Dark Night of the Soul: Lenten Observance, Day 7, 2013

Ch. V: Of the imperfections into which beginners fall with respect to the sin of wrath.

Here St. John brings in several different types of mistakes one could make. One could rush to the idea that one has achieved a certain theological understanding and then to browbeat others whom one judges to be inferior to one. You become something of a spiritual watchdog, but that is not a good thing, for you foolishly think that you have arrived, and, in spending your time worrying about others’ orthodoxy, you lose sight of your own development.
And then he talks about those who get upset about how slow it all is – they have to be converted and changed in a day, and show great impatience at what is a slow process. And that speaks to most Americans I think – we live in a push-button age, and we expect stuff to happen or change right away, and that isn’t so easy.
I found the last statement of this section quite interesting: “Some souls, on the other hand, are so patient as regards the progress which they desire that God would gladly see them less so.” I’m guessing the point here is a certain complacency sets in, and one is not driven to development, and so one gets lazy about the whole process, rather than expending any energy on the process.

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