“Christ, the Sun of Love, sparkled and shone brighter still, and more ardently; for in Him was, and is, the fullness of all graces and gifts. And for this reason the heart of Christ and His way of life, and His conduct, and His service, over-flowed in mercy, in gentleness, in humility, and in generosity; and he was so gracious and so lovable that His ways and His person drew all men of goodwill. He was the unspotted lily among the flowers of the field, where from all the just may taste the honey of eternal sweetness and eternal consolation. For all the gifts which were ever bestowed upon the manhood of Christ, Christ thanked and praised, according to His manhood, His Eternal Father, who is the Father of all gifts; and He rested, as regards the highest powers of His soul, above all gifts, n the most high Unity of God.” ~John of Ruysbroeck
Sun of Love
It is interesting that this great Christian mystic talks of Christ as the “Sun of Love”. Not the “Son” of love, but “Sun”. It is just as interesting that he always used the title “Christ” rather than the name of the Man Jesus, who held that title during his life on Earth.
This Sun of Love shone brighter than the ordinary sun. That is because it isn’t the ordinary sun, the big ball of fire in the sky. It isn’t even the normal spiritual sun,which is the spirit of the material sun. The Christ Sun, the Sun of Love is a special version of the spiritual sun. It is the sun that the prophet Malachi called the Sun of Righteousness. It is a spiritual sun with the consciousness of Christ within it
Both Jesus, and the Christ spirit that lived in Him for a time, were like lilies with no spots. Not that there is anything wrong with spotted lilies. John is speaking allegorically here. By spots, he means sins, acts of evil. Christ does not do evil, therefore he was spotless. The lily is symbolic of love and purity, among other things. It is the Western World’s version of the Lotus found in many allegorical tales in the Oriental world. Like the Lotus, the lily is a spiritual flower.
Honey of Eternal Sweetness
Ruysbroeck further says the spotless lily where we may go to taste the honey of eternal sweetness. The allegory is not as obvious here, but easy enough to understand when you look at the rest of the quote. The spotless lily in this case can be none other than the spiritual sun, the Sun of Righteousness, the sun of love. Form that Sun God’s Grace, God’s Light that awakens and nourishes the spirit and soul, flow to us. It is that Light which John is calling the Honey of Eternal Sweetness. An appropriate name since that Light gives us eternal life and leads us to truth and wisdom, or Gnosis.
It is the “eating” of this spiritual honey that eventually brings us to what Ruysbroeck calls the greatest gift: Unity with God.