-John of the Cross 1542-1591
The Spiritual Canticle
Yet you inquire: Since Him Whom my soul loves is within me, why don’t I find Him or experience Him?
The reason is that He remains concealed and you do not also conceal yourself in order to encounter and experience Him. Anyone who is to find a hidden treasure must enter the hiding place secretly and once he has discovered it, he will also be hidden just as the treasure is hidden. Since, then, your beloved Bridegroom is the treasure hidden in a field, for which the wise merchant sold all his possessions [Matt. 13:44], and that field is your soul, in order to find Him you should forget all your possessions and all creatures and hide in the interior, secret chamber of your spirit. And there, closing the door behind you (your will to all things), you should pray to your Father in secret [Matt. 6:6]. Remaining hidden with Him, you will experience Him in hiding, and love and enjoy Him in hiding, and you will delight with Him in hiding, that is, in a way transcending all language and feeling.
- Sit in the darkness as you begin your time of silence.
- Use your deep breathing as you prepare yourself for prayer. As thoughts of distraction come to you, write them down to free you for your time in prayer.
- Continue to use your deep breathing until you feel a place of inward freedom.
- Rest in this inward freedom.
- Seek treasure in this place as you sit silently for 5 minutes.
- Now, light a candle remembering Christ’s presence with you.
- Seek treasure in this new light as you sit silently for 5 minutes.
- Take note of the different experiences paying close attention to what is going on inwardly.
- Where does the light reflect inwardly?
- Give thanks to God for the light which has been brought forth.
- Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 24 2011, Year A