Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wisdom from…

DENIS THE CARTHUSIAN (1408–1471): Inner peace flows from love

The way to attain the perfection of divine love is thus stated: Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? In other words: Do not imagine that I have come to offer people a sensual, worldly, and unruly peace that will enable them to be united in their vices and achieve earthly prosperity. No, I tell you, I have not come to offer that kind of peace, but rather division––a good, healthy kind of division, physical as well as spiritual. Love for God and desire for inner peace will set those who believe in me at odds with wicked men and women, and make them part company with those who would turn them from their course of spiritual progress and from the purity of divine love, or who attempt to hinder them.

Good, interior, spiritual peace consists in the repose of the mind in God, and in a rightly ordered harmony. To bestow this peace was the chief reason for Christ's coming. This inner peace flows from love. It is an unassailable joy of the mind in God, and it is called peace of heart. It is the beginning and a kind of foretaste of the peace of the saints in heaven––the peace of eternity.
(On Luke: Opera Omnia 12, 72-74.)

"…at odds with wicked men and women…." And who says 'antithesis' began with or belongs to the Reformed!

"…a sensual, worldly, and unruly peace…[to] achieve earthly prosperity." The human infatuation with this pseudo-peace is some of what I was getting in my cynical post earlier about bullshit.

Denis was greatly influenced by the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius, and wrote precious biblical commentaries.

ST. AUGUSTINE: Legitimate Human Longing

Even though I grieve that I do not see you, I take some comfort in my pain. I have no patience with that spurious "strength of character" that puts up patiently with the absence of good things. Do we not all long for the future Jerusalem? I cannot refrain from this longing; I would be inhuman if I could. Indeed, I derive some sweetness from my very lack of self-control. And in this sweet yearning I seek some small consolation.
-- Letter 27, 1

Prayer. Lord, show me the way I must travel that I may see you.
-- Soliloquies 1, 1


Are not the crosses of God sweet and full of consolation? I say yes. If Providence should so desire, we should be willing even to die, in imitation of the Savior. Indeed, if need be, let us die on the cross! Then the storms and tempests which assail our hearts and often destroy our calm will not influence us. Let us mortify ourselves in the inmost part of our being, so that our spirit of faith remains steadfast. No matter what happens to us, we will live in peace; even if we lost everything, what does it matter when there is still God?
(Letters 402; O. XIII, pp. 294-295)


SURELY the vilest point of human vanity is exactly that; to ask to be admired for admiring what your admirers do not admire.
(Introduction to 'Bleak House.')


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