van Ruysbroeck, Jan - To be wounded by love is the sweetest feeling
Type of Spiritual Experience
I have put together a small number of quotes here that all relate to the spiritual path and its various stages
A description of the experience
When man has been altogether purified and set at rest and is gathered together into unity as regards his lower powers, he can be inwardly enlightened if God deems that the time is fit and he craves it.....................
When the demands of our bodily nature which are opposed to spirit have been curbed and discreetly ‘set in order’ … there may come down a sweet rain of new inward consolation and the heavenly dew of the sweetness of God..............................
From this rapturous delight springs spiritual inebriation … [when] he receives more sensible joy and sweetness than his heart can either contain or desire. It brings forth many strange gestures in men. It makes some sing and praise God because of their fullness of joy, and some weep with great tears because of their sweetness of heart. It can make you restless in all your limbs, so that you must run and jump and dance. In some it so excites, that they must gesticulate and clap their hands. Others cry out with a loud voice; others may be silent and melt away because of the rapture they feel in their senses. Sometimes the excess of joy becomes so great that the man thinks his heart will break..................................
To be wounded by love is the sweetest feeling and the sharpest pain which anyone may endure – the ghostly wound brings woes and weal at the same time. For Christ streams and shines into the wounded and open heart and calls it to oneness again. The creature lifts itself up and offers itself and all that it can do and yet can neither attain nor acquire unity. From these things springs a ghostly pain. .......................
Divine rays burn so fiercely and so hotly and the heart wounded by love is so inflamed from within that the man falls into impatience and striving. Some men are at times caught into the spirit, above the senses and there words are spoken to them and images and similitude shown to them, teaching them some truth of which they or other men have need or else things that are to come. These are called revelations. Sometimes a man may be drawn above himself and above the spirit into an incomprehensible good which he shall never be able either to utter or to explain in the way in which he heard or saw. This is raptus [rapture].
Some men are found who have sudden intuition or inspirations and have miraculous dreams.
The source of the experiencevan Ruysbroeck, Jan
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsCommuning with nature
Contemplation and detachment
Squash the big I am
Suppression of learning
CommonstepsAsking for forgiveness
Chanting, mantra and prayer
Friendship and companionship
Serving others [charity]
Tedious repetitive tasks
see the Ruysbroeck source description for the various texts