Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)
All Christians experience dark nights-- times when everything seems to be "going wrong with them." Some wallow in despair, others learn in darkness.
St. John explains the four benefits of the dark night:
1. Delight of peace.
2. Habitual remembrance and thought of God.
3. Cleanness and purity of soul.
4. Practice of the virtues
"God now sees that they have grown a little, and are becoming strong enough to lay aside their swaddling clothes and be taken from the gentle beast; so He sets them down from His arms and teaches them to walk on their own feet; which they feel to be very strange, for everything seems to be going wrong with them."
St. John of the Cross was a 16th century Spanish monk and mystic. The depth of his passion for Christ is clearly evident throughout his writings---crafted from a keen mind and devoted spirit.
Overcoming the dark night begins with climbing the 10 steps of the secret Divine "ladder of love by which the soul mounts." Ascending the ladder causes your soul to:
Step 1 - languish, to its advantage.
Step 2 - seek God without ceasing.
Step 3 - work and give it fervor.
Step 4 - a habitual suffering because of the Beloved, yet without weariness.
Step 5 - desire and long for God impatiently.
Step 6 - run swiftly and touch Him again and again, without fainting by reason of its hope.
Step 7 - become vehement in its boldness.
Step 8 - seize Him and hold Him fast without letting Him go.
Step 9 - burn with sweetness.
Step10- become wholly assimilated to God, by reason of the clear and immediate vision of God which it then possesses.