"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."

St Philip Neri

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"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."

The Cure D'Ars

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."

St Louis Bertrand

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Blessed John of Rusybroeck   (1293-1381)

 

THE ADORNMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL MARRIAGE (cont)

 

by Blessed John of Rusybroeck

 

THE SECOND BOOK

9. Of Unity of Heart


Of this ardour there springs unity of heart; for we cannot achieve true unity unless the Spirit of God blows to a flame His fire in our hearts. For this fire makes one with itself and like to itself all that it can master and re-shape.

Unity is this: that a man feel himself to be gathered together with all his powers in the unity of his heart. Unity brings inward peace and restfulness of heart. Unity of heart is a bond which draws together body and soul, heart and senses, and all the outward and inward powers and encloses them in the union of love.
 

10. Of Inwardness


From this unity springs inwardness; for none can be inward save him who is gathered together in unity within himself. Inwardness means that a man is turned within, into his own heart, that thereby he may understand and feel the interior workings, and the interior words of God. Inwardness is a sensible fire of love, which the Spirit of God has blown to a flame, and which urges a man from within; and he knows not whence it comes nor what has befallen him.
 

11. Of Sensible Love


From inwardness there springs a sensible love, which fulfills the man's heart and the desirous power of the soul. This yearning love, and this sensible fruition of the heart, none can have save he who is inward of heart.

Sensible love is a yearning and savouring delight which we feel in God as the eternal Good, wherein are all other goods. Sensible love forsakes all creatures as regards pleasure, not as regards need. Inward love feels itself moved from within by the Eternal Love; and this it must ever cherish. Inward love easily foregoes and despises all things that it may obtain that which it loves.
 

12. Of Devotion


Of this sensible love is born devotion to God and to His glory. For none can have within his heart the hunger of devotion save him who bears within himself a sensible love of God. Where the fire of love sends up the flames of its desire to heaven, there is devotion. Devotion moves and draws a man, both from without and from within, towards the service of God. Devotion makes body and soul to blossom in nobility and worth before God and before all men. Devotion is demanded of us by God in every service which we ought to do to Him. Devotion purifies the body and the soul of everything that can stop and hinder us. Devotion shows and bestows the right way at blessedness.