Dark Night of Impasse in Relation to Climate Crisis – by Margaret Pfeil

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Please watch this short recorded reflection , and read these two essays by Connie FitzGerald:

Impasse and Dark Night,” in Living with Apocalypse. Spiritual Resources for Social Compassion, ed. Tilden H. Edwards (San Francisco: Harper & Row,
Publishers, 1984), 93-116.

The Desire for God and the Transformative Power of Contemplation,
in Light Burdens, Heavy Blessings, ed. Mary Heather MacKinnon, Moni McIntyre, and Mary Ellen Sheehan (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 2000), 201-222.

Questions for Pondering

1. As you reflect on the experience of impasse:

  • What comes to mind from your own life experience up to this point?
  • What comes to mind in relation to societal experiences of impass?

2. The Symphony of Creation
John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle:

14 My Beloved, the mountains,
and lonely wooded valleys,
strange islands,
and resounding rivers,
the whistling of love-stirring breezes,
the tranquil night
at the time of the rising dawn,
silent music,
sounding solitude,
the supper that refreshes, deepens love.

In his commentary on this passage, John of the Cross gushes about creation’s “harmonious symphony of sublime music surpassing all concerts and melodies of the world.” ( Spiritual Canticle Commentary 14 and 15.25).

  • ~Where do you hear that sublime symphony?
  • ~Take a moment to recollect experiences of the sublime music of creation

3. Holding the suffering and joy of the world together in the face of the climate crisis

  • What invitation do you sense, hear, or become aware of?
  • How is Sophia Wisdom’s transforming love at work, perhaps in ways subtle and hidden, but no less real?

For Further Reading:

Constance FitzGerald, “Transformation in Wisdom,” in Carmel and Contemplation. Transforming Human Consciousness, ed. Kevin Culligan and Regis Jordan (Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 2000), 281-358.

John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mt. Carmel 2.6.6 and The Dark Night, 2.21.11-12 in The Collected Works of John of the Cross, trans. Kieran Cavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1991, rev. ed.).