[INDENT]:bible1:*Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! ***** Matthew 7:13-14[/INDENT]
You may well be experiencing what many Christians . . . *in varying degrees over the centuries *. . . have experienced in their walk with our Wonderful God . . . which is called the . . . “dark night of the soul” . . . which God allows many of His children at one time or another to experience . . . *and it is actually a rather normal “trial” of faith . . . *
Essentially . . . it lies in the reality that genuine love is a . . . CHOICE . . . not just emotion . . . which emotion can carry us away in all kinds of "not marvelous" directions at times if not disciplined by God’s Love with caution and reason . . . One needs to discipline and detach ones heart and emotions from anything . . . *people/places/experiences and/or things *. . . that might take precedence over one’s heart’s choosing its **first love **. . . which should always . . . be God and His Ways . . . and our consecration to Him . . .
Dark Night of the Soul
The term **“dark night (of the soul)” is used in Christianity **for a spiritual crisis in a journey towards union with God, like that described by Saint John of the Cross.
[quote]Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La noche oscura del alma)
is the title of a poem written by 16th century Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic Saint John of the Cross, as well as of a treatise he wrote later, commenting on the poem. The expression has since become a metaphor used to describe a phase in a person’s spiritual life, marked by a sense of loneliness and desolation … Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th-century French Carmelite, underwent similar experience. Centering on doubts about the afterlife, she reportedly told her fellow nuns, "If you only knew what darkness I am plunged into."
While this crisis is presumed to be temporary in nature, it may be extended. The “dark night” of Saint Paul of the Cross in the 18th century lasted 45 years, from which he ultimately recovered. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, according to letters released in 2007, “may be the most extensive such case on record”, lasting from 1948 almost up until her death in 1997, with only brief interludes of relief between  … a friend of Mother Teresa for a large part of her life, claims that **“the darkness left” **towards the end of her life.
In the** Christian **tradition, one who has developed a strong prayer life and consistent devotion to God suddenly finds traditional prayer extremely difficult and unrewarding for an extended period of time during this **“dark night.” **The individual may feel as though God has suddenly abandoned them or that his or her prayer life has collapsed …
**Rather than resulting in devastation, however, the dark night is perceived by mystics and others to be a blessing in disguise, whereby the individual is stripped (in the dark night of the senses) of the spiritual ecstasy associated with acts of virtue. Although the individual may for a time seem to outwardly decline in their practices of virtue, they in reality become more virtuous, as they are being virtuous less for the spiritual rewards (ecstasies in the cases of the first night) obtained and more out of a true love for God. It is this purgatory, a purgation of the soul, that brings purity and union with God.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
[INDENT]They that trust in him, shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love shall rest in him: for grace and peace is to his elect. 10 But the wicked shall be punished according to their own devices: who have neglected the just, and have revolted from the Lord. Wisdom 3:9[/INDENT]
incline unto mine aid,
make haste to help me.”
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Holy Spirit of our Wonderful God+
. . . teach, guide and direct+[/RIGHT]