The enkindling of love is not as a rule felt at first, because it has not begun to take hold upon the soul. The soul feels that this thirst of love is a living thirst. It is not continuous, but occasional and at times more frequent and desperate.
Like one who has begun a cure, the soul knows only suffering in this dark and arid purgation of the desire. By this means it becomes healed of many imperfections and to make ready for this love.
The soul gains so many benefits that it holds it to be a “Happy Chance” to have escaped from the bonds ad restrictions of the sense of its lower self (ego, flesh) by the means of this Dark Night. At every step we stumbled into numerous imperfections and ignorances.
It will be a matter of great pleasure and consolation, to one that journeys on this road, to see how that which seems to the soul so severe and adverse, and so contrary to spiritual pleasure, works in it so many blessings.
St John of the Cross identifies this as the path into the strait gate and the narrow way that leads to life. The strait gate is the night of the senses, and the soul detaches itself from sense and strips itself thereof that it may enter by the gate and establish itself in faith, which is a stranger to all sense, so that afterwards it may journey by the narrow way, which is the Other night…that of the spirit.
Remember, the just shall live by faith and walk by faith not by sight, and faith only operates by love and whatever doesn’t proceed forth from faith is sin…
To live by faith is…to not live by our ability, education, skill, intellect, hard work, gifts, inventions, disciplines, cleverness, etc. Faith is another way to live life on another dimension. Faith is not opposed to these other God given capacities and faculties, but faith has its reasons that reason knows nothing about. How skilled are we becoming in the practices of our faith?
The Dark Night leaves you barren to give birth, hungry to eat food that nobody else can see. It is the process of dying to self, to awakening to life in Christ, so that we can in all things be more than conquerors and overcomers…faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Faith moves mountains!