So . . . back to Fr. Matthew’s book, Impact of God. (Sorry about the delay . . . lots going on the past few days.) So how do we make the space for God to come fully into us. We all know how we are attached to so many things, and we also know all too well how often our efforts to detach ourselves fail miserably. Fr. Matthew shares with us the good news that John of the Cross makes so clear in his writings: God will make the space in us if we will let Him. (You all know little words can be big words . . .) If we will just keep saying yes to what He is doing–and many times that may manifest itself as dry, distracted prayer, untoward events in our lives, etc.–things we naturally shrink from, but ways God uses to clear out those detachments in our lives. Our part is “simply” to keep saying yes, and God who is continually pursuing us will indeed bring us into full union with Him.
If God is a self-bestowing God, then his gift is liable to engage us. If he is active, then, in prayer, provided we stay around, he is liable to act.
Night: if God is beyond us, his approach is also liable to leave us feeling out of our depth. When the divine engages us more deeply, our minds and feelings will have less to take hold of, accustomed as they are to controlling the agenda, to meeting God on their terms and in portions they can handle. A deeper gifts will feel like no gift at all. His ‘loving inflow’ is ‘hidden’; it is night.
If anything is felt it will probably be our own selfishness and narrowness (wood crackling and twisting as the fire makes progress). When God approaches as who he is, I am liable to feel myself for what I am. As a physical sign of growth is growing pains, so a sign of God gift is the pain of being widened. This is the blessedness of night, that God, who wants to give, undertakes to make space in us for his gift. (Fr. Iain Matthew, emphasis added)