In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Captivated

I've long been captivated by journals of Christians who lived before me.

Today I read a devotion entitled "The Embrace". It was more like a personal journal excerpt, by someone who's apparently well known in some circles but new to me; Hugh of St. Victor.

He totally caught me with that first line:

"What is that sweet thing that comes sometimes to touch me at the thought of God?"

He goes on to speak from two vantages, that of the soul and that of the man. He's having that inward conversation with himself in which we all engage. In the soul he's reflecting on the experience of encountering God. He speaks with such winsome passion:

"I lose memory of my former trials, my soul rejoices, my mind becomes clearer, my heart is enflamed, my desires are satisfied. I feel myself transported into a new place, I know not where, I grasp something interiorly as with the embraces of love."

He goes on to speak of how he engages to:

"struggle deliciously to prevent myself leaving this thing which I desire to embrace forever"

He arrives at that point where I so long to live my life from, where he can sincerely say:

"I had at last found the goal of all my desires. I seek for nothing more. I wish for nothing more."

He describes this experience of complete satisfaction within his soul, encountering his God. But from the man vantage he explains how God allows us just bits of His presence, so wonderful that we are overwhelmed. Those experiences which allow us, as followers of God, to:

"in the times of His absence thou shalt console thyself; and during His visits thou shalt renew thy courage which is ever in need of heartening."

I so often hear Christians today speak about needing those times of prayer and meditation, those quiet times, to enable us to live our lives as God wants. I hear this so often that sometimes it becomes meaningless to me.

But I love the peek into Hugh of St. Victor's quiet time; a look into how rapturous it can be, and what that rapture can reap in my life.

What are some of the things that you have read, or are currently reading, that help you rekindle your excitement about taking away time to be alone with God?

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