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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Lenten Series of Perfection--The Illuminative Stage

Father Gabriel continues with his clarification of St. John of the Cross' stages of purification.
The movement from the prayer of meditation, which uses the active imagination, to the prayer which does not rely on the senses is the movement from beginner to the next stage, which is contemplation. Contemplation is more pure, more spiritual than meditation. This is the stage of simple, yet prolonged prayer. This is also the stage of passive formation. God takes over and if the soul cooperates, there is a level of illumination which happens, connected to spiritual knowledge and discernment. Father Gabriel makes a very important distinction that that the soul should not take the initiative spiritually, but wait for the passive activity of God. The soul lets God take over, even one's actions. This implies a great trust as well as the detachment from all else. This Illuminative Way is a transition period.

One needs a spiritual director for all these stages, although, the infused knowledge, ironically in a way, gives one guidance directly.