In the childhood of the spiritual life, when we have just begun to allow ourselves to be directed by God, then we feel his guiding hand quite firmly and surely. But it doesn’t always stay that way. Whoever belongs to Christ, must go the whole way with him. He must mature to manhood; he must one day or other walk the way of the cross to Gethsemane and Golgotha. And all external sufferings are as nothing in comparison with the dark night of the soul, when the divine Light no longer shines and the voice of the Lord no longer speaks. God is there, but he is hidden and silent.
St Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) from The Mystery of Christmas