One of the last 17th century English Puritan reprints I read was titled, "The Christian Warfare Against the Devil, World and Flesh" by John Downame.
Carol just called to let me know she is now in Boston Mass.. She will take a cab to the kids place from the airport.
I wanted to quote from the treatise "On Contemplation" by Guigo De Ponte. I love quoting from the books I am reading. I read someplace years ago if you quote from a book the quote stays in your memory. I have a terrible memory. I also like quoting from books because I love words. Words are mystical.
"Chapter Thirteen: Contemplation Requires Four Wings, according to Gregory, and, according to Bernard, Contemplation Is Fourfold
The contemplative life through which the godly spirit often flies away to the heavenly Jerusalem requires the four wings that Gregory mentions in his second homily on Ezechiel: "Their faces and their wings stretched upward: two wings of each of them touched, and two [wings] covered their bodies (Ez 1:11). The wings that touched each other extend above because love and hope lift the spirit of the holy ones on high. To say they join each other is fitting, since the chosen ones certainly love the heavenly things they hope for and hope for what they love. The other two wings cover the body because fear and repentance hide their past sins from the eyes of almighty God."
To renew her longing, the godly spirit occasionally ought to call to mind the holy and happy visions the holy fathers received from God. One example is that of Saint Jacob, who said, I have seen God face to face yet my soul has been saved (Gn 32:30). Likewise Job: By the hearing of the ear I have heard you, now my eyes see you(Jb 42:5), and Isaiah: I saw the Lord sitting on a high and elevated throne. The whole earth was full of his majesty, and those who were beneath him filled the temple; the Seraphim stood above him and each had six wings (Is. 6:1-2).
Bernard says: "The first and greatest contemplation is to marvel at majesty. This requires a clean heart so that freed from vices and unburdened of sins it may easily rise to heavenly things. Sometimes, too, the one who marvels is held suspended for a short time in wonder and ecstasy. The second thing necessary for him is to look upon the judgments of God, a fearful sight that surely shakes the viewer vehemently, routs vices, undergirds virtues, initiates wisdom, and preserves humility (for humility is the good and solid foundation of virtues; should it waver, the whole house of virtues collapses). The third contemplation is busy with (actually, has leisure in) recalling blessings so that, rather than depart in ingratitude, the person blessed remains eager to love the one who blesses. Fourth, forgetting what lies behind (Phil 3:13), the contemplator can rest only by awaiting the things promised. Since he meditates on eternal things, and indeed the things promised are eternal, such meditation nourishes patience." Bernard writes these things in his [fifth] book On Consideration. Do not give up: Stubborn labor conquers all." Guigo De Ponte pg. 196,197