The Dazzling Darkness

The Dazzling Darkness!

II Kings: 11:-4;9-18,20

Matthew 6:19-20

One of the most compelling images of our lives comes from St. John of the Cross: the dark night of the soul when the Holy Spirit leads us to the “darkness” of our own limited knowledge and awareness, it is to lead us into a hidden love that cannot be put into words or understood in a kind of logical sense.

The nineteenth-century poet Coventry Patmore, offers this insight: “In the Higher Communion, the night of thought is the light of perception.” Folk singer Arlo Guthrie puts it in more easy words: You can’t have the light without a dark to stick it in. His point of darkness whether symbolically or in reality is not always wrong. Our bodies need darkness for a good sleep. So darkness and light are not always the symbols of good and evil.

For a long time now, I too have been experiencing this dark night of the soul, a darkness that is dazzling through over two years of the pandemic holding the hands of those dying of the coronavirus, witnessing a suicide, seeing young guys stabbed and brutalized, my own body beaten and broken, struggling to regain the ability to walk over the past year, and finally hearing very little positive.

Yet it is in this darkness there is an invitation into the cloud of unknowing: that sacred place where we meet God not by the radiance of our minds, but in a dazzling love that cannot be put into words or metaphor.

The two things I am learning in this darkness are found in the words of T.S. Elliot: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Risk is the key to growth and change.

Secondly one of the greatest human spiritual tasks is to embrace all of humanity, to allow our hearts to be a marketplace of humanity, to allow our interior lives to enter into and reflect the pains and joys of people who live everywhere, and have lived before us and will live after us. To embrace and walk with every person around us. Our own lives are a part of the journey of humanity We are simply a fragment of humanity.

It is that dazzling love that enables us to not be afraid to touch the lives of each person, see ourselves in them, and most importantly seeing the broken body of the Cosmic Christ. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. C. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



We Are Beggars! Please give as you can, for as we enter the summer, our offerings are down!



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