Sunday, 9 September 2007

Tracing the Silver Lines

Reading the St. John of the Cross' Spiritual Canticle in the bath tonight, the following stanza shone:
O spring like crystal!
If only, on your silvered-over faces,
you would suddenly form
the eyes I have desired,
which I bear sketched deep within my heart.
The words of the Mystical Doctor illustrate poignantly an analogous (mark that word!) experience that I have been having for many months now.
I struggle to pray. I do not mean the sudden blazes of prayer that no-one can resist, which strike unexpectedly in the most mundane of circumstances ... nor do I mean that my belief in the Apostolic Faith has in any way waned. What I mean is perhaps hard to explain, but I shall try.
If I utter His Name in the forced silence of my heart, the fingers of my soul trace carefully, lingeringly, the silver outline of a cross. But I cannot feel it; It is cold, but only in the absence of heat.
The days where the rhythm of the liturgical hours were as a second heartbeat have passed, and I beat upon the winds to return to it, but I have not. I dare not say I cannot.
I no longer want contemplation, or piety, or studiousness, or diligence, or knowledge of the truth. What I want is Christ. Just and simply, Christ. Whatever proceeds forth from him then, may be.
How I hate the piety of these words, and how I hate the saintly image they construct.

Christ, banish these illusions!
Let me be.

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