Saturday, November 27, 2010

St Therese and her remedy for dark night of the soul

I will hear what the Lord will speak to me (Ps 84)

Happy is that soul which heareth the Lord speaking within her, and from His mouth receiveth the word of comfort! Happy ears, which receive the accents of the divine whisper, and take no notice of the whisperings of the world. Happy ears, indeed, which hearken to Truth itself teaching within, and not to the voice which soundeth without. (Imitation of Christ, Book 3)

When I was seventeen and eighteen I found much light in the writings of St John of the Cross, and he was my principal guide, but later on all spiritual writers left me in great dryness of spirit, and do so still. However beautiful and moving a book may be, as soon as I begin to read I am incapable of taking it in, and my heart is troubled; or if I do understand, my mind is unable to meditate further. In this state of helplessness the Scriptures and the Imitation come to my assistance, and in them I find a hidden manna, pure and sustaining.
The Gospel is my chief support in prayer, and I find in it all that my poor little soul needs. I am always finding new light there, and hidden, mysterious meanings; I learn by experience that the kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17: 21). The divine Master has no needs of books or rather teachers to do His work; He instructs the soul silently, without words. I have never heard Him, but i know that He is within me, inspiring and prompting me at the moment I need it most. it is not usually at my prayer that I see this new light, but when doing my ordinary work during the day. (St Therese 'Histoire d'une Ame')