glorycloud's Diaryland Diary


poverty of spirit

"Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?

13. She calls him "Beloved" to move him more to answer her prayer. When God is loved he very readily answers the requests of his lover. This he teaches through St. John: If you abide in me, ask whatever you want and it shall be done unto you [Jn. 15:7]. You can truthfully call God Beloved when you are wholly with him, do not allow your heart attachment to anything outside of him, and thereby ordinarily center your mind on him. This is why Delilah asked Samson how he could say he loved her, since his spirit was not with her [Jgs. 16:15], and this spirit includes the mind and the affection.

Some call the Bridegroom beloved when he is not really their beloved because their heart is not wholly set on him. As a result their petition is not of much value in his sight. They do not obtain their request until they keep their spirit more continually with God through perseverance in prayer, and their heart with its affectionate love more entirely set on him. Nothing is obtained from God except by love.

14. It is noteworthy of her next remark, "and left me moaning," that the absence of the Beloved causes continual moaning in the lover. Since she loves nothing outside of him, she finds no rest or relief in anything. This is how we recognize persons who truly love God: if they are content with nothing less than God. But what am I saying, if they are content? Even if they possess everything they will not be content; in fact the more they have, the less satisfied they will be. Satisfaction of heart is not found in the possession of things, but in being stripped of them all and in poverty of spirit. Since perfection consists in this poverty of spirit, in which God is possessed by a very intimate and special grace, the soul, having attained it, lives in this life with some satisfaction, although not complete. For David, in spite of all his perfection, hoped to have this fullness in heaven, saying: When your glory appears, I shall be filled [Ps. 17:15].

As a result, the peace, tranquility, and satisfaction of heart attainable in this life is insufficient to prevent the soul from moaning within itself - although this moan may be tranquil and painless - hoping for what it lacks.7 Moaning is connected with hope, and the Apostle affirmed that he and others moaned even though they were perfect: We ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit moan within ourselves, hoping for the adoption of the children of God [Rom. 8:23].

The soul, then, bears this moan within herself, in her enamored heart. For there where love wounds is the moan rising from the wound, and it ever cries out in the feeling of his absence; especially when the soul, after the taste of some sweet and delightful communication of the Bridegroom, suffers his absence and is left alone and dry. She thus says:

You fled like the stag" St John of the Cross 'The Spiritual Canticle'

4:24 p.m. - 2020-05-16


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