One of the things which has struck me in my own life is the fact that I really do not care about outward things. I must care about eating, drinking, clothing myself, hygiene, and trying to find a way to make money, but there are only two things which really matter to me.
The interior life and souls...when I talk to people for some good reason, in kindness or explanation of the Faith, or being friendly, or listening, I am sincere.
But, everything else tires me. This is because my energies are going to the interior life.
I was hard on myself over these facts until I re-read Raissa on her own sense of insincerity about most things except God. Her comments freed me.
The world does violence to the soul which is concentrating on God within. The "inner treasure" she describes, demands all one's attentions and energies. One seeks solitude, even among others.
God purposefully separates the person seeking Him from all others. Raissa calls Him a jealous God. He truly wants to know that a person puts Him first.
This total focusing on God makes one realize how little one has to give to God. One is more and more aware of one's nothingness.
But, that does not matter, as God is all in all.
By the time she was 41, Raissa was in the Illuminative State. No longer did images, reflections, meditations, favours, or symbols mean anything to her. She was communicating in and with sheer Light. In this state of Light, Raissa saw that God gives all activity, thought, feeling to the purified person.
In this Light, one no longer desires anything, lives totally on love from God and wills nothing but God's Will. One can even rest in the unknown will of God.
But, like St. John of the Cross, Raissa writes that this Light makes all things dark as well. This is because God cannot be understood by one's own imagination, symbols, images, thoughts. In this darkness, there is complete trust in God and love for God. One experiences God indwelling in the soul constantly, but in a type of unknowing. The author ofThe Cloud of Unknowing, another book I read a long time ago, understood this state.
For thou hast brought me with thy question into that same darkness, and into that same cloud of unknowing, that I would thou wert in thyself. For of all other creatures and their works, yea, and of the works of God’s self, may a man through grace have fullhead of knowing, and well he can think of them: but of God Himself can no man think. And therefore I would leave all that thing that I can think, and choose to my love that thing that I cannot think. For why; He may well be loved, but not thought. By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never. And therefore, although it be good sometime to think of the kindness and the worthiness of God in special, and although it be a light and a part of contemplation: nevertheless yet in this work it shall be cast down and covered with a cloud of forgetting. And thou shalt step above it stalwartly, but Mistily, with a devout and a pleasing stirring of love, and try for to pierce that darkness above thee. And smite upon that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love; and go not thence for thing that befalleth.
Love just "is".
Love only desires the other, the good of the other, and the will of the other. Love, if it is true, makes no demands.
In this year, Raissa began to experience what St. Teresa of Avila defined as the "sleep of the faculties". This prayer succeeds the prayer of quiet and precedes the state of union. This sleep of the faculties is a time when all the person's abilities and senses, as well as the spirit, concentrate on God.
One is still active in this state. The prayer of quiet is preparation, but the total passivity of receiving God in the mystical marriage, in union, is yet to come.
It is hard to come to the realization that God does not care about what most of us do. He only cares that we love Him and that we are faithful to Him. Raissa writes this from experience.
I ask at the end of this post that my readers pray for me to have stability in my life, a place to continue to pursue active contemplation.
I had a set-back in my plans today, another interference from the evil one who has attacked some friends of mine who were helping me with immigration to England. This attack is too serious to put on the blog, but it shows the great evils which are building up daily against those in the Church who are holy and praying.
Remind God, with me, that even the sparrows have a home. I rest in God, but to do more is almost impossible.