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Dark Night of the Soul: From Spiritual Depression to Inner Renewal
Dark Night of the Soul From Spiritual Depression to Inner Renewal Author:Georgia Harkness The Dark Night of the Soul is the title of an important but now little-read book of the sixteenth century by the Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross. It deals with an experience which is not that of a remote time or place, or special degree of saintliness, but which besets the path of the earnest Christian in every age. Its theme is the sense o... more »f spiritual desolation, loneliness, frustration, and despair which grips the soul of one who, having seen the vision of God and been lifted by it, finds the vision fade and the presence of God recede.
There are many such, today as always. Spiritual bereftness, or "dryness," is a common theme in the mystical literature of the past, and human nature does not materially alter its pattern with the passage of time. But when one examines the modern literature of religious therapy and psychology of religion, one finds a surprising vacuum in regard to this experience. Much has been written on conversion; there are excellent devotional manuals and books on prayer; a useful literature on the relations of religion to health is being created. The common assumption in such writings is that God is always available to the penitent and surrendered soul.« less