We are approaching the end of a year that seems longer than 366 days. For many, it meant loss of loved ones, friends, coworkers, and partners. For most of us, it meant a long period of separation that is still going on. Some would describe this year as a Dark Night.

John of the Cross is arguably the creator of the term, “Dark Night.” He wrote a poem about it and then a treatise on the Dark Night as it relates to prayer and the spiritual journey.

I often think of darkness or a dark night as something to be avoided. Yet, in his poem, John of the Cross describes the Dark Night as a period when the spirit, or one’s “house,” is so quiet and still that we can journey more deeply to find our Beloved. Inner noise and distractions have lost their appeal; our only focus is Christ present at the center of our lives.

Perhaps these times of darkness can be seen as a grace. The difficulties cannot be brushed off or aside, but faith can enable us to see into the darkness to the presence of the One who loves us so much.

I encourage you to read John’s poem, The Dark Night. It can be read as a love poem, and can be found at this link:


Sister Elaine Berkopec