Through Love’s Affection – Inspirational Quotations

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[The Eternal Father to Catherine:] “Do you know, daughter, who you are and who I am? If you know these two things you will have beatitude within your grasp.  You are she who is not, and I AM HE WHO IS.” Raymond of Capua,

Life of Catherine of Siena, 92

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CATHERINE OF SIENA

By Jake Murray  – (Thank you Jake for the piece and thanks so much for the conversation. Both much appreciated. 🙂
Romantic love is very much a key ingredient here. Again, very linked with Bride – Love Mysticism , John’s Epistle (“God is Love”) and the Song of Songs.I have often thought that it is the women mystics of Christianity who have understood this greater than the men. Christ as the Beloved, the Groom, who is loved with the heart and not just the head is a theme that echoes powerfully through Catherine, Teresa, Mechtild, Marguerite, Hadewijch etc. For Mechtild especially it’s highly somatic & sexual as well as spiritual & emotional. Clare of Assisi uses the ‘kisses me on the mouth’ imagery of the Song of Songs to evoke her sense of divine union…It’s infinitely more powerful than the male mystics because its so immediate, so passionate and so direct. Because its somatic, it become holistic. The heart & body are connected as well as mind and spirit. The only male mystics I know who come close are St John of the Cross and Gerard Manley Hopkins.Perhaps this is why, having trawled my way through the Christian mystics, I’ve tended to find that the women are the most modern and the most direct. In their passionate, sensual, erotic spirituality which is so all-encompassing *everything* is enveloped in the Godhead, everything is made sacred, and the experience is infinitely accessible rather than cold, intellectual and distant. Even the greatest of male mystics – Bonaventure, Eckhart, Palamas – don’t enter the Bridal Chamber like this… It’s still arrived at by abstract thought.Interestingly, the Jewish mystics succeed in this even though they are male perhaps because they introduce the Shekinah. Because to the Kabbalists the aspect most accessible to humanity is feminine, they are able to commune in a similar way… Thus for the Kabbalist and the female Christian mystic union with God is a true consummation…
St.-Catherine-of-Siena-4
Catherine Of Siena, has often been quoted as God’s Little Show Off.
The Dialogue

“A soul rises up, restless with tremendous desire for God’s honour and the salvation of souls. She has for some time exercised herself in virtue and has become accustomed to dwelling in the cell of self-knowledge in order to know better God’s goodness towards her, since upon knowledge follows love. And loving, she seeks to pursue truth and clothe herself in it.

But there is no way she can savour and be enlightened by this truth as in continual humble prayer, grounded in the knowledge of herself and God. For by such prayer the soul is united with God, following in the footsteps of Christ crucified, and through desire and affection and the union of love he makes of her another himself. So Christ seems to have meant when he said,

“If you will love me and keep my words, I will show myself to you, and you will be one with me and I with you.”

And we find similar words in other places from which we can see it is the truth that by love’s affection the soul becomes another himself.

To make this clearer still, I remember having heard from a certain servant of God that, when she was at prayer, lifted high in spirit, God would not hide from her mind’s eye his love for his servants. No, he would reveal it, saying among other things, “Open your mind’s eye and look within me, and you will see the dignity and beauty of my reasoning creature. But beyond the beauty I have given the soul by creating her in my image and likeness, look at those who are clothed in the wedding garment of Divine Love, adorned with many true virtues: they are united to me through love. So I say, if you should ask me who they are, I would answer,” said the gentle loving Word, ‘that they are another me; for they have lost and drowned their own will and have clothed themselves and united themselves and conformed themselves with mine.”

It is true, then, that the soul is united to God through love’s affection.”

– ‘The Dialogue’ by Catherine of Siena

http://www.discerninghearts.com/ with thanks.

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