glorycloud's Diaryland Diary


we will see the glorious light of your divine essence

"200. I have said earlier [no.135] that we can know the quiddity of God in three ways. Two of those are possible in this life, and the third one in the eternal life. Of the first two I have spoken earlier in the best of my meager abilities; the third one we will receive after this life.

The God-loving soul desires above all to see God in his naked, glorious essence, and she constantly cries out, full of inner desire, with St. Philip: "Show us the Father, and it is enough for us" (John 14.8). With the prophet it calls out in the Psalter: "Lord, show us thy face, and we shall be saved" (cf. Ps. 79:4; 8:20). Even if the soul were to encounter the onefold image of the fatherly essence in which the soul could quietly dwell in the inner vision of the mind, as I have described earlier, nevertheless, when she realizes that all her knowledge and vision merely consists of images and likenesses, and that she merely knows God's attire but not his countenance-for she tastes that God is not at all what the intellect or mind can imagine-she then strips her intellectual eyes from all images. She strips them from lowly corporeal images, and from supreme divine images, and she does not want to retain the image of goodness, wisdom, threeness or oneness, divinity, or the image of onefold being. For she tastes that all these images, no matter how elevated they may seem, do not reveal God as he is in his inner self but only in accordance with our intellect and comprehension.

201. For this reason the soul climbs with her mind in a darkness devoid of images. Here she stands in a perfect unknowing God, between two tables: between the knowledge of the quiddity of God, and starvation. The lower table, through which she knows and loves God only through created images, does not appeal to her. The higher table, through which she knows and loves God in his naked, glorious essence, is not open to her as long as she remains in this mortal life. For she has understood the word that God spoke to Moses in the scriptures: "Man shall not see me and live" (Exod. 33:20). Similarly, St. Paul says, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:8) and "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face" (1 Cor. 13:12). Likewise, St. John says, "We are now the sons of God; and it has not yet appeared what we shall be, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).

202. With this she tastes that she cannot attain the glorious knowledge of God in this life, unless God works miracles. She knows that her intellective eyes must become glorious first through the light of glory, as the prophet speaks in the Psalter: "Lord, in thy light we shall see light" (Ps. 35:10). This means, it is only in the light of glory, in which and through which our intellect will be glorified, raised, and made receptive of a deiform knowledge, that we will see the glorious light of your divine essence. This is why the soul makes her abode in the imageless darkness of her mind, before the unmediated unknown presence of the glorious Godhead. For here, without the intermediary of images, the glorious light shines into the darkness, but the darkness cannot comprehend it, as St. John says (John 1:5). This is because the darkness has not yet been glorified. When that happens, she will comprehend the light in the light, and the soul will be raised to the higher table, where we eat and drink God; that is, she will know and love God in his naked and glorious essence as long as she patiently desires to dwell constantly in the darkness underneath the higher table." Willem Jordaens quoted from 'Late Medieval Mysticism Of The Low Countries' [The Classics of Western Spirituality]

2:41 p.m. - 2020-12-18


previous - next

latest entry

about me





random entry

other diaries: