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Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Description of the Illuminative Stage from St. Paul

For the sake of the laity trying to understand the stages of perfection, may I point out that today in the TLM, the reading from Colossians of St. Paul is a description of the illuminative state.

Here it is.

EPISTLE Col. 1:9-14
Brethren: Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God: Strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory, in all patience and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins.

The beginning phrase describes the type of knowledge and wisdom and understanding which comes in the illuminative stage. The life of the virtues follows that. Such fruits as long-suffering and patience are indicators of the person in that stage. The metaphors of light here directly indicate to me that St. Paul was in the Illuminative Stage. 

Of course, he and other great saints would experience what God has called all of us to experience.