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CHAP. VIII.

 

Pursues the same Matter.

 

58. Those that govern Souls without Experience go in the dark, and arrive not at the Understanding of the states of the Soul in their internal and supernatural Operations, they only know that sometimes the Soul is well, and that it has Light; other times that it is in Darkness; but what the state of all these is, and what is the Root from whence these Changes grow, they neither know nor understand, nor can verifie it by means of Books, till they come to find it experimentally in themselves, in whose Furnace the true and actual Light is made.

52. If the Guide hath not passed himself thro’ the secret and painful ways of the interiour walk, how can he comprehend or approve it? It will be no small favour to the Soul, to find one only experienced Guide to strengthen it in insuperable Difficulties, and assure it in the continual doubts of this Voyage: otherwise he will never get to the holy and precious Mount of Perfection, without an extraordinary and singular Grace.

60. The spiritual Director, which lives disinterested, longs more for the internal Solitude than the Employment of Souls: and if any spiritual Master is displeased when a Soul goes from him, and leaves him for another Guide, ‘tis a clear sign, that he did not live disinterested, nor sought purely the Glory of God, but his own proper Esteem.

61. The same loss and evil comes, when the Director is secretly diligent to draw some Soul to his direction, which goes under the government of another Guide; this is a notable mischief; for if he holds himself for a better Director than t’other, he is proud; and if he knows himself to be a worse, he is a Traytor to God, to that Soul, and to himself, during the prejudice he does to the advantage and good of his Neighbours.

62. In like manner there is another considerable hurt that discovers it self in spiritual Masters, which is, that they do not suffer the Souls Guided by ‘em, to communicate with others, tho they are more Holy, Learned, and Expert than themselves: all this is Interest, Self-love, and Esteem of themselves. They do not permit Souls thus to unburthen and vent themselves, for fear they should loose ‘em, and that it may not be said, that their Spiritual Children seek that Satisfaction in others, which they cannot find in them; and for the most part, by these imperfect ends, they hinder Souls from being advantaged.

63. From all these, and infinite other imputations, the Director is free that is once arrived at hearing the inward Voice of God, by having passed through Tribulation, Temptation, and passive Purgation; because that interior Voice of God works innumerable and marvelous Effects in the Soul, which gives place to it, hearkens to it, and relishes it.

64. It is of so great Efficacy, that it rejects worldly Honour, Self-conceit, Spiritual Ambition, the desire of Fame, a wish to be Great, a presumption of being the only Man, and thinking that he knows all things; it bids adieu to Friends, Friendship, Visits, Letters of Complement, Commerce of the Creature, Interest with Spiritual Children, Mastership, and Business; it turns away too much inclination to Confessor-ship, the Affection that is disorder’d in the Government of Souls, that makes a man think he is fitting for it; it moves Self-love, Authority, Presumption, treating of Profit, making a shew of the Letters which a man writes, shewing those writ by his Spiritual children, to make known what a great Workman he is; it turns away the Envy of other Masters and Teachers, and the procuring more Customers to his chair of Confession.

65. Lastly, this interiors Voice of God in the Soul of Director, begets a mean Value, and Solitariness, and Silence, and Forgetfulness of Friends, Relations and Spiritual Children; because it makes him never remember ‘em, but when they are speaking to him. This is the only sign to know the Disinterestedness of a Master; and therefore such a one doth more good by silent, than thousands of others that make never so great a noise with their infinite Documents.

 

 

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