Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Week of St John of the Cross

Vain cares and necessary solicitudes - continued

It is especially on the subject of vain cares and desires, that we may profitably remember the sublime maxims of St John of the Cross on renouncement of one's self and temporal goods; for as one of the holy Fathers has said, the desire of earthly things is still more hurtful to the soul than their enjoyment.
1. To enjoy all, take emjoyment in nothing.
2. To attain to know all, desire to know nothing.
3. To obtain possession of all, wish to possess nothing.
4. To attain to being all, desire to be nothing.
5. To arrive at that which you do not relish, proceed by that which displeases you.
6. To acquire that which you do not know, go by the way do not know.
7. To attain that which you do not possess, traverse that which you do not possess.
8. To become that which you are not, pass by that which you are not.

Means by which not to impede the All.

1. When you stop at something, you cease to give yourself up to the All.
2. For to proceed from all to the All, you must renounce yourself wholly in all.
3. And when you attain the possession of All, you must possess it without desiring anything;
4. For if you desire to have anything at all, you have not purely your treasure in God.
Endeavour to arrive at this state where all creatures shall be of no importance whatever to you, nor you to them; in order that, in the forgetfulness of all things, you may be alone with your God, in the secret of your retreat.
He who does not allow himself to be carried away by his desires, will take his flight as lightly as the bird, who has not lost a single feather.