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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Labor Inspired by Love

Another reason why the labor of the holy man, whose soul is in union with God, ceases to be labor in the ordinary sense of that term, is, that his labor is inspired by love. The labor of those who do everything from love, is a very different thing from the labor of those who act exclusively or chiefly from the impulse of conscience and the forced efforts of the will. The single circumstance of labor's being originated with or without the inspiration of the heart, makes all possible difference. The labor of the partially sanctified man, who stirs himself to action by reasonings and reflections, and by the efforts of the will, is the recreation, the happiness of the holy man. The holy man works without knowing that he works; because love converts what would otherwise be work into the spontaneous activity of a pleased and joyous nature. In doing what he loves to do, he labors just as much as the birds do when they fly in the air and sing; and just as much as the angels do, whose nature it is to fulfill the commands of their heavenly Father.

In  saying, therefore, that the holy soul rests from labor, we do not mean that it rests from action; but that its action is so easy and natural, so harmonious at the same time with the desires of the soul and with the arrangements of Providence, that it is exempt from the attributes of pain and distastefulness which are commonly associated with labor.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 8, Chapter 7.

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