My Dark Nights

My Dark Nights

My Dark Nights

Encounters with God

My Dark Nights: Encounters with God was written from the author’s notes taken during his experiences of encounter during two Dark Nights. St. John of the Cross wrote his famous work on “the dark night of the sense” and the “dark night of the spirit.” Each person’s experiences of the two Dark Nights are unique. 

This book, written by a layperson, presents his encounters of God’s purifying and enlightening grace and transformation brought about in each Night. In the Darkness of the first Night, he received the graces of healing and contemplation that opened him to a deep relation with God as Love, and with Jesus. This prepared him for a life of dialogue with Buddhism, especially working for the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The Darkness of the second Night was much longer and more painful, leading to the peeling back of his false self and the discovery of his true self. Along with this discovery, he also found within the center of his soul the divine presence of God, the Word of God/Jesus and Mary. Finally, he experienced God in all of humankind and nature by Whom we are all brothers and sisters. My Dark Nights is the first published work on the actual experience of the Dark Night of the Sense and the Dark Night of the Spirit. It is required reading for anyone interested in learning about this unique experience.

Reviews and endorsements

This deeply personal, stunningly honest, portrayal of Don Mitchell's experiences offers the reader a very explicit, contemporary example of the Dark Night. From its descriptions of searing purifications that progressively stretch the soul's capacity for God to its witness to life-changing transformations, these experiences ring true to the teaching of John of the Cross. Above all, they testify, as John does, to the possibility and wonder of a life of love lived in deep communion with Jesus Christ. In our sad time, the healing of emotional disconnectedness, the letting go of inner barriers, the movement toward deeper solidarity with those persons who are suffering are marks of this union we need to cherish. They open one's heart to enfold the collective grief of humanity with compassion, healing and hope. Mitchell's experience holds out the promise of such a transformation of consciousness.

-Constance FitzGerald, OCD, Baltimore Carmel

The experience of the "Dark Night" constitutes a crucial passage in the spiritual doctrine of the Christian tradition: the "Passover" into the Bosom of God within the soul. The Dark Night, about which Chiara Lubich speaks, lived in union with Jesus Forsaken is a luminous testimony of this passage by Donald Mitchell. His pages on such Dark Nights tell of his intense life of encounter with the God. These pages are enlightened by the experience of passing through Dark Nights to obtain the "fruits of the Holy Spirit" that contributed to his work in the Church's dialogue with the great religious traditions of humanity.

-Fr. Piero Coda
Sophia University Institute
The Vatican's International Theological Commission

At long last, we have in this intriguing volume containing a Catholic layperson's detailed account of his own authentic experiences of the Dark Night of the Senses and the Dark Night of the Spirit. Don Mitchell invites the 21st century reader into his own purifying and transforming journey, the fundamental contours of which were classically described by St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. This Jesuit took special delight in witnessing a brother Jesuit's expert accompaniment of the author as he moved from discursive prayer into the new and mysterious waters of unitive prayer.

-Brian O. McDermott, S.J., Dr. Theol.
Georgetown University


Hardcover / 116 pages

Christian Living, Devotional