Monday, May 24, 2010

Live in faith and hope, even though you are in darkness

"In these days try to keep interiorly occupied with a desire for the coming of the Holy Spirit and on the feast and afterward with his continual presence. Let your care and esteem for this be so great that nothing else will matter to you or receive your attention, whether it may concern some affliction or some other disturbing memories. And if there be faults in the house during these days, pass over them for love of the Holy Spirit and of what you owe to the peace and quietude of the soul in which he is pleased to dwell.
If you could put an end to your scruples, I think it would be better for your quietude of soul not to confess during these days. But when you do confess, you should do so in this manner:
In regard to thoughts and imaginings (whether they concern judgments, or other inordinate objects or representations, or any other motions) that occur without being desired or accepted or deliberately adverted to: Do not confess them or pay attention to them or worry about them. It is better to forget them no matter how much they afflict the soul. At most you can mention in general any omission or remissness as regards the purity and perfection you ought to have in the interior faculties: memory, intellect, and will.
In regard to words: Confess any want of caution in speaking with truthfulness and rectitude, out of necessity, and with purity of intention.
In regard to deeds: Confess any lack of the proper and only motive—God alone without any other concern.
By such a confession you can be content and need not tell any other particular thing, however much it may battle against you. Receive Communion on Pentecost in addition to those days on which you usually receive.
When something distasteful or unpleasant comes your way, remember Christ crucified and be silent.
Live in faith and hope, even though you are in darkness, because it is in these darknesses that God protects the soul.
Cast your care on God, for he watches over you and will not forget you. Do not think that he leaves you alone; that would be an affront to him.
Read, pray, rejoice in God, both your good and your salvation. May he grant you this good and this salvation and conserve it all until the day of eternity."
-- The Collected Works of St John of the Cross translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, ocd, & Otilio Rodríguez, ocd

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