Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? (Mark 8)
Faith, the theologians say, is a certain and obscure habit of soul. It is an obscure habit because it brings us to believe divinely revealed truths that transcend every natural light and infinitely exceed all human understanding. As a result the excessive light of faith bestowed on a soul is darkness for it; a brighter light will eclipse and suppress a dimmer one. The sun so obscures all other lights that they do not seem to be lights at all when it is shining, and instead of affording vision to the eyes, it overwhelms, blinds, and deprives them of vision since its light is excessive and unproportioned to the visual faculty. Similarly, the light of faith in its abundance suppresses and overwhelms that of the intellect...
Another clearer example...: If those born blind were told about the nature of the colors white or yellow, they would understand absolutely nothing no matter how much instruction they received since they never saw these colors... Only the names of these colors would be grasped since the names are perceptible through hearing... Such is faith to the soul; it informs us of matters we have never seen or known... The light of natural knowledge does not show them to us... Yet we come to know it through hearing, by believing what faith teaches in blinding our natural light and bringing it in to submission. St. Paul states: "Faith comes through hearing" (Rm 10:17). This amounts to saying that faith is not a knowledge derived from the senses but an assent of the soul to what enters through hearing... Faith, manifestly, is a dark night for souls, but in this way it gives them light. The more darkness it brings on them, the more light it sheds. For by blinding it illumines them, according to those words of Isaiah: "If you do not believe, you will not understand" (Is 7:9). (St John of the Cross, Ascend to Mt Carmel, 2:3)
Posted by Jay at 8:19 am
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
"This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me"
Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones; in sum, built for a lord such as this. Imagine, too, as is indeed so, that you have a part to play in order for the palace to be so beautiful; for there is no edifice as beautiful as is a soul pure and full of virtues. The greater the virtues the more resplendent the jewels. Imagine, also, that in this palace dwells this mighty King who has been gracious enough to become your Father; and that He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne, which is your heart...
You will laugh at me, perhaps, and say that what I'm explaining is very clear, and you'll be right; for me, though, it was obscure for some time. I understood well that I had a soul. But what this soul deserved and who dwelt within it I did not understand because I had covered my eyes with the vanities of the world. For, in my opinion, if I had understood as I do now that in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often. I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean. But what a marvelous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur would enclose Himself in something so small! (St Teresa, Way of Perfection)
After DGO Commentary to St Mark 7:1-13
Posted by Jay at 7:55 am
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
[Someone] had said in a letter to her that Our Lady had not experienced physical suffering. "Looking at Our Lady, I realized it is not true. She suffered in body as well as in soul. She suffered from fatigue of her journeys, from cold and heat, from hunger and weariness. She often fasted. She knows only too well what it is to suffer." (Novissima Verba)
Posted by Jay at 8:51 am
To read the Golden Legend story, click HERE
Posted by Jay at 8:44 am