A modern dictionary of 5,679 Catholic terms (including abbreviations), both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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NIGHT OF THE SENSES
One of the trials that the mystics undergo in their process of spiritual purification. It is a divine action that binds the sense faculties by subjecting them to the mind, which itself is prevented from discursive reasoning on divine things. So deprived and receiving only faintly the light of contemplation, the soul feels arid and crucified, plunged into darkness. During this period of darkness and light, aridity and intense love of God, weakness and latent energy, contradictory and hard to explain, God awaits the soul's patient acceptance in love.