What draws us into these Dark Nights? I wish I knew. The devil? Our own inner demons? The devil using our deep inner demons against us? In either case, the better you are spiritually when they start the attack, the better you are to challenge and defend yourself. The darkest nights are the ones where you are attacked when you’re slipping spiritually to begin with. The attack bombards you constantly. You almost lack the will, the urge to fight it. You wonder what would be so bad about being “free” of all this “pain”. You are blind that the freedom you think of reaching towards is the snares of evil that will bind you to sin eternally. To seek that freedom is to seek slavery. You forget that, you’re blind to it. So you sit in bed trying to find a way out of the way things are. You know what you want. You also know it isn’t right. You see the friends you would hurt, the pain you would cause, the doubt you would place in other people. That holds you back, it’s a dark night but it is not too dark- yet.
You sit and wonder what to do. I have friends who love me, who care about me but do they? Taking the first steps and leaving the house and opening yourself up to their love, that is the hardest thing to do after waking up from one of these nights. You leave them, thinking you should go home and sleep. You get home to remember that you can’t sleep, you’re beyond tired but sleep does not come. Is it because you’re ill physically? Or are you ill physically because of it? Is it the demons of your soul keeping you up for they know that you “asleep with Christ and so you rest with his peace.” Or is it your better angels who insist that you do not sleep for “awake you keep watch with Christ.” Or is it just the battle, making noises so loud you can’t bear the noise of a silent room.
Sometimes I think it is the second option, for once sleep comes, you sleep well. Well, no I take that back. Sometimes, it is the second options, for sleep comes and you sleep well. Yet, you awake to the same. Sometimes, it is the first option. Sleep comes, you sleep well and awake to a bit brighter day. The last option exists as well. You finally overcome the noise and you fall asleep. For 20 minutes. For an hour. Finally, it’s been eight hours and you realized you’ve only slept maybe an hour of it. I think those nights are the worse. The lying in bed honestly trying to sleep, it coming and then the sweetness of sleep is ripped away. You want to reach out and have someone there with you. Someone to make sure you make it through the night. But it’s 4 am, it’s 5 am. Who to call?
Maybe there are people who could and would come over at that hour to help you, but your inner voices of doubt, hate, saddness overpower and tells you not to bother anyone. Let your problems be your own at this hour.
Whenever the next day comes, it can be good- when you’re not alone. When you are with those whom you share a deep love, you feel empowered enough to be able to fight away the darkness. It’s all about taking that first step away and towards their light. The light of Christ that rests within them. It’s all about taking that first step.