Carmelite Conversations

Episode Summary

The “Will” in the Prayer of Contemplation (Ch. 13 of the book).   Soren Kierkegaard said, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing. This one thing of course is God's Will. St. John of the Cross speaks about the activity of the will as much if not more than any of the other faculties of the human person. The other two are intellect and memory. But it is the will that most significantly drives human behavior. The will is perfected through the virtue of charity, which is to say, all our thoughts, words and actions must be simple expressions of love. In this program, St. John of the Cross's words explain how we must overcome the natural tendency on the part of our will to seek satisfaction in prayer. We must never try to recapture or recreate gratifying experiences in our time in prayer. This would only serve as an attempt on our part to create our own image of God, one we both could then relate to and find our own satisfaction in. The most appropriate explanation here is that we should never attempt to find ourselves in God, but rather we should seek to find God in us. This road to union with God requires a radical purification of all that our senses and imagination could create; God is beyond all that. The only way for us to encounter God is through a process of naked faith, a letting go of all within us that is not God. A deep poverty of spirit is necessary, we must empty ourselves of all self-love, we must follow the example of Christ crucified. For it is a truth of the mystical life that the degree to which our will is united with the will of God determines the depth of love within our soul.   Books:    “Saint John of the Cross:  Master of Contemplation” by Fr. Donald Haggerty; Ignatius Press.   “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross” by John of the Cross; ICS Publications.    
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