THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, CHAPTER 75
Of some certain tokens by the which a man may prove whether he be called of God to work in this work.
In this chapter, in what reads like a sort of addendum, our author makes some suggestions relevant to our having completed the reading of this book.
First, he emphasizes purgation, a life as holy as possible, in repentence for past sins, as a prerequisite for following this path.
Next, he emphasizes the need for the blessing of the church, and spiritual guidance. This is not an adventure that we can embark upon lightly and solo. We need to be under the guidance of someone well grounded in the doctrines of the Christian faith and familiar with the pitfalls and deceptions inherent in such a journey.
Next, he warns us that we will not always find this exercise congenial. There will be periods when we will not feel an urge to practice it, and when we will feel that we are wasting our time in it. As an aside, San Juan de la Cruz, whose Dark Night of the Soul we will be reading eventually, has much to say about this later period of our journey.
Our author says that such periods come because otherwise we would become victims of our own spiritual pride.
Then, he points out that it's not what we are or what we have been that God looks at, but our aspirations, and he then quotes Saint Gregory the Great, "all holy desires grow by delay, and if they diminish by delay, they were never holy desires." (Paulist Press translation).
Finally, he ends with a prayer, which we can pray with him, for "true peace, sane counsel, and spiritual comfort in God and abundant grace."