Throw Back Thursday – Sunday, August 5, 2012- Dark Night of the Soul

the theory of subtraction….

A Deeper Longing
The Dark Night of the Soul 
Gerald G. May, M.D


“In the passive night of the senses God is freeing us from the idols we have made of possessions, relationships, feelings, and behaviors.  As always in the precious process of the night, this divine liberation takes place in ways that are obscure to us.  sometimes we may experience it as an inner relaxation and letting go.  At other times it may feel like something we cling to is being ripped away from us.  Either way, the freedom comes only through relinquishment.  The actual experience may feel like delightful liberation or tragic bereavement, or it may happen so deeply that we are not aware of it at all.  But one thing is certain: the process of freedom is one of subtraction.– we are left more empty than when we began.”


I believe we who choose,  have spiritual journeys that are not always one of angels singing and life all falling into place.   Or happiness at all moments and guaranteed tickets to the table of Jesus at the next Roast.   However,   I can see it now…Saint Philip Neri walks to the microphone:   Good evening ladies and germs…



Two priests died at the same time and met Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said, “I’d like to get you guys in now, but our computer is down. You’ll have to go back to Earth for about a week, but you can’t go back as priests. So what else would you like to be?”
The first priest says, “I’ve always wanted to be an eagle, soaring above the Rocky Mountains.”
“So be it,” says St. Peter, and off flies the first priest.
The second priest mulls this over for a moment and asks, “Will any of this week ‘count’, St. Peter?”
“No, I told you the computer’s down. There’s no way we can keep track of what you’re doing.”
“In that case,” says the second priest, “I’ve always wanted to be a stud.”
“So be it,” says St. Peter, and the second priest disappears.
A week goes by, the computer is fixed, and the Lord tells St. Peter to recall the two priests. “Will you have any trouble locating them?” He asks.
“The first one should be easy,” says St. Peter. “He’s somewhere over the Rockies, flying with the eagles. But the second one could prove to be more difficult.”
“Why?” asketh the Lord.
“He’s on a snow tire, somewhere in North Dakota.”


back to subtraction… of letting go.  I have recently used the story of how as children we would swing as high as we could, knowing secretly that we were going to jump no matter how many broken bones would happen according to our mothers.   We would lean into the swing…  pumping our legs and dreaming of touching the sky.   the voice says, “Now?”  but we hold tight, “no” we say, we regroup, backward we go and then lean again into the upswing, the voice says, “Now?”  but we hold tight yet again, “no” we say again.  Back swing….  We would see in our minds us letting go and flying…  we would hear in our minds our mother’s screaming…  resolute… we would begin the journey to flight.   back swing, gravity bringing us down and our spirit raising us up higher and higher… then the back swing… small detectable slack in the chain, gravity begins to pull, we pull our legs inward as to not to hit the sand, we lower our head, perhaps in unconscious prayer, our back to the trees, our back to the sky, and then we raise our head to purvey the possibilities in front of us… mother giving us that look, the horizontal bar of the swing finally aligning with our chin  as we reach our zenith,   then a silence from somewhere inside.  We go in faith and as if magic, there is no questioning,  we feel our fingers release our grasp.  We feel the seat swing away from us as we fly in faith…swing

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