Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It withstands no company

The second condition of the contemplative soul is that it withstands no company. This does not mean it is a soul cut off from others living in isolation. It is authentic solitude which is not necessarily physical solitude. It is a solitude of detachment for the sake of God. St. John of the Cross writes in The Living Flame that "in contemplation the activity of the sense and of discursive reflection terminates, and God alone is the agent who then speaks secretly to the solitary and silent soul" (LF 3:44) This soul has learned "to silence and quiet the faculties so that God may speak" (Ascent 3:3,4). Any attachment will gradually empty the soul of holy solitude and the spirit and joy of God. That is why this soul is so fond of silence and solitude that it does not tolerate the company of another creature. God alone. No other thought, person, idea, or desire is occupying the soul.

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