Monday, July 14, 2008

Dark Contemplation

Although some interpretations of dark night could reinforce passivity and women's internalized inferiority, subordination, lack of self-esteem and self-actualization, John of the Cross sings of the affirmation of the person by God within and of the redemption or transformation of affectivity that dark night effects. Dark contemplation is not a validation of things as they are or a ploy to keep women contented "outcasts of the [patriarchal] land" but a constant questioning and restlessness that waits for and believes in the coming of a transformed vision of God; an affirmation of the self as woman that comes from deep inside and the consequent maturing to wholeness as a complete person; and anew and integrating spirituality capable of creating a new politics and generating new social structures.

Contemplation is what Dorothee Soelle calls revolutionary patience and is the epitome of passionate desire, activity, self-direction, autonomy, and bondedness. It is a time bomb and will explode in new abilities and energy in women that cannot be conquered. Ultimately, it is the mystic, the contemplative woman, who will be reassured, affirmed, and loved, who will see and love, and for whose sake the world will be given sight, language, reassurance, and love. And she will understand Celie's final epistle, a letter to God: "Dear God. Dear stars, dear trees, dear sky, dear peoples. Dear Everything. Dear God."

Constance Fitzgerald, OCD
"Impasse and Dark Night"
Living with Apocalypse, Spiritual Resources for Social Compassion (pp 93-116)

4 comments:

Mother Laura said...

Asking prayers for my appointment with a new and hopefully better psychiatrist Wed., and to find the right therapist/pastoral counselor.

Also major prayers for my husband and son, please, and for me in becoming lovingly detached--thank God for Al-Anon and ACA. Things had been relatively peaceful here but Nicholas' defiant behavior, which helped lead to the whole crisis is resurfacing and now escalating into violence against me, which is terrifying. Matt is not responding very effectively and has always been resistant to looking at his own contributing childhood dynamics or parenting skills--the severity of this may be changing that, though.

I just keep trying to choose deeper surrender and trust in God's love, and even more commitment to do my own healing and remove my stuff from the equation. A good marital therapist would probably be important too....it's all rather overwhelming though after getting out of the scene and walking the beach for the first time in a long time, and knowing I have a meeting tonight, I have peace and hope coexisting with the layers of grief and anxiety. So I am also grateful that in spite of the fact that this keeps getting more horrifying I am finding ways to cope and even grow, I hope, and finding some happiness.

Thanks.

Mary Beth said...

Praying for you Laura. and yours.

Widening Circles said...

Prayers for you all, Laura.

Songbird said...

Laura, I continue to keep your family in my prayers.