Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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shut the door behind you

It is 3:50 PM Sunday afternoon. The sun has been shining all day, which is nice.

I have been reading today, "The Spiritual Canticle" by St. John of the Cross. One of the first Christian books I read was "The Spiritual Canticle" by St. John of the Cross back in 1971. I still have that old paperback copy of "The Spiritual Canticle" in my book collection. I love St. John of the Cross. He has stood by me through thick and thin.

Carol has been sleeping this afternoon, because she goes back to work tonight. It is a new week. This coming Friday is the first day of Spring 2015.

Well I suppose I will close to read and prepare for the Day of Resurrection.

"8. It brings special happiness to a person to understand that God is never absent, not even from a soul in mortal sin (and how much less from one in the state of grace).

What more do you want, O soul! And what else do you search for outside, when within yourself you possess your riches, delights, satisfaction, fullness, and kingdom - your Beloved whom you desire and seek? Be joyful and gladdened in your interior recollection with him, for you have him so close to you. Desire him there, adore him there. Do not go in pursuit of him outside yourself. You will only become distracted and wearied thereby, and you shall not find him, or enjoy him more securely, or sooner, or more intimately than by seeking him within you. There is but one difficulty: Even though he does abide within you, he is hidden. Nevertheless, it is vital for you to know his hiding place so you may search for him there with assuredness. And this, soul, is also what you ask, when with the affection of love you question: "Where have you hidden?"

9. Yet you inquire: Since he whom my soul loves is within me, why don't I find him or experience him? The reason is that he remains concealed and you do not also conceal yourself in order to find and experience him. If you want to find a hidden treasure you must enter the hiding place secretly, and once you have discovered it, you will also be hidden just as the treasure is hidden. Since, then, your beloved Bridegroom is the treasure hidden in a field for which the wise merchant sold all his possessions [Mt. 13:44], and that field is your soul, in order to find him you should forget all your possessions and all creatures and hide in the secret inner room of your spirit and there, closing the door behind you (your will to all things), you should pray to your Father in secret [Mt. 6:6]. Remaining hidden with him, you will experience him in hiding, that is, in a way transcending all language and feeling.

10. Come, then, O beautiful soul! Since you know now that your desired Beloved lives hidden within your heart, strive to be really hidden with him, and you will embrace him within you and experience him with loving affection. Note that through Isaiah he calls you to this hiding place: Come, enter into your inner rooms, shut the door behind you (your faculties to all creatures), hide yourself a little, even for a moment [Is. 26:20], for this moment of life on earth. If, O soul, in this short space of time you keep diligent watch over your heart, as the Wise Man advises [Prv. 4:23], God will undoubtedly give you what he also promises further on through Isaiah: I will give you hidden treasures and reveal to you the substance and mysteries of the secrets [Is. 45:3]. The substance of the secrets is God himself, for God is the substance and concept of faith, and faith is the secret and the mystery. And when that which faith covers and hides from us is revealed - that which is perfect concerning God, spoken of by St. Paul [1 Cor. 13:10] - then the substance and mysteries of the secrets will be uncovered to the soul.

However much the soul hides herself, she will never in this mortal life attain to so perfect a knowledge of these mysteries as she will possess in the next. Nevertheless, if like Moses she hides herself in the cavern of the rock (in real imitation of the perfect life of the Son of God, her Bridegroom), she will merit that, while he protects her with his right hand, God will show her his shoulders [Ex. 33:22-23], that is, he will bring her to the high perfection of union with the Son of God, her Bridegroom, and transformation in him through love. In this union she experiences such closeness to him and is so instructed and wise in his mysteries that, as for knowing him in this life, she has no need to say, "Where have you hidden?"

11. You have been told, O soul, of the conduct you should observe if you want to find the Bridegroom in your hiding place. Still, if you want to hear this again, listen to a word abounding in substance and inaccessible truth: Seek him in faith and love, without desiring to find satisfaction in anything, or delight, or desiring to understand anything other than what you ought to know. Faith and love are like the blind person's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden. Faith, the secret we mentioned,[3] is comparable to the feet by which one journeys to God, and love is like one's guide. In dealing with these mysteries and secrets of faith, the soul will merit through love the discovery of the content of faith, that is, the Bridegroom whom she desires to possess in this life through the special grace of divine union with God, as we said,[4] and in the next life through the essential glory, by which she will rejoice in him not in a hidden way, but face to face [1 Cor. 13:12].

In the meantime, even though the soul reaches union in this life (the highest state attainable here below), she always exclaims; "Where have You hidden?" For even in the state of union he is still hidden from her, in the bosom of the Father, as we said,[5] which is how she wants to enjoy him in the next life." St. John of the Cross "The Spiritual Canticle" Stanza 1

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