Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger
crookedfingers

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the Beloved lives in the lover and the lover in the Beloved

"which I bear sketched deep within my heart.

6. She says these truths are sketched deep within her, that is, in her soul, in her intellect and will. For these truths are infused by faith into her intellect. And since the knowledge of them is imperfect, she says they are sketched. Just as a sketch is not a perfect painting, so the knowledge of faith is not perfect knowledge. Hence the truths infused in the soul through faith are as though sketched, and when clearly visible they will be like a perfect and finished painting in the soul. As the Apostle says: Cum autem venerit quod perfectum est evacuabitur quod ex parte est [1 Cor. 13:10]; this means that when what is perfect, the clear vision, comes, what is in part, the knowledge of faith, will end.

7. Over this sketch of faith the sketch of love is drawn in the will of the lover. When there is union of love, the image of the Beloved is so sketched in the will, and drawn so intimately and vividly, that it is true to say that the Beloved lives in the lover and the lover in the Beloved. Love produces such likeness in this transformation of lovers that one can say each is the other and both are one. The reason is that in the union and transformation of love each gives possession of self to the other and each leaves and exchanges self for the other. Thus each one lives in the other and is the other, and both are one in the transformation of love.

8. This is the meaning of St. Paul's affirmation: Vivo autem, iam non ego; vivit vero in me Christus (I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me) [Gal. 2:20]. In saying, "I live, now not I," he meant that even though he had life it was not his because he was transformed in Christ, and it was divine more than human. He consequently asserts that he does not live but Christ lives in him. In accord with this likeness and transformation, we can say that his life and Christ's were one life through union of love. This transformation into divine life will be effected perfectly in heaven in all those who merit the vision of God. Transformed in God, these blessed souls will live the life of God and not their own life although, indeed, it will be their own life because God's life will be theirs. Then they will truly proclaim: We live, now not we, but God lives in us.

Although transformation in this life can be what it was in St. Paul, it still cannot be perfect and complete even though the soul reaches such transformation of love as is found in the spiritual marriage, the highest state attainable in this life.[4] Everything can be called a sketch of love in comparison with that perfect image, the transformation in glory. Yet the attainment of such a sketch of transformation in this life is a great blessing, for with this transformation the Beloved is very pleased. Desiring the bride to put him as a sketch in her soul, he said in the Song of Songs: Put Me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm [Sg. 8:6]. The "heart" signifies the soul in which God dwells in this life as a seal, which is the sketch of faith mentioned above; the "arm" signifies the strong will in which he is present as the seal, which is the sketch of love we just discussed.

9. The soul's state at this time is such that I do not want to neglect saying something about it, even though briefly, regardless of the fact that it is indescribable. It seems to the soul that its bodily and spiritual substance is drying up with thirst for this living spring of God. Its thirst is like David's when he said: As the hart longs for the fount of waters, so does my soul long for you, my God. My soul has thirsted for God the living fount; when shall I see and appear before the face of God? [Ps. 42:1-2 {Ps. 41:2-3}]. This thirst so exhausts the soul that she would think nothing of breaking through the midst of the camp of the Philistines, as did David's strong men to fill their containers with water from the cistern of Bethlehem, which was Christ [1 Chron. 11:18]. She would consider all the difficulties of the world, the fury of demons, and infernal afflictions nothing if by passing through them she could plunge into the unfathomable spring of love. In this respect it is said in the Song of Songs: Love is as strong as death and its jealousy as hard as hell [Sg. 8:6].

It is incredible how ardent the longing and pain is that the soul experiences when she sees she is near the enjoyment of that good, yet it is not given to her. The more the object of her desire comes into sight and the closer it draws, while still being denied her, so much more pain and torment does it cause. In this spiritual sense Job says: Before I eat, I sigh; and the roaring and bellowing of my soul is like overflowing waters [Jb. 3:24], that is, on account of its craving for food. By the food is meant God because the yearning for food, or the knowledge of God, is commensurate with suffering for him." Stanza 12 "The Spiritual Canticle" by St. John of the Cross
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