Wednesday, July 8, 2009

God's Guidance

4. Wherefore, to the end that all, whether beginners or proficients,
may know how to commit themselves to God's guidance, when His Majesty
desires to lead them onward, we shall give instruction and counsel, by
His help, so that they may be able to understand His will, or, at the
least, allow Him to lead them. For some confessors and spiritual
fathers, having no light and experience concerning these roads, are
wont to hinder and harm such souls rather than to help them on the
road; they are like the builders of Babel, who, when told to furnish
suitable material, gave and applied other very different material,
because they understood not the language, and thus nothing was done.
Wherefore, it is a difficult and troublesome thing at such seasons for
a soul not to understand itself or to find none who understands it. For
it will come to pass that God will lead the soul by a most lofty path
of dark contemplation and aridity, wherein it seems to be lost, and,
being thus full of darkness and trials, constraints and temptations,
will meet one who will speak to it like Job's comforters, and say that
it is suffering from melancholy, or low spirits, or a morbid
disposition, or that it may have some hidden sin, and that it is for
this reason that God has forsaken it. Such comforters are wont to
declare immediately that that soul must have been very evil, since such
things as these are befalling it.

St. John of the Cross
Prologue to Ascent of Mount Carmel

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