I am going through the Dark Night of the Soul

The past couple of months have been difficult to say the least, not just for me but everyone. However I was very fervent in prayer in April, but I noticed a loss in something inside myself and it has been dwindling away. It started out in where I wasn’t praying for the salvation of souls nearly as strongly as I did, and then everything just got worse. I was going to mass everyday, praying all my devotions with ease prior as well as getting work done much easier prior. Now I struggle to even sit down and do work, I am fortunate if I even finish on a rosary I started in the same week. I don’t go to mass nearly as much except when I have to. I have very minimal motivation for life and would rather not exist at all right now, because this is awful. My family is against me politically and my prayers seem to have minimal effect. In addition I go to confession every week and sometimes 2-3 times a week to make sure I am always in state of sanctifying grace. Finally my body has been falling me as well, I keep getting aches and I had what was believed to be a stomach ulcer a couple of weeks ago and have not fully recovered. I am also losing my hair at an alarming rate and I am only 21, in addition to having more thoughts of self harm. In addition I have been trying to improve my body for 3-4 months with no avail.

I really started taking my faith very seriously over 2 years ago and progressed very fast, and I have always had this interior call that I was called to a glory that I feel I will never achieve. Simply put I don’t know why I am here anymore. I just giving up, this Is horrible my life and world around me is collapsing and God has come in with minimal effect and I really had to pray hard to get anything to happen. I have no fire in me, and it’s driving me insane. Simply put I am tired of this and I am lonely and depressed. I believe this is the Dark Night of the soul, or this could just be spiritual burn out. Either way please pray for me as I will pray for you.

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Prayers offered.
May God bless and keep you and may you find a priest who can give you good counsel and spiritual direction.
Amen.

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Thank you, I will pray for you as well. It is very much appreciated.
God Bless

Welcome! You are going through a tough time, so be assured of my prayers. What you describe sounds more of a problem with something like depression rather than the initiation into the highest form of contemplative prayer. Perhaps you might want to consider looking into this possibility as it might be helpful. God bless you!

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Welcome to the CA Forum!

Sorry to hear that. We’ll pray for you and I want to give you a HUGE :hugs:
We and God is always here for you if you need someone to rely on.

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Thank you very much, I’ll pray for all of you.

First of all talk to a medical professional about all of the physical issues going on. That right there could be the reason for all of the other stuff. Could be a very simple solution. Then make an appointment and talk with your Priest. In times like this, even when you don’t feel like it, especially then is when you need to just absolutely give it all to God, pray even more and ask Him for the grace to do His will.

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I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I think the obvious first step would be to speak to a doctor, never mind anything else.

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Have you been to the doctor?

Some of your symptoms suggest a physical but treatable condition, and the mind and body do influence each other.

Please make an appointment.

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I agree with the folks who are suggesting you visit the doctor. To be honest, this doesn’t sound like the “Dark Night of the Soul” as much as it sounds like a case of someone who is stressed and very possibly ill with either a physical or mental disease or both (as someone said, one can cause the other).

Additionally, I would recommend talking to a priest about your confession habits. Going to confession 2 or 3 times a week is way more than normal for regular lay people, and suggests you may be having scrupulosity or some other issue.

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Agree with those above about seeking out your priest and your physician.

Dark Night of the Soul is not dryness in prayer or lack of motivation, Dark Night occurs to those who are very far along in the contemplative life.

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I just talked with my priest, and he believes I am going through it. He agrees with me in that it would not be good to consult a doctor because they might put me in a physical ward. There are 3 types of reasons the dark night of the soul occurs. The first one is a person continues in an unconfessed mortal sin, the second is spiritual suffering and offer it up to God for the salvation of souls. The third and the one we believe I am going through, is when God pulls away His Strong interior presence for no obvious reason at the time in order to transform the person into something even greater then he already is. He also believes its the case, because God has allowed me to know what is happening through enlightenment. In addition this did not start due to a mental or physical issue, but rather a spiritual issue. He believes God is calling me closer than even before, and that He is preparing me to see what my purpose is in this life.

Well, as someone 39 who made mistakes from 20-25 I can advise that you will highly regret the mistakes of that period, especially if it is because of loss of Faith. I highly regret my loss of Faith during that period, although I’m grateful I got things back together at 25. I want to write this is not an uncommon phase of the early twenties, but, but, but from my experience it’s best not to act rashly and engage in Sin; like I wrote I highly regret that period even now at 39. So, even if you pull back from prayer and other spiritual practices don’t make the mistake of engaging in Sin.

I can recommend more but I’ll just leave it there.

Prayer: Oh, Father, please help this young man go through this difficult period with Faith, Hope, Charity, and Dignity and Integrity towards your values and the values of others. Don’t allow him to make my mistakes, but instead let him learn to act with Dignity and Integrity even as he faces this difficult time. May he come through it with more Faith and Maturity.

Praying Our Father,

Amen

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Oh sorry if you misinterpreted my response to what my priest said, I am not going to pull back from the my devotions. I just need help continuing them.

‘Your progress in spiritual life does not consist in having the grace of consolation, but in enduring its withdrawal with humility, resignation, and patience, so that you neither become listless in prayer nor neglect your other duties in the least; but on the contrary do what you can do as well as you know how, and do not neglect yourself completely because of your dryness or anxiety of mind.’ - The Imitation of Christ

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It sounds much more like depression. This is not what John talks about. You may consider seeing a professional.

Prayers for you…
-K

Hair loss is not a symptom of Dark Night of the Soul.

See an MD

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It sounds like stress and possibly depression especially if you are experiencing loss of motivation and hair loss. It sounds like you have a lot going on and I’m sure it’s rough.

And maybe you need to cut back on some spiritual practices if it’s too much for you. Like, it’s totally fine if you just spend 10 or 15 minutes a day just sitting in God’s presence or just telling him about all your struggles. Some devotions can just feel burdensome when there is mental or physical pain and it’s okay to take a break from them and pray some other way.

I’ve read a little of St. John of the Cross on the Dark Night of the Soul and I don’t think most people go through it because I’d honestly doubt many people would even make it to that level before they die. Many people do go through depression or loneliness or spiritual dryness etc. The dark night of the soul seems to be a very advanced stage of the spiritual life and one of the final stages of purification before full union with God. I’m not God or a spiritual director though and there is no way anyone here would know.

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God’s grace is available to anyone who cooperates with Him. The grace is available for us to be saints. It is a narrow road, and St. John of the Cross explains that the Dark Night of the Soul has two stages…the Night of the Senses (beginners); and the Night of the Spirit (advanced). I do believe that one would need a spiritual director who is knowledgeable and able to guide someone who is on this path.

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Yes many people start this way. Romans 12

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