A Series of Quotes from The Cloud of Unknowing: Moderation

no moderation

“Now if you ask me what sort of moderation you should observe in the contemplative work, I will tell you: none at all. In everything else, such as eating, drinking, and sleeping, moderation is the rule.  Avoid extremes of heat and cold; guard against too much and too little in reading, prayer, or social involvement.  In all these things, I say again, keep to the … Continue reading

Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They … Continue reading

So Many Skins

meister

“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves. Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” – Meister Eckhart … Continue reading

A Poem by St. John of the Cross

His experience of the soul’s seeking, and finding, its Beloved God… One dark night, fired with love’s urgent longings -ah, the sheer grace!- I went out unseen, my house being now all stilled. In darkness, and secure, by the secret ladder, disguised, -ah, the sheer grace!- in darkness and concealment, my house being now all stilled. On that glad night, in secret, for no one … Continue reading

Intimacy with God: Review

Synopsis:  “We are summoned into the presence of God by the fact of our birth, but we become present to God only by our consent.  As our faculties and capacities to relate gradually develop and unfold, the capacity to enter into relationship with God increases, and each new depth of presence requires a new consent.”  Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer, by Thomas … Continue reading

Freedom from Self

ego

“Conversion, the movement toward the Lord, is a process of disenchantment with the ego, recognizing how truly afraid and poor it is.  The only way people can ever be freed from their fears is to be freed from themselves.  There is almost a complete correlation between the amount of fear in our lives and the amount of attachment we have to ourselves.  The person who … Continue reading

Reluctant Saint

“Francis was no theoretician of the spiritual life.  He never spoke of God in any but experiential terms, because he was a witness to a living and acting God.  He could speak only of what he saw, heard and felt.  In this regard, he remains before us, across the centuries, as an example of what God can do – which is primarily to astonish, to … Continue reading

Crimes and Misdemeanors

. This movie is a hot mess of the interplay between moral philosophy and the existence/non-existence of God…and I mean that in the best way possible.  Just watched Woody’s newest, Blue Jasmine.  All I can say is “Wha happened?“  His old stuff is still good though… … Continue reading

Karl Barth on the Word of God

karl barth

“This is what we mean when we call the Bible God’s Word…The Bible is God’s Word to the extent that God causes it to be His Word, to the extent He speaks through it…The Bible, then, becomes God’s Word in this event, and in the statement that the Bible is God’s Word, the little word “is” refers to its being in this becoming.” – Karl … Continue reading

A Thought on our Motivations

motivation

Most of us are motivated primarily by: The felt evolutionary-biological need to reproduce. Our own vanity. I’m not sure which is a function of the other. The saints, losing their individual wills, are motivated by the love of God and neighbor.  Every once in a while we get the chance to experience what the saints do.  And it’s nice. … Continue reading

Three Questions

three-questions

It once occurred to a certain king, that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake. And this thought having occurred to him, he … Continue reading

A Series of Quotes from the Cloud of Unknowing: Sin Destroyed and Goodness Nourished

killing-sin

In Chapter 12, Anonymous tells his novice “That in contemplation sin is destroyed and every kind of goodness is nourished”: And so to stand firmly and avoid pitfalls, keep to the path you are on.  Let your longing relentlessly beat upon the cloud of unknowing that lies between you and your God.  Pierce that cloud with the keen shaft of your love, spurn the thought … Continue reading

Donnie Darko

Now that I’m recommending movies, just have to put down my all time favorite, even if there isn’t much theological import outside of some struggling with the problem of evil. Close this tab. Somehow attain this movie. View. Clean up the goop spilling out of your ears due to your mind being blown. … Continue reading

Cafe

First movie recommendation on the blog.  Café.  It’s on Netflix.  Theological motifs sprinkled liberally.  The trailer makes it look like a romantic comedy.  It’s not.  That’s like one of six storylines running through the film.  Whoever did that trailer should be fired. You’re going to like the way it looks, I guarantee it.   … Continue reading

A Series of Quotes from The Cloud of Unknowing: Using One Word

In Chapter 7, Anonymous gives practical advice on how avoid distracting thoughts during contemplative prayer… It is inevitable that ideas will arise in your mind and try to distract you in a thousand ways.  They will question you saying, “What are you looking for, what do you want?”  To all of them you must reply, “God alone I seek and desire, only him.” If they … Continue reading