23 August 2010

In Search of Contemplation

How much it would please Me if you had a certain and firm truth in Me, and were as willing to be with Me as I am desirous to be with you, seeing all My delight consists in being with the children of men (cf. Proverbs 8:31). So should the fortitude of your mind be daily augmented, and the true sweetness of your soul continually increased. But this trust in Me can never be without a distrust in yourself, and both of these graces are only obtained by poverty of spirit, which is a most precious jewel.

But I know well-enough what holds you from attaining this virtue; your heart is overlaid with the love of this world, and by that means infected with such an extreme coldness, as it makes you loathe and abhor the Word of God, which is the Food of your soul. But if you desire to increase in virtue, and to strengthen your mind with the following of that course, you must receive the Word of God greedily, digest it perfectly, and still retain the nourishment of that within you.

The reason, therefore, that you cannot thirst after My justice is because you are already filled with the cold meats of conversation and vanity, and that is also the cause of why these things delight you, which favour neither piety nor devotion. Simplicity of heart is loathsome to you, and the exercise of holy meditations you account as time lost. Your mind being laden with the cares of this world cannot ascend to Me. For although you raise it by force for awhile, yet it presently falls down again into her earthly cogitations; so as your soul being distracted, your heart inconstant, your mind wavering, and your desires ensnared with the love of worldly pleasure: you are troubled when you are awake, and not quiet when you are asleep.

And when you lie in this misery, then you complain that you are dry and barren, without my consolations. If this did happen to you by means of My Providence, and not by your own negligence, there is no reason why the wanting of this sensible grace of Mine should molest your soul. But seeing your own sloth and negligence as the cause of why you lie languishing in this barren dryness – if you desire My consolation – if you wish for My coming – if you long to be united with Me, you must forsake all those vanities that please you without Me, and only study to serve Me, endeavouring continually to perform those things which agree best with My liking, and are most pleasing to Me. And making this your chief care, you must labour with all your force and might to see My will, as near as you can, in all creatures fulfilled. Moreover, in doing so, let your whole study be to content Me, and to rely only on Me. So shall you find My presence more often with you, and by it your spirit shall be, as it were, made drunk with joy; your conscience shall be comforted, you heart quieted, and you shall then possess the perfect rest of most sweet contemplation.

~ Alloquia Iesu Christi ad Animam Fidelem, by Lanspergius ~