Pray for the Church in October: October 2018

Prelude

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

 

Words

Emily Stimpson Chapman

Our Sunday Visitor

Understanding the “dark night of the soul”

Link

Understanding the ‘dark night of the soul’ The feeling of spiritual emptiness, or being abandoned by God, is natural in the process of growing closer to Christ Emily Stimpson Chapman OSV Newsweekly

When the world looked at the face of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, it saw pure, simple joy. Then, in 2007, 10 years after Blessed Teresa’s death, a collection of her private letters was published. Suddenly, the joy that the tiny sister from Albania once radiated seemed anything but simple.

As the letters revealed, for the entirety of her public ministry, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity endured unceasing feelings of desolation and abandonment by God.

“I am told God lives in me,” she wrote in 1957, “and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”

For some, the letters became a source of scandal. But for those familiar with the stages of spiritual growth, they served as a profound testimony to Blessed Teresa’s sanctity. In those decades of desolation, she lived what St. John of the Cross termed, the “dark night of the soul,” which was the title of a poem he wrote.

The timing and duration of Mother Teresa’s dark night was unusual — and markedly so. But the fact that she encountered a dark night wasn’t. Every Christian, on their way to God, must pass through his or her own dark night. So, what is (and isn’t) the dark night of the soul?

It is necessary

Every fallen human being has disordered desires and attachments. We love what we shouldn’t love, or we love what we should but in the wrong way. We seek our own comfort, our own pleasure, our own will. We value what we want more than we value what God wants. We do wrong, even if only in our hearts.

But we can’t do wrong and stand before God. We can’t even want to do wrong and stand before God. A prerequisite for seeing God face to face is that every attachment to sin, both in our lives and in our hearts, must be broken. If we want to become saints, we have to desire only God’s will. And we have to desire God’s will not out of fear of hell, but rather out of love for heaven, out of love for God. Some of that breaking we do, as we learn to avoid vice and pursue virtue. But some of that breaking only God can do. The dark night of the soul is, in part, how he does that. By seemingly withdrawing all spiritual consolations — all the little comforts and supports that typically come from pursuing a relationship with him — and allowing an almost crushing sense of abandonment to descend upon us, he purifies our desires and prepares us for heaven.

It is unique

The dark night of the soul looks different in different lives. Laypersons don’t necessarily experience the dark night the way religious do. Nor do active religious necessarily experience the dark night the way contemplatives do. Some people experience it primarily through external circumstances. They find themselves persecuted or afflicted. In the midst of those afflictions, all calls for help go unanswered. To the person passing through this type of dark night, it feels like God has left them to deal with their cross on their own.

Others experience the dark night through temptations: Temptations to pride, vanity, anger, sexual sin, and even unbelief assail them. Then, there are those who experience the dark night of the soul mainly through inner desolation: The gates of heaven seem barred against them, and no matter how much they pray, no consolation seemingly comes. Lastly, there are those who experience the dark night as a combination of all three: trials, temptations and abandonment.

Likewise, for some, the dark night comes but once. For others, it comes many times. Usually, it lasts for only a short while. Occasionally, it lasts much longer. But when it finally ends, it ends for good. A definitive work has been accomplished in the soul.

It is unpredictable

The dark night of the soul doesn’t come at the beginning of one’s journey to God. Traditionally, spiritual directors identify three primary stages (or ways) of growth in holiness. The first is the purgative way, where we break habits of vice, acquire habits of virtue and learn to live a Catholic life. The second is the illuminative way, where we grow in virtue, charity and the life of prayer. And the third is the unitive way, where our wills and hearts move in perfect harmony with God’s.

Near the end of the purgative stage, we experience a type of dark night — a time of trial and affliction where it feels as if God no longer loves us. This dark night, however, is not the dark night of the soul. Rather, it’s the dark night of the senses.

In the dark night of the senses, God purifies us of our attachments to the things of the world — physical comfort, physical pleasure, material success, popular acclaim — as well as of our consolations in prayer. Sorrows afflict us, and things that used to comfort us — food, sex, shopping, compliments, even the liturgy — no longer do. Through this dark night, God prepares us for the illuminative way and a deeper, more contemplative life of prayer.

The dark night of the soul occurs at the end of the illuminative way, as we prepare to enter the unitive way. During this dark night, God roots out our deepest attachments to sin and self, and the desolation that accompanies that rooting out is overwhelming and crushing. More than just a lack of consolation, this dark night plunges a soul into an abyss of darkness and nothingness, essentially revealing to us what we are without God and preparing us to not only carry our crosses, but to love our crosses and carry them joyfully in union with Christ.

It isn’t depression

From the outside, depression and the dark night of the soul bear a striking resemblance to one another. And they’re not entirely separate things. As St. John of the Cross noted long ago, depression (or as they called it in the 17th century, melancholia) can go hand in hand with a dark night, whether by exacerbating it or resulting from it.

But while clinical depression is triggered by an objectively sad event (losing a loved one, fatal illness, etc.) or by a biochemical problem, the dark night of the soul is purely an act of God; it is God working in our souls to draw us closer to him.

Likewise, while depression weighs down both body and soul, eventually rendering those who suffer from it unable to go about the normal business of their life, throughout the dark night, the spirit stays strong, and those suffering through it can perform great works of charity and service. They remain active and don’t experience the same temptations to total self-loathing or suicide that those struggling with depression suffer, nor do they lose their faith in the midst of the dark night. Belief remains.

It isn’t evil

The dark night of the soul is not an evil to be endured; it’s a good for which we should be grateful. Of course, it doesn’t always seem that way. The thought of plunging into a spiritual abyss and losing all the sweetness in our relationship with God strikes few as appealing. But neither does surgery. Having cancer removed from our bodies isn’t a fun process. Nevertheless, we submit to the surgeon’s knife readily and quickly, knowing that the sooner we have the surgery, the sooner we can live a healthy, full life.

What’s true on the natural level is true on the supernatural level. If we want to become the people God made us to be and live the lives he made us to live, we must let him excise sin and unhealthy attachments from our souls. There’s no getting around it. Before we can enter heaven, it has to happen. It can happen in this life or it can happen in the next — in purgatory. But here is better. For the sooner we let God root out unhealthy attachments, the sooner we can get on with the business of being saints.

And there’s no better business than that.

 

Videos

  1. The Pope
    • #PrayForTheChurch – Special prayer campaign for the Church – The Pope Video – October 2018
      • Profile :- October 2018. The Pope Video: The Devil is a seducer. This is why, without our knowing it, we let him enter into our lives. This also applies to the life of the Church. This is why the Pope is asking us this month of October to pray the Rosary of the Virgin Mary and the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to fight against the power of evil and to protect the Church. Will we all join in with this request? “The Devil presents himself with great power. He brings you gifts. But you don’t know what’s inside. I renew the invitation to everyone to pray the Rosary every day in October, ending with the antiphon “We fly to thy patronage” and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, to repel the attacks of the Devil who wants to divide the Church.”
      • Videos
    • Pope Francis asks for prayers to protect church from “attacks by the devil”
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          • Channel :- CBS Evening News
            Link
  2. Kanaan Ministries SA
    • Understanding Second Heaven
      • Profile
        • The following is an extract from the latest course ACTS (Advanced Counsellors Training School). For the complete course – there are 23 DVDs and 3 manuals, which can be purchased from our office, please contact our office: http://www.kanaanministries.org/contact/ or order from our eShop: http://kanaanministries-eshop.org/ Second Heaven: As with all kingdoms, there are levels of authority, governors of territories or regions, and so on. These beings operate within a region of the lower heavens. According to Scripture, there are three Heavens. God warns us in His Word that in the last days many will be deceived, that there will be many FALSE signs and wonders that will mislead many. In this session, Amanda discusses the false holy spirit that operates from the second heaven.
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel :- KanaanMinistriesSA
          Published ON :- 2016-June-2nd
          Link
  3. John Paul Jackson
    • Dreams & Mysteries – The Mystery of Spiritual Warfare
      • Profile
        • Join author and speaker John Paul Jackson as he reveals some of the spiritual mysteries of the Bible… including how God speaks today through dreams!
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel :- Dreams & Mysteries
          Published ON :- 2014-May-2nd
          Link
    • 5 Reasons Not to Engage in Second Heaven Warfare
      • Profile
        • In this companion video to the episode “The Mystery of Spiritual Warfare”, John Paul Jackson discusses some more reasons why focusing on second heaven principalities and powers is not a good idea in prayer.
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel :- Dreams & Mysteries
          Published ON :- 2014-May-21st
          Link
  4. Derek Prince
    • The Three Heavens # Derek Prince
      • Profile
        • The Three Heavens # Derek Prince (engleza) # Casting Down Strongholds # Lesson 02
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel :- Carti, predici, poezii
          Published ON :- 2016-Dec-12th
          Link

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Cases

  1. Herschel Walker – Dissociative Identity Disorder
    • Discussion with Herschel Walker, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman ( his ex-wife ), and Jerry Mungadze ( his therapist )
    • Uploaded On :- 2010-Apr-28th
    • DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder 1 of 2
      Link
    • DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder 2 of 2
      Link
  2. Kanaan Ministries – Foundational Understanding of Mind Control – Dissociative Identity Disorder
    • Dissociative Identity Disorder
      Link

 

Indepth

Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker is widely regarded as one of football’s greatest running backs. He led the University of Georgia to victory in the Sugar Bowl on the way to an NCAA Championship and he capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Herschel spent twelve years in the NFL, where he rushed for more than eight thousand yards and scored sixty-one rushing touchdowns.

But despite the acclaim he won as a football legend, track star, Olympic competitor, and later a successful businessman, Herschel realized that his life, at times, was simply out of control. He often felt angry, self-destructive, and unable to connect meaningfully with friends and family. Drawing on his deep faith, Herschel turned to professionals for help and was ultimately diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.

While some might have taken this diagnosis as a setback, Herschel approached his mental health with the same indomitable spirit he brought to the playing field. It also gave him, for the first time, insight into his life’s unexplained passages, stretches of time that seemed forever lost. Herschel came to understand that during those times, his “alters,” or alternate personalities, were in control.

Born into a poor, but loving family in the South, Herschel was an overweight child with a stutter who suffered terrible bullying at school. He now understands that he created “alters” who could withstand abuse. But beyond simply enduring, other “alters” came forward to help Herschel overcome numerous obstacles and, by the time he graduated high school, become an athlete recognized on a national level.

In Breaking Free, Herschel tells his story — from the joys and hardships of childhood to his explosive impact on college football to his remarkable professional career. And he gives voice and hope to those suffering from DID. Herschel shows how this disorder played an integral role in his accomplishments and how he has learned to live with it today. His compelling account testifies to the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome any challenge.