St. John of the Cross- Dark Night of the Soul

St. John of the Cross- Dark Night of the Soul

“Those of you who find yourselves in this predicament need to comfort yourselves. Patiently persevere and do not let yourselves get upset. Trust in God, who does not abandon those who seek him with a simple and righteous heart. He will not neglect to give you what you need for your path until he delivers you into that clear, pure light of love. You are meant to receive this great gift, yet it is only through the dark night of the spirit that he will bring you to it.”

“To be truly humble is to feel a tender acceptance of all reality just as it is, including compassion for ourselves just as we are.”

“The secret essence of the soul that knows the truth is calling out to God…Let me only love you, Beloved. Let me quietly and with unutterable simplicity just love you.”

“The true teachers are often the invisible ones.”

“The dark night descends on a soul only when everything else has failed. When you are stuck spiritually.”

“This is the beginning of the blessedness. When the soul can do nothing but surrender. It has become clear that you are incapable of doing anything on your own to remedy your spiritual brokenness.”

“Unwilling to keep struggling, the soul finds itself surrendering to its deepest inner wound and breathing in the stillness there.”

“In striving to transcend the self, we actually mess it up. The dark night is God’s solution to our solutions, dissolving our best-laid constructions anew into the mystery of grace.”

“Cultivate a simple, loving attention toward the Beloved. That is when the Beloved takes over and all our holy intentions vaporize.”

“It is the Sabbath of the Soul when we heed the call to cease creating and remember that we were created.”

“In the silence, Divine Reality secretly reveals Itself to a consciousness cleared of the ongoing chatter of the false self.”

“In the dark night of each soul, we are simultaneously annihilated and immeasurably strengthened.”

“To step naked into the garden where the Beloved is waiting. The closer to home with God, the more ferocious the resistance of the fragmented self.”

“All we can do is surrender to the darkness and take humble refuge in the ineffable stillness of the soul’s spiritual meltdown.”

“God is teaching her in a secret way now, a way in which the faculties of sense and reason cannot interfere.”

“The dark night is about being fully present in the tender, wounded emptiness of our own souls.”

(Excerpts from St. John of the Cross-Dark Night of the Soul, translation by Mirabai Starr.)

 

 

Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila: Mansion Seven Beauty

Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila: Mansion Seven Beauty

“The spiritual journey inward to the Beloved is the journey home. To who I truly am. A circular, spiral, womb-like experience. Non-linear. Journey of remembering and forgetting.

Contemplative prayer is about aligning myself with the highest intention; to be with my beloved.  Learning that we cannot figure out holy mystery with our minds.

When the sluggish worm completely dissolves into a sort of cellular soup, becoming nothing in a cocoon. And later transforms into a beautiful butterfly flitting about.

Coming to know God with God’s own mind. Coming to love God with God’s own heart. Looking through the eyes of love and seeing only love.

When lover dissolves completely into the Beloved. The subject/object distinction is obliterated. There is no longer union with the Beloved. There is only love. Consummated marriage of the soul.

Then we return to the world of seeming separation, knowing that there is no separation; that I am in Him and He is in me.

And now the only task is to give ourselves in service to the world. That is all that is left to do.  Seeing every face as the face of the Beloved.

To be of service may look very different from what we think it will look like. Do only what is yours to do. Let not others tell you otherwise.”

(Mirabai Starr speaking on The Interior Castle webinar series available through Center for Action and Contemplation. Learn more at https://cac.org/online-ed/interior-castle-course-description/)

The Calling

The Calling by Mirabai Starr (excerpts)

Inspired by Teresa of Avila Interior Castle

This magnificent refuge is inside you.

Enter.

Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway.

Listen.

The One you love is calling.

Listen.

His call is flute music.

Far away.

Be brave, and walk through the country of your own wild heart.

Be gentle, and know that you know nothing.

Be still.

Listen.

Keep walking.

This is your rightful place.

That is your Beloved reclining in the inner-most chamber, waiting for you. Offering wine from a bottle with your crest on the label.

The path home to your true love unobstructed after all.

Know that the Beloved has chosen as His dwelling place, the core of your own being.

For that is the single, most beautiful place in all creation.

Waste no time.

Enter the center of your soul.

Listen to Mirabai Starr read the full version of The Calling at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zii_c3jHl9c&t=8s

Reflections on The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

Reflections on The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

“God always loves me right where I am right now. I seek to slow down so that I may gain self-knowledge of the subtle love acts from God.”

“To sit still (in solitude) is to bear witness to the world that there is no other place to be right now. A death to everything less than the infinite love of God which is sustain me and drawing me to Himself.”

“God loving me through my sadness and pain, so that little, by little, by little I can experience the unsustain-ability of all but love.”

 “Reflect upon this: What are the deepest longings of my heart?”

(James Finley reflections on The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.)

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