God’s Cleansing Light

The dark is necessary for light

St. John of the Cross helps us see the necessity of desert experiences in prayer as the soul matures.

The reason for which it is necessary for the soul, in order to attain to Divine union with God, to pass through this dark night of mortification of the desires and denial of pleasures in all things, is because all the affections which it has for creatures are pure darkness in the eyes of God, and, when the soul is clothed in these affections, it has no capacity for being enlightened and possessed by the pure and simple light of God, if it first cast them not from it; for light can­not agree with darkness; since, as Saint John says: Tenebroe eam non comprehenderunt. That is: The darkness could not receive the light.

—Saint John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel


What are my intentions in prayer? Do I truly want to grow?


Jesus, show me all the ways you want me to trust and love you, even when—and especially when—I can’t see.

Entering into the light

We simply want to see as God sees. That’s the work of eternity. Let’s get started already.

God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellow­ship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faith­ful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

—1 John 1:5–10


Am I ready to walk entirely in the light? Do I want that to be the way I live my life, every day, every hour, every minute, every second? Breathing in and out God’s Word, which is my life, which gives me life?


Make me your light, Lord—all light, all yours.

My heart as a lamp

You are never alone and can make sure Jesus never is.

O Divine Jesus, alone tonight in so many tabernacles, without a visitor or worshipper, I offer you my loving heart. May its every pulsation be a prayer of love for you.

You are ever watching in your sacramental veil, in your love you never sleep, and you are never weary of your vigil for sinners.

O loving Jesus, O lonely Jesus may my heart be a lamp, the light of which shall burn for you and you alone.

Watch, Sacramental Sentinel. Watch for the weary world, for the erring soul, and for your poor lonely child.

—Author Unknown


Do I ever pass by an empty church and drop by so Jesus won’t be alone?


Bring me to your presence Lord; I offer you my heart so that you might never be alone with­out your creation adoring you.

This article is taken from a chapter in A Year With the Mystics by Kathryn Jean Lopez, which is available from TAN Books.



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