Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seek what is more perfect: be generous to God

"...be generous give [yourself] to God without any reservation. God has given us so much that the least return we can make to Him is to give Him ourselves, whole and entire. It is, moreover, in the proportion that we give ourselves to God that He communicates Himself to us. It is only by giving all that we can enter into intimate union with Jesus. ...listen neither to reason nor the fears that the understanding suggests, but only to faith; seek what is more perfect in everything; apply [yourself] to love God with all [your] soul; have no other will than that of God; and be ready to suffer everything for Him.

St John of the Cross is no less uncompromising, and it is with reason that he has been called the Doctor of Nothingness (nada). The character of totality in Carmelite spirituality shows itself especially in his teachings regarding the practice of renunciation. But this absolute self-denial is demanded by love and is practised for the sake of the union of love; it is love.

For fear that nature might become disheartened, he recommends that renunciation be practised with love, intelligence, and discretion. On these conditions, he says, one will find only delight and consolation in self-denial.

In brief, the Carmelite and anyone who wishes to live in the spirit of Carmel, disengages himself from created tings and renounces himself resolutely and completely. Then, when the powers of the soul are quiet, he tries in an habitual movement of meditative prayer to know and to contemplate God in the light of faith; to unite himself to God by love; to tend towards eternal possession of Him by hope. Round about himself, he has created a void; within himself, all is forgetfulness; he no longer knows anything, no longer desires to know anything save God alone, for He is all, and the rest is nothing."

-- The Spirit and Prayer of Carmel by François Jamart, ocd

1 comment:

carmelitemom said...

I love every post from this book! Thank you Sister. I especially drawn to St. John of the Cross and can't seem to read enough of him.