In a dark night,
With anxious love inflamed,
O, happy lot!
Forth unobserved I went,
My house being now at rest.
I have mentioned elsewhere the three reasons why the soul that seeks divine union must go by a way that is called night. Thus, in the dark night of purgation and faith in the infinite and incomprehensible God the soul proceeds blindly, led and inflamed by God is who love. And the soul in a sense proceeds anxiously, not out of fear but out of the sense that we are always late in responding to the love of God. This love is a theological virtue, at once a gift and a commitment, a habit, a way of life. It is grace and response, Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary.
Why a happy lot?
Because upon this path the soul departs from the hindrance of carnal desire, or other obstacles and obscurations of Divine Love. St. John explains that the happy lot of the soul consists of being led of God to enter into this night: it is a supreme blessing upon the soul and the soul through faith experiences it as such. As St. John says it is necessary to pass through the dark night of the senses with faith and that the only way to do this is the mortification of desire while placing faith, hope, and love in God.
Practically speaking we could apply this to a moment of time, for instance a half-hour of prayer, to grow in the love of God through meditation on His Holy Word. During this time we would forgo every desire save placing our faith in God ever more fully as our minds and hearts are enlightened by His Holy Word. For that period, apart from mortification, we could not pray well. The more a person prayed like this, the more mortified they would be of worldly, sensual desires, and the more oriented their life would be to the love of God in the heart of Jesus.
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