Recent Posts

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Doctor of Divine Love and The Dark Night Part 41

Father Phelim lists six categories of goods, as he writes,"which tend to claim the soul's attention and very often fragment and waste its energies. This list follows: temporal goods, natural goods, sensual, moral, supernatural and spiritual.

As Father Phelim states, the soul must transcend all goods in order to focus on God. This first category covers "riches, rank, high offices, titles , status". Father Phelim writes that these are the thorns in the passage of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. To be greedy is the old sin of idolatry.

The person who is free of such goods, has, as Fr. Phelim lists "great liberty of soul, a clarity of reason, tranquillity, and confidence in God. Not a bad list of virtues to have.

Natural goods, notes Father Phelim, are "bodily beauty, good looks, and comeliness of figure." Also, natural discretion, discernment, and understanding. Of course, these are gifts from God, but one must hold these things lightly in one's hands, as it were.

The evils which result in attachment to these gifts are vanity, presumption and "the lack of esteem for others." What is hard to read, is this phrase from Father, "Some even reach a stage where the things of God are tedious, troublesome and abhorrent."

When one gets to this stage of hating the things of God, one has chosen hell over heaven, sadly.

The great need of a person who wants to break away from such sins is that of detachment.

Detachment allows one to ignore praise, esteem and status and only desire doing what pleases God.

The third category includes sensual  goods, those of the five senses.

Any pleasures which come through the senses do not lead us directly to God. I want to stop here and return to this in the next post.

To be continued...