I dedicate this meditation to all I love and who loves me, both here and in heaven, that we may discover the will of God in us.
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Second half of narration
And here, all adjectives fall to pieces.
Words become stupid.
Everything you say is misleading. Unless you list every possible experience and say:
“ That is not what it is. That is not what I am talking about.”
Metaphor has now become hopeless altogether.
Talk about darkness if you must. But the thought of darkness is already too dense and too coarse.
Anyway, it is no longer darkness. You can speak of emptiness but that makes you think of floating around in space. And this is nothing spatial.
What it is, is freedom. It is perfect love. It is pure renunciation. It is fruition of God.
It is not freedom inhering in some subject. It is not love as an action dominated by an impulse germane to one’s own being.
It is not renunciation of plans and executes itself after the manner of a virtue.
It is freedom living and circulating in God. Who is freedom.
It is love, loving in love.
It is the purity of God rejoicing in its own liberty.
And here, where contemplation becomes what it is really meant to be, it is no longer something infused by God unto a created subject so much as God living in God, identifying a created life with Their own life so that there is nothing left of any significance, but God living in God.
If a person who is thus been vindicated and delivered and fulfilled and destroyed could think and speak at all, it would certainly never be to think and speak of themself as someone separate. Or as a subject of a grandiose experience.
And that is why it does not really make make much sense to speak of all these as the high point of a series of degrees and is something great by comparison with other experiences which are less great.
It is outside the limits within which comparisons have meaning. It is beyond the level of ways that correspond to any of our notions of travel.
Beyond the degrees that correspond to our ideas of a progression. Yet this too is a beginning. It is the lowest level in a new order in which all the levels are immeasurable and unthinkable.
It is not yet the perfection of the interior life.
The most important thing that remains to be said about this perfect contemplation, in which the soul vanishes out of itself, by the perfect renunciation of all desires and of all things, is that it can have nothing to do with our ideas of greatness and exaltation and is not therefore something which is subject to the sin of pride.
In fact this perfect contemplation implies by its very essence the perfection of all humility. Pride is incompatible with it in every possible way.
It is only something that a person could be proud of, or desire inordinately, or in some other way make material for sin, when it is completely misunderstood and taken for something which it is not, and cannot be.
For pride, which is the inordinate attribution of goods and values and glories to one’s own contingent and exterior self, cannot exist where one is incapable of reflecting on a separate self living apart from God.
How can a person be proud of anything when they are no longer able to reflect upon themself, or realize themself, or know themself.
Morally speaking they are annihilated because the source and agent, in term of all their acts, are God.
And the essence of this contemplation, is the pure and eternal joy that is in God because God is God.
The serene and interminable exaltation in the truth that they who are perfect is infinitely perfect, is perfection.
To think that a person could be proud of this joy once it had discovered them and delivered them would be like saying “ this person is proud because the air is free, this other person is proud because the sea is wet, and here is one who is proud because the mountains are high and the snow on their summits is clean, and the wind blows on the snow and makes a plume of cloud trail away from the high peaks.”
Here is a person who is dead and buried and gone and their memory is vanished from the world of people, and they no longer exist among the living who wander about in time.
And we call them proud because the sunlight fills the huge arc of sky over the country where they lived and died, and was buried? Back in the days when they existed?
So it is with one who has vanished into God by pure contemplation.
God alone is left. They are the “I” who acts there. They are the One who loves and knows and rejoices.
Can God be proud? Or can God sin?
Suppose such a person, for once in their life were to vanish into God for the space of a minute?
All the rest of their life has been spent in sins and virtues. In good and evil. In labor and struggle. In sickness and health. In gifts, in sorrows. In achieving and regretting. In planning it and hoping. In love and fear.
They have seen things. Considered them. Known them. Made judgements. Spoken. Acted wisely or not. They have blundered in and out of the contemplation of beginners.
They have found the cloud, the obscure sweetness of God. They have known rest in prayer.
In all these things their life has been a welter of uncertainties. In the best of them, they may have sinned. In their imperfect contemplation they may have found sin.
But in the moment of time, the minute, the little minute in which they were delivered into God, if they truly were so delivered, there is no question that then their life was pure.
That then, they gave glory to God. That then, they did not sin. That in that moment of pure love, they could not sin.
Can such a union with God be the object of inordinate desire? Not if you understand it.
Because you cannot inordinately desire God to be God. You cannot inordinately desire that God’s will be done. For its own sake.
But it is in these two desires, perfectly conceived and fulfilled that we are emptied into that and transformed into that joy, and it is in this that we cannot sin.
It is in this ecstasy of pure love that we arrive at a true fulfillment of the first commandment: loving God with our whole heart and our whole mind and all our strength.
Therefore it is something that all people who desire to please God ought to desire. Not for a minute, not for half an hour, but forever.
It is in these souls that peace is established in the world.
They are the strength of the world because they are the tabernacles of God in the world.
They are the ones who keep the universe from being destroyed. They are the little ones. They do not know themselves.
The whole earth depends on them. Nobody seems to realize it. These are the ones for whom it was all created in the first place. They shall inherit the land.
They are the only ones who will ever be able to enjoy life altogether.They have renounced the whole world and it has been given into their possession.
They alone appreciate the world and the things that are in it. They are the only ones capable of understanding joy. Everybody else is too weak for joy. Joy would kill anybody that isn’t meek.
They are the clean of heart. They see God. God does their will. Because God’s will is their own.
God does all that they want. Because God is the one who desires all their desires.
They are the only ones who have everything that they can desire Their freedom is without limit.
They reach out for us to comprehend our misery. And drown it in the tremendous expansion of their own innocence that washes the world with its light.
Come, let us go into the body of that light. Let us live in the cleanliness of that song. Let us throw off the pieces of the world like clothing. And enter naked into wisdom.
For this is what all hearts pray for when they cry: Thy will be done.