"We have the very wisdom and the very beauty and the very fortitude of God in shadow, because the soul here cannot comprehend God perfectly," writes St. John of the Cross. In this excerpt from the Living Flame of Love, he describes how we enjoy God's glory in the shadow of his glory.
St. John of the Cross refers to the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit at the Annunciation in Stanza 3 of The Living Flame of Love: "O lamps of fire! in whose splendors..." He continues, "it should be known that an overshadowing is the equivalent of casting a shadow; and casting a shadow is similar to protecting, favoring, and granting graces."
In the notes from her first retreat in the Carmel of Los Andes, St. Teresa writes that God "desires me to allow myself to be guided entirely by the Holy Spirit. My life should be a continuous praise of love. I should lose myself in God and always contemplate Him without ever losing sight of Him."
St. Titus Brandsma advises us that when we face difficulties, "Pray with Mary the Mother of the Lord. Turn your eye to God and ask Him what you should do."
After 42 years with the Discalced Carmelites in Paris, Brother Lawrence wrote to a nun: "We must never stop working, since in the spiritual life, not to advance is to go backward."
"The soul must practice the following instructions if it wishes to attain in a short time holy recollection and spiritual silence, nakedness, and poverty of spirit, where one enjoys the peaceful comfort of the Holy Spirit," writes St John of the Cross in the introduction to The Precautions.
We continue St. Edith Stein's comment on woman's destiny and the Marian ideal: "woman has something in herself inherited from Eve, and she must search for the way from Eve to Mary."
Bishop Silvio José Báez mentions one of the greatest temptations of the Church: "to forget about the Holy Spirit, not to listen to the Spirit, and not to let ourselves be guided and strengthened by the Spirit."
In a passage of sublime theology, St. John of the Cross explains a portion of the Gospel for the Seventh Sunday of Easter: that we may perform the "same work that [Christ does] by nature; that is, breathe the Holy Spirit."
St. Edith Stein sings a hymn of praise to the Blessed Virgin in her 1932 lectures to the Organization of Catholic Women in Zurich: "As Mother of God and mother of all God's children, she is exalted above all creatures on the throne of glory; maternity itself is glorified through her...."
Come Holy Spirit. [...] Come, you who, descending into Mary, caused the Word to take flesh: effect in us by grace what you accomplished in her by grace and nature.
How urgent it is for us to call on the Holy Spirit as we enroll, figuratively speaking, in the University of Divine Love! What do we have to do in order to benefit fully from our master’s lessons? First, we must consciously acknowledge the impossibility of progressing in prayer apart from our master. Recall the... Continue Reading →
Bishop Báez, preaching on the encounter of the Risen Christ with his disciples offers a timely commentary: "The Risen Christ always frees us and opens up horizons of mercy. Whoever believes in him and welcomes him always receives forgiveness as a gift..."
St. Teresa begins her commentary on the Song of Songs by mentioning a homily from one Holy Thursday: "I recall hearing a priest who was a religious preach a very admirable sermon, most of which was an explanation of those loving delights with which the bride communed with God... He was speaking about love since the sermon was on Maundy Thursday when one shouldn't be speaking of anything else..."
Happy Birthday to Blessed Titus Brandsma! From his article on Mary's motherhood of God: "In his Explanation of “The Living Flame of Love”, St. John of the Cross draws the Holy Mother of God as clearly as possible into the circle of his metaphor clarifying the mystical life...."
To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener. It is to keep the vigil of mystery, earthless and still. One leans to catch the stirring of the Spirit, strange as the wind's will.
The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of the darkest night. [...] Certainly, the decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions.
In Mary, we see the most beautiful image of our union with God. She, the bride of the H. Spirit, teaches us how also we, although not in that fullness of grace, but in a removed sense, must be brides of God the H. Spirit