My editor at Catholic Exchange, Michael Lichens, was gracious to interview me for a candid discussion about redemptive suffering and – what I call – holy darkness.

Most of us assume that all darkness is unholy, but that’s simply untrue.  There is a particular type of darkness that acts as a shadow over our senses and consciousness.  This is something entirely initiated by God, which He uses to refine and temper our faith.  The moments when we are doing everything to be faithful to Him and we still feel as if He has abandoned us are what I call holy darkness.

Grief presents us with a unique sensory experience, in that we feel abandoned, alone, confused, enraged, and bereft of energy or light or joy.  The Lord sometimes keeps us in that place for a time – not out of cruelty or punishment – because He longs for us to cling to Him in a stark emotional and spiritual nakedness.

This interview focuses on that difference between sinful – or unholy – darkness versus a darkening of the senses.