1. In remembering Godís greatness and boundlessness,
let us not despair and think that we are too insignificant for His love.
Similarly, in recollecting the frightening depth of our fall, let us not doubt
the possibility of restoring within us virtues that have been deadened by sin.
Both one and the other are possible with God: to descend and enlighten our mind
through guidance, and also to restore virtues within us.
1. If suddenly temptation overtakes you, do not
blame the person through whom it came but endeavor to understand the reason for
its coming ó then you will achieve reform. Be it
through him or some other person, you still had to drink the bitterness from
the cup of Godís judgment.
1. In reflecting upon the benefits of Godís
judgment, a wise person gratefully endures
all misfortunes that befall him, not blaming anyone or
anything except his own sins. The unwise person, when he sins and then suffers
for his sins, grumbles at God or people, not comprehending Godís wise
1. Like doctors, when treating various physical
ailments, do not prescribe one medicine to everyone, so does God, in treating
our spiritual ailments, apply more than one suitable
type of ministration. But He does cure every soul with medicines that are
specifically beneficial to it. Let us thank Him for curing us, even though the
medicine did inflict suffering upon us.
2. He who has perceived the weakness of his nature
has also perceived through experience the helping power of God. And such a
person, having already accomplished some good deeds with this help and endeavoring
to perform others, will never try to abase others. Because he knows that just
as grace had helped and liberated him from many passions and misfortunes, by
Godís will, it is powerful enough to help all the other people, and in
particular those that have given themselves unto God. Although the person is
not released suddenly from his passions, the Merciful and Mankind-loving
Physician does heal everyone that hastens to Him.
3. He who believes and doesnít fulfill Godís
commandments is one that believes blindly. Because, if Godís commandments are
light, then it is evident that he who does not fulfill them remains without it,
supporting a groundless and not genuine knowledge of God.
4. Fear of God is twofold: one is born from the
threat of punishment. This engenders sequentially in us: abstinence, patience,
hope in God and absence of passions, from which love is born. The other fear is
joined with love itself and brings about a feeling of veneration, so that this
love does not exceed itself in boldness and start neglecting God. In this way,
one type of fear is virtuous and the other ó impure. Fear that arises from
sinning and the expectations of suffering is impure. Having its beginnings from
the acknowledgment of sinning, it will not last forever but disappear with the
dissolution of sin through repentance. But virtuous fear, free of dreaded
agitation caused by sins, will not leave and always remain in the soul because
itís mysteriously bound with God, manifesting a natural reverence before His
6. A pure prayer produces 2 types of elevated
consciousness. One is experienced by people leading active lives, the other ó
contemplative ones. The first type of elevated state that comes to one who
prays is from fear of and genuine trust in God, while the other ó from love of
God and great purity of heart. The symptom of the first is that a praying
person can exclude from his mind all earthly thoughts, praying without any
distractions or disturbances, standing before God Himself. The symptom of the second
is when the mind of the person praying becomes enlightened with Godís great
light. Then that person feels absolutely nothing ó neither himself
nor anything around him ó except The One Who, by His love, is enlightening him.
Being in such a state of enlightenment, the person receives pure and clear
knowledge of God.
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