But in order that the mind obtain the fulfillment of its desire, it must imitate the divine inflow.

Thus, just as the spiritual sun of the heavenly city of Jerusalem shines, as far as concerns itself, upon the good and the evil with rays of its goodness, so it is necessary that the mind prayerfully seek, with all its might, the mercy of the Creator not only for itself or for its kinsmen but also for all those who are engraven with the image of the most blessed Trinity, so that just as God created all and redeemed all so too He may deign mercifully to aid all without distinction of persons.

And, assuredly, by means of so praying, the mind will quite quickly call forth the divine mercy – insofar as the mind imitates the vestiges of the Creator-of-all-things and the Redeemer-of-all-mortals, who sheds His love on all men most diffusely.

Unless for a brief while the intercession of the one praying both for himself and for others is concentrated in a particular way (although love is always such as to be diffused), the one who is earnestly praying will adopt, for others as for himself, the same affectional manner (regardless of the measure of its smallness), speaking as follows:

“O good, beautiful, sweet, merciful Lord, have mercy on all sinners, whom You have redeemed by Your most precious blood.”

And then, as best he can, let him have the following representation when he says “have mercy”: that the entire world be inclined toward its Creator through true worship and very worthy reverence.

Hugh of Balma (13th-14th Century): Mystical Theology, Via Purgativa, 10 (translated by Jasper Hopkins).


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