"The Divine is also discovered in my happy, joyous, light-filled times, but no matter how much light I carry within me, there will always be times of feeling lost, being confused, seeking direction. It is the way of the human heart. It is the way of going inward. It is the way of Sophia.

"At times I have found it difficult to believe that darkness could be a source of growth. Darkness to a child, as well as to many adults, can be a scary, fearsome place where wild creatures wait to pounce and prey. But, in actuality, some kinds of darkness are truly our friends. The world of our mother's womb had no light: It is where we grew wonderfully and filled out our tiny limbs of life. Our earth would be quite lifeless, too, if we did not plant seeds deep within the lonely darkness of the soil so they could germinate and bring forth green shoots. I know, too, that we would soon die of an overheated planet if nightfall did not come to soothe the sun-filled land. Darkness is very essential for some aspects of growth and protection.

"But there is also an unfriendly darkness, like human destructiveness or hate, a blackness that can maim and wound us mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It is the kind that will lead us to despair, where we end up hurting ourselves or others. It destroys our hope and our positive view of life. We do not grow in this kind of darkness. We turn in on self. We stop believing in our goodness and beauty and that of others.

"How do I know what kind of darkness to stay in? It is not easy to know. Sometimes I just do not know. I always need someone to walk faithfully with me during these times of darkness. Sophia's light and guidance are present to me through my human companions. A spiritual guide or a counseling companion is a great blessing at such a time. If at all possible, I need to find these people and welcome them into my life. If I call on Sophia, she will lead me to these companions.

"I will need to wait the darkness out, say it out, pray it out. Eventually, I will know what kind of darkness it is by the effects that it has on my life and on the lives of those around me. If it brings life (new hope, greater understanding, more courage, deeper trust . . .), the darkness is my friend. I believe that almost all of my darkness if life-giving if I have Sophia with me. Jessica Powers understood this when she wrote: "God sits on a chair of darkness in my soul." Sophia is my Star to light up what seems to be an unbearable or impossible passage of life. I may not want to believe that darkness can be growthful because ache, loneliness, hurt, hollowness are not feelings that I enjoy. Yet, if I look back on my life, to those dark times, I can see that I have, or could have, grown deeper and wiser from my experience of the darkness." (from The Star in My Heart: Discovering Inner Wisdom)