For the past several months I have felt like a scene from Star Wars where the heroes are locked in a garbage smasher located in the Death Star Ship.  My spiritual life felt like the crushing of a compactor on my soul.  I prayed with urgency but no answer.  The Psalmist (Psalm 10:1) wrote what I felt. “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” I was seeking a specific need for direction in my life, but only felt an oppressive silence.

My soul yearned for God but I could not sense God’s presence. I felt like a lost child crying for a parent. God seemed distant and silent despite my pleading. There seemed to only be silence and a fear that darkness might be permanent. I found some helpful tools that we can discuss more completely in the future retreat.  Here are some hints: I prayed throughout the night hours, I found deep community with others helpful, even the ancient practice of the examen and deep listening for the “whisper” of God among other things.  I am praying for you if you are encountering such a dark time that you will be sustained and that together we might discover what could be added to our spiritual journey.

Like a fire burning low leaving only faint glowing embers, a dark night of the soul season may leave us with empty faith, unattached love, and hopeless hope.  But even in such a dire situation, we can begin to hear the whisper of God in the darkness and realize that the darkness was an opportunity to draw into the limitless love of God, the faithful One who is searching for us.  I have hope again!