“The following is from Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection by Wil Hernandez.
It is true that even for Christians there always exists the possibility that their relationship with God can be ‘shaken, lessened, or interrupted for various reasons: . . . [including] God’s withdrawing the sense of his presence . . . .
Many of us, at some point in our Christian experience, can identify feeling a sense of spiritual desertion or abandonment that the Psalmist [expressed] (see Ps. 30:7).  In reality, as psychiatrist-turned-spiritual director Gerald May insists, ‘The dark night is a profoundly good thing . . . in which we are liberated from attachments [inappropriate ones-affection for the worldly life] and compulsions and empowered to live and love more freely. Deepening love,’ May explains, ‘is the real purpose of the dark night of the soul . . . [It ] helps us become who we are created to be: lovers of God and one another’ (124).
The following article, on the Holy Spirit and suffering will be of interest as you reflect on the discussion forum’s topic for this week:
https://cct.biola.edu/issues/groans-too-deep-holy-spirit-suffering/?utm_source=The+Table+%2F+Biola+CCT&utm_campaign=e9aaab1e9f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_defb2564a5-e9aaab1e9f-33805389&mc_cid=e9aaab1e9f&mc_eid=55400101f4 
Question for discussion: Have you experienced anything akin to a “”dark night of the soul””?  If so, and if you are comfortable with sharing about this, briefly discuss the nature of this experience and if you have come to view it, as May describes, as ultimately””a profoundly good thing””. In other words, what changed, in your character, your relationships, your ministry–for the better–due to this experience?”

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