go along in this secular world, following Christ, searching for the Spirit to lead us, and with me, pray to the Virgin Mary. She helps with the rough spots.