Touch of God
“Understand this well: when we turn within ourselves in contemplation, the fruitive unity of God is like to a darkness, a somewhat which is unconditioned and incomprehensible. And the spirit turns inward through love and through simplicity of intention, because it is active in all virtues, offering itself up in fruition above all virtues. In this loving introversion, there arises the seventh gift, which is the spirit of Savoring Wisdom, and it saturates the simplicity of our spirit, soul , and body, with wisdom and with ghostly savors. And it is a ghostly touch or stirring within the unity of our spirit; and it is an inpouring and a source of all grace, all gifts, and all virtues. And, in this Touch of God, each person savors their exercise and life according to the power of the Touch and the measure of His love. And this Divine stirring is the inmost mediator between God and ourselves, between rest and activity, between the conditioned and the unconditioned, between eternity and time. And God would that this ghostly touching within us first of all, before all gifts; and yet it is known and tasted by us least of all. For only when we have lovingly sought God in all our practices eve to the inwards deeps of our ground, do we fist feel the gushing in of all the graces and gifts of God.” ~John of Ruysbroeck
Yes, we must turn within ourselves, but that doesn’t mean all answers are found within and nothing outside of us matters. We need both the within and the without. Those who pay attention only to the world within are no better off that those who only deal with the external world.
Unity of God
I have to say that I don’t like Ruysbroeck’s choice of words when he says the unity of God is like darkness. What he means is that it is something that cannot be known by the mind, the intellect. God is present, but unknown because we are trying to communicate with Him using the physical senses. God can only be comprehended through the spiritual senses, which must first be awakened. Otherwise, we stay in ignorance of God, and that is what Ruysbroeck means by darkness, in this case. To feel the Touch of God, we have to awaken our spiritual faculties. Continue reading “Touch of God Awakens the Soul”