Temptations and possible dark night of the senses

Hello all,

 I just made this account a few days ago, but I've been a lurker on the forums for a long time.  I have been trying to work up the courage to post this, so please pray for me in advance 😉.

I think God has led me into the dark night of the senses, and I have been struggling so much lately.  He has completely taken away all sensible consolations (this has been going on for almost 2 months) and I am unable to meditate on the scriptures or the mysteries of the Rosary (which is really painful because I love the Rosary -- usually for me, it's like being wrapped up in a big hug by Our Lady and learning about Christ from her at the same time).  Along with this, He has been allowing me to be tempted, especially against faith and to blaspheme (especially in the past two weeks).  Lately, it has been taking so much physical strength to resist that I've only had 3 full nights of sleep in the past two weeks because I can't rest -- if I do rest, I immediately fall into mortal sin.  I actually have no idea if I'm in a state of grace right now; I'm trying so hard but some of the thoughts seemed like they were coming from me, so I don't know if I consented to them or not.  I went to confession on Wednesday,  so I'm just hoping that I am.  I've read that I need to be trying to sit in silence with Him and to let Him do the work when I pray, but I have to fight so hard that I find this impossible.  I'm so exhausted and it feels like God has abandoned me and no longer cares about me.  The desire to just give up is so strong and today I started to have some temptations to just give up and leave the Church, but I tried to brush those thoughts away as quickly as possible.  I feel so bad for feeling this way, because I know that God has done so many wonderful things for me, but I am so tired and can't take much more.  What can I do  to be better but also rest?  I'm sorry that this first post of mine was so long and is kind of a downer.

Please pray for me!

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Please type your question out. No one is going to read it that way.

What I did read of it sounds like you blaming God for everything and you taking no responsibility.

For example: He has “allowed you to be tempted.” It’s your job to fight temptation, not his job to prevent it.


The best thing to do is to speak to a priest experienced with spiritual direction and/or a therapist who is Catholic and can advise a believer. There is an association of Catholic therapists.

God bless you, I will put you on my prayer list.


Hello! I’m sorry about the way it was formatted. I’ll do better next time, I promise! I don’t know why it did that. You are right in that I need to take more responsibility – it is my duty to resist. I meant that phrase in that God is not the One doing the tempting. Please forgive me!

Thank you so much for your prayers! I am going to go talk with a priest as soon as I can.

God is present in grace, at least actual grace (which is temporary). Nobody can know with absollute certainty if the state of sanctifying grace is present, short of divine revelation.

You wrote “I don’t know if I consented to them or not”. Consent requires some reflection first, so ask yourself if that occurred.

Temptation -> Partial Consent (slight sin) -> Evil Desire with Enjoyment (interior sin) -> Commission (Exterior sin)

Bishop of Krishnagar Louis LaRavoire Marrow, My Catholic Faith - A Manual of Religion pp. 50-51, Copyright, 1949, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963 by Louis LaRavoire Morrow

1. Sin is not committed without temptation. First an evil thought comes into the mind. This in itself is not sinful; it is only a temptation.

  • A man may be in a jewelry store looking at some jewels. The salesman turns away to talk to someone else, leaving a precious diamond ring on the counter. The thought enters the man’s mind that it would be easy for him to take the ring and walk away unnoticed. This is temptation, not sin.

2. If we do not immediately reject the thought, it awakens in the mind an affection or liking for it.

  • If the man in the above example does not resist and reject the thought, but plays with it, and
    becomes pleased with the idea, he thereby gives partial consent, and commits a slight sin.

3. Next the thought is followed by an evil desire in which we take pleasure.

  • If, still playing with the thought, the man wishes that he could take the diamond ring without being noticed, the consent is complete, and he commits a sin in his heart (interiorly).

4. The resolution to commit the sin when occasion presents itself follows. Then the exterior act is committed.

  • Finally, the man glances to see if the salesman is still busy. Then he takes the ring and walks away with it. Thus the wish or desire has been translated into an exterior act. Even should the man be prevented from stealing, he is guilty of grave sin.

An exterior sin is more evil than an interior sin, because it is attended by worse consequences.
An exterior sin often causes scandal, and is therefore more severely punished by God here on earth as well as after death.
Drunkenness reduces the drunkard and his family to poverty and sickness. Impurity destroys the body, sometimes producing insanity. Murder often leads the culprit to the electric chair.
And worse, an exterior sin increases the malice of the will, and destroys the sense of shame. The repetition of exterior sins forms the habit of sinning, and vice is formed. The conscience goes to sleep, and the sinner becomes so hardened that he no longer sees the evil and wickedness of his sin.


Thank you! This helps so much.

From what I can tell, which is not much, you should not assume you are in a passive purgation (“dark night”)… you just seem to be having a difficult struggle with normal things. John does not indicate insomnia as a sign of the night of the senses… nor does your claim that you are “falling into mortal sin” whenever you “rest” a sign that you are moving into the illuminative/proficient phase. You have not explained what that means, but at any rate, I would second the recommendation to go speak with a priest (an old one, preferably, who is sound), and if your insomnia (and possible depression) continues, probably also a doctor/psychiatrist.

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Will do.

However, I don’t know if it’s important whether you’ve been blessed with a dark night or not. But if silence is difficult, I’m sure you’re not there yet.

Read Brother Lawerence. Practice being in the presence of God at all times. Live the liturgical seasons of the Church. & trust the one who called you to holiness will lead you to holiness.

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