The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Monday, October 27, 2014

How Do We Come to Love God?

How can we obtain the basis of love which unites our will with God's will? How can we be made to possess that which we are not possessed of, by being made to love that which we do not love?  Especially as love, in that higher sense of the term which has been explained, is not human, but divine; not a thing created, but eternal.

The answer is, that God, in being a benevolent existence, necessarily loves to dispense his own nature, to enter into all hearts where there is a possibility of entrance, to pour out everywhere the radiance of his own brightness. What we have to do, then, is first to be emptied, in order that we may be filled; first to cease from self, that we may be recipients of that which is not self.

But how can we do this? Or how can we learn to do it? Daily, O man, is the Providence of God teaching thee, by perplexing human wisdom, by disappointing human efforts, and by showing, in a thousand ways, the blindness, the weakness, and the iniquity of selfishness. It is for this that thou art smitten. Sorrow is thy teacher. It is a hard lesson to learn, but still a necessary one, that a life out of the divine life is not life, but that the true life is from God. Our heavenly Father, in the infinite fulness of his nature, will pour out upon us the principle of holy love, as soon as we are ready to relinquish the opposing principle of self.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 4.

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