January 31st, 2015

The Cloud Of Unknowing (54) - Chapter Three And Fifty


Of divers unseemly practices that follow them that lack the work of this book.

"....Some cry and whine in their throats, so be they greedy and hasty to say that they think: and this is the condition of heretics, and of them that with presumption and with curiosity of wit will always maintain error.
Many unordained and unseemly practices follow on this error...
I say not that all these unseemly practices be great sins in themselves, nor yet all those that do them be great sinners themselves. But I say if that these unseemly and unordained practices be governors of that man that doth them, insomuch that he may not leave them when he will, then I say that they be tokens of pride and curiosity of wit, and of unordained shewing and covetyse of knowing. And specially they be very tokens of unstableness of heart and unrestfulness of mind, and specially of the lacking of the work of this book. And this is the only reason why that I set so many of these deceits here in this writing; for why, that a ghostly worker shall prove his work by them.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

The Cloud Of Unknowing (55) - Chapter Four And Fifty


How that by Virtue of this word a man is governed full wisely, and made full seemly as well in body as in soul.

WHOSO had this work, it should govern them full seemly, as well in body as in soul: and make them full favourable unto each man or woman that looked upon them....
And therefore get this gift whoso by grace get may: for whoso hath it verily, he shall well con govern himself by the virtue thereof, and all that longeth unto him. He should well give discretion, if need were, of all natures and all dispositions. He should well con make himself like unto all that with him communed, whether they were accustomed sinners or none, without sin in himself: in wondering of all that him saw, and in drawing of others by help of grace to the work of that same spirit that he worketh in himself.
His cheer and his words should be full of ghostly wisdom, full of fire, and of fruit spoken in sober soothfastness without any falsehood, far from any feigning or piping of hypocrites.....(who look) to seem holy in sight of men, than for to be so in the sight of God..... shew meek and seemly words and gestures ... according to that meekness that is within in the heart. But I say not that they shall then be shewed in broken nor in piping voices, against the plain disposition of their nature that speak them. For why, if they be true, then be they spoken in soothfastness, and in wholeness of voice and of their spirit that speak them. And if he that hath a plain and an open boisterous voice by nature speak them poorly and pipingly—I mean but if he be sick in his body, or else that it be betwixt him and his God or his confessor—then it is a very token of hypocrisy. I mean either young hypocrisy or old.
And what shall I more say of these venomous deceits? Truly I trow, unless they have grace to leave off such piping hypocrisy, that betwixt that privy pride in their hearts within and such meek words without, the silly soul may full soon sink into sorrow.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

I must admit that i have seen people coming into proximity to a saintly person that they knew nothing about catch their breathe and say WHO IS THAT!!   There were no external cues that i could see.

The Cloud Of Unknowing (56) - Chapter Five And Fifty


How they be deceived that follow the fervour of spirit in condemning of some without discretion.

SOME men the fiend will deceive on this manner. Full wonderfully he will enflame their brains to maintain God’s law, and to destroy sin in all other men. He will never tempt them with a thing that is openly evil; he maketh them like busy prelates watching over all the degrees of Christian men’s living, as an abbot over his monks. ALL men will they reprove of their defaults, right as they had cure of their souls: and yet they think that they do not else for God, unless they tell them their defaults that they see. And they say that they be stirred thereto by the fire of charity, and of God’s love in their hearts: and truly they lie, for it is with the fire of hell, welling in their brains and in their imagination...

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The Cloud Of Unknowing (57) - Chapter Six And Fifty


 (That those who rely more on their own natural intelligence and human learning than on the common doctrine and guidance of the Church are decieved.)

SOME there be, that although they be not deceived with this error as it is set here, yet for pride and curiosity of natural wit and letterly cunning leave the common doctrine and the counsel of Holy Church. And these with all their favourers lean over much to their own knowing: and for they were never grounded in meek blind feeling and virtuous living, therefore they merit to have a false feeling, feigned and wrought by the ghostly enemy. Insomuch, that at the last they burst up and blaspheme all the saints, sacraments, statutes, and ordinances of Holy Church. Fleshly living men of the world, the which think the statutes of Holy Church over hard to be amended by, they lean to these heretics full soon and full lightly, and stalwartly maintain them, and all because them think that they lead them a softer way than is ordained of Holy Church.
Now truly I trow, that who that will not go the strait way to heaven, that they shall go the soft way to hell. Each man prove by himself, for I trow that all such heretics, and all their favourers, an they might clearly be seen as they shall on the last day, should be seen full soon cumbered in great and horrible sins of the world in their foul flesh, privily, without their open presumption in maintaining of error: so that they be full properly called Antichrist’s disciples. For it is said of them, that for all their false fairness openly, yet they should be full foul lechers privily.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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