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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dark Night of the Soul Part 38-The Purification of the Memory Continued...

Father Phelim writes that the purification of the memory allows these steps in the soul to occur: one,  hope grows as memory is cleansed; two, this hope created a longing for God, Who will answer that longing; three, this hope increases as the soul is dispossessed of the past, of sin, of memory; four, once this happens, the soul will attain perfect possession of God in union.

There is a deep mystery here, which Fr. Phelim reminds us of in the reference to Luke 14:33. It is not just things one must give up, but the very part of one's being which one thinks is essential- memories. But, it is not merely the isolated memories one is giving up, but the faculty of memory itself. This is the insight, that the entire ability to remember is given over and God begins to purge that faculty as He chooses. The faculty, like that of understanding and the will gradually belongs to God alone.

Sometime, one must grieve over the giving up of memory. We must let memories go into the darkness of the Dark Night. One must be willing to stop thoughts which take one away from the deep suffering which is the Dark Night. Fr. Phelim reminds one that the devil uses memory and the imagination, especially, to seem like things which are in the light, when in reality, the images are of evil intent, intent on taking one away from faith in the unseen God and the hope of being one with Him.

So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple.

This process is very painful. God cannot be held in any ideas one may have of Him or even how He worked in the past. How can one recognize God truly if one is stuffed full of images which take one away from the real moment of the now. 

The less one has, the closer one is getting to union with God...If one especially clings to memories of human love, God cannot enter into the soul. The soul is simply too crowded for His Presence.

Remember, that all of this is the passive purification of the soul, and if one runs about filling up the soul with activities, even those which seem good, the process is severely hindered.

To be continued...