Have you ever felt like you were dwelling in a dark cloud? I think most of us get there at some point or another in our lives. The dark cloud might be confusion: where is God taking me? What am I supposed to do with my life? Or it might be frustration: why is this happening to me? Why can’t I ever have a moment’s happiness or peace? The dark cloud could be fear: what is happening to me? Will this illness be curable or have I come to the end of my life? The dark cloud is sometimes sadness, or loneliness, or despair. Whatever the dark cloud looks like, we all get to pass through it at some time or another in our lives.
The good news that we have from today’s Liturgy of the Word is that God is in the dark cloud too. St. John of the Cross often wrote of what he called the “dark night of the soul” and once said that darkness “signifies the obscurity of faith with which the divinity is clothed while communicating itself to the soul.” God comes to us even in the dark cloud, with a message of some kind. What we learn in that period of darkness could be anything, but it invariably brings us closer to the light.
Today, if you’re in the dark cloud, know that God is there with you. Thrashing around wildly in the cloud trying to find him isn’t real productive. But being still within it, listening for God’s voice, waiting for his presence in stillness, he will come to you. For those outside the cloud this morning, our prayer is with our brothers and sisters who are in it, that they may know that God is there with them, in the dark cloud, helping them to learn what is beneficial to the soul, waiting for them to come to the true light.