Of some certain tokens by the which a man may prove whether he be called of God to work in this work
ALL those that read or hear the matter of this book be read or spoken, and in this reading or hearing think it a good and liking thing, be never the rather called of God to work in this work, only for this liking stirring that they feel in the time of this reading. For peradventure this stirring cometh more of a natural curiosity of wit, than of any calling of grace.
"... from a young ghostly prentice in this work, the actual feeling thereof is ofttimes withdrawn for divers reasons. Sometime, for he shall not take over presumptuously thereupon, and ween that it be in great part in his own power to have it when him list, and as him list. And such a weening were pride. And evermore when the feeling of grace is withdrawn, pride is the cause: not ever pride that is, but pride that should be, were it not that this feeling of grace were withdrawn. And thus ween ofttimes some young fools, that God is their enemy; when He is their full friend.
For not what thou art, nor what thou hast been, beholdeth God with His merciful eyes; but that thou wouldest be. And Saint Gregory to witness, that all holy desires grow by delays: and if they wane by delays, then were they never holy desires. For he that feeleth ever less joy and less, in new findings and sudden presentations of his old purposed desires, although they may be called natural desires to the good, nevertheless holy desires were they never. Of this holy desire speaketh Saint Austin and saith, that all the life of a good Christian man is nought else but holy desire.
Farewell, ghostly friend, in God’s blessing and mine! And I beseech Almighty God, that true peace, holy counsel, and ghostly comfort in God with abundance of grace, evermore be with thee and all God’s lovers in earth. Amen.
HERE ENDETH THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING.
Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library