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47. The other more profitable and meritorious martyrdom in Souls already advanced in perfection and deep contemplation, is, a fire of divine love, which burns the soul and makes it painful with the same love: sometimes the absence of its beloved afflicts it; sometimes the sweet, ardent and welcome weight of the loving and divine Presence torments it: This sweet martyrdom always makes it sigh sometimes if it enjoys and has its beloved, for the pleasure of having him; so that is cannot contain it self; other times, if he does not manifest himself, through the ardent anxiety of seeking, finding and enjoying him: all this is panting, suffering and dying for love.

48. O that thou could’st but come to conceive the contrariety of accidents that an inamour’d Soul suffers! the combate so terrible and strong on one side; so sweet and melting and amiable on the other! the martyrdom so piercing and sharp with which love torments it; and the cross so painful and sweet withal, without ever being in the mind of getting free from it whil’st thou liv’st!

49. Just so much as light and love increases, just so much increases the grief in seeing that good absent, which it loves so well. To feel it near it self is enjoyment; and never to have done knowing and possessing, it, consumes its life: it has food and drink near its mouth, whil’st it wants either, and cannot be satisfied: it sees it self swallowed up and drown’d in a sea of love, whil’st the powerful hand that is able to save it, is near it; and yet doth not do it; nor doth it know when he will come, who it so much does desire.

50. Sometimes it hears the inward voice of its beloved, which courts and calls it; and a soft and delicate whisper, which goes forth from the secret of the Soul, where it abides, which pierces it strongly, even like to melt and dissolve it, in seeing how near it hath him within it self, and yet how far off from it, whil’st it cannot come to possess him. This intoxicates t, imbases it, scares it, and fills it with unsatisfiableness: and therefore love is said to be as strong as death, whil’st it kills just as that doth.



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