Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the love of God which inflames and stimulates and wondrously stirs him with a loving wound

"4. One might, then, in a certain way ponder how remarkable and how strong this enkindling of love in the spirit can be. God gathers together all the strength, faculties, and appetites of the soul, spiritual and sensory alike, that the energy and power of this whole harmonious composite may be employed in this love. The soul consequently arrives at the true fulfillment of the first commandment which, neither disdaining anything human nor excluding it from this love states: You shall love your God with your whole heart and with your whole mind and with your whole soul and with all your strength.[Dt. 6:5]

5. When the soul is wounded, touched, and impassioned, all its strength and its appetites are recollected in this burning of love. How will we be able to understand the movements and impulses of all this strength and these appetites? They are aroused when the soul becomes aware of the fire and wound of this forceful love and still neither possesses it nor gets satisfaction from it, but remains in darkness and doubt. Doubtless, suffering hunger like dogs, as David says, these souls wander about the city and howl and sigh because they are not filled with this love. [Ps. 58:7, 15-16]

6. As a result the soul proclaims in this verse: fired "with love's urgent longings," and not, "with an urgent longing of love." in all its thoughts and in all its business and in all events, it loves in many ways and desires and also suffers in its desires in many ways, and at all times and in many places. It finds rest in nothing, for it feels this anxiety in the burning wound, as the prophet Job explains: As the hart desires the shade and as the hireling desires the end of his work, so have I had empty months and numbered to myself long and wearisome nights. If I lie down to sleep I shall say: When will I arise? And then I will await the evening and will be filled with sorrows until the darkness of the night. [Jb 7:2-4].

7. A man's anxiety and affliction in this burning of love is more intense because it is doubly increased: first, through the spiritual darkness in which he is engulfed and which afflict him with doubts and fears; second, through the love of God which inflames and stimulates and wondrously stirs him with a loving wound. Isaias clearly explains these two ways of suffering in this state when he says: My soul desired You in the night [Is. 26:9], that is, in the midst of misery. This is the one way of suffering in this dark night. Yet within my spirit, he says, until the morning I will watch to You [Is.26:9] And this is the second way of suffering: with desire and anxiety of love in the innermost parts of the spirit. Nonetheless, in the midst of those dark and loving afflictions, the soul feels the presence of someone and an interior strength which so fortifies and accompanies it that when this weight of anxious darkness passes, it often feels alone, empty, and weak. The reason is that since the strength and efficacy of the dark fire of love which assails it is communicated and impressed upon it passively, the darkness, strength, and warmth of love ceases when the assault terminates." THE DARK NIGHT Book II Chapter 11 St. John of the Cross

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