We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Monday, December 14, 2009

For the Feast of St John of the Cross

No time for more than a quick post, but I thought I'd share some quotes from his spiritual classic: The Dark Night of the Soul. Well, at least the first half of it anyway . . . I'm still slowly reading this one.

concerning the secret pride of beginners:

". . . being very fervent and diligent in spiritual things and devout exercises, there often comes to them, as a result of their imperfections, a certain kind of secret pride. (. . .) Hence, a certain vain desire comes to them, a desire to speak of spiritual things in the presence of others. They may even strive to teach these things rather than being content with simply learning them."

concerning spiritual gluttony:

"For many of them, lured by the sweetness and pleasure they find in such exercises, begin to strive more after the sweetness rather than the spiritual purity and discretion that God desires and accepts throughout one's spiritual journey."

". . . strive with all their nerves to obtain some kind of sensible sweetness and pleasure instead of humbly doing reverence and giving praise within themselves to God. When they have received no pleasure or sweetness in their senses, they think they have accomplished nothing at all. "

concerning solitude and quietness:

". . . it gives the soul an inclination and desire to be alone and in quietness, without being able to think of any particular thing of having the desire to do so. If the souls to whome this comes to pass knew how to be quiet at this time and not too troubled about performing any kind of action, whether inward or outward . . . they would delicately experience this inward refreshment that is found in ease and freedom from care."

concerning "A Ray of Darkness":

". . . the clearer and more manifest divine things are in themselves, the darker and more hidden they are to the soul. . . . the more we look at the sun, the greater is the darkness it causes in our vision by overcoming and overwhelming it through its own weakness. In the same way, when the divine light of contemplation assails the soul that is not yet wholly enlightened, it causes spiritual darkness within it. . . . when God sends the illuminating ray of His secret wisdom to the soul that is not yet transformed, thick darkness in the understanding results."

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