Going On With God in Dark Nights (pt 1)
God wants us to move from the love of God for love's sake to the love of God for God's sake. Our training in virtue and character helps us lead a life that is beneficial to ourselves and others. God wants us to rely on the Spirit, not just patterns of behavior we have learned. God sometimes uses the experience of dark nights to help purge us of our virtues as well as our vices.
1. Teresa of Avila
2. "Maturing of the saints"
3. The "ministerial temptation"
4. Storehouse of potential for growth
A. Purpose or goal of dark nights.
1. Development of spiritual hunger and purging of the heart (Deut 8:1-5)
2. Union with God in love as the power for change in the spiritual life. (Eph 3:16-19)
B. Kinds of dark nights.
1. Initial dark nights
2. Ongoing dark nights
a. Ongoing dark nights are a further transition or movement in love by the Spirit.
b. The nature of ongoing dark nights.
1. Ongoing seasons and process of purgation.
2. Deep purging of beginner's natural character to develop fruit of the Spirit.
3. This involves a "stripping away" of our dependence on our own efforts in order to open us up to the work of the Spirit.
a. darkness in the intellect
b. emptiness in the memory-character
c. dryness in the will