Glimpses of the Union with God VI

Scholastic Theology vs Mystical Theology

Scholastic theology  = divine truths understood

Mystical theology= divine truths understood, are known, AND at the same time enjoyed[1]

  1. Selected Quotes from The Spiritual Canticle alternate between on line pdf and ICS translation
  2. O woods and thickets,

Planted by the hand of my Beloved!

O green meadow,

Coated, bright, with flowers,

Tell me, has he passed by you?

  1. Pouring out a thousand graces,

He passed these groves in haste;

And having looked at them,

With his image alone,

Clothed them in beauty.


  1. The chief object of the soul in these words is not to ask only for that affective and sensible devotion, wherein there is no certainty or evidence of the possession of the Bridegroom in this life; but principally for that clear presence and vision of His Essence, of which it longs to be assured and satisfied in the next. This, too, was the object of the bride who, in the divine song desiring to be united to the Divinity of the Bridegroom Word, prayed to the Father, saying, “Show me where You feed, where You lie in the midday.”22 For to ask to be shown the place where He fed was to ask to be shown the Essence of the Divine Word, the Son; because the Father feeds nowhere else but in His only begotten Son, Who is the glory of the Father. In asking to be shown the place where He lies in the midday, was to ask for the same thing, because the Son is the sole delight of the Father, Who lies in no other place, and is comprehended by no other thing, but in and by His beloved Son, in Whom He reposes wholly, communicating to Him His whole Essence, in the “midday,” which is eternity, where the Father is ever begetting and the Son ever begotten.
  2. This pasture, then, is the Bridegroom Word, where the Father feeds in infinite glory. He is also the bed of flowers whereupon He reposes with infinite delight of love, profoundly hidden from all mortal vision and every created thing. This is the meaning of the bride-soul when she says,

“Where have You hidden Yourself?”[2]

  1. Hence, St. Augustine says: “I found You not without, O Lord; I sought You without in vain, for You are within,”23 God is therefore hidden within the soul, and the true contemplative will seek Him there in love, saying,

“Where have You hidden Yourself?”

  1. It brings a special happiness to a person to understand that God is never absent, not even from a soul in mortal sin (and how much less from one in a state of grace).[3]

If God were absent, there would be no existence. One good in hell is existence and annihilation.

 God loves enough allows to be in hell. Finding God, happiness found within. Happiness interior disposition.

  1. The bride has entered

The sweet garden of her desire,

 And she rests in delight,

Laying her neck

On the gentle arms of her Beloved.[4]

Commentary NB

Find the stanza quoted then look for the corresponding commentary

The bride has entered

The spiritual marriage is incomparably greater than the spiritual betrothal, for it is a total transformation in the Beloved, in which each surrenders the entire possession of self to the other with a certain consummation of the union of love. The soul thereby becomes divine, God though participation, insofar as is possible in this life. And thus, I think that this state never occurs without the soul’s being confirmed in grace, for the faith of both is confirmed when God’s faith in the soul is here confirmed. It is accordingly the highest state attainable in this life.

Want the fruit without the work

[1] Kavanaugh & Rodriguez 470


[3] Kavanaugh & Rodriguez 480

[4] Kavanaugh & Rodriguez 474

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