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CHAP. XXI.

 

Of the high Felicity of internal Peace, and the wonderful Effects of it.

 

206. The Soul being once annihilated and renewed with perfect nakedness, finds in its superiour part a profound peace, and a sweet rest, which brings it to such a perfect Union of love, that it is joyful all over. And such a Soul as this is already arrived to such a happiness, that it neither wills nor desires any thing but what its Beloved wills; it conforms it self to this Will in all emergencies, as well of comfort as anguish, and rejoyces also in every thing to do the Divine Good Pleasure.

207. There is nothing but what comforts it; nor doth it want any thing, but what it can well want: To die, is enjoyment to it; and to live, is its joy. It is as contented here upon Earth, as it can be in Paradise; it is as glad under privation, as it can be in possession; in sickness as it can be in health; because it know that this is the will of its Lord. This is its life, this is its glory, its paradise, its peace, its repose, its rest, its consolation and highest happiness.

208. If it were necessary to such a Soul as this, which is gotten up by the steps of annihilation to the region of peace, to make its choice, it would chuse desolation before comfort, contempt before honour; because the loving Jesus made great esteem of reproach and pain: if it first endured the hunger of the blessings of Heaven, if it thirsted for God, if it had the fear of losing him, the lamentation of heart, and the fighting of the Devil; now things are altered, and hunger is turned into satisfying, the thirst into satiety, the fear into assurance, the sadness into joy, the weeping into merriment, and the fierce fighting into the greatest peace. O happy Soul, that enjoys here on earth so great a felicity! Thou must know, that these kind of Souls (though few they are) be the strong Pillars which support the Church, and such as abate the divine indignation.

209. And now this Soul that is entered into the heaven of peace, acknowledges it self full of God and his supernatural gifts, because it lives grounded in a pure love, receiving equal Pleasure in light and darkness, in night and day, in affliction and consolation. Through this holy and heavenly indifference, it never loses its peace in adversity, nor its tranquility in tribulations, but sees it self full of unspeakable enjoyments.

210. And although the Prince of Darkness makes all the assaults of Hell against it, with horrible temptations, yet it makes head against ‘em, and stands like a strong Pillar; no more happening to it by ‘em, than happens to a high mountain and a deep valley in the time of storm and tempest.

211. The valley is darkned with thick clouds, fierce tempests of hail, thunder, lightning and hail-stones, which looks like the picture of Hell: at the same time the lofty Mountain glitters by the bright beams of the Sun, in quietness and serenity, continuing clear, like heaven, immovable and full of light.

212. The same happens to this blessed soul; the valley of the part below is suffering tribulations, combats, darkness, desolations, torments, martyrdoms and suggestions; and at the same time, on the lofty mountain of the higher part of the Soul, the true Sun casts its beams; it enflames and enlightens it; and so it becomes clear, peaceable, resplendent, quiet, serene, being a meer ocean of joy.

213. So great therefore is the quiet of this pure Soul, which is gotten up the mountain of tranquility, so great is the peace of its spirit, so great the serenity and chearfulness that is within, that a remnant and glimmering of God do rebound even to the outside of it.

214. Because in the throne of quiet are manifest the perfections of spiritual beauty; here the true light of the secret and divine Mysteries of our holy faith, here perfect humility, even to the annihilation of it self, the amplest resignation, chastity, poverty of spirit, the sincerity and innocence of the Dove, external modesty, silence and internal fortitude, liberty and purity of heart; here the forgetfulness of every created thing, even of it self, joyful simplicity, heavenly indifference, continual Prayer, a total nakedness, perfect disinterestedness, a most wise contemplation, a conversation of heaven; and lastly, the most perfect and serene peace within, of which this happy soul may say what the wise man said of wisdom, that all other graces came along in the company with her. Venerunt mihi omnia bona pariter cum illa. Wisd. 7. 11.

215. This is the rich and hidden treasure, this is the lost groat of the Gospel; this it the blessed life, the happy life, the true life, and the blessedness here below. O thou lovely greatness that passest the knowledge of the sons of men! O excellent supernatural life, how admirable and unspeakable art thou, for thou art the very draught of blessedness! O how much dost thou raise a soul from earth, which loses in its view all things of the vileness of earth! thou art poor to look upon; but inwardly thou are full of wealth: thou seemest low, but art exceeding high; in a word, thou art that which makest men live a life divine here below. Give me, O Lord, thou greatest goodness, give me a good portion of this heavenly happiness and true peace, that the World, sensual as it is, is neither capable of understanding nor receiving. Quem mundus non potest accipere.

 

 

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