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A Way by which one may enter into internal Recollection, through the most Holy Humanity of Lord Christ.
116. There are two sorts of Spiritual Men Diametrically contrary one to another: The one say, That the Mysteries of the Passion of Christ, are always to be considered and Meditated upon: The others running to the opposite extreme, teach, That the Meditation of the Mysteries of the Life, Passion, and Death of our Saviour, is not Prayer, nor yet a Remembrance of them; but the exalted Elevation to God, whose Divinity Contemplates the Soul in quiet and silence, ought only to be called Prayer.
117. It is certain that our Lord Christ is the Guide, the Door, and the Way; as he himself hath said in his own Words (John 14.): I am the way, the truth, and the life. And before the Soul can be fit to enter into the Presence of the Divinity, and be united with it, it is to be washed with the precious Blood of a Redeemer, and adorned with the rich robes of his Passion.
118. Our Lord Christ with his Doctrine and Example, is the Mirror, the Guide of the Soul, the Way and the only door by which we enter into those Pastures of Life Eternal, and into the vast Ocean of the Divinity. Hence it follows, that the Remembrance of the Passion and Death of our Saviour ought not wholly to be blotted out: nay, it is also certain, that whatsoever high elevation of Mind the Soul may be raised to, it ought not in all things to separate from the most holy Humanity. But then it follows, not from hence neither, that the Soul accustomed to internal recollection, that can no longer ratiocinate, should always be meditating on, and considering (as the other Spiritualists say) the most holy Misteries of our Saviour. It is holy and good to Meditate; and would to God that all men of this World practiced it. And the Soul, besides that meditates, reasons and considers with facilitie; ought to be let alone in that state, and not pushed on to another higher, so long as in that of Meditation it finds nourishment and profit.
119. It belongs to God alone, and not to the spiritual Guide, to promote the Soul from Meditation to Contemplation; because, if God through his special Grace, call it not to this state of Prayer, the Guide can do nothing with all his Wisdom and Instructions.
120. To strike a secure means then, and to avoid those two so contrary extreams, of not wholly blotting out the remembrance of the Humanity; and of not having it continually before our eyes; we ought to suppose, that there are two ways of attending to the Holy Humanity; that one may enter at the Divine Port, which is Christ our well being, The first is by considering the Mysteries, and meditating the Actions of the Life, Passion, and Death of our Saviour. The second by thinking on him, by the application of the Intellect, pure Faith, or Memory.
121. When the Soul proceeds in perfecting and interiorizing it self, by means of internal recollection, having for sometime meditated on the Mysteries whereof it hath been already informed; then it retains Faith and Love to the Word Incarnate, being ready for his sake to do whatever he inspires into it, walking according to his Precepts, although they be not alwaies before its Eyes. As if it should be said to a Son, that he ought never to forsake his Father, they intend not thereby to oblige him, to have his Father alwaies in sight, but only to have him alwaies in his Memory, that in time and place, he may be ready to do his Duty.
122. The Soul then that is entered into internal recollection, with the opinion and approbation of an expert Guide, hath no need to enter by the first door of Meditation on the Mysteries, being alwaies taken up in meditating upon them; because that is not to be done without great fatigue to the Intellect, not does it stand in need of such ratiocinations; since these serve only as a means to attain to believing, that which it hath already got the possession of.
123. The most noble, spiritual and proper way for Souls that are Proficients in internal recollection, to enter by the Humanity of Christ our Lord, and entertain a remembrance of him is the second way; eying that Humanity, and the Passion thereof by a simple Act of Faith, loving and reflecting on the same as the Tabernacle of the Divinity, the beginning and end of our Salvation, Jesus Christ having been Born, Suffered, and died a shameful Death for our sakes.
124. This is the way that makes internal Souls profit, and this holy, pious, swift, and instantaneous remembrance of the Humanity, can be no obstacle to them in the course of internal recollection, unless if when the Soul enters into Prayer, it finds it self drawn back; for then it will be better, to continue recollection and mental excess. But not finding it self drawn back, the simple and swift remembrance of the Humanity of the Divine Word, gives no impediment to the highest and most elevated, the most abstracted and transformed Soul.
125. This is the way that Santa Teresa recommends to the contemplative, rejecting the tumultuary Opinions of some School-men. This is the strait and safe way, free from Dangers, which the Lord hath taught to many Souls, for attaining to repose, and the Holy Tranquility of Contemplation.
126. Let the Soul then, when it enters into recollection, place it self at the Gate of Divine Mercy, which is the amiable and sweet remembrance of the Cross and Passion of the Word that was made Man, and Died for Love; let it stand there with Humility, resigned to the Will of God, in whatsoever it pleases the Divine Majesty, to do with it; and if from that holy and sweet remembrance, it soon fall into forgetfulness, there is no necessity of making a new repetition, but to continue silent and quiet in the presence of the Lord.
127. Wonderfully does St. Paul favour this our Doctrine, in the Epistle which he wrote to the Colossians, wherein he exhorts them and us, that whether we Eat, Drink, or do anything else, we should do it in the Name, and for the Sake of Jesus Christ. Omne quod cumq; faritis inverbo, aut in opere, omnia in nomine Jesu Christi facite, gratias agentes Deo & Parti per ipsum. God grant that we may all begin by Jesus Christ, and that in him, and by him alone, we may arrive at perfection.
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