22 January 2009

The Lord's Prayer: The Third Petition

Next is Hugh of Balma's explanation of the third petition in which he says that it “asks the most Blessed One not to limit” what has now been “perceived of Him, but that He mercifully make it known to all other sinners.”

“Thy will be done” is the third petition. The soul “does not truly love unless” it desires that everyone honors the Beloved, the soul’s great love. The soul asks that what it “experiences mercifully, be made known to other sinners.” In this way, He Who alone should “be worshipped and adored insatiably can, by revealing to sinners their sins… imparting to their spirits the spark of truth and the drop of reason that are found only by attaining Him.” Thus, “every tongue burning with that inner affection… makes it possible for a created spirit to converse with” the “Uncreated Spirit.” These souls will learn that the Beloved “confers on those who love Him and abandon earthly joys gifts far more precious than any they have given up.”

When one confesses that Jesus is in the glory of the Father, “the Father might by yearning love lift up in mercy the one who truly loves Him.” God will establish the loving soul “in the solitude of His Bosom” as He said through the prophet: “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore have I drawn you, taking pity on you” (Jeremiah 31:3).

To say that “Thy will be done” as it is done in heaven mystically means “let Thy will be done firmly, steadily in motion, adorned with various lights,” so that on earth “Thy will be done in sinners… who are fixed in a region far from the fire whose cleansing burning lightens the soul” that it may “gain a heavenly dwelling-place.” Hugh continues by saying that “just as love is the cause by which the human spirit attains all good things in love, so the absence of love is the cause of all sin.” And so, “the sinner… is farther removed from the lightening presence of ignited love.” The anagogical meaning of guilt and sin can be explained “as an absence of love’s urgency… love’s absence is the occasion for every evil.” This doesn’t mean that it is lacking in the soul but that one’s lack of desire to have the Beloved’s Presence in their life will have them running “aimlessly down false paths” and “into all kinds of misery… It is not wrong to say that the soul deprived of love lacks every good thing, for… evil deeds separate” the soul from God.