nakedness of spirit mean no pretension or motivation other than Gods
will? Does spiritual purgation mean to take out of motivation or understanding
all things of self-motivation?
ctually, Saint John of the Cross
answers this one:
Oh, who can tell how impossible
it is for a person with appetites to judge the things of God as they are!
If there is to be success in judging the things of God, the appetites and
satisfactions must be totally rejected, and these things of God must be weighed
apart from them. For otherwise one will infallibly come to consider the things
of God as not of God, and the things that are not of God as of
St. John of the Cross
The Living Flame of Love, 3.73
Thats pretty clear. So
why is it so hard for anyone to accept it? And why do people say, in defensive
rebuttal, If you did that it would be no different than sitting around
all day contemplating your navel. How will you ever have food to eat?
Youll never accomplish anything that way.
Well, the persons who say this
are the persons who have turned secular humanism
into a pseudo-religion to replace their lack of
belief in God; they have raised the psychological
self to the status of a god and cant see a thing beyond
human reason. These are the persons who literally care more about the welfare
of their stomachs than about their souls, because they simply care little,
if anything, for God.
Sadly, even well-intentioned
individuals can be misled by the insidious social influence of pragmatism
and humanistic psychology that have infiltrated
our entire society. This is why a holy life
must be detached from the
world, so as to be freed from the unconscious slavery
to social desire.
Consider, then, what Christ told
not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall
we drink? . . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall
be yours as well.
to yourself, then, does not mean that the psychological self must be
obliterated, because that is simply impossible. To die to
to dedicate your self to the service of Christ, seeking always
to do good for the love of others, and paying as little
attention to your own self-satisfaction (i.e.,
pride ) as possible.
And you can rest assured that
if you ever do die to yourself as Christ commanded
and as Saint John of the Cross describes, God will give you so much work
that you will be up hours past midnight trying to get it all doneand
this is even after you have thrown away your television.
But please, for the sake of your
mental health, and for the sake of your soul, keep in mind that all human
accomplishments will pass, and that no matter what you do, someone will praise
you for it and someone will attack you for it. What really matters, then,
is not the task itself but your spiritual progress in the growth of your
faith as you struggle with any task. You will
experience joys and consolations; you will experience obstacles,
trials, and persecutions; you will
experience temptations; endure all of these
things anyway with
humility and grace. Never let anything cause you
to commit mortal sin, no matter how important
the accomplishment might seem to human eyes.
What profit would
there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
1. In fact, to say, If you did that it would
be no different than sitting around all day contemplating your navel. How
will you ever have food to eat? Youll never accomplish anything that
way, is itself an act of pride, because it places human reason above
total trust in God.