Quote for the Day

You have reached a point where your further growth in perfection demands that you do not feed your mind with meditations on the multiple aspects of your being. In the past, these pious meditations helped you to understand something of God. They fed your interior affection with a sweet and delightful attraction for him and spiritual things, and filled your mind with a certain spiritual wisdom. But now it is important that you seriously concentrate on the effort to abide continually in the deep center of your spirit, offering to God that naked blind awareness of your being which I call your first fruits. If you do this, as you may with the help of God’s grace, be confident that Solomon’s charge to feed the poor with your first fruits will be fully accomplished also, just as he promises; and all without your interior faculties having to seek or search carefully among the attributes of your being or of God’s… And how spontaneously, joyously, and effortlessly shall all this happen through the working of grace. Busy toil of yours is no longer necessary, for in the power of this gentle, blind contemplative work, angels will bring you wisdom. Indeed, the angels’ knowledge is specially directed to this service as a handmaid to her lady.

— Anonymous, The Book of Privy Counseling,
from The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counseling,
translated by William Johnston

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  • Peter

    Amen and thanks for quoting this, Carl.
    “Seriously concentrating on the effort to abide continually in the deep center of my spirit” is my passionate obsession at this point of my life, and I am finding there a measure of the joyful spontaneous, effortless impulse to “feed the poor” as well as an abundance of spiritual gifts and resources from which to do the feeding.
    I am reminded of Jesus’ saying to Peter after the resurrection, “If you love me, feed my sheep, tend my little lambs.”
    And my favorite quote from St Seraphim of Sarov: “Acquire the spirit of peace, and a thousand souls around you will be saved.”
    Love to all, Peter

  • http://frimmin.wordpress.com/ Jon

    Amen again!

    If I had to name what, for me, is the creme-de-la-creme of historical writings of Christian mysticism, it’s between Privy Counsel and The Mystical Theology. (And Privy Counsel wins because it’s geared to practice, not just description.)

    Frimmin at the jimjam!

  • http://abracazen.tripod.com Loretto Gubernatis

    ANGEL OF THE ANNUNCIATION
    So it’s up to us each to take up her quest
    How soft the sound of awe of angels on the knee
    An echo like a breath held momemtarily
    Descends the angel to announce a mystery on the wind
    A redemption song that echos man has sinned
    She kneels in depth in prayer reflects the laud
    How truly pure this soul she contemplates her God
    Her movements gentle slow responds the angels heart
    That being near her he must soon depart
    His message said and done acceptance took
    Her inner beauty so that angel shook
    From head to toe and mesmerized he bowed
    His head to see such faith that she allowed
    That angel had in past commanded groups
    Of other angels fighting Satan’s troops
    And yet this maiden pure demolished him
    That she should take this challenge on a whim
    And many saying no would fight and flee
    We are redeemed in her humility
    The angel spoke and said “Hail full of grace”
    And angels speak so seldom for their race
    And did the virgin humbly say “Who me?”
    Responds the angel for the Trinity
    “The child within you is the Son of God”
    The virgin feels a sense of shock and awed
    Responds in faith and answers only “yes”
    Be it done upon me for this angels quest
    “Blessed art thou among women” answers he
    “According to his word”responded she.
    And wrapped for ever in this glorious song
    She and the angel always will belong

    ANGEL OF THE CROWN OF LOVE
    Fierce set thy gaze with narrowed eyes
    Believing none but what thine own eyes see
    You go in joy and mercy bound to beg
    The virgin plea
    An entry like intrusion but with thought
    The trust of trusts is sought
    Believe without seeing is the gift of God’s
    Not believing in a birgin birth
    How she could be wrapped in the mystery
    The proof her own and only she could know
    What moved inside born of her own soul
    Who knew the hand of man did not create this mystery
    She is the queen to whom we must go down
    On bended knee and bow
    That she was clearer than the clearest sky
    Oh what we and the angels never know
    She knew, and God knew in the Trinity
    She was the daughter of the Father’s heart
    She was the mother of the Son her charge
    She was the wife of spirit counterpart
    She was the twin of Spirit set at large

    LAMMENT OF THE FALLEN ANGELS

    ANGELS AT THE CORE OF HEAVEN

    My heart sinks when I wonder sad alone
    Of heavens halls how bright they must have shone
    That brilliance only spirt pure can spare
    The light of angels reflected everwhere

    And golden wings touched other wings in tune
    And blazing airy spirits sing and croon
    And all is set ablaze with holy love
    That pours forth from the holiness above

    Hosanna, holy holy praise they all
    And some in splendor on their knees do fall
    And all in harmony shout out in praise
    Their one true God the ancient of the days

    They stand in circles dipped in holy light
    That emanates a vapor on its flight
    Upword moves that central holy core
    Causing pulsating love to brighten more

    What light what splendor what enraptured joy
    What miracle, what mystery did employ?
    When angels stood united with their God
    What loving glory where the angels trod

    How sad that one bad apple in a barrel
    Could start a row and start a mighty quarrel
    And bring a darkened shadow to the door
    Of heaven’s glory dulled forevermore

    .
    FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES

    Feather soft a kiss blows across the wind
    Feather soft like whispers on the ears of children
    Secrets cloaked in intrigue
    Whispered no one sinned
    Angels fell to soft word
    Written on the lips of babes
    Words that coaxed the secrets
    From the hearts of those sent to save
    The innocent
    And we the innocent stand
    Still throwing caution to the wind
    Like kisses from the mouths of angels
    Knowing not who sinned

  • http://abracazen.tripod.com Loretto Gubernatis

    ANGEL OF THE ANNUNCIATION
    How soft the sound of awe of angels on the knee
    An echo like a breath held momemtarily
    Descends the angel to announce a mystery on the wind
    A redemption song that echos man has sinned
    She kneels in depth in prayer reflects the laud
    How truly pure this soul she contemplates her God
    Her movements gentle slow responds the angels heart
    That being near her he must soon depart
    His message said and done acceptance took
    Her inner beauty so that angel shook
    From head to toe and mesmerized he bowed
    His head to see such faith that she allowed
    That angel had in past commanded groups
    Of other angels fighting Satan’s troops
    And yet this maiden pure demolished him
    That she should take this challenge on a whim
    And many saying no would fight and flee
    We are redeemed in her humility
    The angel spoke and said “Hail full of grace”
    And angels speak so seldom for their race
    And did the virgin humbly say “Who me?”
    Responds the angel for the Trinity
    “The child within you is the Son of God”
    The virgin feels a sense of shock and awed
    Responds in faith and answers only “yes”
    Be it done upon me for this angels quest
    “Blessed art thou among women” answers he
    “According to his word”responded she.
    And wrapped for ever in this glorious song
    She and the angel always will belong


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