Mystický sňatek a zbožštění v Opravdovém životě v Bohu
Napsáno poustevnicí, žijící ve Velké Británii ve Walesu, která rozjímá poselství Opravdového života v Bohu Září 2005
The writings entitled True Life in God, (TLIG) speak constantly of God offering the world the grace of divinisation. To divinize means to make humans into gods by participation in the Divinity of the Godhead.
Poselství Opravdový život v Bohu stále hovoří o Bohu, který nabízí světu milost zbožštění. Tím je míněno „zbožštit“ člověka, dát mu účast (podíl) na Božství samotného Boha.
This concept can cause alarm to people unless they realise that it is another term for being gifted with Eternal Life. It is the Eternal Life of God. Christ promised it to us. St John's Gospel and epistles are full of Christ's promise. St Peter's letters allude to it and St Paul's letters to the seven churches are also full of it. This is why Jesus Christ came - that we may share His Divine Life; that we may be one with the Father as Christ and the Father are one. That is, not similar but as Christ and the Father are one - a divine union.
Může dojít k nedorozumění, neuvědomíme-li si, že je tím míněno právě obdarování věčným životem. Věčným životem, který nám byl dán a který nám Kristus přislíbil. Tyto přísliby najdeme v evangeliu sv. Jana a jeho listech. Zmínky jsou také v listech sv. Petra a v listech sv. Pavla adresovaných sedmi církvím. Právě proto Ježíš Kristu přišel – abychom měli účast na Jeho Božském Životě. Abychom tak mohli být v jednotě s Otcem, jako jsou Kristus a Otec jedno. Nikoliv podobní, ale tak jako jsou Kristus a Otec jedno – v Božské jednotě.
We are called to be sons and daughters of God. We are called to be the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head of His Body the Church. The Body is to completely one with its Divine Head. What Jesus Christ is by nature as the Son of God we are called to be by grace - each according to that degree or capacity to which God had in mind for us when He created us. Head and Body divinised with the Divine Eternal Life of God given to us in Christ Jesus which was won back for us by His redeeming life and death.
Jsme povoláni být syny a dcerami Boha. Jsme povoláni být Kristovým Tělem. Ježíš Kristus je Hlavou svého Těla, Církve. Tělo je pozdviženo na tu samou úroveň jako Jeho Božská Hlava. Ježíš Kristus je Božím Synem ze své přirozenosti, my jsme k tomu povoláni skrze milost, každý podle míry a schopnosti, které pro nás Bůh zamýšlel, když nás stvořil. Hlava a Tělo jsou pak sjednoceny (zbožštěny) Věčným Životem, který nám Ježíš Kristus svým životem a smrtí opět získal, a který je nám skrze Krista darován.
We are to be holy as our God is holy - not by coercion, but by willingly fulfilling the command of God (c.f. Leviticus 19:2 and Matthew 5:48); not out of duty like an abstract action but out of real love for God.
Only God is holy; "You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High Jesus Christ", we sing each Sunday and feast day. To be holy as God is holy is to be holy with the very holiness of God Himself. The holiness of God descends and God unites Himself to each one so that the very powers of the soul (memory, understanding and will) are in perfect union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When this union is total, utter, complete, that is divinization, nothing more, nothing less.
Máme být svatí, jako je svatý náš Bůh – ne z donucení, ale ochotným plněním Božích přikázání. „Buďte svatí, neboť já, Hospodin, váš Bůh, jsem svatý.“ (Levitikus 19,2) a opět „Buďte tedy dokonalí, jako je dokonalý váš nebeský otec.“ (Mt 5,48) Což neznamená konat skutky z povinnosti, ale z opravdové lásky k Bohu. Každou neděli i ve svátky zpíváme „Neboť Ty jediný jsi svatý, Ty jediný jsi Pán, Ty jediný jsi svrchovaný, Ježíši Kriste“. Být svatý, jako Bůh je svatý, znamená být svatý právě tou samou svatostí, jako Bůh Sám. Je to svatost Boží, která sestupuje na člověka a sjednocuje se s jeho duší. Schopnosti duše (paměť, porozumění a vůle) jsou pak v dokonalé jednotě s Otcem, Synem a Duchem Svatým. Když je tato jednota úplná, naprostá a dokončená, pak je to zbožštění. Nic více, ani méně.
The full union of the soul and the Trinity is termed Mystical Marriage. Mystical Marriage means that the Holy One, the Triune God, weds the soul to Himself in perfect fusion while the "spouse" retains perfect individuality and free will.
Úplná jednota duše s Trojicí se nazývá mystické manželství. Mystické manželství znamená, že Svatý, Trojjediný Bůh, se snoubí s duší v dokonalém splynutí, přičemž si „nevěsta“ zachovává naprostou jedinečnost a svobodnou vůli.
The Father in His Divine Power inheres and unites to the memory as understood as a power of the soul. The Eternal Son in His Divine Wisdom inheres and unites to the understanding as understood as a power of the soul. The Holy Spirit in His Divine Goodness inheres and unites to the human will as understood as a power of the soul. With The Divine presence in the powers of the soul the person thinks, acts, and speaks only as directly informed by God's Power, Wisdom and Goodness. The soul ceases to act outside the influence of the Divine Light. We call this "Christlikeness". People who meet a divinised person will describe the encounter as, "It was as though I were speaking to Jesus Himself".
Otec ve Své Božské Síle (Moci) je nerozlučnou součástí paměti tak, jak chápeme mohutnost (vlastnost) duše a sjednocuje se s ní. Věčný Syn ve Své Božské Moudrosti, je nerozlučnou součástí porozumění, tak jak chápeme mohutnost duše a sjednocuje se s ním. Duch Svatý ve Své Božské Dobrotě je nerozlučnou součástí lidské vůle tak, jak rozumíme mohutnosti duše a sjednocuje se s ní. Tyto tři atributy Nejsvětější trojice, které ustanovují Svojí aktivní přítomnost v mohutnostech duše, mají za následek, že člověk myslí, jedná a mluví jen jako prodchnut touto Silou, Moudrostí a Dobrem. Osoba začíná jednat pouze pod působením tohoto Božského Světla. Nazýváme to „připodobnění Kristu“. Lidé, kteří se setkali se zbožštěnou osobou, popisují toto setkání jako „Bylo to, jako kdybych mluvil se Samotným Ježíšem, nebo na Něj.“
The Father can only inhere the memory if it has pure hope . The Eternal Son can only inhere the understanding if it has pure faith . The Holy Spirit can only inhere the human will if it has pure charity . Put simply, hope empties the memory, faith empties the understanding and charity empties the will. These three powers of the soul have to be emptied by the theological virtues because these transcend human reason and logic. The purely human way of knowing, through the senses and discursive intellect, must be transcended before one can be disposed to unite with the transcendent God. All means must be proportionate to their end: must manifest a certain accord and likeness to the end. Peas will not cook until they reach the same temperature as the hot water. Logs will not burn until they reach the same degree of heat as the fire. Nothing, and no creature, can serve the understanding as a proportionate means to the attainment of God. Everything the intellect can understand, the will experience and the imagination picture, is most unlike and disproportionate to God. The void created by the Theological Virtues of faith, hope and charity are most like God in the sense that they adapt man's faculties for participation in the transcendent God. They lift man above himself, transform him, and dispose him to regain the fullness of the divine image and likeness wherein he was created and for which he was created.
Otec může přebývat v paměti pouze, má – li (duše) čistou naději (srov. Sv. Jan od Kříže – Výstup na Horu Karmel 3:1-15). Syn od Věčnosti může přebývat v porozumění pouze, má-li (duše) čistou víru (tamtéž 3:8-32). Duch Svatý může přebývat v lidské vůli pouze, má-li (duše) čistou lásku (tamtéž 3:16-45). Jednoduše řečeno, naděje vyprazdňuje paměť, víra vyprazdňuje porozumění a láska vyprazdňuje vůli. Tyto tři mohutnosti duše musí být vyprázdněny Božskými ctnostmi, protože tyto tři ctnosti přesahují lidský rozum a lidskou logiku. Pokud někdo nepřesahuje čistě lidský způsob poznání – poznání skrze smysly a logicky postupující intelekt, pak nemůže být disponován ke sjednocení s transcendentním (přesažným) Bohem. Všechny prostředky musí být úměrné svému cíli: musí vykazovat určitou shodu a podobnost s cílem. Hrách nebude uvařen, dokud nedosáhne stejné teploty, jakou má vroucí voda. Poleno nebude hořet, dokud nedosáhne stejné teploty, jakou má oheň. Nic a ani žádné stvoření nemůže podávat porozumění jako dostatečný prostředek k dosažení Boha. Všechno, čemu může intelekt porozumět, co může zakusit a představit si, je naprosto vzdálené a nepřiměřené Bohu. Prázdno je tedy vytvořeno Božskými ctnostmi víry, naděje a lásky. Tyto ctnosti jsou nejvíce podobné Bohu v tom smyslu, že přizpůsobují lidské schopnosti k účasti na přesažném (transcendentním) Bohu. Ony pozvedají člověka nad sebe sama, proměňují ho a disponují k opětnému získání plnosti Božského obrazu a podoby, ve které a pro kterou byl stvořen.
The Catholic Catechism, No. 1812 states, "The human virtues are rooted in the Theological Virtues which adapt man's faculties for participation in the Divine Nature: for the Theological Virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their ORIGIN, MOTIVE and OBJECT."
Katolický katechismus, článek 1812, říká „Lidské ctnosti jsou zakořeněny v božských ctnostech, které uzpůsobují lidské mohutnosti pro účast na božském životě. Božské ctnosti se vztahují přímo k Bohu. Uschopňují křesťany, aby žili v důvěrném vztahu k Nejsvětější Trojici. PÚVODEM, DÚVODEM i PŘEDMĚTEM božských ctností je trojjediný Bůh.“
The Four Cardinal Virtues are also infused in us by Holy Baptism along with the Three Theological Virtues. These seven virtues exercised in a heroic manner are the grounds for both beatification and canonisation. The Cardinal Virtues are Fortitude, Temperance, Justice and Prudence. All these will be fully operative in the Divinised Soul.
Čtyři kardinální ctnosti jsou nám též vlity do srdce, skrze Svatý Křest, spolu se třemi Božskými ctnostmi. Těchto sedm ctností v heroickém naplnění jsou základem pro blahoslavení a kanonizaci. Kardinální ctnosti jsou statečnost, moudrost, spravedlnost a mírnost. Všechny jsou plně činné ve zbožštěné duši.
Fortitude aids the passions of hope, despair, fear, daring (courage) and anger. These passions arise when difficulties are encountered in gaining good or avoiding evil. Temperance aids passions of love, hate, desire, dislike, pleasure and sadness (pain). These are concerned with good and evil without any perception of difficulty. Justice perfects the will in man's social actions. These three Cardinal Virtues are governed by the fourth, Prudence, which flows from charity within.
Statečnost pomáhá vznětlivým vášním: naději, zoufalství, strachu, odvaze(kuráži) a hněvu. Tyto vášně vystupují, když dojde k potížím při získávání dobra a odmítání zla. Statečnost je mravní ctnost, která při obtížích zabezpečuje pevnost a vytrvalost v úsilí o dobro nebo odmítání zla. (dodatek překladatele z katechizmu) Mírnost pomáhá otřeseným vášním: lásce, nenávisti, touze, odporu, radosti, smutku (bolesti). Tyto vášně jsou spojeny s dobrem a zlem za každých okolností bez jakéhokoliv vnímání nesnází. Spravedlnost zdokonaluje vůli (ochotu) v jednání vůči lidem. Tyto tři kardinální ctnosti jsou řízeny čtvrtou, moudrostí, která vyplývá z lásky samotné.
At Baptism all the Theological and Cardinal Virtues are infused into our soul by the Holy Trinity. When charity is the motive for all our actions these virtues are perfected by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. That is, one is first motivated by love of God, and then love of neighbour as God loves him. (John 13:34: "Love one another as I have loved you") The Holy Spirit's gifts are knowledge, understanding, fear of the Lord, wisdom, piety, fortitude and counsel.
Ve křtu nám jsou všechny Božské i kardinální ctnosti vlity do duše. Tyto ctnosti jsou zdokonalovány skrze Dary Ducha Svatého tak, že se láska stává motivem pro všechno naše jednání. Tudíž člověk je nejprve motivován láskou k Bohu tak, aby miloval svého bližního, jako Bůh miluje jeho. Milujte se navzájem, jako Já jsem vás miloval. (Jan 13,34). Dary Ducha Svatého jsou poznání, umění, bázně, moudrosti, zbožnosti, síly a rady.
Sin, every slightest movement of consent in the will contrary to the glory of God, whether or not externally expressed, clouds the transparency of the soul. Each "cloud" has to be cast out, evaporated, to restore transparency. This is effectuated by the co-operation of our free-will with the virtues. The "voids" created by the practised virtues are precisely this "transparency" through which the Divine Light inheres and thereby divinises us. Such divinisation is open to all, and only sincere repentance is needed to open the floodgates to grace for the journey to begin.
Hřích, sebemenší pohnutka souhlasu vůle proti slávě Boží, ať už je viditelně vyjádřena nebo ne, zahaluje čistotu duše. Každý „mrak“ musí být vypuzen, zemřít, k obnovení čistoty. Toto je působeno spoluprací naší svobodné vůle s ctnostmi. „Vyprázdnění“, o kterém jsme hovořili v předchozí kapitole, a které je vytvořeno praktikováním božských ctností, je přesně touto „čistotou“, ve které Božské Světlo přebývá a takto ji zbožšťuje. Takové zbožštění se otevírá pro všechny, zapotřebí je pouze upřímné pokání, které otevírá stavidla milosti pro zahájení cesty. V Opravdovém životě v Bohu čteme:
In True Life in God we find:
all souls to which I am joined become brides as well, for in My intimate relationship I have with them I become their Bridegroom each day of their life; and so it will be with you if you will be enamoured of Us; voluntarily you will thrust yourself in Me and savour the fullness of My Divine Love; from your birth I was eager to possess you and while I was seeing you grow I was, in secret, already celebrating our betrothals; I would have flown to you at your first sign of repentance I would cry out pounding My Royal Sceptre:
and would brand your forehead with My fiery baptismal kiss fragrancing all the universe; this would be a foresign of our matrimonial celebration, and I would offer you as a gift of My Love to you a crown made of the most fragrant flowers
each of its petals representing a virtue; only then would you be able to say, "I see..." and truly mean it.
("Odes of the Holy Trinity" page 49)
Všechny duše, se kterými jsem spojen, se také staly nevěstami, protože v Mém důvěrném vztahu s nimi jsem se stal jejich Ženichem každý den jejich života. Stejné to bude i s tebou, jestliže zahoříš láskou k Nám. Svobodně se vrhneš ke Mně a okusíš plnost Mé Božské Lásky.
Od tvého narození jsem toužil tě vlastnit a když jsem tě viděl vyrůstat, již jsem tajně oslavoval naše zásnuby. Vrhl bych se k tobě při prvním znamení tvé lítosti a před tím, než bys dokončila své pokání, křičel bych a kynul svým královským žezlem.
Tvé čelo bych označil Svým vášnivým křestním polibkem, který naplňuje celý vesmír. Ten by předznamenal naši snubní oslavu a Já bych ti nabídl jako dar Mé Lásky korunu vytvořenou z nejvoňavějších květin. Každý okvětní lístek představuje jednu ctnost. Jen pak bys mohla skutečně a pravdivě říct: "Vidím...".
(Ódy Nejsvětější Trojice – část 3.)
Vassula Ryden's messages from Jesus promise that each one will receive a personal theophany. (Note: A theophany is a vision of God whether by symbol or an intellectual vision or a spiritual vision.) This will be a descent of the Blessed Trinity that will act as both a warning concerning our spiritual state and the offer of the grace of repentance. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be perceived in a grace of enlightenment.
...your soul will see what they had once seen in that fraction of a second, that very moment of your creation...
they will see:
He who held you first in His Hands;
The Eyes that saw you first;
they will see:
The Hands of He who shaped you
and blessed you...
they will see:
The Most Tender Father, Your Creator
all clothed in fearful splendour,
the First and the Last,
He who is, who was, and
is to come,
The Alpha and the Omega:
That is, we glimpse the Father. Then we will also perceive, in our spiritual vision, the Light of the Holy Spirit piercing us from the penetrating gaze of Christ who is also before us. Our soul will become aware of all the events of our lifetime for our eyes will be transfixed by the eyes of Christ which will be like two Flames of Fire. (Note: the flames of Christ's eyes are the Holy Spirit cf Dan 10:6, Rev 1:14: 5:6) Our heart will look back on all our sins. (See TLIG September 15, 1991 for full details of Second Pentecost) We will see all the truth concerning our spiritual state before God exactly as He sees us. Normally this is the vision given to us in the moment of death when the soul is engulfed by Divine Truth and sees the spiritual reality of evil in itself and, consequently, its just judgment.
With this truth experience is offered the full grace of complete and sincere repentance. Because all our sins are revealed (including those we deny having because we have become habituated to them and lost the sense of sin concerning them), our contrition will be an Act of Pure Contrition. The Catholic Church teaches that an Act of Pure Contrition renders a person ready for instant entrance to heaven (e.g. the good thief on Calvary). This is because it is sanctifying, being that it is the direct fruit of cooperation with the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Sanctification - the Holy Spirit. Hence it is that our contrition which results from this theophany (otherwise called the Second Pentecost) renders the soul, after sacramental confession, receptive to the direct fullness of sanctity which, being fully cultivated, leads swiftly to divinisation. Without the seeing of all our sins this would not be possible, for to be contrite for only some of our remembered unconfessed sins would leave the impurity of the rest of them and prevent divinisation.
The sanctity given by Jesus at this moment is the garland of virtue as promised in the above message. It has to be sustained and developed by a life of wholly living the Gospel in unceasing metanoia and theosis, that is, turning to God totally and being consciously humanity for the Word on earth. The sanctification of the soul as a pure gift does not last but vanishes with sin. However, the infusion of virtue, especially the virtue of true contrition, makes possible a withdrawal from the desire to commit Mortal sins and even deliberate Venial Sin; sin will be eliminated from the person's life by choice.
The primary means of sustaining the gift of sanctification leading into divinisation of the soul will be the Most Holy Eucharist which will fully release its Divinity. This releasing of Divinity will be facilitated by our will's perfect alignment to the Will of God. Without this "pipe-line" even daily Holy Communion does not release its inherent divinity to the soul but only the lights and graces that help us towards such a conformity and unity of will with God.
As mentioned above, only the Divine Light of the Holy Spirit revealing all our sins enables this instantaneous gift of sanctity, that is, as long as we completely accept the grace of repentance. There is no "vacuum" in the human soul. When the will is turned completely to God it is instantly filled with God since it is the Holy Spirit's movement which brings about such a turning as we accept His grace. Then, instantly, Christ inheres in the soul. Christ, in taking up His possession of souls in the state of Pure Contrition, resides in them as He promised , just so long as the person sustains this possession by practised virtue through to Mystical Marriage. This is what is known as the "Second Coming", or, the "Reign of Christ on earth": He reigns in His Divinity in the soul and governs and directs its thoughts, words and deeds in goodness and virtue.
The Second Pentecost and the Second Coming are thus two aspects of the one theophany. Those symbolic images in the Book of Revelation indicate this. The promise of Christ's thousand-year reign (c.f. Rev 20:6) contains the biblical number that symbolises the divine eternity. So it simply means that Christ will reign in His Divinity. He will do this by reigning in the souls of men. (See separate article on The Thousand Year Reign of Christ)
The theophany prophesied in the TLIG message of 15th September 1991 takes only moments in itself, for it only takes a single flash of the Divine Light to reveal everything to us. The effects last hours, days or weeks and, in some cases, lead to months of mourning, with pure contrition, over acknowledged sins. Some persons who have already received this grace have spoken of mourning over Christ whose pain at their sins is felt by them at the moment of their enlightenment. Others speak of a quiet flowing movement of grace that lasted many weeks and brought the sins of their life before them gradually over time and with less pain.
The contrition evoked by the Second Pentecost experience remains in the soul as a deep abiding sense of sorrow. It is this which enables the soul to avoid all sin with a very fixed and determined resolution of will not to sin again. When sin exerts an attraction this attitude of sorrow influences the soul with a quiet, gentle, magnetism in opposition to sin. Thus we are aware of being graced into sinlessness (if we accept it). The first month or more of resisting sin is the hardest because we have to erase the habit of sin, but we have this inner help; we find it is true that with God all things are possible - leopards can change their spots, lions can lay down with lambs, the suckling babe can put its hand in the vipers den unharmed. All these refer to spiritual realities.
How do we know that a theophany, a light of the Holy Spirit within a vision of the Father and the Son, can effect a conversion causing a person to change so drastically that they soar into sanctity and divinisation (mystical Marriage) in a few short years? How can a theophany give a person in ten years that sanctity of life which takes a lifetime in others? There are two answers. The first is obvious: Vassula herself gives the message that the Holy Spirit will raise us from spiritual bodies wormy with corruption lying in a desert of sin and will confer the Spiritual Nuptials of divinisation upon us. Her own life gives witness to this exact message. In a word she is a sign of the message she preaches. The second answer is that we know of this possibility because these types of conversion are found in the testimonies of others and have been written down and preserved in the Church in the lives of many saints. The rapid flight from sin into holiness is seen especially in those saints who lived very short lives. These short lives are meant to reveal to us the possibility and power of God to effect this transformation for anyone at any age. Some are tempted to despair because of their sum of years, but God can do it. Then they also witness to the truth of the central message of True Life in God.
In itself the Second Pentecost grace is not new. The only reason it is considered unique for our era is because of the universality of its coming. Likewise, the divinisation of individuals is not new. Some of the earliest Christian writers wrote of it and the Orthodox Church has retained the use of the word, as well as the spirituality of repentance and divinisation, holiness and holy sorrow. In the Catholic Church we have given the name Mystical Marriage to the state of divinization, hence we are more familiar with that terminology in the West.
Christ has reigned in His divinity in countless myriads of souls on earth since Christianity began. In the early Church the name "Eternal Life" (as given in the Holy Gospel and Epistles) was given to the core reality of receiving God's own Eternal Life which made us partakers of the divine nature . The reason for its uniqueness as the Second Pentecost/Second Coming theophany lies not in its mode but in its universality. That which has been received in the past by the few will be received by the many. Never before, have all the members of the Church been without sin. That is why it will be unique. Only in Mary at the foot of the Cross, at the death of Christ, was the whole Church sinless, without spec or wrinkle, and utterly pure in faith.
Sinlessness is the direct fruit of co-operation with the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work. Divinisation, or Mystical Marriage, means that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit possess the three powers of the soul (as we saw earlier).Because the human will allows God to inhere it fully, the person wills only what God wills. Hence sin is eliminated. The New Eden Jesus speaks of to Vassula in TLIG is truly the Garden of Eden: sinless in the pristine dawn of creation. But it is not a place. It is in the soul of man. We will be in the New Jerusalem, which is the Church. We will enter into the Mystical Marriage with the Lamb - but all this is within the person who receives the Second Pentecost, repents and lives all the virtues and the Holy Gospel. In a word, in the person who becomes another Jesus by grace as Jesus was by nature. Adam in Eden is called by St Luke "the Son of God" . Speaking of the Law of the Old Testament St Paul writes to the Galatians, "Now that the time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" .
In the context of this article "faith" does not refer to the fact we believe there is a God, but that we put our faith in God. Many believe there is a God but few actually put their faith in Him. Putting our faith in Him means we really believe all He has promised to do for us communally and individually. Thus we will act in total abandonment to the will of God with unquestioning gratitude. We really believe that whatever good or evil befalls us comes from our loving Father for our spiritual good. This is faith in God. Ezekiel's theophany, where he saw glowing bronze at the heart of the cloud , prefigures the body of Christ glowing in the furnace of suffering (Jesus: Feet of burnished bronze ).In divinisation on earth we experience the Cross: pain at the heart of divinisation. We become glowing bronze at the heart of the cloud of Divinity.
In order to prepare for Mystical Marriage Vassula advocates pure theosis: "Us, we": We consciously do every act together with Jesus by inviting Him to do every human daily act in us, with us and through us. This effectuates unceasing prayer and the elimination of all sin, for in Jesus' presence we only allow in our environment of home, work, or entertainment what is not sin. This brings many forms of suffering.
Divinisation and mystical marriage is not possible without total knowledge and repentance of all that is sin within us even if we are living an apparently good life. Recognition of hidden sin - in the deeper levels of the attachment of our will to unacknowledged sins - is only possible by an infusion of Divine Light. Even now, the revelation of our sin is often the unrecognised presence of the Holy Spirit shining in us: we can only see what needs cleaning when light shines on it. Such grace of the Holy Spirit for our initial conversion is needed during life - the lives of the saints reveal this (see following). Because the promised theophany reveals all sin the pain can be too much for some. We need to prepare for it with lives of holiness by theosis: "Us, we".
St Clare undertook a life of austere penance because, she said in her Testament, "The Most High enlightened my heart to do penance." On her deathbed she could only speak to the sisters of the sublimes truths concerning the Holy Trinity in her soul.
Being enlightened, St Francis of Assisi set out on a life of poverty and Gospel living, yet he too needed the Holy Spirit to reveal deeper truths about himself. "Who are You and what am I?", he prayed. When Brother Leo asked what he meant by this prayer, Francis replied, "Two lights were shown to my soul: one of the knowledge of myself...I saw the grievous depths of my own vileness and misery..." .
St Faustina writes in her Diary, "Today the Lord's gaze shot through me like lightning. At once I came to know the tiniest specs in my soul, and knowing the depths of my misery I fell to my knees and begged the Lord's pardon, and with great trust I immersed myself in His Infinite Mercy" .
St Catherine of Genoa "experienced such a sudden and overwhelming love for God and so penetrating an experience of contrition for her sins she almost collapsed. In her heart she said, 'No more world for me! No more sin!' She remained at home in seclusion for several days, absorbed in a profound awareness of her own wretchedness and of God's Mercy" .
St Gertrude wrote, "after the infusion of Thy most sweet light, I saw many thing in my heart which offended Thy purity, and I even perceived that all within me was in such disorder and confusion that Thou couldst not abide therein...when I reflect on the kind of life I led formerly, and which I have led since, I protest in truth that it is a pure effect of Thy grace, which Thou hast given me without any merit of mine. Thou didst give me from henceforward a more clear knowledge of Thyself, which was such that the sweetness of Thy love led me to correct my faults far more that the fear of the punishments with which Thy just anger threatened me." This grace was followed by St Gertrude perceiving the Trinity within her.
Of St Birgitta of Sweden we read, "...when her husband died, she underwent the profound conversion of her being into the bride of Christ"
All these saints who were given the Second Pentecost experience were also faithful to the complete renunciation of sin and the practise of virtue. Thus, every one of them arrived very quickly at the experience of divinisation or Mystical Marriage. The grace may be bestowed but it develops with the exercise of faith, hope and charity. The Second Pentecost does not affect a 'magic wand' effect of instantaneously turning the soul into a saint, but it does bestow that very deep grace of contrition that begins, and renders, the swift flight into the fullness of Mystical Marriage and divinisation. (The writer of this article notices that those who fast on bread and water each week make this rapid progress in the spiritual life but she does not know why this is particularly so.)
We have a rich historical tradition of Fathers and Doctors of the Church who have written about Divinisation and Mystical Marriage so we shall look at a few of these and start with a question.
When a person is divinised, do they experience it consciously? Yes. This is the difference between divine life given at Baptism and Mystical Marriage. Poulain in his voluminous work "The Graces of Interior Prayer", writes, "Baptism and sanctifying grace already give us this participation in the divine nature, but it is an unconscious state. It is otherwise in the mystical marriage. We are then conscious of the communication of the divine life. God is no longer merely the object of the supernatural operations of the mind and will, as in the preceding degree. He shows Himself as being the joint cause of these operations, the aid which we make use of in order to produce them. Our acts appear to us as being, after a certain fashion, divine. Our faculties are the branches in which we feel the circulation of the divine sap. We think that we feel God within us, living both for us and for Him. We live in Him, by Him, and through Him. No creature can manifest himself to us in this manner.
In Heaven the mechanism of grace will appear in all its clearness; we shall thus see unveiled the "marriage" of two operations, the divine and the human, and even the predominance of the former, our "divinisation, "that is to say. The fourth and last degree of prayer is the anticipation, the more or less marked foretaste of this experimental knowledge. In the lower degrees the transformation has begun, but we know it only by faith." .
St. Alphonsus Liguori sums up this language by saying: "In the spiritual marriage, the soul is transformed into God and becomes one with Him, just as a vessel of water, when poured into the sea, is then one with it."
St Teresa of Avila in "The Interior Castle", wrote: "Besides, this company it enjoys gives it far greater strength than ever before. If, as David says, 'With the holy thou shalt be holy,' doubtless by its becoming one with the Almighty, by the union of spirit with spirit, the soul must gather strength, as we know the saints did, to suffer and to die..."
Whatever opinion may be adopted, this, at least, is the case, that it seems to the soul that she can no longer sin, so fully does she feel herself to be participating in the life of God. This does not prevent her seeing very clearly at the same time that of herself she is capable of all kinds of sins. She sees the abyss into which she may fall, and the powerful Hand that sustains her.
Poulain quotes St John of the Cross wrote in "The Ascent of Mount Carmel": "The soul then by resigning itself...becomes immediately enlightened by, and transformed in, God; because He communicates His own supernatural Being in such a way that the soul seems to be God Himself and to possess the things of God. Such an union is then wrought when God bestows on the soul that supreme grace which makes the things of God and the soul one by the transformation which renders the one the partaker of the other. The soul seems to be God rather than itself, and indeed is God by participation, though in reality preserving its own natural substance as distinct from God as it did before, although transformed in Him, as the window preserves its own substance distinct from that of the rays of the sun shining through it and making it light".
St John of the Cross also writes in "The Spiritual Canticle", "This (the spiritual marriage) is, beyond all comparison, a far higher state than that of espousals, because it is a complete transformation into the Beloved; and because each of them surrenders to the other the entire possession of themselves in the perfect union of love, wherein the soul becomes Divine, and, by participation, God, insofar as it is possible in this life. I believe that no soul ever attains to this state without being confirmed in grace in it, for the faith of both is confirmed; that of God being confirmed in the soul"
Poulain also quotes St John of the Cross regarding the soul's breathing of God by sharing the very spiration of God Himself within the Trinity. It is too long to quote here but the effects can be quoted: "For granting that God has bestowed upon it so great a favour as to unite it to the most Holy Trinity, whereby it becomes like unto God, and God by participation, is it altogether incredible that it should exercise the faculties of its intellect, perform its acts of knowledge and of love, or, to speak more accurately, should have it all done in the Holy Trinity together with It, as the Holy Trinity Itself?"
The Venerable Anne Madeleine de Remuzat recorded the following seven years before her death (she was 26). "I found myself all at once in the presence of the Three adorable Persons of the Trinity...I understood that Our Lord wished to give me an infinitely purer knowledge of His Father and of Himself than all that I had known until that day...How admirable were the secrets that it was given to me to know in and by this adorable bosom!...My God, Thou hast willed to divinise my soul, so to say, by trans-forming it into Thyself, after having destroyed its individual form..."
In his "Vie" of Mother Veronica of the Heart of Jesus, Foundress of the Soeurs Victimes of the Sacred Heart, Fr Prévot writes, "The most perfect form of her union was a sort of co penetration of her whole self by the Divinity, so that she felt God Himself think, speak and act in her and become the cause of all her movements."
We can see clearly that theosis prepares us for Mystical Marriage. (theosis means consciously asking Jesus to do every act within us and through us. We never say, "I will go to the shops" "I'll drive you home" "I will go and cook the dinner now" without adding interiorly, "Jesus we will go...will drive...cook the dinner." We observed the effects of this earlier in this article.)
In our own era St Dina Bélanger (pronounced bell-on-jay) who died aged 33 in 1929, experienced what she called the Divine Substitution of Jesus for her being. She explained it was as though Jesus alone thought, acted and spoke in her at all times. Moreover she was aware of part of herself being in Heaven and participating in all the goods and graces of the Most Holy Trinity for dispersion by prayer. Her whole life exemplifies with details the meaning of Mystical Marriage and divinization, together with the ever deepening union in the Trinity Who unfolds continuous new wonders that are utterly spiritual. As with all those who are divinised she hungered to sustain and increase her love and fidelity in and with God. She did this through the Holy Eucharist. In her autobiography She writes:
"...My body continues to live on this dismal, distant earth, that I no longer inhabit; it continues to operate through the action and the will of Jesus. My soul, quiescent, consumed, has been absorbed by the Eternal, in heaven...Through Our Lord, substituted for my being annihilated in him, I have at my disposal the riches of the Infinite. Not only on my own behalf, but in the name of all responsible creatures I must return love for love, and offer up infinite Love in response to the eternal Love of the divine Trinity...In a soul taken up into Jesus, Holy Communion is the outpouring of the Infinite into the Infinite, it is the satisfaction of sovereign Perfection in supreme Beauty, it is the gift of the Eternal to the Uncreated; it is the embrace of God the Father and his Word, issuing in the Spirit of love, a surge of love passing among the three adorable Persons, an outburst of tenderness from the Heart of indivisible Unity...If only we knew the extent to which understanding in the light of eternity differs from understanding in temporal obscurity...! If only souls realized what Treasure is theirs in the divine Eucharist, tabernacles would have to be protected by unassailable ramparts; for, under the influence of a holy and all-consuming hunger, they would go by themselves to feed on the Manna of the seraphim; night and day, churches would be overflowing with worshippers consumed with love for the august Prisoner."
The Autobiography of St Dina Bélanger contains accounts of the Divine Light that revealed the depths of her sinfulness, highly detailed descriptions of her Divine Substitution by Jesus and her interior visions of being in the Most holy Trinity. She could be called one of the forerunners that exemplify the teachings on Mystical Marriage and divinisation that is being offered to this entire generation, even if it takes, and it will take, the direct intervention of God in a personal theophany to every individual The option of the vernacular liturgy and greater access to the Word of God in the West after Vatican 11 was given to help people recognise that the everyone in the Church is called to personal holiness. We were being prepared for this Era of 'New and Divine Holiness', as Pope John Paul II called it
When God raises up prophets to tell us of the desires of His Heart, He also sends forerunners or exemplars of His message: nothing ever comes out of the blue, nor is it ever unknown before. Vassula Ryden does not teach a new message concerning Repentance/Divinisation and Mystical Marriage. The Church is bridal, spousal, sinless, divinised: this claim could be established with reference to centuries of teachings from the Fathers, Doctors and Saints of the Church and the teaching can be shown to blossom forth from, and be upheld by, the Holy Scriptures themselves. As we see, it has been there all along, but despite two thousand years of Christianity, never before have all the baptised simultaneously partaken of the fullness of holiness offered by the Church Herself. At the very time that the apostasy of naturalism and rationalism seems to be taking such a deep hold of the Church and creating in her a pseudo-church of spiritual corpses in a spiritual desert, God will open the door into the sepulchre of our world and the Holy Spirit will resurrect the Church through repentance and holiness. It has to be a time when all seems lost because that is the way of God, as revealed in Holy Scripture, so that it may be clearly seen that it is the work of God.
Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Your well-beloved Bride.
The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come'.
Come Lord Jesus
Autobiography of Dina Bélanger. pub.Les Religieuses de Jésus-Maria. 2049, chemin Saint-Louis, Sillery (Quebec) Canada. GIT 1P2. ISBN 2-980 4106-3-2
Catherine of Genoa. Purgation and Purgatory, The Spiritual Dialogue. The Classics of Western Spirituality. SPCK. Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone Road, London, NW1 4DU. ISBN 0281 03709 4
The Life of Saint Birgitta of Sweden, Patroness of Europe. (Book not for sale as strictly limited to private circulation as a Gift)
Birgitta of Sweden Life and selected revelations The Classics of Western Spirituality. ISBN 0 - 8091 - 3139-0
Divine Mercy in My Soul. The Diary of Sister M Faustina Kowalska. Divine Mercy Publications. P.O. Box 2005. Dublin 13, Ireland. ISBN 1 87227 00 8
The Life and Revelations of St Gertrude - Virgin and Abbess of the Order of St. Benedict. Front cover subtitle A Powerful Work From the Middle Ages on Union with Christ. Christian Classics, Inc. Post Office Box 30, Westminster, Maryland, 21157. USA
ISBN 0 - 87061-079-1
The Graces of Interior Prayer. R.P. Poulain S.J. translated from the sixth edition . Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd. Dryden House, Gerrard Street,W. Published 1910. note: all extracts taken from this book pre-date 1910 translations. I have not modernised the old English and trust it will not prove too difficult to those for whom English is a second or third language. Briefly these words consist of thee and thou which mean you, or the addition of st or est to a word is common, eg didst = did, havest = have, and so forth.