So I read through the remaining chapters on beginners' vices and I'm not going to flap around and be upset with myself or question the validity of what St. John is saying or wonder if the translators got it right. I pulled out some key things which I don't have time to write down right now.
Got called away right after I wrote the above. Friday gathering was changed to a much earlier time so I had to just leave it.
I have decided however, to leave it up to you dear reader if you care to go to the book and see for yourself some of the things that John of the Cross marks as vices of the beginner. I have noted the ones that lept from the page at me and for myself I have kept them and I hope to attend to them as much as I can, and pray that God works them out in me.
The cure for these weaknesses or vices, John of the Cross says in the dark night. However I thought I understood it as something that God takes a person through and not something one can practice like meditation, prayer, fasting or serving. It is like Richard Foster points out, as well as others, that it is the spiritual disciplines that we take up that open ourselves up to the changes God performs in us.
Foster cites specifically that solitude is the discipline that most likely will bring about the dark night. Certainly my first unconfirmed thoughts are that, Jesus is in the garden alone, the tormented prophets spent much time alone, Paul seemed to spend time alone prior to his ministry. And what is my struggle this last week, solitude.
Not that I do not have lovely stretches to be alone in my thoughts, but I always know that soon I will have company, from one of my daughters, my husband returning home, gathering with others in Christ, the list could go on. But I've never really been successful in separating myself for an extended period of time, more importantly for an undetermined period of time. In none of the other things I put myself to, prayer, meditation, reading, celebration, serving, do I put a time limit on. I go in and dwell there till I am released. But solitude has been a different story. And a huge struggle.
But for now I leave it, St John's work on the dark night, and desire to meditate upon those things I pulled out about the beginner and her vices and seek in God removal from my soul of such unpleasant and retarding things.