Thursday, July 26, 2007

The mystic ladder of Divine love, according to Saint Bernard and Saint Thomas

WE observe, then, that the steps of this ladder of love by which the soul mounts, one by one, to God, are ten. The first step of love causes the soul to languish, and this to its advantage. The Bride is speaking from this step of love when she says: ‘I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, that, if ye find my Beloved, ye tell Him that I am sick with love.’

This sickness, however, is not unto death, but for the glory of God, for in this sickness the soul swoons as to sin and as to all things that are not God, for the sake of God Himself, even as David testifies, saying: ‘My soul hath swooned away’. —that is, with respect to all things, for Thy salvation. For just as a sick man first of all loses his appetite and taste for all food, and his colour changes, so likewise in this degree of love the soul loses its taste and desire for all things and changes its colour and the other accidentals of its past life, like one in love. The soul falls not into this sickness if excess of heat be not communicated to it from above, even as is expressed in that verse of David which says: Pluviam voluntariam segregabis, Deus, haereditati tuae, et infirmata est, etc. This sickness and swooning to all things, which is the beginning and the first step on the road to God, we clearly described above, when we were speaking of the annihilation wherein the soul finds itself when it begins to climb this ladder of contemplative purgation, when it can find no pleasure, support, consolation or abiding-place in anything soever. Wherefore from this step it begins at once to climb to the second.

From CHAPTER XIX of Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross


hello said...

interesting post. divine love is such a universal concept. check out this site on divine love for articles on divine love from Christan and Hindu saints at

iggy said...

Hello, Hello,


I want to say that there are great similarities in the philosophies, yet the biggest different is that of living by principles or by the Life of Jesus Christ.

In that I am a Christian, I beleive that Jesus is:

The fulfillment of all Spiritual Law

Spiritual Light is the Person of Jesus Christ as He is God incarnate and the only incarnate Son of God.

Spiritual Love is Literally Jesus Christ and as your article stated God is Love. Yet I see that to say Love is God deifies the attribute of God and is liken to worshiping God for His parts of being instead of His whole being.

I have written on this in an post called ~ emerging thought in Montana ~: The parts make the man?

The idea is that we must accept God as He has revealed Himself... and I see that the fullest of this was through Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Life! Again, I see that the biggest difference is that God did not come to live in my life but to bring me into His. God did not come to live in the kingdom of my heart, but to give me a new heart and bring me into His Kingdom.

I see that though I have let your comment go through I respectfully do not endorse the teachings on your site. I hope that in this dialog you can see the difference in the path of St John of the Cross and the teachings of the Hindi saints.

I do thank you for you comments and again, do respect you views. Yet, I see that many things seem to deny the truth I have found in Jesus.

Be Blessed on your journey towards truth,