It was good to have Andrew Grinnell to guide us through Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross this morning. Interesting to get a sense of the groups intreprtation of the dark night of the soul and it's application. I found myself revisiting Jamieson's Chrysalis and found what he acknowleges as an oversimplification in his description of what he calls a journey through darkness. He describes ten characteristics of the journey.
Here are the first five...
• It is the journey from faith understood in black and white, right and wrong, true and false dichotomies into the hyper-critical focus on the greys of life and faith. In this hyper-critical phase the black and whites are rejected in favour of a celebration of the greys of theology, morality and ethics. The move beyond hyper-critical faith to a post-critical faith involves the embracing of the black and whites and the greys with equal respect.
• It is a journey from dependence into a hyper-independence that shuns the influence of others, towards a growing interdependence that can be characterized by humility, vulnerability and deep connection.
• It is a journey from uncritical and tacit acceptance of answers into a mindset full of doubt, questions and critiques and on to an embracing of mystery, of paradox and a childlike delight and wonder.
• It is a journey from doing (being God's servant), into personal failure and acceptance of incapacity and on to a deep sense of God's delight and acceptance of who we are as God's friends. We are people who can simply be.
• It is a journey from living a role or roles into a period of self-identity formation and on to a new giving of self for others.
Jamieson, A. (2008: 96ff). Chrysalis: The Hidden Transformation in the Journey of Faith. Carlisle: Paternoster.