Isaac the Syrian 3Continued from here….

When a man follows his discipline perfectly and when he has succeeded in rising above the degree of repentance,

and when he is near to taste the contemplation of his service,

when it is given him from above to taste the delight of spiritual knowledge,

a second working, after the first, will take its origin here.

In the first place man is assured concerning God’s care for him and illuminated concerning His love of the creatures — rational creatures — and His manifold care for the things which regard them.

Then there arises in him that sweetness of God and the flame of His love which burns in the heart and kindles all the affections of body and of soul.

And this power he will perceive in all the species of the creation and all things which he meets.

From time to time he will become drunk by it as by wine; his limbs will relax, his mind will stand still and his heart will follow God as a captive.

And so he will be, as I have said, like a man drunk by wine.

And according as his inner senses are strengthened, so this sight will be strengthened and according as he is careful about discipline and watchfulness and applies himself to recitation and prayer, so the power of sight will be founded and bound in him.

In truth, my brethren, he that reaches this from time to time, will not remember that he is clad with a body, nor will he know that he is in the world.

This is the beginning of spiritual sight in a man, and this is the principle of all intellectual revelations.

By this the intellect will be educated unto hidden things and become mature, and by this he will be gradually elevated unto other things which are higher than human nature.

In short, by this will be conducted unto man all divine visions and spiritual revelations which the saints receive in this world.

Thus nature can become acquainted with the gift of revelations that happen in this life. This is the root of our apperception in our Creator.

Blessed is he that has preserved this good seed when it fell in his soul, and has made it to increase, without destroying it by idle things and by the distraction of that which is transitory.

Isaac the Syrian (c. 630-c. 700): Mystic Treatises, 47, in Mystical Treatises of Isaac of Nineveh, trans. A.J. Wensinck, pp.226-227.

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