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On Cleaving To God
Chapter 10

That one should not be concerned about feeling tangible devotion so much as about cleaving to God with one's will

   Furthermore you should not be much concerned about tangible devotion,
   the experience of sweetness or tears, but rather that you should be
   mentally united with God within yourself by a good will in your
   intellect. For what pleases God above everything is a mind free from
   imaginations, that is images, ideas and the representations of created
   things. It befits a monk to be indifferent to everything created so
   that he can turn easily and barely to God alone within himself, be
   empty for him and cleave to him. For this reason deny yourself so that
   you can follow Christ, the Lord your God, in nakedness, who was himself
   poor, obedient, chaste, humble and suffering, and in whose life and
   death many were scandalised, as is clear from the Gospel accounts.
   After all, a soul which is separated from the body pays no attention to
   what is done to its abandoned body - whether it is burned, hanged, or
   reviled, and is in no way saddened by the afflictions imposed on the
   body, but thinks only of the Now of eternity and the One Thing which
   the Lord calls necessary in the Gospel. So you too should treat your
   body as if you were no longer in the body, but think always of the
   eternity of your soul in God, and direct your thoughts carefully to
   that One Thing of which Christ said, For one thing is necessary. (Luke
   10.42) You will experience because of it great grace, helping you
   towards the acquisition of nakedness of mind and simplicity of heart.
   Indeed this One Thing is very much present with you if you have made
   yourself bare of imaginations and all other entanglements, and you will
   soon experience that this is so - namely when you can be empty and
   cleave to God with a naked and resolute mind. In this way you will
   remain unconquered in whatever may be inflicted on you, like the holy
   martyrs, fathers, the elect, and indeed all the saints who despised
   everything and only thought of their souls' security and eternity in
   God. Armed in this way within, and united to God through a good will,
   they spurned everything of the world as if their souls were already
   separated from their bodies. Consider from this how much a good will
   united with God is capable of, when by means of its pressing towards
   God the soul is effectively separated from the body in spirit and looks
   on its outward man as it were from a distance, and as not belonging to
   it. In this way it despises everything that is inflicted on itself or
   on its flesh as if they were happening to someone else, or not to a
   human being at all. For He that is united with the Lord is one Spirit,
   (1 Corinthians 6.17) that is with him. So you should never dare to
   think or imagine anything before the Lord your God that you would blush
   to be heard or seen in before men, since your respect for God should be
   even greater than for them. It is a matter of justice in fact that all
   your thoughts and thinking should be raised to God alone, and the
   highest point of your mind should only be directed to him as if nothing
   existed but him, and holding to him may enjoy the perfect beginning of
   the life to come.
     







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