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Which is chaste love; and how in some creatures such sensible comforts be but seldom, and in some right oft.

AND hereby mayest thou see that we should direct all our beholding unto this meek stirring of love in our will. And in all other sweetness and comforts, bodily or ghostly, be they never so liking nor so holy, if it be courteous and seemly to say, we should have a manner of recklessness. If they come, welcome them: but lean not too much on them for fear of feebleness, for it will take full much of thy powers to bide any long time in such sweet feelings and weepings. And peradventure thou mayest be stirred for to love God for them, and that shalt thou feel by this: if thou grumble overmuch when they be away. And if it be thus, thy love is not yet neither chaste nor perfect. For a love that is chaste and perfect, though it suffer that the body be fed and comforted in the presence of such sweet feelings and weepings, nevertheless yet it is not grumbling, but full well pleased for to lack them at God’s will. And yet it is not commonly without such comforts in some creatures, and in some other creatures such sweetness and comforts be but seldom.
And all this is after the disposition and the ordinance of God, all after the profit and the needfulness of diverse creatures....... And also on the tother part there be some creatures so strong in spirit, that they can pick them comfort enough within in their souls, in offering up of this reverent and this meek stirring of love and accordance of will, that them needeth not much to be fed with such sweet comforts in bodily feelings. Which of these be holier or more dear with God, one than another, God wots and I not.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

A few years after her death some of the private correspondence of Mother Teresa of Calcutta were published.  These revealed that following her calling in the 1940s that she was to serve the poorest of the poor in India, she recieved no further  communications, consolations, or affirmations during almost the entirety of her life.  During those fifty + years she comforted the dying, the sick, the orphaned, founded an order which spread this hands on service to the poor around the world, and warned the rest of us of the spiritually deadening effects of our materialistic concerns.

Some thought her revelation of lack of "spiritual consolations" was remarkable.  Her friends felt  sympathy for her.  Her enemies used her admission as evidence that her work did not have divine sanction; that she had included something she should have avoided or failed to do something she should have done.  e.g. she respected the religious traditions of her clients rather than try to "bring them to salvation through belief in Jesus Christ." or she failed to take up political issures like structural inequality or feminism.

The monk would have understood that some people get these consolations "from God's mouth to  our ear," and others do  not.  "Which of these be holier or more dear with God, one than another?  God wots and I not."



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