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.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Freedom from Self-Reflective Acts

It is a further characteristic of the mental state, [often called interior annihilation], that a person in this state of mind has no disposition to exercise self-reflecting acts, originating either in undue self-love or in a want of faith. What I mean to say is, that, when he has done his duty, he no longer turns back upon himself and asks, as the half-way Christian often does, What does the world think of me? Divested of all selfish purposes and aims, and having no will of his own, he acts deliberately and supremely for God; and therefore he feels that whatever is done, so far as motives and intentions are concerned, is well done. In that respect no trouble enters his mind. There is no need of retrospection; no need of apologies to cavillers. Indeed, he can scarcely be said to exercise retrospective acts and rejections upon himself in any sense whatever. Such acts seem to be, to some extent, inconsistent with the fact, that his heart is fixed exclusively upon an object out of himself.  What is done stands written in the record of his Divine Master; and there he leaves it. His whole soul is given to the present moment. The present moment is given to God.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 12.

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