Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cleave to God with Naked Undersanding and Will

That the devout man should cleave to God with naked understanding and will

The more you strip yourself of the products of the imagination and
involvement in external, worldly things and the objects of the senses,
the more your soul will recover its strength and its inner senses so
that it can appreciate the things which are above. So learn to withdraw
from imaginations and the images of physical things, since what pleases
God above everything is a mind bare of those sorts of forms and
objects, for it is his delight to be with the sons of men, that is
those who, at peace from such activities, distractions and passions,
seek him with a pure and simple mind, empty themselves for him, and
cleave to him. Otherwise, if your memory, imagination and thought is
often involved with such things, you must needs be filled with the
thought of new things or memories of old ones, or identified with other
changing objects. As a result, the Holy Spirit withholds itself from
thoughts bereft of understanding. So the true lover of Jesus Christ
should be so united through good will in his understanding with the
divine will and goodness, and be so bare of all imaginations and
passions that he does not even notice whether he is being mocked or
loved, or something is being done to him. For a good will turns
everything to good and is above everything. So if the will is good and
is obedient and united to God with pure understanding, he is not hurt
even if the flesh and the senses and the outer man is moved to evil,
and is slow to good, or even if the inner man is slow to feel devotion,
but should simply cleave to God with faith and good will in naked
understanding. He is doing this if he is conscious of all his own
imperfection and nothingness, recognises his good to consist in his
Creator alone, abandons himself with all his faculties and powers, and
all creatures, and immerses himself wholly and completely in the
Creator, so that he directs all his actions purely and entirely in his
Lord God, and seeks nothing apart from him, in whom he recognises all
good and all joy of perfection to be found. And he is so transformed in
a certain sense into God that he cannot think, understand, love or
remember anything but God himself and the things of God. Other
creatures however and even himself he does not see, except in God, nor
does he love anything except God alone, nor remember anything about
them or himself except in God. This knowledge of the truth always makes
the soul humble, ready to judge itself and not others, while on the
contrary worldly wisdom makes the soul proud, futile, inflated and
puffed up with wind.
So let this be the fundamental spiritual doctrine
leading to the knowledge of God, his service and familiarity with him,
that if you want to truly possess God, you must strip your heart of all
love of things of the senses, not just of certain creatures, so that
you can turn to the Lord your God with a simple and whole heart and
with all your power, freely and without any double-mindedness, care or
anxiety, but with full confidence in his providence alone about

More here from Saint Albert on Cleaving to God
So for today let us all pray: "Father your will be done"

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