The rules: Pass this on to 5 blogging friends. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.
The book nearest me: Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
Page 56, 5th sentence and a few after:
When I told this priest I was undergoing infernal tortures, he answered that he was not worried about my soul, because he saw in it a great grace of God. But I understood nothing of this, and not even the least glimmer of light broke through to my soul.
Then my physical strength began to fail me, and I could no longer carry out my duties....
Well, I don't think that passage is very self-explanatory, but that's what you get when you obey meme rules. :) In a nutshell, St. Faustina is describing a certain spiritual suffering she experienced early in her convent life, something often called "the dark night of the soul".
The Diary is an awesome book. If left to my own devices I might never have picked it up. I had some kind of prejudice against it, which I'm afraid had a great deal to do with my dislike of the blank expression on that painting of St. Faustina you always see... yes, I judged the book by its cover. (Here, by the way, is an actual photograph I like much better.) But then I went on my eight-day Ignatian retreat last June and Fr. Larry gave me a book to read for fun when I wasn't meditating, and when I devoured that book in short order, he gave me the big fat Diary and I promptly fell in love with it. But you know what, it's 11:15 pm already so I don't have time to say why.
Good night, dear friends, and as we say at the end of Compline, may the all-powerful Lord grant you a restful night and a peaceful death. Amen.
(Oh, as for the meme, I invite anyone who likes it to consider himself tagged.)