Knowing God: St. Anselm, St. John of the Cross, and St. John Paul II

Outline for meditations:

PRESENCE OF GOD  Our goal is to be contemplatives in the middle of the world. Using brief vocal prayers and aspirations to remain in the presence of God. Never make decisions, important or trivial, without asking Him what his will is: this is an act of worship, a proof of our rectitude of intention and an elementary norm of prudence.

The answer is the act of prayer according to three saints. The explanation:

St. Anselm

Blogger: The act of praying aspirations is an act of the self going out of self. Mind of Anselm:  Since God is Creator, He is not a Being, not even a Supreme Being. He is an action, a triple action as relation of Father, Son and Spirit. Hence the tiniest action that is relation to another as gift is an experience of God.

         From the Proslogion 
(Cap.1: Opera Omnia, Edit. Schmitt, Secovii, 1938, 1, 97-100)

Desire for the vision of God: Turned into a methodology, it is the grounding of phenomenology –

Insignificant man, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in him.

Enter into your mind’s inner chamber. Shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek him; and when you have shut the door, look for him. Speak now to God and say with your whole heart: I seek your face; your face, Lord, I desire.

Lord, my God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you. Lord, if you are not here where shall I look for you in your absence? Yet if you are everywhere, why do I not see you when you are present? But surely you dwell in “light inaccessible.” And where is light inaccessible? How shall I approach light inaccessible? Or who will lead me and bring me into it that I may see you there? And then, by what signs and under what forms shall I seek you? I have never seen you, Lord my God; I do not know your face.

Lord most high, what shall this exile do, so far from you? What shall your servant do, tormented by love of you and cast so far from your face? He yearns to see you, and your face is too far from him. He desires to approach you, and your dwelling is unapproachable. He longs to find you, and does not know your dwelling place. He strives to look for you, and does not know your face.

Lord, you are my God and you are my Lord, and I have never seen you. You have made me and remade me, and you have given me all the good things I possess and still I do not know you. I was made in order to see you, and I have not yet done that for which I was made.

Lord, how long will it be? How long, Lord, will you forget us? How long will you turn your face away from us? When will you look upon us and hear us? When will you enlighten our eyes and show us your face? When will you give yourself back to us?

Look upon us, Lord, hear us and enlighten us, show us your very self. Restore yourself to us that it may go well with us whose life is so evil without you. Take pity on our efforts and our striving toward you, for we have no strength apart from you.

Teach me to seek you, and when I seek you show yourself to me, for I cannot seek you unless you teach me, nor can I find you unless you show yourself to me. Let me seek you in desiring you and desire you in seeking you, find you in loving you.

St. John of the Cross

“Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them.  We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.  For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ: In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training.  All these are lesser things, disposing the soul for the lofty sanctuary of the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ: this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.  Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire. The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first, and in truth, to enter the thicket of the cross.  Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations, but to be steadfast and rooted and grounded in love, so that they may know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth – to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.  The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.  This excerpt from A Spiritual Canticle by St. John of the cross (Red. B, str. 36-37) was written amidst great suffering while the Saint was in prison.  It encourages us not to shrink from the thickets of tribulations since it is only through them that we will arrive at the riches & treasures of God in Jesus Christ.  “Dig Deeply into Christ” is used in the Roman office of readings for the feast (liturgical memorial) of St. John of the Cross on December 14.St.

St. John Paul II’s Thesis: Faith according to St. John of the Cross:

 There are no concepts that are proportionate likenesses to God. Therefore, the only likeness is the whole self loving.

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