Receive your Fulness

If we understood how to see in each moment some manifestation of the will of God, we should find therein also all that our hearts could desire.

If you possess the secret of discovering it at every moment and in everything, then you possess all that is most precious.

Your wishes need have no measure, no limit. However much you may desire I can show you how to attain it, even though it be infinite. There is never a moment in which I cannot enable you to obtain all that you can desire. The present is ever filled with infinite treasure, it contains more than you have capacity to hold. Faith is the measure. Believe, and it will be done to you accordingly. Love is also the measure. The more the heart loves, the more it desires; and the more it desires, so much the more will it receive.

The will of God is at each moment before us like an immense, inexhaustible ocean that no human heart can fathom; but none can receive from it more than she has capacity to contain; it is necessary to enlarge this capacity by faith, confidence and love.

The whole creation cannot fill the human heart, for it is greater than all that is not God.

The divine will is a deep abyss of which the present moment is the entrance. If you plunge into this abyss you will find it infinitely more vast than your desires.

Receive your fulness from the divine will of God alone, it will not leave you empty. Adore it, put it first before all things; tear all disguises from vain pretences and forsake them all going to the sole reality.

The reign of faith is death to the senses; it is their spoliation, their destruction. Destroy the idols of the senses and they will rebel and lament, but faith must triumph because the will of God is indestructible. When the senses are terrified, or famished, despoiled, or crushed, then it is that faith is nourished, enriched and enlivened. When a soul recognizes the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely; then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances. Thus it experiences great happiness in this coming of God, and enjoys it the more, the more it has learnt to abandon itself at every moment to His adorable will.

  • J.P. de Caussade.  Abandonment to Divine Providence

In Practice

It should be known that if a person is seeking God, her beloved is seeking her much more.

The soul, then, should advert that God is the principal agent in this matter, and that He acts as the blind man’s guide who must lead it by the hand to the place beyond the reach of the mind and senses.

Since the soul cannot function naturally except by means of the senses, it is God who in this state is the agent, and the soul is the receiver. The soul conducts itself only as the receiver and as one in whom something is being done; God is the giver and the one Who works in it, without the soul’s natural acts and discursive reflections.

Since God, then, as the giver communes with her through simple, loving knowledge, the individual also, as the receiver, communes with God, through a simple and loving knowledge or attention, so that knowledge is thus joined with knowledge and love with love. The receiver should act according to the mode of what is received, and not otherwise, in order to receive and keep it in the way it is given.

If as I say – and it is true – this loving knowledge is received passively in the soul according to the supernatural mode of God, and not according to the natural mode of the soul, a person, if she wants to receive it should be quite annihilated in her natural operations. A person should not bear attachment to anything, neither the practice of meditation, nor to any savour, whether sensory or spiritual, nor to any other apprehensions. She should be quite free and annihilated regarding all things, because any thought or discursive reflection or satisfaction upon which she may want to lean would impede and disquiet her, and make noise in the profound silence of her senses and her spirit, which she possesses for the sake of this deep and delicate listening. God speaks to the heart in this solitude, in supreme peace and tranquillity, while the soul listens to what the Lord God speaks to it, for He speaks this peace in solitude.

When it happens, therefore, that a person is conscious in this manner of being placed in solitude and in the state of listening, she should even forget the practice of loving attentiveness I mentioned so as to remain free for what the Lord then desires of her. She should make use of that loving awareness only when she does not feel herself placed in this solitude, this oblivion, this spiritual listening.

It is impossible for this highest wisdom and language of God, which is contemplation, to be received in anything less than a spirit that is silent.

Bring her to as complete a withdrawal and solitude as possible, for the more solitude she obtains and the more she approaches this silent tranquility, the more abundantly will the spirit of divine wisdom be infused into her soul.

The least that a person can manage to feel is a withdrawal and an estrangement as to all things, sometimes more than at other times, accompanied by an inclination toward solitude in the gentle breathing of love and life in the spirit.

The blessings this silent communication and contemplation impresses on the soul, without its then experiencing them, are inestimable. For they are most hidden unctions of the Holy Spirit and hence most delicate, and they secretly fill the soul with spiritual riches, gifts, and graces; since it is God who grants them, He does so in no other manner than as God.

  • St John of the Cross. The Living Flame of Love.

The vast emptiness

O lamps of fire bright-burning
with splendid brilliance, turning
deep caverns of my soul to pools of light!
Once shadowed, dim, unknowing,
now with their strange new-found glowing
gives warmth and radiance for my Love’s delight.

These caverns are the soul’s faculties: memory, intellect, and will. They are as deep as are the boundless goods of which they are capable, since anything less than the infinite fails to fill them.

It is noteworthy that when these caverns of the faculties are not emptied, purged, and cleansed of all accretions, they do not feel the vast emptiness of their deep capacity.

Any little thing that adheres to them in this life is sufficient to so burden and bewitch them that they do not notice the lack of their immense goods, nor know their own capacity.

It is an amazing thing that the least little thing is enough to so encumber these faculties, capable of infinite goods, that they cannot receive these infinite goods until they are completely empty.

  • St John of the Cross

Killing, you give me life

Ah, gentle hand whose touch is a caress,
foretaste of heaven conveying
and every debt repaying:
killing, you give me life for death’s distress.

For death is nothing other than the privation of life, because when life comes no vestige of death remains.

Let it be known that what the soul calls death is all that goes to make up the old man: the entire engagement of the faculties in the things of the world, and the indulgence of the appetites in the pleasures of creatures. All this is the activity of the old life, which is the death of the new spiritual life. The soul is unable to live in this new life, if the old man does not die completely.

Consequently, the soul is dead to all that it was in itself, which was death to it, and alive to what God is in Himself.

The soul can well repeat the words of St Paul: I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.

  • St John of the Cross. The Living Flame of Love.

Wound of delight

Burn that is for my healing!
Wound of delight past feeling!

You detach and withdraw the soul from all the other touches of created things by the might of Your delicacy, and reserve it for and unite it to Yourself alone, so mild an effect do You leave in the soul that every other touch of all things both high and low seems course and spurious.

O Word, indescribably delicate touch, produced in the soul only by Your most simple being, which, since it is infinite, is infinitely delicate and hence touches so subtly, lovingly, and delicately.

This is a touch of substances, that is, of the substance of God in the substance of the soul.

The delicateness of delight felt in this contact is inexpressible. There is no way to catch in words the sublime things of God which happen in these souls. The appropriate language for a person receiving these favours is that she understand them, experience them within herself, enjoy them, and be silent.

  • St John of the Cross. The Living Flame of Love. (2:18-21)