John Mason Neale: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Tuesday, Dec 17 2013 

John_Mason_NealeO come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
who orderest all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. 

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them victory over the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times once gave the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
an ensign of thy people be;
before thee rulers silent fall;
all peoples on thy mercy call.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Anonymous Latin Author (12th Century[?]): translated from the Latin Veni, Veni, Emmanuel by John Mason Neale (1818-1866) in Mediaeval Hymns (1851).

John Ruusbroec: By Gentleness and Kindness, Charity is Kept Quick and Fruitful Monday, Nov 26 2012 

From the renunciation of self-will springs patience.

[…] Patience is a peaceful endurance of all things that may befall a man either from God or from the creatures.

Nothing can trouble the patient man; neither the loss of earthly goods, of friends and kinsmen, nor sickness, nor disgrace, nor life, nor death, nor purgatory, nor devil, nor hell.

For he has abandoned himself in perfect charity to the will of God, and…everything that God imposes on him, in time and in eternity, is light to him.

By this patience a man is also adorned and armed against peevishness and sudden wrath, and impatience in suffering which often stir a man from within and from without, and lay him open to many temptations.

From this patience there spring meekness and kindliness, for none can be meek in adversity save the patient man.

Meekness gives a man peace and rest in all things.

For the meek man can bear provoking words and ways…and every kind of injustice towards himself and his friends, and yet in all things remain in peace; for meekness is peaceful endurance.

By meekness the irascible…power remains unmoved, in quietude; the desirous power is uplifted toward virtue; the rational power, perceiving this, rejoices.

And the conscience, tasting it, rests in peace; for the second mortal sin – anger, fury, or wrath – has been cast out.

For the Spirit of God dwells in the humble and the meek; and Christ says: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth – that is, their own nature and all earthly things…, and after that the Country of Life in Eternity.

Out of the same source wherein meekness takes its rise springs kindliness, for none can be kind save the meek man.

This kindness makes a man show a friendly face, and give a cordial response, and do compassionate deeds, to those who are quarrelsome, when he hopes that they will come to know themselves and mend their ways.

By gentleness and kindness, charity is kept quick and fruitful in man, for a heart full of kindness is like a lamp full of precious oil,

For the oil of mercy enlightens the erring sinner with good example, and with words and works of comfort it anoints and heals those whose hearts are wounded or grieved or perplexed.

And it is a fire and a light for those who dwell in the virtues, in the fire of charity; and neither jealousy nor envy can perturb it.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 1, 15-17.

Julian of Norwich: The Humility of a Sinful Soul is a Lovely Thing Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 

Our good Lord showed me the enmity of the fiend, from which I gathered that everything opposed to love and peace comes from the fiend and his set.

Inevitably we fall because of our weakness and stupidity – and just as surely we get up with even greater joy because of the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Even if our enemy gains something from us when we fall (this is what he likes!), he loses very much more because of our love and humility when we get up again.

This glorious rising up gives him such sorrow and pain (he hates our soul so much) that he burns and burns with envy.

[…] The remedy is to be aware of our wretchedness, and to fly to our Lord. The greater our need, the more important it is to draw near to him.

Let our meaning be, ‘I am well aware that my suffering is deserved. Our Lord is almighty, and may punish me mightily; he is all-wise, and can punish me wisely; and he is all-good, and loves me most tenderly.’

And with the sight of this we have got to stay. The humility of a sinful soul is a lovely thing, and is a work of the Spirit’s mercy and grace, when we consciously and gladly accept the scourge and punishment given by our Lord himself.

It even becomes gentle and bearable when we are really content with him and with what he does.

[…] This was shown, with particular and loving emphasis, that we are to accept and endure humbly whatever penance God himself gives us, with his blessed passion ever in mind.

[…] Our Lord is with us, protecting us and leading us into fullness of joy. For it is an unending source of joy to us that our Lord should intend that he, our protector here, is to be our bliss there – our way and our heaven is true love and sure trust!

This is the message of all the revelations, and particularly in that of his passion where he made me wholeheartedly choose him to be my heaven.

Flee to our Lord, and we shall be strengthened. Touch him, and we shall be cleansed. Cling to him, and we shall be safe and sound from every danger.

For it is the will of our courteous Lord that we should be as much at home with him as heart may think or soul desire.

But we must be careful not to accept this privilege so casually that we forget our own courtesy.

For our Lord himself is supremely friendly, and he is as courteous as he is friendly: he is very courteous.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416): Showings, 77, 6); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Friday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time, Year 2

John Ruusbroec: When Christ That Bright Sun Has Risen In Our Hearts Above All Things Tuesday, Apr 17 2012 

When Christ that bright Sun has risen in our hearts above all things;

when the demands of our bodily nature which are opposed to the spirit have been curbed and discreetly set in order;

when we have achieved the virtues in the way of which you have heard in the first degree;

when, lastly, through the ardour of our charity, all the pleasure, and all the peace, which we experience in these virtues, have been offered up and devoted to God, with thanksgiving and praise:

—then, of all this there may come down a sweet rain of new inward consolation and the heavenly dew of the sweetness of God.

This makes the virtues grow, and multiplies them twofold if we hinder it not.

This is a new and special working, and a new coming, of Christ into the loving heart.

And by it a man is lifted up into a higher state than that in which he was before.

On this height Christ says: Go ye out according to the way of this coming.

From this sweetness there springs a well-being of the heart and of all the bodily powers, so that a man thinks himself to be inwardly enfolded in the divine embrace of love.

This delight and this consolation are greater and more pleasant to the soul and the body than all the satisfactions of the earth, even though one man should enjoy them all together.

In this well-being God sinks into the heart by means of His gifts; with so much savoury solace and joy that the heart overflows from within.

This makes a man comprehend the misery of those who live outside love.

This well-being melts the heart to such a degree, that the man cannot contain himself through the fulness of inward joy.

From this rapturous delight springs spiritual inebriation.

Spiritual inebriation is this: that a man receives more sensible joy and sweetness than his heart can either contain or desire.

[…]  This is the most rapturous life (as regards our bodily feelings) which man may attain upon earth.

Sometimes the excess of joy becomes so great that the man thinks that his heart must break.

And for all these manifold gifts and miraculous works, he shall, with a humble heart, thank and praise and honour and reverence the Lord, Who can do all this; and thank Him with fervent devotion because it is His will to do all this.

And the man shall always keep in his heart and speak through his mouth with sincere intention: “Lord, I am not worthy of this; yet I have need of Thy boundless goodness and of Thy support.”

In such humility he may grow and rise into higher virtues.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 2,17-19.

John Ruusbroec: The Holy Spirit Stirs the Heart and All the Powers of the Soul until they Boil Friday, May 13 2011 

From inward gratitude and praise there arises a twofold grief of the heart and torment of desire.

The first grief is that we feel ourselves to lag behind in thanking, praising, glorifying and serving God.

The second is, that we do not grow in charity, in virtue, in faith, and in perfect behaviour as much as we desire, that we may become worthy to thank and praise and serve God as it is proper to do.

This is the second grief. These two are root and fruit, beginning and end, of all inward virtues.

Inward grief and pain for our shortcomings in virtue and the praise of God, is the highest effect of this first degree of the inward exercise; and by it this degree is perfectly achieved.

Now consider in a similitude, how this inward exercise should be performed.

When the natural fire has by its heat and power stirred water, or some other liquid, until it bubbles up; then this is its highest achievement.

Then the water boils up and falls down to the bottom, and is then stirred again to the same activity by the power of the fire: so that the water is incessantly bubbling up, and the fire incessantly stirring it.

And so likewise works the inward fire of the Holy Spirit.

It stirs and goads and drives the heart and all the powers of the soul until they boil; that is, until they thank and praise God in the way of which I have told you.

And then one falls down to that very ground, where the Spirit of God is burning.

So that the fire of love ever burns, and the man’s heart ever thanks and praises God with words and with works and yet always abides in lowliness; esteeming that which he should do and would do to be great, and that which he is able to do to be small.

When summer draws near and the sun rises higher, it draws the moisture out of the earth through the roots, and through the trunks of the trees, into the twigs; and hence come foliage, flower, and fruit.

So likewise, when Christ the Eternal Sun rises and ascends in our hearts, so that it is summer in the adornment of our virtues, He gives His light and His heat to our desires.

He draws the heart from all the multiplicity of earthly things, and brings about unity and inwardness.

He makes the heart grow and bring forth the leaves of inward love, the flowers of ardent devotion, and the fruits of thanksgiving and praise.

He makes these fruits to endure eternally, in humble grief, because of our shortcomings.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 2,14-16.

Julian of Norwich: And We Shall Be Full Of Joy Saturday, May 7 2011 

I watched with all my might for the moment when Christ would expire, and I expected to see his body quite dead.

But I did not see him so, and just at the moment when by appearances it seemed to me that life could last no longer, and that the revelation of his end must be near, suddenly, as I looked at the same Cross, he changed to an appearance of joy.

The change in his blessed appearance changed mine, and I was as glad and joyful as I could possibly be.

And then cheerfully our Lord suggested to my mind: “Where is there now an instant of your pain or of your grief?”

And I was very joyful.

I understood that in our Lord’s intention we are now on his Cross with him in our pains, and in our sufferings we are dying, and with his help and his grace we willingly endure on that same Cross until the last moment of life.

Suddenly he will change his appearance for us, and we shall be with him in heaven.

Between the one and the other, all will be a single era; and then all will be brought into joy.

And this was what he meant in this revelation: “Where is there now an instant of your pain or of your grief?”

And we shall be full of joy.

And here I saw truly that if he revealed to us now his countenance of joy, there is no pain on earth or anywhere else which could trouble us, but everything would be joy and bliss for us.

But because he shows us his suffering countenance, as he was in this life as he carried his Cross, we are therefore in suffering and labour with him as our nature requires.

And the reason why he suffers is because in his goodness he wishes to make heirs of us with him in his joy.

And for this little pain which we suffer here we shall have an exalted and eternal knowledge in God which we could never have without it.

And the harder our pains have been with us on his Cross, the greater will our glory be with him in his kingdom.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416): Showings, translated by Edmund Colledge OSA and James Walsh SJ (New York: Paulist Press, Classics of Western Spirituality, 1978), ch. 21, pp. 214-215.

John Ruusbroec: We Should Thank God Here on Earth that Hereafter We may Thank Him in Eternity Monday, Mar 14 2011 

Inward devotion often brings forth gratitude; for none can thank and praise God so well as the inward and devout man.

And it is just that we should thank and praise God, because He has created us as reasonable creatures, and has ordained and destined heaven and earth and the angels to our service;

and because He became man for our sins, and taught us, and lived for our sake, and showed us the way;

and because He has ministered to us in humble raiment, and suffered an ignominous death for the love of us, and promised us His eternal kingdom and Himself also for our reward and for our wage.

And He has spared us in our sins, and has forgiven us or will forgive us;

and has poured His grace and His love into our souls, and will dwell and remain with us, and in us, throughout eternity.

And He has visited us and will visit us all the days of our lives with His noble sacraments, according to the need of each;

and has left us His Flesh and His Blood for food and drink, according to the desire and the hunger of each;

and has set before us nature and the Scriptures and all creatures, as examples, and as a mirror, that therein we may look and learn how we may turn all our deeds to works of virtue;

and has given us health and strength and power, and sometimes for our own good has sent us sickness;

and in outward need has established inward peace and happiness in us;

[…] For all these things we should thank God here on earth, that hereafter we may thank Him in eternity.

We should also praise God by means of everything that we can offer to Him.

To praise God, means that all his life long a man glorifies, reverences and venerates the Divine Omnipotence.

The praise of God is the meet and proper work of the angels and the saints in heaven, and of loving men on earth.

God should be praised by desire, by the lifting up of all our powers, by words, by works, with body and with soul, and faith whatsoever one possesses; in humble service, from without and from within.

He who does not praise God while here on earth shall in eternity be dumb.

To praise God is the dearest and most joyous work of every loving heart; and the heart which is full of praise desires that every creature should praise God.

The praise of God has no end, for it is our bliss; and most justly shall we praise Him in eternity.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 2,13.

John Ruusbroec: A Sensible Fire of Love, which the Spirit of God has Blown to a Flame Friday, Feb 25 2011 

Christ…by His inward coming and by the power of His Spirit, enlightens and brightens and enkindles the free heart and all the powers of the soul.

[…] Of this ardour there springs unity of heart; for we cannot achieve true unity unless the Spirit of God blows to a flame His fire in our hearts.

For this fire makes one with itself and like to itself all that it can master and re-shape.

Unity is this: that a man feel himself to be gathered together with all his powers in the unity of his heart.

Unity brings inward peace and restfulness of heart.

Unity of heart is a bond which draws together body and soul, heart and senses, and all the outward and inward powers and encloses them in the union of love.

From this unity springs inwardness; for none can be inward save him who is gathered together in unity within himself.

Inwardness means that a man is turned within, into his own heart, that thereby he may understand and feel the interior workings, and the interior words of God.

Inwardness is a sensible fire of love, which the Spirit of God has blown to a flame, and which urges a man from within; and he knows not whence it comes nor what has befallen him.

From inwardness there springs a sensible love, which fulfills the man’s heart and the desirous power of the soul.

This yearning love, and this sensible fruition of the heart, none can have save he who is inward of heart.

Sensible love is a yearning and savouring delight which we feel in God as the eternal Good, wherein are all other goods.

Sensible love forsakes all creatures as regards pleasure, not as regards need.

Inward love feels itself moved from within by the Eternal Love; and this it must ever cherish.

Inward love easily foregoes and despises all things that it may obtain that which it loves.

Of this sensible love is born devotion to God and to His glory.

For none can have within his heart the hunger of devotion save him who bears within himself a sensible love of God.

Where the fire of love sends up the flames of its desire to heaven, there is devotion.

Devotion moves and draws a man, both from without and from within, towards the service of God.

Devotion makes body and soul to blossom in nobility and worth before God and before all men.

Devotion is demanded of us by God in every service which we ought to do to Him.

Devotion purifies the body and the soul of everything that can stop and hinder us.

Devotion shows and bestows the right way at blessedness.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 2,8-12.


John Ruusbroec: Christ, by His Inward Coming and the Power of His Spirit, Enkindles the Free Heart Thursday, Dec 16 2010 

The first coming of Christ in the exercise of desire is, as we have said, an inward and sensible thrust of the Holy Ghost, urging and driving us towards all virtues.

This coming may be likened to the splendour and the power of the sun, which, from the moment when it rises, enlightens and brightens and warms the whole world. .

So likewise Christ, the eternal Sun, beams and shines, dwelling above the summit of the spirit; and enlightens and enkindles the lowest part of man, namely, the fleshly heart and the sensible powers.

And this happens in a moment of time, shorter than the twinkling of an eye; for God’s work is swift.

But that man in whom this should take place must be inwardly seeing, with the eyes of the understanding.

In the higher lands, in the middle region of the world, the sun shines upon the mountains, bringing an early summer there, with good fruits and strong wine, and filling that land with joy.

The same sun gives its splendour to the lower lands, at the utmost part of the earth. There the country is colder, and the power of the heat less; nevertheless, there too it produces many good fruits, though little wine.

The men who dwell in the lower parts of themselves, in their outward senses, yet with a good intention, in moral virtues, in outward work, and in the grace of God: they too produce the good fruits of virtue, in great numbers and in many ways; but of the wine of inward joy and ghostly consolation they taste little.

Now the man who wishes to feel within himself the glow of the Eternal Sun, which is Christ Himself, he should be seeing, and should dwell on the mountains in the higher lands, by a gathering together of all his powers, and lifting up his heart towards God, free and careless of joy and grief, and of all created things.

There Christ, the Sun of righteousness, shines upon the free and uplifted heart: and these are the mountains that I mean.

Christ, the glorious Sun, the Divine Brightness, by His inward coming and by the power of His Spirit, enlightens and brightens and enkindles the free heart and all the powers of the soul. And this is the first work of the inward coming in the exercise of desire.

Like as the power and the nature of fire enkindles everything which is offered to the flames, so Christ, by the fiery ardour of His inward coming, enkindles every ready, free and uplifted heart; and in this coming He says: “Go ye out by exercises according to the way of this coming”.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 2,8.

John Ruusbroec: God Is More Inward To Us Than We Are To Ourselves Wednesday, Mar 3 2010 

From this unity, wherein the spirit is united with God without intermediary, grace and all gifts flow forth.

And out of this same unity, where the spirit rests above itself in God, Christ the Eternal Truth says: Behold, The Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him.

Christ, who is the light of Eternal Truth, says: Behold: for through Him we become seeing; for He is the light of the Father, and without Him there were no light, neither in heaven nor on earth.

This speaking of Christ within us is nothing else than an inrush of His light and His grace.

This grace pours into us in the unity of our higher powers and of our spirit; wherefrom, through the power of the grace received, the higher powers flow out to become active in all virtues, and whereto, because of the bond of love, they ever return again.

[…] Now the grace of God, pouring forth from God, is an inward thrust and urge of the Holy Ghost, driving forth our spirit from within and exciting it towards all virtues.

This grace flows from within, and not from without; for God is more inward to us than we are to ourselves, and His inward thrust or working within us, be it natural or supernatural, is nearer to us and more intimate to us, than our own working is.

And therefore God works in us from within outwards; but all creatures work from without inwards.

And thus it is that grace, and all the gifts of God, and the Voice of God, come from within, in the unity of our spirit; and not from without, into the imagination, by means of sensible images.

John Ruusbroec (1293-1381): The Spiritual Espousals, 2.

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