Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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A Word about Words

A Word about Words
Retired BookNerd
Readers LOVE words! Please take this challenge. . . What string of words inspires or speaks to you?

The list of books mentioned in my BookTube channel-

Bible King James Version/Translation

"The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross" translated by Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez

"Carthusian Spirituality: The Writings Of Hugh Of Balma & Guigo De Ponte" [The Classics Of Western Spirituality]

"John Ruusbroec: The Spiritual Espousals And Other Works" [The Classics of Western Spirituality]

"The Cloud Of Unknowing" originally written in Middle English by an unknown mystic of the 14th century

"Open City" a novel by Teju Cole

"How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read" by Perre Bayard Translated from the French by Jeffrey Mehlman

"Diary of a Bad Year" a novel by J.M. Coetzee

"The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, And The Unmaking Of The American Dream" by Chris Lehmann

In this video I read from "The Dark Night" by St. John of the Cross Bk. 1 chapter 11-

Fired with love's urgent longings


11. Explains three verses of the stanza.

11.1. The fire of love is not commonly felt at the outset, either because
it does not have a chance to take hold, owing to the impurity of the
sensory part, or because the soul for want of understanding has not made
within itself a peaceful place for it; although at times with or without
these conditions a person will begin to feel a certain longing for God. In
the measure that the fire increases, the soul becomes aware of being
attracted by the love of God and enkindled in it, without knowing how or
where this attraction and love originates. At times this flame and
enkindling increase to such an extent that the soul desires God with urgent
longings of love, as David, while in this night, said of himself: Because
my heart was inflamed (in contemplative love), my reins were likewise
changed [Ps. 73:21]. That is, my appetites of sensible affection were
changed from the sensory life to the spiritual life, which implies dryness
and cessation of all those appetites we are speaking of. And, he says: I
was brought to nothing and annihilated, and I knew not [Ps. 73:22]. For, as
we pointed out,1 the soul, with no knowledge of its destination, sees
itself annihilated in all heavenly and earthly things in which it formerly
found satisfaction; and it only sees that it is enamored, but knows not

11.1.(2). Because the enkindling of love in the spirit sometimes increases
exceedingly, the longings for God become so intense that it will seem to
such persons that their bones are drying up in this thirst, their nature
withering away, and their ardor and strength diminishing through the
liveliness of the thirst of love. They will feel that this is a living
thirst. David also had such experience when he proclaimed: My soul thirsts
for the living God [Ps. 43:3], as though to say, this thirst my soul
experiences is a living thirst. Since this thirst is alive, we can assert
that it is a thirst that kills. Yet it should be noted that its vehemence
is not continual, but only experienced from time to time, although usually
some thirst is felt.

11.2. Yet it must be kept in mind that, as I began to say here, individuals
generally do not perceive this love in the beginning, but they experience
rather the dryness and void we are speaking of. Then, instead of this love
which is enkindled afterward, they harbor, in the midst of the dryness and
emptiness of their faculties, a habitual care and solicitude for God
accompanied by grief or fear about not serving him. It is a sacrifice most
pleasing to God -- that of a spirit in distress and solicitude for his love
[Ps. 51:17].

11.2.(2). Secret contemplation produces this solicitude and concern in the
soul until, after having somewhat purged the sensory part of its natural
propensities by means of this aridity, it begins to enkindle in the spirit
this divine love. Meanwhile, however, as in one who is undergoing a cure,
all is suffering in this dark and dry purgation of the appetite, and the
soul being relieved of numerous imperfections acquires many virtues,
thereby becoming capable of this love, as will be shown in the explanation
of the following verse: -- ah, the sheer grace! --

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