Tuesday, December 14, 2004

We must then dig deeply in Christ

"He is like a rich mine
with many pockets containing treasures:
however deep we dig
we will never find their end or their limit.
Indeed, in every pocket
new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.

"For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ:
'In him are hidden
all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.'
The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them,
unless it first crosses into and enters
the thicket of suffering,
enduring interior and exterior labours,
and unless it first receives from God
very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses,
and has undergone long spiritual training.

"All these are lesser things,
disposing the soul for the lofty sanctuary
of the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ:
this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.

"Would that men might come at last
to see that it is quite impossible
to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God
except by first entering the thicket of much suffering,
in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire.

"The soul that longs for divine wisdom
chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.

"Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians
not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations,
but to be steadfast and rooted and grounded in love,
so that they may know with all the saints
the breadth, the length, the height and the depth
– to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of Christ,
so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.

"The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom
is the cross;
because it is a narrow gate,
while many seek the joys that can be gained through it,
it is given to few to desire to pass through it."
from a Spiritual Canticle
by Saint John of the Cross

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Come on now, little one

"get away from your worldly occupations for a while, escape from your tumultuous thoughts. Lay aside your burdensome cares and put off your laborious exertions.

"Give yourself over to God for a little while, and rest for a while in Him.

"Enter into the cell of your mind, shut out everything except God and whatever helps you to seek Him once the door is shut.

"Speak now, my heart, and say to God, 'I seek your face; your face, Lord, I seek.' [Ps. xxvi]

"Come then, my Lord God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you. . . . . Lord, turned in as I am I can only look down, so raise me up so that I can look up.

"'My iniquities heaped on my head' cover me over and weigh me down 'like a heavy load' (Ps. 37:5). Dig me out and set me free before 'the pit' created by them 'shuts its jaws over me' (Ps. 67:16).

"Let me see your light, even if I see it from afar or from the depths.

"Teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to this seeker. For I cannot seek you unless you teach me how, nor can I find you unless you show yourself to me. Let me seek you in desiring you, and desire you in seeking you. Let me find you in loving you and love you in finding you.

"I acknowledge, Lord, and I give thanks that you have created in me this your image, so that I can remember you, think about you and love you. But it is so worn away by sins, so smudged over by the smoke of sins, that it cannot do what it was created to do unless you renew and reform it.

"I do not even try, Lord, to rise up to your heights, because my intellect does not measure up to that task; but I do want to understand in some small measure your truth, which my heart believes in and loved. Nor do I seek to understand so that I can believe, but rather I believe so that I can understand. For I believe this too, that 'unless I believe I shall not understand' [Is. vii.9]. "

From the Proslogion by St. Ambrose

Chapter I
A Rousing of the Mind to the Contemplation of God

Sunday, December 05, 2004

"When a master is himself giving a lesson"

"he treats his pupil kindly
and likes him (the pupil)
to enjoy being taught
and does his utmost to help him learn.

"Just so will this heavenly Master do with us."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 21
by St. Teresa of Avila

Saturday, December 04, 2004

For I am not ashamed

of the gospel of Christ
A ray of light strikes the Book of the Gospels - St. Xavier High, Spokane, Washington
for it is the power of God
unto salvation
to every one that believeth
Romans 1:16a

"I have always been fond..."

"...of the words of the Gospels
and have found more recollection in them
than in the most carefully planned books..."
From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 21
by St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, December 03, 2004

Ponder the path of thy feet

and let all thy ways be established.

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
remove thy foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:26-27

"Those who wish to travel on this road...."

"...and will not halt
until they reach their goal,
which is the place where they can drink
of this water of life...

"...it is most important
— indeed, all-important —
that they should begin well by making
an earnest and most determined resolve
not to halt
until they reach their goal,
whatever may come,
whatever may happen to them,
however hard they may have to labour,
whoever may complain of them,
whether they reach their goal
or die on the road
or have no heart to confront
the trials which they meet,
whether the very world dissolves before them."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 21
by St. Teresa of Avila

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths

but only such as is good for edifying,
as fits the occasion,
that it may impart grace to those who hear.
Caremlite sisters walking - St. Joseph's Monastery - Monastery at Malahide, Ireland
Ephesians 4:29

"For the love of God..."

"...I beg you always
to see to it that your conversation
is benefiting those with whom you speak.

"For your prayers
must be for the profit of their souls..."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 20
by St. Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Deep calls to deep

in the roar of your torrents.

All your waves and breakers sweep over me.

At dawn
may the LORD bestow faithful love
that I may sing praise through the night,
praise to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:7-8

"For from this rich spring..."

"...flow many streams,
some large, others small,
and also little pools for children,

which they find quite large enough,
for the sight of a great deal of water

would frighten them...

"...by children,
I mean those who are in the early stages."

From The Way of Perfection, Chapter 20
by St. Teresa of Avila