The Divine assails the soul in order to renew it and thus make it divine and stripping it of the habitual affections and attachments that it so easily clings to. The purging makes the soul feel as though it is perishing and melting away. The feeling is akin to being abandoned and forsaken. This again is the story of Joseph in the old covenant.
Or like Jonah, in this sepulchre of dark death in the belly of the great beast we must wait and abide until the spiritual resurrection of which it hopes. But it does not hope for it in some glib, glad way with spectacular optimism. Oh no, it is gasping for breaths between being thrown under by waves of despair. It is a prison of isolation from the consolations of friends and desolate in the sands of being unseen and unheard by all those who pass them by from the other side of the road.
The worst of these conditions is the abject poverty and wretchedness that the soul is subjected to in this time of purgation. The soul is reduced to a state of emptiness and must be left in an arid existence without any visible sight of escaping a wilderness that howls for deliverance from darkness.
Here God greatly humbles the soul in order that he may afterwards greatly exalt it.
I am still in the time of deep hiding so I am not able to comment on the side of exaltation although I am often confident of the reward of my faith and God’s immeasurable goodness. If not in this lifetime, in the one yet to come. I will enter into the joy of the Lord and stay on the course of blessed obedience and not being disobedient to the heavenly vision. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy and remember me O my God for good. Amen.
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