And that in this night the soul obtains these four benefits which we have here described (namely, delight of peace, habitual remembrance and thought of God, cleanness and purity of soul and the practice of the virtues which we have just described), David tells us, having experienced it himself when he was in this night, in these words: ‘My soul refused consolations, I had remembrance of God, I found consolation and was exercised and my spirit failed.’92 And he then says: ‘And I meditated by night with my heart and was exercised, and I swept and purified my spirit’—that is to say, from all the affections.93
Is this not what we all want? Peace, thinking of God constantly, purity of soul and body, living the life of the virtues--and St. David is a good example for us all.
David's killing of Goliath is the overcoming of the soul over passions and the flesh. One no longer depends on one's own strength, but that of the Lord.
7. With respect to the imperfections of the other three spiritual sins which we have described above, which are wrath, envy and sloth, the soul is purged hereof likewise in this aridity of the desire and acquires the virtues opposed to them; for, softened and humbled by these aridities and hardships and other temptations and trials wherein God exercises it during this night, it becomes meek with respect to God, and to itself, and likewise with respect to its neighbour. So that it is no longer disturbed and angry with itself because of its own faults, nor with its neighbour because of his, neither is it displeased with God, nor does it utter unseemly complaints because He does not quickly make it holy.
One may groan, as did Job, but one may not complain. Complaining is pride.
Psalm 41 DR
Psalm 41 DR
As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God.
3 My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?
4 My tears have been any bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily : Where is thy God?
5 These things I remembered, and poured out my soul in me : for I shall go over into the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God : With the voice of joy and praise; the noise of one feasting.
6 Why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him : the salvation of my countenance,
7 and my God. My soul is troubled within myself : therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan and Hermoniim, from the little hill.
8 Deep calleth on deep, at the noise of thy flood-gates. All thy heights and thy billows have passed over me.
9 In the daytime the Lord hath commanded his mercy; and a canticle to him in the night. With me is prayer to the God of my life.
10 I will say to God : Thou art my support. Why hast thou forgotten me? and why go I mourning, whilst my enemy afflicteth me?
11 Whilst my bones are broken, my enemies who trouble me have reproached me; Whilst they say to me day be day : Where is thy God?
12 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me? Hope thou in God, for I will still give praise to him : the salvation of my countenance, and my God.
To be continued...