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.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Inward Recollection Helps Us to Know the Truth

Inward Recollection helps us to know the truth, especially moral truth. The supreme desire of him, who has fully given his heart to God, is, not merely that he may be happy and thus please himself, but that he may KNOW and DO God's will. Knowledge, therefore, (we do not mean all kinds of knowledge, but particularly that which has relation to the divine will,) is obviously of the greatest consequence. And those will know most, who are the most recollected. The truth opens itself to the mind, that faithfully perseveres in the state of inward recollection, with remarkable clearness. And the reason, in part, is, because the mind, in a religiously recollected state, ceases to be agitated by the passions.

The light of God shines as the sun at noon day; but our passions, like so many thick clouds opposed to it, are the reason that we cannot perceive it. Love, hatred, fear, hope, grief, joy, and other vicious passions filling our soul, blind it in such a manner that it sees nothing but what is sensible and suitable to it;  refusing all that is contrary to its own inclinations and being thus filled with itself, it is not capable of receiving the light of God. — Bourignon's Light in Darkness, p. 14.

Now there can be no question, that Inward Recollection secures the soul in a most remarkable degree, from inordinate passions. Such passions cannot well flourish, with the eye of God distinctly looking upon them. And accordingly, under such circumstances, the illuminative suggestions of the Holy Spirit readily enter the mind, and operate in it, and reveal the divine will. So that he, who walks in recollection, may reasonably expect to walk in the light of true knowledge and of a divine guidance.

And not only this, Inward Recollection tends to concentrate, and consequently to strengthen very much the action of the intellectual powers.  It  does this, in part, and indirectly, by disburdening the mind of those wandering thoughts and unnecessary cares and excitements, which, with scarcely any exception, overrun the minds of those who do not live in a recollected state.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd Edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 7.

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