Albertus Magnus – On union with God - Suppressing Memory
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Albertus Magnus – On union with God
from CHAPTER IV - THAT OUR LABOUR MUST BE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING AND NOT WITH THE SENSES
Blessed is he who by continually cleansing his soul from the images and phantoms of earth draws its powers inward, and thence lifts them up to God.
At length he in a manner forgets all images, and by a simple and direct act of pure intellect and will contemplates God, Who is absolutely simple.
Cast from thee, therefore, all phantoms, images, and forms, … that all thy intercourse may proceed from an understanding, affection, and will, alike purified. This is, in truth, the end of all thy labours, that thou mayest draw nigh unto God solely by thy understanding and by a fervent love, free from entanglement or earthly image.
Not by his bodily organs or outward senses does a man attain to this. So long as he lingers, trifling with the objects of the imagination and senses, he has not yet passed beyond the limits and instincts of his nature.
[We may be assailed by] unnecessary anxiety, foolish cares or troubles, or irregular conversations and vain curiosity, ….y subtle books, by the words of others, by rumours and novelties, to trials, contradictions, etc.
Although these things may sometimes seem but very trifling … yet do they greatly hinder our progress in this exercise. Therefore, whether great or small, they must be resisted and driven from us as evil and harmful, though they may seem useful and even necessary. It is of great importance that what we have heard, or seen, or done, or said, should not leave their traces or fill our memory.
Neither before nor after, nor at the time, should we foster these memories or allow their images to be formed. For when the mind is free from these thoughts, we are not hindered in our prayer, in meditation, or the psalmody, or in any other of our spiritual exercises, nor do these distractions return to trouble us.