Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,942 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

NIGHT OF THE SPIRIT

Purification of the soul for spiritual marriage by cleansing it of habitual imperfections. What especially needs purification is self-complacency with possible illusions of false visions, together with a loss of reverential fear resulting in an overboldness toward God. In order to facilitate the soul's reform, the mind is left in darkness immersed in aridity. With prayer almost impossible, the soul is deprived of all joy and feels itself justly forsaken by God. The night of the spirit has four happy results: 1. an increased ardent love of God; 2. a piercing light that breaks through the former mental darkness, consoling the soul; 3. a greater sense of security in God with the determination to do nothing except for his glory; and 4. a marvelous strength to climb the steps that lead to the "transforming union," which St. John of the Cross calls the ten steppingstones of divine love.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs 21 hours ago
How not to be persuasive 22 hours ago
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28
Does the Kasper Proposal make Pope Francis a heretic? Invalid marriages and mortal sin October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6