The author of The Dark Night of the Soul describes how there are 7 capital sins that the Lord will purify each person of through "The Dark Night of the Soul". The "dark night of the soul" is when a person no longer has the pleasure they once had in their devotional life. From my understanding, it is God's way of purification and being able to test your true love for Him. When you first become a Christian, there is an emotional/ spiritual high that comes along with it. You can compare this to when you start a new relationship with the opposite sex and feel that they have no imperfections and your "obsessed" with them in a sense. Your grades decrease, you can not think of anything but that person, the first thing when you wake up in the morning is thinking of them and the last thing you think of during the day is that person and every point in between, you have a desire to only be with them and neglect all other responsibilities. You love them because they make you feel good. As the relationship continues and the "obsession stage" of your relationship wears down, how a person can truely tell if they love someone is if they choose to love them even after their "obsession" of them has worn off. After the obsession stage, you love someone because you love WHO THEY ARE, not because of how GOOD they make YOU FEEL. The way you can tell if you truely love someone is if once life goes back to normal, go back to fulfilling all your responsiblities, and realize the other person's imperfections.. You love them through it. You love them even though sometimes you do not feel like you do. In the same way, we have a spiritual high (or obsession) once we give our lives to the Lord because it makes us feel good, pure, pleasure and brings fulfillment. I believe the Lord takes that pleasure away because he wants to test our love for Him. He desires to know that we love him for WHO HE IS, because HE IS GOOD.. Not for how he makes us feel.
Of the virtues mentioned by Jon that the Lord purifies each person in, I believe the one I most need is moderation. I have a skewed mind set that the Lord and I are no closer if I only do a Bible study for a while each day.. I feel like it has to be hours long. That is not what the Lord is asking of me though, he asks just a time during the day I can sit down and process what He wants me to hear. He doesnt require a certain amount, just some time.