We become cleansed of a material state of mind when we are taken into the suffering of the darkness of faith or as St. John of the Cross states, “The dark night of the senses.” It is a time when we suffer intensely, when there is great loss, there appears to be no hope, we feel abandoned, alone and completely crushed. When we are cleansed in the darkness of faith, the soul feels light and arid. It produces liberty of spirit, the removal of anxiety, the installation of deep peace and a new capacity to have patience with others. We have a greater ability to absorb suffering and have an inability to explain these new behaviors to spiritual directors and others. Finally, there is a profound certainty of peace that does not need validation by others.
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