“Charity, as we have seen, is the soul’s natural light, and was created by the Author of Nature for seeing God. There are two eyes to this spiritual vision, forever straining to see the light which is God, and their names are Love and Reason….And when I say that these two help each other, I mean that reason instructs love, and love enlightens reason. Reason merges into the affectivity of love, and love consents to be limited by reason. Then it is that they can achieve great things.”
-William of St Thierry (emphasis mine)
“The ideal is faith incorporated into our whole life and refashioning it by its influence. It is the shining of faith into a soul which has gradually been made capable of penetrating the mysteries of faith by its attempt to yield itself to what Scripture calls the ‘obedience of faith’. By a lively understanding-that is, the understanding of a heart attuned to the heart of God who speaks to it-the soul will thereby discover living truths, or better still, a single living truth, in what at the beginning seemed a mere conglomeration of enigmas.”
– Bouyer, The Cistercian Heritage
With brambles and thorns my soul was overtaken. They crept in over time, slowly vining their way up through the soil of my heart, choking out one virtue at a time as I became a sin collector. Two weeks ago I stopped and looked at the garden of my life, and found that I could no longer distinguish the thorns from the flowers, that I was in a field of my own making yet unrecognizable to my once-enlightened eyes. There I stood, not knowing where to step or what to do. The skies of my life had been so overcast that the light of the Immortal seemed fragmented through clouded layers of earth and flesh. The din of my folly had deafened the ear of my heart.
Then that Light which captures blinded eyes with sight shone upon my soul, my heart, my mind, my being. Calling out as in the days of Eden for me to show myself, to be exposed so that I might be clothed again. I found myself kneeling before my King and Judge, rays of light through stained glass rested a rainbow of hope and promise upon my head as the Table was laid. “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give thee rest.” Rest which leads to Restoration and a Remembrance of the Divine.
And I returned to that Place Imperturbable. That place where love cannot be forsaken unless it first forsakes. I remembered the Trinity. I remembered my holy family – Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters. I remembered my calling and my cross. Just like Israel was told to remember, so I remember. The words of the Shema even now ring in my ears. I have heard and now I must go forth to battle for the Lord is my God.
Christ has weeded and sifted me this week. He has gently but firmly put my hands back on the plow, and by His grace I will not look back, that I might be fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.