“At such a time as this (the dark night) one who is not seriously
grounded in genuine theological faith may lose everything he ever had.
His prayer may become an obscure and hateful struggle to preserve the
images and trappings which covered his own interior emptiness. Either he
will have to face the truth of his emptiness or else he will beat a
retreat into the realm of images and analogies which no longer serve for
a mature spiritual life.”

–Thomas Merton


My giver of rest to every man, my God, I will glorify thee.

Corner-stone unchanging, unfaltering.

Foundation unshakable,

Sheep bound to the tree,

Treasure hidden in the field,

Jesus that hangs to the tree,

Youth, son of the dew,

Milk of all trees,

Sweetness of the fruits,

Eye of the skies,

Guard of all treasure,

…that bears the universe,

joy of all created things,

rest of the worlds

Thou art a marvel to tell.

Thou art within, thou art without.

Thou art above, thou art below,

That art near and far,

That art hidden and revealed,

That art silent and speakest too.

–Manichaean writings


“Life is none other than a form of combustion. It is impossible
for anything to manifest in the universe without the combustion
of matter to produce energy. And human beings cannot live, in
other words cannot act, feel or think, unless a fuel is burnt
within them to feed the process.
To sustain life, something must always be burnt. You will say,
‘But what must be burnt?’ Good question. Instead of burning your
most precious quintessences by giving way to instincts and
passions, learn to burn your instincts and passions by
renouncing them. You must put your jealousy, anger and
sensuality right there in the fire, the fire of the spirit, so
they produce an extraordinary light, flame and heat, like the
black, twisted branches that feed a furnace. The secret lies in
how we burn all our impurities to feed the heavenly fire.”

–Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov