On Cleaving To God
How one can cling to and seek
Christ alone, disdaining everything else
Certainly, anyone who desires and aims to arrive at and remain in such
a state must needs above all have eyes and senses closed and not be
inwardly involved or worried about anything, nor concerned or occupied
with anything, but should completely reject all such things as
irrelevant, harmful and dangerous. Then he should withdraw himself
totally within himself and not pay any attention to any object entering
the mind except Jesus Christ, the wounded one, alone, and so he should
turn his attention with care and determination through him into him -
that is, through the man into God, through the wounds of his humanity
into the inmost reality of his divinity. Here he can commit himself and
all that he has, individually and as a whole, promptly, securely and
without discussion, to God's unwearying providence, in accordance with
the words of Peter, cast all your care upon him (1 Peter 5.7), who can
do everything. And again, In nothing be anxious (Philippians 4.6), or
what is more, Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you.
(Psalm 55.22) Or again, It is good for me to hold fast to God, (Ps.
73.28) and I have always set up God before me. (Psalm 16.8) The bride
too in the Song of Songs says, I have found him whom my soul loves,
(Canticle 3.4) and again, All good things came to me along with her.
(Wisdom 7.11) This, after all, is the hidden heavenly treasure, none
other than the pearl of great price, which must be sought with
resolution, esteeming it in humble faithfulness, eager diligence, and
calm silence before all things, and preferring it even above physical
comfort, or honour and renown. For what good does it do a religious if
he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul? Or what is
the benefit of his state of life, the holiness of his profession, the
virtue of his habit and tonsure, or the outer circumstances of his way
of life if he is without a life of spiritual humility and truth in
which Christ abides through a faith created by love. This is what Luke
means by, the Kingdom of God (that is, Jesus Christ) is within you.