|If a person wishes to penetrate further, with his active love, into fruitive love: then, all the powers of his soul must give way, and they must suffer and patiently endure that piercing Truth and Goodness which is God's self.
For, as the air is penetrated by the brightness and heat of the sun, and iron is penetrated by fire; so that it works through fire the works of fire, since it burns and shines like the fire; and so likewise it can be said of the air -- for, if the air had understanding, it could say: "I enlighten and brighten the whole world" -- yet each of these keeps its own nature.
For the fire does not become iron, and the iron does not become fire, though their union is without means; for the iron is within the fire and the fire within the iron; and so also the air is in the sunshine and the sunshine in the air.
So likewise is God in the being of the soul; and whenever the soul's highest powers are turned inward with active love, they are united with God without means, in a simple knowledge of all truth, and in an essential feeling and tasting of all good. Therefore, we must perpetually turn inwards and be renewed by love, if we would seek out love through love.
By Blessed John Ruysbroeck (1293-1381). Excerpted from An Anthology of Mysticism
© Copyright 1935, published by Burns and Oates Ltd., London, England.
This reprint appeared in the May/June 98 issue of Union Life.