A Treatise Of Obedience
11. How this most devout soul, thanking and praising God, makes prayer for the whole world and for the Holy Church, and commending the virtue of faith brings this work to an end.
Then that soul, having seen with the eye of the intellect, and having known by the light of holy faith the truth and excellence of obedience, hearing and tasting it with love and ecstatic desire, gazed upon the divine majesty and gave thanks to Him, saying, "Thanks, thanks to You, oh eternal Father, for You have not despised me, the work of Your hands, nor turned Your face from me, nor despised my desires; You, the Light, have not regarded my darkness; You, true Life, have not regarded my living death; You, the Physician, have not been repelled by my grave infirmities; You, the eternal Purity, have not considered the many miseries of which I am full; You, who are the Infinite, have overlooked that I am finite; You, who are Wisdom, have overlooked my folly; Your wisdom, Your goodness, Your clemency, Your infinite good, have overlooked these infinite evils and sins, and the many others which are in me. Having known the truth through Your clemency, I have found Your charity, and the love of my neighbor. What has constrained me? Not my virtues, but only Your charity. May that same charity constrain You to illuminate the eye of my intellect with the light of faith, so that I may know and understand the truth which You have manifested to me. Grant that my memory may be capable of retaining Your benefits, that my will may burn in the fire of Your charity, and may that fire so work in me that I give my body to blood, and that by that blood given for love of the Blood, together with the key of obedience, I may unlock the door of Heaven. I ask this of You with all my heart, forevery rational creature, both in general and in particular, in the mystical body of the holy Church. I confess and do not deny that You loved me before I existed, and that Your love for me is ineffable, as if You were mad with love for Your creature. Oh, eternal Trinity! oh Godhead! which Godhead gave value to the Blood of Your Son, You, oh eternal Trinity, are a deep Sea, into which the deeper I enter the more I find, and the more I find the more I seek; the soul cannot be satiated in Your abyss, for she continually hungers after You, the eternal Trinity, desiring to see You with light in Your light. As the hart desires the spring of living water, so my soul desires to leave the prison of this dark body and see You in truth. How long, oh! Eternal Trinity, fire and abyss of love, will Your face be hidden from my eyes? Melt at once the cloud of my body. The knowledge which You have given me of Yourself in Your truth, constrains me to long to abandon the heaviness of my body, and to give my life for the glory and praise of Your Name, for I have tasted and seen with the light of the intellect in Your light, the abyss of You -- the eternal Trinity, and the beauty of Your creature, for, looking at myself in You, I saw myself to be Your image, my life being given me by Your power, oh! eternal Father, and Your wisdom, which belongs to Your only-begotten Son, shining in my intellect and my will, being one with Your Holy Spirit, who proceeds from You and Your Son, by whom I am able to love You. You, Eternal Trinity, are my Creator, and I am the work of Your hands, and I know through the new creation which You have given me in the blood of Your Son, that You are enamored of the beauty of Your workmanship. Oh! Abyss, oh! Eternal Godhead, oh! Sea Profound! what more could You give me than Yourself; You are the fire which ever burns without being consumed; You consume in Your heat all the soul's self-love; You are the fire which takes away all cold; with Your light You do illuminate me so that I may know all Your truth; You are that light above all light, which illuminates supernaturally the eye of my intellect, clarifying the light of faith so abundantly and so perfectly, that I see that my soul is alive, and in this light receives You -- the true light. By the Light of faith I have acquired wisdom in the wisdom of the Word -- Your only-begotten Son. In the light of faith I am strong, constant, and persevering. In the light of faith I hope, suffer me not to faint by the way. This light, without which I should still walk in darkness, teaches me the road, and for this I said, Oh! Eternal Father, that You have illuminated me with the light of holy faith. Of a truth this light is a sea, for the soul revels in You, Eternal Trinity, the Sea Pacific. The water of the sea is not turbid, and causes no fear to the soul, for she knows the truth; it is a deep which manifests sweet secrets, so that where the light of Your faith abounds, the soul is certain of what she believes. This water is a magic mirror into which You, the Eternal Trinity, bid me gaze, holding it with the hand of love, that I may see myself, who am Your creature, there represented in You, and Yourself in me through the union which You made of Your godhead with our humanity. For this light I know to represent to myself You -- the Supreme and Infinite Good, Good Blessed and Incomprehensible, Good Inestimable. Beauty above all beauty; Wisdom above all wisdom -- for You are wisdom itself. You, the food of the angels, have given Yourself in a fire of love to men; You, the garment which covers all our nakedness, feed the hungry with Your sweetness. Oh! Sweet, without any bitter, oh! Eternal Trinity, I have known in Your light, which You have given me with the light of holy faith, the many and wonderful things You have declared to me, explaining to me the path of supreme perfection, so that I may no longer serve You in darkness, but with light, and that I may be the mirror of a good and holy life, and arise from my miserable sins, for through them I have hitherto served You in darkness. I have not known Your truth and have not loved it. Why did I not know You? Because I did not see You with the glorious light of the holy faith; because the cloud of self-love darkened the eye of my intellect, and You, the Eternal Trinity, have dissipated the darkness with Your light. Who can attain to Your Greatness, and give You thanks for such immeasurable gifts and benefits as You have given me in this doctrine of truth, which has been a special grace over and above the ordinary graces which You give also to Your other creatures? You have been willing to condescend to my need and to that of Your creatures -- the need of introspection. Having first given the grace to ask the question, You reply to it, and satisfy Your servant, penetrating me with a ray of grace, so that in that light I may give You thanks. Clothe me, clothe me with You, oh! Eternal Truth, that I may run my mortal course with true obedience and the light of holy faith, with which light I feel that my soul is about to become inebriated afresh."