Now then let us deal with the divine and spiritual marriage…
In the spiritual marriage, there is still much less remembrance of the body because this secret union takes place in the very interior centre of the soul, which must be where God himself is…
What God communicates here to the soul in an instant is a secret so great and a favour so sublime – and the delight the soul experiences so extreme…
Thus the soul could be joined in this heavenly union with the uncreated Spirit…
The first effect is a forgetfulness of self, for truly the soul, seemingly, no longer is…
It experiences strange forgetfulness, for, as I say, seemingly the soul no longer is, or would want to be…
When the impulse comes to you, remember that it comes from this interior dwelling place where God is in our soul…
Nor does the Lord in all the favours He grants the soul here receive any assistance from the soul itself, except what it has already done in surrendering itself totally…
So in this temple of God, in this His dwelling place, He alone and the soul rejoice together in the deepest silence.
- St Teresa of Avila. The Interior Castle.
One has to follow this method…
this method of emptying
the faculties of their natural occupations
to make room for illumination.
Remain alone in a loving awareness,
without particular considerations,
in interior quiet,
without the acts and exercises of the faculties.
Remain only in general loving awareness,
without any particular knowledge or understanding.
The preparation for this union is not an understanding,
nor the taste, feeling, or imagining of God or any other object,
but the stripping off
of all experiences for God alone.
If individuals would eliminate these impediments
and live in pure nakedness,
their soul in its simplicity and purity
would then be immediately transformed
into simple and pure Wisdom.
- St John of the Cross. Ascent of Mt Carmel.
Oh, what a sheer grace it is for the soul to be freed from the house of its senses! This fortune, in my opinion, can only be understood by the person who has savoured it. For then a person will become clearly aware of the wretched servitude and the many miseries suffered when subject to the activity of the faculties and appetites. It will be understood how the life of the spirit is true freedom and wealth.
In the measure that the soul walks in darkness and emptiness in its natural operations, it walks securely.
Oh, then, spiritual soul, when you see your appetites darkened, your inclinations dry, your faculties incapacitated, do not be afflicted; think of this as a grace, since God is freeing you from yourself.
Indeed, the soul is getting lost from what it knew and tasted, and going by a way in which it neither knows nor tastes.
Another more basic reason the soul walks securely in darkness is that this light, or obscure wisdom, so absorbs and engulfs the soul in the dark night of contemplation and brings it so near God that it is protected and freed from all that is not God.
The spiritual light is so bright and so transcendent that it blinds and darkens the natural intellect as this latter approaches it.
Since the wisdom of this contemplation is the language of God to the soul, of Pure Spirit to pure spirit, all that is less than spirit, such as the sensory, fails to perceive it. Consequently this wisdom is secret to the senses; they have neither the knowledge nor the ability to speak of it, nor do they even desire to do so because it is beyond words.
- St John of the Cross. Dark Night II
The pure spirit does not meddle with exterior attachments or human respect, but it communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
You looked with love on me,
and deep within your eyes imprinted grace;
this mercy set me free,
held in your love’s embrace,
to lift my eyes, adoring, to your face.
He descends upon the soul in mercy, impressing and infusing His love and grace in her, making her beautiful and lifting her so high as to make her a partaker of the very divinity.
It should be noted for an understanding of this that, God does not love things for what they are in themselves, but because of what He is in Himself. Thus love is the purpose for which He loves. With God, to love the soul is to put her somehow in Himself. He loves the soul within Himself, with Himself.
- St John of the Cross. Spiritual Canticle.