Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the strength and vehemence of love has this trait

It is now in the death flow 5:01 PM Sunday early evening. I have had a normal day. I did not go anywhere. Carol got home from Covenant PCA around Noon. We ate lunch and I drifted through the day writing in my paper diary, reading my books and messing with our main computer.

In reading today THE DARK NIGHT by St. John of the Cross I found this section to be a blessing to me. I shared what is quoted below from THE DARK NIGHT with Carol this afternoon. What we read in the writings of St. John of the Cross has been written about by all Christian writers going back to the Desert Fathers up to the age of the 17th century English Puritans. All true Christians experience the same life of Christ, they just use different words to set forth that Christian way of life/walk with God.

"13.5. We ought to point out that the burning of love is not felt at the
beginning of this spiritual night because the fire of love has not begun to
catch. Nevertheless, God gives from the outset an esteeming love by which
he is held in such high favor that, as we said, the soul's greatest
suffering in the trials of this night is the anguish of thinking it has
lost God and been abandoned by him. We can always assert, then, that from
the commencement of this night the soul is touched with urgent longings of
love: of esteeming love, sometimes; at other times, also of burning love.

13.5.(2). The soul is aware that the greatest suffering it experiences in
these trials is this fear. If such persons could be assured that all is not
over and lost but that what they suffer is for the better -- as indeed it
is -- and that God is not angry with them, they would be unconcerned about
all these sufferings; rather, they would rejoice in the knowledge that God
is pleased with them. Their love of esteem for God is so intense, even
though obscure and imperceptible, that they would be happy not only to
suffer these things but even to die many times in order to please him. When
the fire now inflames the soul together with the esteem of God already
possessed, individuals usually acquire such strength, courage, and longings
relative to God, through the warmth of the love that is being communicated,
that with singular boldness they do strange things, in whatever way
necessary, in order to encounter him whom they love. Because of the
strength and inebriation of their love and desire, they perform these
actions without any consideration or concern.

13.6. Mary Magdalene, in spite of her past, paid no heed to the crowds of
people, prominent as well as unknown, at the banquet. She did not consider
the propriety of weeping and shedding tears in the presence of our Lord's
guests. Her only concern was to reach him for whom her soul was already
wounded and on fire, without any delay and without waiting for another more
appropriate time [Lk. 7:37-38].1 And such is the inebriation and courage of
love: Knowing that her Beloved was shut up in the tomb by a huge sealed
rock and surrounded by guards so the disciples could not steal his body,
she did not permit this to keep her from going out with ointments before
daybreak to anoint him [Mt. 27:64-66; Mk. 16:1-2; Jn. 20:1].

13.7. Finally, this inebriation and urgent longing of love prompted her to
ask the man she thought was the gardener if he had stolen him and, if he
had, to tell her where he had put him so she could take him away [Jn.
20:15]. She did not stop to realize that her question in the light of sound
judgment was foolish, for obviously if he had stolen the Lord he would not
have told her, and still less would he have allowed her to take him away.

13.7.(2). The strength and vehemence of love has this trait: Everything
seems possible to it, and it believes everyone is occupied as it is; it
does not believe anyone could be employed in any other way or seek anyone
other than him whom it seeks and loves; it believes there is nothing else
to desire or to occupy it and that everyone is engaged in seeking and
loving him. When the bride went searching for her Beloved in the plazas and
suburbs, she thought that others were doing the same and told them that if
they found him they should tell him she was suffering for love of him [Sg.
3:2; 5:8]. Mary's love was so ardent that she thought she would go and take
Jesus away, however great the impediments, if the gardener would tell where
he was hidden.

13.8. Such are the traits of these longings of love that the soul
experiences when it is advanced in this spiritual purgation. The wounded
soul rises up at night, in this purgative darkness, according to the
affections of the will; as the lioness or she-bear that goes in search of
her cubs when they are taken away and cannot be found [2 Sm. 17:8; Hos.
13:8], it anxiously and forcibly goes out in search of its God. Since it is
immersed in darkness, it feels his absence and feels that it is dying with
love of him. Such is impatient love, which one cannot long endure without
either receiving its object or dying. Rachel bore this love for children
when she said: Give me children, otherwise I shall die [Gn. 30:1].2" St. John of the Cross THE DARK NIGHT Book II Chapter 13

I told Carol every true Christian has an intense love for the Lord Jesus. Because a true Christian loves the Lord Jesus he or she wants to spend as much time as they can with Him in silence and solitude. A true Christian does not love the world, but loves the world to come/Heaven. A true Christian does not find delight in the things of this life. When a Christian looks at the world around him or her all they see is emptiness/vanity.

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