The Dark night of my soul

san-damiano-cross-assisi-italy1c

“Francis, rebuild my church.”

Most High glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord that I may carry out your holy and true command. Amen

The past few months have been extremely difficult for my family.  I won’t go into all the details because it has been written about here, here, and here.  What I will talk about is the spiritual aspect of it, and the aftermath.

It was after months of prayer and adoration that I followed the path I felt the Lord called me to.  We can never be certain that we know the mind of God, but I can, as Thomas Merton says, know that God finds it pleasing when I am trying to do His will.

merton-prayer

I never felt as though I was battling people, but principalities and powers that want to separate families from their proper role in Natural Law.  I pray for all of the people involved.  We ended up with a different trajectory for our lives, something I accepted because I felt the Lord call me on this path.  I can only hope that it was His will, and that He can make straight any mistakes I made along the way.

My biggest heartache was feeling like those in power did not hear my voice (and other parents as well), and did not look at my son as an individual soul.  But I have always known that the church, regardless of the mistakes people inside of it make, is guided by the Holy Spirit, and that the Mass with the Eucharist is the greatest possible gift we could ever receive on this earth.

What I did not expect was what happened to me afterwards for a period of about three days.  I felt hopeless.  I felt despair.  I felt forsaken — a complete absence of love from those in power in my community.  I felt silence from God and I felt like I wanted to leave the church.

“I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look.”  Job 30:20

I never imagined myself there.  I was angry, even raging.  But I knew intellectually, aside from my emotion, that our God is a good God.  That He is the most high sovereign king, and that I knew saying yes to Him would cause suffering.  But the despair was suffocating.

“Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer.”  Lamentations 3:8

Hope became an act of the will for me for these few days.  I have to say, I have talked about that, but I didn’t realize I would experience it so soon.

Nothing I tried worked to lift the despair – adoration, the Rosary, Mass.  I was in an abyss.

“My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”  Psalm 22:2

Finally, in an act of pure desperation, I went out to the woods, to have it out with God.  I knew I should be uniting my suffering to His cross, and that great grace can come from that, but instead I raged at Him.

Must you persecute me just as God does, and give my body no peace? Job 19:22

And then I sat quiet, I cried and I listened.  And He spoke to me.  He told me He was showing me the despair of many of His people.  Many inside the church and outside the church.  They have been hurt by others, in His name — sometimes they have been hurt as well.  He showed me that I am to remember this feeling in the months and years to come.  Because we are weak, we are human and  we all killed Christ.   He told me to be a light in the darkness, to help rebuild His church.  He told me to call on the intercession of the Saints, especially the Blessed Mother.  And most of all He told me to pray everyday for my will to be one with His.  When my will is one with His, I can love like He does.  I can forgive like He does.  I can show people the kingdom of God right here.  May God Bless you all.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.  This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.”  John 15:11:14

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About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
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35 Responses to The Dark night of my soul

  1. blmaluso says:

    We know that we are in the midst of a colossal spiritual battle. Thank you for being a vessel of the Lord, and allowing Him to work through you to expose the darkness. May God continue to bless you, and to fill you with peace, love, wisdom, humility, discernment and fortitude. Love and prayers, Bernadette

  2. Dora Gallardo says:

    We pray for our children and for our church! We especially pray for everything to come to the light about what is going on in our Catholic schools. We may be shocked by the heretical, sacriligeous, and blasphemous things which are being taught and pawned off as church teaching. Maybe God is using the Skinners to open the windows and doors for the Light of the Holy Spirit to reach these dark places. PRAISE GOD! The God that I know does that! He has done it in my own life in different ways, sometimes with a very reluctant me, like Jonah and Moses! But this is a very big battle and it takes all of us praying–for this family and for others who are in similar situations, and for our church, because the evil one is hunkering down, clearly he is. Susan, it seems to me that God knows that you have the fortitude and the courage, as well as the love, that it takes to take on this Goliath. You have shot the first shot across the bow into enemy territory, the hidden agenda of the wicked one who wants our children and their bodies, but especially their souls. I will be praying for you and ask everyone to do the same, for this is a spiritual battle whose time has come!

  3. SR says:

    This is the second time I have given this comment today. When I was at a very low point in my life I told Jesus, “I am so broken.” He replied, “I’m not.” Changed everything for me. God Bless, SR

  4. SR says:

    I went and read your story. You are courageous, a wonderful mother, and a wonderful child of God. You are also a wonderful Catholic. One many of us should dare to be.

    Keep the words of Jesus to me, engrained in your soul. St. Faustina said during her “dark night of the soul,” “It seemed the more I prayed the angrier God became.” I felt just like that. After many tears, and emotions of every kind in my front yard, Jesus gave me the answer. He is not broken! Another answer I was given again by St. Faustina was Jesus told her, “You have given me everything but your misery.” How we love to hang onto that!

    I stood up, stretched out my hands towards Jesus and said, “I give you my misery.” When I let go of that, and complemented it with what He told me, life had a whole new meaning. I give Jesus my misery daily. God Bless, SR

  5. Susan T says:

    I don’t know why, but it seems like when I yell at God I get clearer answers! Maybe He has our attention and knows we will listen and follow this time. I will keep you in my prayers. Times are very trying. God Bless!

    • I think it’s the raw honesty he appreciates. Sometimes I think we tend to, in prayer, only want to show God our good parts. But He already knows all of us, and loves us flaws and all, so when we bring Him that raw honesty– it’s a true friendship. And a true friendship makes for clearer understanding. God Bless.

  6. Mary Rogers Jackson says:

    My Dear Susan. You are an inspiration to us all. You make me so proud. I always hope I will have the courage and strength to defend our Catholic faith the way our Lord intended it to be. It is the souls of our children that we must strive to teach to carry on the true meaning and hope that our Lord promises. You are amazing. Again, you are a true soldier of Christ. We love you and you and your family are in our prayers.

    This is our second year of homeschooling, it is a very big challenge for me. Because of the way society has become I dare not trust them with our children. I enjoy homeschooling not only because I know what kind of education our children are getting but an amazing bond and understanding with our children. We still have a long way to go and I still have a lot to learn but with the grace of God we will persevere.

  7. This post is something we might never get from the pulpit, but it is the Light we need when the dark gets as dark as this. Thank you, Susan, for taking us into your pain.

  8. 1Irish says:

    I find myself shaking my head wondering if the shock and heartbreak will ever stop catching me off guard…Dearest Susan, more prayers coming your way. Please stay strong. So proud of you! Hugs for you and your family

  9. Lilia Florentiae says:

    Thanks, I can relate to what you have written, with the difference I am experiencing moments of desperation for an illness I have been fighting for years and that has been worsening during 2016 to the point I have to choose between therapies and I am at a loss and sometimes very angry at God.
    I was comforted by your story.
    Lilia from Italy

    • Lilia I will add you to my prayer. Don’t forget to ask a Priest for the Sacrament of the Sick. The Sacraments help our souls in those times of desolation. God does love you even if it doesn’t feel like it. I will pray that He heals you physically and spiritually and I will ask for the intercession of St. Padre Pio. God Bless

      • Lilia Florentiae says:

        Thanks for your kind words, Susan.
        They are meaningful to me. God bless you and your family.

  10. mary goodman says:

    May God Bless and strengthen your family.
    I wrote to the Bishop of your diocese in your defense. I have not heard back.
    He should fear for his immortal soul, you should not.
    In Christ Our Lord and Saviour

  11. Mary says:

    I binge read all of your posts in the past couple of weeks. You are very genuine. After lots of issues with schools, both public and Catholic, my two daughters yanked all of their children and began to homeschool. Everyone is happier now. Is this a possibility for you?

  12. Dolores says:

    Thank you for your inspiring words, it help me a lot now that I am having some difficulties in my family. May God’s blessings pour out for you and your family as I ask you to please pray also for my family in facing life’s struggles..

  13. Susan dear,
    I just read this http://www.catholicjournal.us/2015/12/02/now-is-the-time/ and thought of what we and others are facing over our kids. I don’t know why the link appears like this, but the title of the article is There Must Be A Pony Hidden In Here Somewhere.

    Just thought I’d share it with you.

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  15. Lisa says:

    I just came across your blog & read about what you & your family have endured lately. I am so sorry that your family has been hurt. I don’t know you, but I will be praying for you. If more parents were like you, this world would be a better place. Love & prayers.

  16. Christina says:

    Wow. I know I’ve read this before, but I happened to come across it again. I woke up at 5 AM not being able to go back to sleep, so I took it as a sign and invitation to pray (it was the first day in many days that my mind was not as restless) After praying, I selected a random Medugorje message and these phrases struck me: “…I desire to take you by the hand and to walk with you in the battle against the impure spirit. My children, consecrate yourselves to me completely. I will take your lives into my motherly hands and I will teach them peace and love, and then I will give them over to my Son….”

    The reason why it stuck out was because when I was around 18, I had a dream in which a very tall, beautiful, and glittering Virgin Mary took my hand and smiled. The sensation was so real, that even when I woke up from the dream, I could still feel her hand. I saw how after holding her hand, blood stains and dirt began to appear on her dress and how her knee was being shown – slipping out from her dress. I was shocked by the image (both by my own touch causing her this and by the confusion about why her knee was showing- she was Our Lady! How could I be seeing this image?) but I remember thinking “how clear this dream is!” and wanting to soak in every detail of what I was seeing. I later learned that the Medugorje visionaries also saw Our Lady’s clothes becoming dirty when people asked to touch her dress. It seems that I was being shown how I need to confess all my impurity and change my life.

    Of course, this last part about the knee didn’t make sense to me until this morning- around ten years after I had the dream. We’re being called to fight against impurity in all forms- in our hearts and in society. I also think there are a select few in this world – like yourself and like a visionary/stigmatic I know in Lebanon (her name is Nevrik and she’s still unknown to the world) who are called to fight for this impurity for others like me. So Susan, know that what you and your family faced in the past year will probably be remembered for many years to come and that your sacrifice is surely appreciated by Heaven 🙂

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