Excerpt About Night

The Faith Needed to Face the "Dark Night"

Holy Faith is a specific condition or state, a specific development of this sense of purity and implicit confidence or trust. It is needed to embark on, and to continue traveling the path, because as we journey on our path, we do not have full knowledge of reality. We do not have complete access to this view, and so most of the way along the path, we don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know where we are or where we are going, except for occasional glimpses. Because of this inevitable ignorance, faith is very important; in fact, it is necessary to keep you going when you can’t see the road clearly. When we have complete understanding and perception of reality, faith is no longer necessary. But as long as we are passing through what St. John of the Cross calls “the dark night” of not seeing reality clearly, we need faith. At times, the journey is easy, at times it is difficult, and at other times it feels down-right impossible; and for the most part, we don’t know why, nor do we understand what it is that is happening to us. In the face of this not knowing, our faith keeps us going; and when there is faith, we don’t need to know where we are going or how to feel secure. If we knew exactly where we were heading, there would be no discovery, no adventure, no magic. Holy Faith sustains us on our journey into the unknown.

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