Tag Archives: Lord

The Dark Journey

We May say that there are three reasons for which this journey made by the soul to union with God is called night.

· The first has to do with the point from which the soul goes forth, for it has gradually to deprive itself of desire for all the worldly things which it possessed, by denying them to itself; the which denial and deprivation are, as it were, night to all the senses of man.

Zurbarán_St._John_of_the_Cross· The second reason has to do with the mean, or the road along which the soul must travel to this union — that is, faith, which is likewise as dark as night to the understanding.

· The third has to do with the point to which it travels — namely, God, Who, equally, is dark night to the soul in this life.

These three nights must pass through the soul — or, rather, the soul must pass through them — in order that it may come to Divine union with God.

—- John of the Cross from Ascent to Mt. Carmel

The writings of John of the Cross clearly point toward the ultimate mystery of attempting to reach into the inner sanctum of spiritual development. In this small excerpt from his “Ascent to Mt. Carmel,” he points out that the end of every path there is night (mystery) as we ascend to a meaningful relationship with God. We often think we can understand and reach union with God without encountering the pain of mystery. Such a path does not exist. Let us examine these three reasons we experience this night.

Preparation for the journey, any journey, is always stressful. There are plans to be made, things to be done that are not always things we look forward to doing. In the case of spiritual preparation we must learn to deny ourselves. Jesus asks us to take up a cross and follow Him. Fasting, denial, even simple living are among the things that can bring us into the night. All these disciplines, and more, are what it takes to journey closer to God.

Faith for the journey is a tall order. In the simplest of terms “… faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” We live and breathe in a world that is constantly seeking to understand, prove or discover all manner of truth. Conversely, faith on the road to God cannot be understood, proven or discovered in any tangible way. Faith is clearly a journey into the night that only has God at the end of a dark tunnel.

Focus for the journey is found in an unshakable belief (most of the time) in the person of God. There is much darkness in not seeing. We can’t see or touch God and yet we spend our lives trying to get closer to Him. That is a remarkably dark and lonely place to be. Through resolute behavior and unshakable faith we can reach into the inner sanctum and find God.

May we all commit ourselves to this ascent to God, for in it we find a heavenly Peace.

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Day 37–April 1

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 15:1-20

Prayer Thought

Lord  you were mocked and beaten unjustly for me. Please give me the courage to stand for you in my relatively easy station in life. Give me , I pray, ways to stand for you. Amen

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Day 30–March 24

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 12:35-44

Prayer Thought

Lord give me the wisdom to discern between big words and real spirituality.May I be surrounded by people of pure motive. Amen

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Day 27–Mark 11:12-33

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 11:12-33

Prayer Thought

Teach us, dear Lord, to number our days
That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Oh, satisfy us early with Thy mercy
That we may rejoice and be glad all of our days.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.
And establish Thou the work of our hands
And let the beauty of the Lord be upon us
And establish Thou the work of our hands dear Lord

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Day 26–March 19

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 11:1-11

Prayer Thought

Lord help us to be faithful to the tasks you give us even when we fail to understand your wisdom. Many years ago Joseph the carpenter followed your instructions and the world has never been the same. In following your wisdom we receive more than we ever imagined. Amen

St. Joseph the Carpenter, by Georges de La Tou...

St. Joseph the Carpenter, by Georges de La Tour, 1640s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Day 25–Mark 10:35-52

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 10:35-52

Prayer Thought

Lord help to understand that our smallness can get in the way of the great things you want us to achieve. Allow us to let go and allow you to guide our path. Amen

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Day 23–March 16

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 10:1-16

Prayer Thought

Lord help us to be responsible for the commitments that we have made and give us the strength to be faithful. Let us take seriously all that you and given us and be good stewards of our lives and our families. Amen

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Day 19–March 11

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 8:27-38

Prayer Thought

Lord give us all the wisdom, insight and courage to be able to say who you are…

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Day 17– March 9

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 8:1-13

Prayer Thought

Grant to us, O Lord, purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no passion may hinder us from doing your will, and no weakness from doing it; that in your light we may see light clearly, and in your service find perfect freedom; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

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Day 18–March 10

Mark in Forty Days

This year I am reading through the Gospel of Mark during the forty days of Lent. My suggested plan is that you do these readings in Lectio Divina  format.

Today’s reading

Mark 8:14-26

Prayer Thought

Lord help us to see that the bread that you provide is immeasurable by the world’s standards. It is only when we begin to see through the spiritual that you have given that we really understand.

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