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Abrac  Abrac is offline
Join Date: 13 Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,466

I found a really good quote in Lamps of Western Mysticism. It's a little long but worth a read, imo. It's Waite talking about realization as a path of love, and the relationship between human love and love for God.
"I have been charged with dwelling on the difficulties of the mystic life, as if they were difficulties of so-called occult sciences: but the kind of love which is implied in the Thomist definition is not brought to birth easily, and it is implied from the beginning of the life. May I put it in the most familiar of all language by saying that it is proposed from the beginning that we should fall in love with God? The expression is very common and I suppose that it would be called vulgar, but like many such formulæ there is a real truth within it, and I am haunted with a feeling that it was used once by St. Thomas. Most of us have known its experience in the human order. The fall is from the sufficiency of self in its own centre. The love of any object in humanity decentralises the true lover. It transfers preoccupation from the self within us to the self without of another. It is an absorption in contemplation of the visible beauty. But mystic love implies the secret of contemplative absorption in an absent beauty, and it is the realisation of this beauty in the heart of mind. Realisation depends on love, and the difficulty is to begin by loving that which is unrealised, or God before we have found Him. The absent Beauty is not indeed really absent if God is always within, but we have not found that centre wherein is His sanctuary. How are we to reach the 'pure and deep centre' wherein—according to Molinos—abides the Image? It is said that the deepest love is called forth by a known, experimental possession of God; but how is that love called forth which leads to this state when we are far indeed from its attainment? The very language of such love is an unknown tongue to those who have never fallen from their self-centre.

Poulain expresses a great truth when he intimates, a little obscurely, that the will to love is the first secret of love. Now this lies within the capacity of us all, and this is the first step. It is the putting forth of such will in exercise, the continued maintenance of its activity, and unreserved abandonment to its direction. In the steadfast simplicity of the whole subject it may be termed otherwise the will to union. It is also the state of loving God always as the chief implicit of the mind. The great gifts of the spirit and the unspeakable gifts of understanding come to us in this way, by a continual occupation of the mind with the Divine object, in a practice followed by the whole mind. In the proper understanding this is a state of mystic prayer, and such prayer is a state of life. I have said elsewhere that the human lover needs no counsels of preoccupation with the beloved object and no processes to insure it. It belongs to the kind of devotion which cannot help itself. Devotion is love, says Ruysbroeck, or at least the flame of love. The work of the will can produce this state within us in respect of the Divine object. There is no question that at the beginning of the business the work of the will has to be done with our might, and if I must use the terms of convention there may be solitudes to seek and hours to set apart for the construction of loving purpose. The daily work indeed is auto-suggestion of the mind towards God, and that which it brings to pass later or sooner is a telepathic communication between the mind and God. I can tell you that the time comes, and rather soon in many cases, when the work does itself within us, and while it suffers little interference from the ways of life without, it does not hinder these.

When once the ground has been thoroughly broken up—to use rather a crass image—it is not essentially more difficult for a man of affairs who is a man of spiritual honour to be a true and living lover of God than it is to be a human lover in any houses of exchange. The condition is of course trueness, which seems to me another term for unconditional devotion. The secret is the leading of the spirit: and the 'kindly light' leads. It is even from step to step, from the wordless prayer of purpose, shaping will, to that ever deeper prayer which marks the stages of experience in union with Divine love. As the Curé D’Ars said, the best prayer of all is that of delight in the Presence, when the Lamp of the Sanctuary shines at the hour of Exposition on the Altar of the soul. But this is the Prayer of Attainment."—Lamps of Western Mysticism, pp. 285, 286.
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