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The beginner is often unaware of the new sensory attachments that are formed as a result of the many spiritual consolations it has received. These new sensory attachments manifest themselves in the Seven Capital Sins now in a new spiritual form. The purpose of the passive night of the senses is to strip the soul of all spiritual consolations within the sensory part of the soul so that it will be able to be freed from the spiritual sins it has, and thus more easily obtain union directly with God, rather than to be satisfied only with the sensory pleasures that come from God.
This purgation will leave the soul loving God, not because of the consolations, but because of love alone. A good spiritual maxim for this stage of spiritual development is as follows: Learn to love God, not the experience of God. The following are examples to help describe the Seven Capital Sins, now in spiritual form:. This sin arises when beginners have certain vain satisfactions and desires that come as a result of their engagement in many spiritual activities.
The beginners admire themselves and even see themselves as holier than others.
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Sometimes they even act like Pharisees who boast of their goodness. The devil knows that all the works they do will lead them to pride. They are never satisfied with their confessors, especially if their confessors do not praise them and tell them how great they are. So, they seek out other confessors who do praise them. They are pleased when people praise their holiness. As for their sins, beginners are too embarrassed to confess them honestly, so instead they often communicate to their confessor how good they are rather than how sinful they are.
Sometimes they get angry and impatient with themselves when they see their imperfections and faults, thinking they should be a saint already. Beginning souls cannot accept that they are sinners. They beg God to take their imperfections from them, but they pray this way not out of love of God alone, but so that they will not suffer the consequences of their sins. Thus, they often have an imperfect contrition. Furthermore, beginners do not realize that if God did take their other sins away, this would only increase their pride, which would be worse than continuing to struggle with their present sins!
At times, beginners become so fervent for God and for doing good that they become anxious to do more and more. As a result, they fail to see the good that others are doing all around them; they are too consumed with what good they themselves are doing. They only want others to see all the good that they do.
Spiritual Greed —Beginners are often discontented with the spirituality they have been given by God and always want more. They cannot get enough of spiritual counsels and consolations. They possess many books and spend more time on them than on penance and mortifications. They are obsessed with spiritual objects such as different rosaries and medals, always thinking one is better than another. The spiritual greed they experience, then, becomes a sensual desire for spiritual things and experiences.
It is difficult for these souls to look beyond the spiritual object or experience so as to see the source: God. Spiritual Lust —Perhaps surprisingly, impure thoughts of a spiritual nature can arise in the soul, even when the person is deep in prayer or engaged in the Sacraments. These imperfections come from one of three things:. Saint John also explains that some friendships can bring forth feelings of lust.
Though some friendships are purely spiritual and are greatly beneficial, some are not.
But even a good spiritual friendship can stir up passions in the soul and cause sensual delights. Furthermore, even the memory of that friendship causes sensual experiences. When a soul becomes attached to the good feelings that a friendship produces, a type of spiritual lust may be formed, even if the sensuality is not sexual.
In this case, an attachment is formed to the good feelings produced by the good friendship, which makes it difficult for the soul to love God and this person in a detached and holy way. Instead, the soul finds itself wanting more of the good sensual feelings that are received from that friendship.
Spiritual Anger —When beginners experience an end to spiritual pleasure, they often become bitter and want it to return. They are disappointed and become angry. There is no sin in the natural experience of loss, but some allow that experience of loss to turn into a spiritual sin: they become irritated. Some also become irritated with others because of their loss of spiritual consolation. They find themselves wanting to chastise others and portray themselves as images of virtue.
Some beginners also have a good desire for progress in the spiritual life. However, when they find that this is more difficult than they initially thought, they become angry and impatient with themselves. Spiritual Gluttony —This spiritual sin is another one that Saint John spends much time describing. He explains that, because of the sweetness beginners find in spiritual exercises, some are more indulgent in this sweetness they experience than they are in the progress they make or do not make.
This is similar to spiritual lust and greed. Some people fast or do penances to extreme and seek consolation from them. And when they fail to experience sweetness, they think they have not accomplished anything good. They are also very weak in journeying on the hard road of the Cross since they are so attached to sweetness. Their goal must be to become spiritually temperate by submitting to God in all things rather than doing what they want for God.
Spiritual Envy —These souls are deterred and saddened when they hear others being praised. They cannot bear the praise of others and want to receive the praise themselves. They see some good action of another being acknowledged and immediately think of all that they have done. And when others do not immediately acknowledge what they do, they turn in on themselves with sadness. Spiritual Sloth —When the beginner is slowly weaned from the spiritual delights and consolation of God, and when the spiritual milk of God dries up, these souls do not only get angry or greedy for more, they become discouraged.
They become, then, spiritually lazy when things do not go as they had planned. But do not get discouraged, God is fully aware of your weakness and offers you a cure. You must humbly allow Him to purge you of these spiritual sins so that you will be free to love Him in a more direct way. Only God can help you be purged of these sins through the passive night of the senses. Humility, honesty and surrender are key if you are to pass through this purgation. The spiritual sins mentioned above need to be purged from your soul if you are to discover freedom and are able to arrive at a point of perfect union with God.
It is clear that these spiritual manifestations of the Seven Capital Sins come from an attachment to the sensory pleasure one receives from serving God. Therefore, as a beginning soul moves into the stage of proficients, it will be necessary to confront the newly formed spiritual sins by detaching from the sensory delights initially experienced. One helpful bit of knowledge that should motivate you to allow God to do His cleansing of these sins is that these sins cause tremendous suffering when they remain.
On April 24, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Saigon. He remained there for thirteen years. His first eight years were spent in a small cell in Nha Trang, an earshot away from the cathedral of his first diocese. Every day he would hear the bells of the cathedral ring and it would cause him great interior suffering. Eventually, he was moved to the reeducation camp in Vinh-Quang where his suffering continued. Many times I was tempted, tormented by the fact that I am 48 years old, the age of maturity; I have worked as a bishop for eight years, I have aquired much pastoral experience, and here I am isolated, inactive, separated from my people, km away!
If God wants you to abandon all these works, putting them in his hands, do it immediately, and have confidence in Him. God will do it infinitely better than you; he will entrust his works to others who are much more capable than you. You have chosen God alone, not his works! The then bishop, later to be named a cardinal and perhaps one day a saint, made the profound discovery that had already been articulated by Saint John of the Cross several centuries earlier.
It was his own attachment to something good that was not actually God! This interior discovery gave the bishop a new strength and he was able to begin putting his mind and heart on God alone. This is all good. So, if you are in this stage, this is good! Specifically, you must be freed of the spiritual consolations you enjoy so much. Even though they have helped you to grow up until this point, they can take you no further.
At this point, God is going to do most of the work. For your part, you must do the following two main things: 1 Understand what is happening in your soul, and 2 firmly consent to this action of God in your soul. This will happen through the prayer of purgative contemplation. Remember also that, up until this point, the beginner spent much time in meditation. That form of prayer was rich in consolation and nourished the soul well for a time.
Many holy images and inspirations were received during meditation. But at this next stage of spiritual development, God will dry up the good consolations of meditation and will take on a more active role in your prayer life. And that can hurt! He will especially purify the above-mentioned spiritual sins so that you can love Him in a purer and more spiritual way. This next step, the passive night purgation of the senses, is a process of stripping you of all sensory pleasure you receive from spiritual things.
God is still just as present to you, and in fact He is even more present, but you will not experience His presence any longer. You will feel dry, abandoned, alone and maybe even initially confused. Your sensory appetites will long to return to the former consolations you enjoyed, but you will not be able to do so, no matter how hard you try. Of course, sometimes God will bring you back to the consolations of meditation, but then take them away again. You may find that this experience goes back and forth for a while between dryness and consolation.
When dryness occurs, God is strengthening you, producing a deep spiritual trial within you, testing you, purifying your spiritual desires, and preparing you for a much higher form of union with Him. You will no longer love God only because it feels good to love God; rather, you will have to now love God only because you do love God, even when He feels absent and there is no immediate sensory pleasure in that union. So how do you know if you are experiencing this passive purgation of your senses? How do you know if what you are actually encountering is the prayer of purgative contemplation and not just dry meditation?
Saint John gives certain signs to help discern if you are experiencing this purgation, as well as some good pastoral advice on how to more fully consent to this purifying action of God. He explains that aridity in prayer and in our affection for spiritual things may come from one of two sources:. Source 1: sins, imperfection, weakness, lukewarmness, irritable or bodily disposition. Source 2: passive night of the senses. To discern which of these is the source of your dryness, Saint John offers three principle signs:. Sign 1 —When a soul is in the passive night of the senses, it finds no sensory pleasure in things of God, AND it also finds no pleasure in creatures.
God does not allow the soul to find attraction or sweetness in anything.
Therefore, there is a general loss of sensory satisfaction and delight in everything you used to delight in. Hobbies may be less attractive to you, relationships may not produce the same familiar delight they used to bring, and prayer will become dry and even unpleasant. Sign 2 —The memory is ordinarily centered upon God with much care, concern and attentiveness.
As it centers on God, it ponders whether it has offended God since it no longer finds sweetness in anything and wonders if its sins are the reason. In other words, your memory experiences a sort of confusion about this new dryness. To discern this experience, you must consider whether there is aridity or if what you actually experience is lukewarmness.
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Purgative aridity produces strength and determination in your spirit but lukewarmness causes laziness and weakness. When it is purgative aridity you are experiencing, then the senses are weak but the spirit is strong. This is because the sensual part of your soul has no capacity for that which is purely spiritual, and thus your sensual desires and affections remain dry. But as this happens, your spirit grows in pleasure, sweetness and delight.
Your soul may become a bit confused by the strangeness of the change that transfers pleasure from the senses to the spirit. You simply must get used to this new experience of pleasure and sweetness in the spirit, but that will take time and purgation. You may find yourself sitting in a sort of darkness, not able to take pleasure in anything.
But if you allow yourself to sit in this purgative contemplation, and remain silent, accepting the fact that all your sensual delight is lost, not thinking of anything or being anxious about anything, then you will begin to experience an inward refreshment that comes from the freedom of the sensual desires, and you will begin to delight in the spiritual ones. In regard to your prayer, when purgative aridity sets in, you must be willing to let go of meditation and no longer rely upon your intellectual reflections as a source of consolation.
No reasoning, thinking, memory, or even willing will help. You must simply remain quiet and solitary.
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God is doing the work alone and you will discover a new peace. Sign 3 —You will no longer be able to meditate using your imagination as you used to do. Your imagination no longer helps prayer, because your sensual inspirations are no longer possible. However, this will not be an absolute experience, meaning that you may go back and forth between periods of meditation and contemplation.
God will slowly move you back and forth between these two forms of prayer. At times, you will find that all you can do is sit in silence with an inability to ponder, reflect and meditate. But then you may suddenly find yourself returning to your meditation and reflection for a moment or two. When God does take away your sensory inspirations, you must learn to sit in silence and be fed by God directly while you experience a total aridity in your senses and imagination so that your spirit alone can silently delight in the sweetness of God directly, and not through the imagination, memory, will, etc.
Then Saint John speaks an important line. The person is no longer able to obtain sensual delights from thinking and willing. Now, the spirit alone receives communications from God directly. Think about that line for a while. What NOT to do in contemplation —When experiencing the aridity of the senses and the inability to use your intellect, memory and will for meditation on God, you could easily conclude wrongly that you are simply not trying hard enough.
You may reason that if you just try harder to meditate on God, the sweetness of your prayer will return. You may be tempted to try to regain your former sensual experience in prayer, but this is because you do not realize, at that moment, that God is drawing you higher into a pure spiritual pleasure that is coming directly from God Himself, and not from the thought of God through meditation.
As a result, you will experience a sort of fatigue as you try harder and harder. But this is not the right approach.. Your only goal in this experience of prayer must be to remain silent, allowing God to do what He wants to do. Do not try harder. Just remain at peace. The way in which they are to conduct themselves in this night of sense is to devote themselves not at all to reasoning and meditation, since this is not the time for it, but to allow the soul to remain in peace and quietness, although it may seem clear to them that they are doing nothing and are wasting their time, and although it may appear to them that it is because of their weakness that they have no desire in that state to think of anything.
Dark Night, Book I, Ch. Saint John then offers an analogy to illustrate his point. He says that if you were posing for a portrait that an artist was painting of you, your only responsibility would be to sit still so that the artist could do his job. If, out of a desire to help the artist, you kept getting up to look at the painting, offering this suggestion or that, you would actually hinder the artist.
God is the artist, and His canvas is your soul. If you want this process to move quickly, then sit silently and allow God to do His work. Do not try to do that which is not your responsibility. Let God do His work in your soul. For your part, merely consent to it and remain lovingly attentive to Him as He works. Those yearnings you experience will be His purifying fire of love as He strips you of your sensual appetites, removes your spiritual sins, and enables you to receive a new and far better spiritual delight.
It is free when the night passive purgation destroys all sensual pleasures. In place of the former pleasures, the soul begins to obtain numerous virtues and finds a much greater and new form of delight. A spiritual delight in all of these virtues. The former self of the senses dies and the spirit alone lives. He came to earth as a servant, and he lived his life, and even the death he died, was for others.
Christianity was understood by the earlier followers of Jesus as a definitively nonviolent practice . The thinking on nonviolence spans thousands of years and many different cultures.
Nonviolence has roots in Judaism as well, going back at least to Palestinian Talmudic sources of the middle third century. Truth, justice, and peace are the three tools, according to Jewish thought, for the preservation of the world. Buddhism is fundamentally nonviolent. According to Buddhism, for a man to be perfect there are two qualities that he should develop equally: compassion and wisdom. Right Action aims at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful conduct, admonishing us to abstain from destroying life, stealing, dealing dishonestly with each other, engaging in illegitimate intercourse, and encouraging us to lead a peaceful life in every way .
As per Frank Roby, silence is not peace. Peace does not mean universal agreement. Peace means mutual respect, and it is the pinnacle of a four-stage process. Peace begins with liberty — the escape from tyranny. It moves to justice, which begins with revenge but matures into fairness. The process then transitions to freedom — the practice of living a just life.
And only then can true peace be realized. Peace is the byproduct of honing our decisions through the friction of deciding what is just and the healthy tension of protecting the freedoms of opposing thinkers Frank Roby, CEO at Empower African Children, based in Dallas, Texas . Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it, writes Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and author.
But we need to make a conscious choice to emphasize those feelings in our lives. Learning to stay balanced is a lifelong endeavor. And yet, making small changes to your daily routine can help you reap big benefits. The essential point is that, except in an ideal world, forgiveness is rarely possible without acknowledgement of the harm done by the oppressor, and a commitment not to continue with the harming.
Lasting peace will requires much more such open-hearted honesty of the same kind. Let us hear and listen the words of Dr. My breathing is really slow and deep. I can follow the path of each oxygen molecules entering and exiting my body. Please take a conscious deep breath right now, you are now connected to my consciousness which is intentionally rising your vibration from a lower frequencies into higher. There is so much love in this space, the only energy I feel is love, surrounding the spaces in each atom, molecule, cells, and tissue of my body.
I see and feel a brilliant light passing through these space and emanating inward like a spiral and outward beyond my local space. When you close your eyes and have read this few times, focus on the center point between your eyebrows. Take a deep breath and allow your attention fall to the peripheral side of your visual field. Like a diver whose going to jump off of the diving board backwards in an infinity pool of beauty and peace, step to the edge of the board, take a deep breath and dive energetically backward into oceanic space of your kindness.
Feel the love energy washing over your entire body, cleansing the dense fear and worry frequencies surrounding you. Feel your greatness and trust yourself. Enjoy the journey my friend.
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Proverb 1 : A year old Japanese image for a 2, year old Chinese code of conduct. From the East, a noble moral code to follow, avoid evil in all forms. Proverb 2 : Professor Archer Taylor , a folklorist, writes about a Roman proverb. Proverb 3 : A Proverb in the making for the 21st century. As a naturalist and creative artist, my life is always at oneness with nature along with spirituality and morals to get balanced with. The way to refine and balance ourself with spirituality and morals. Here is some thoughts on Divine Silence. The divinity within to explore. The rhythm of life to exist.
To live and to stay alive! Divine silence in life. The grace within to illuminate. To glow and to spread. To spread the rays in and around! Dutiful silence in life. The gift from nature to live. To feel the consciousness. To gain knowledge and power! Non-violent silence in life. The need for peace and integrity. The need for spiritual balance. To be silent and to live life.. Unity is the feel to experience but diversity is the acceptance.
We have to promote a culture on non-violence and peace through silence. The various levels of this culture should focus on the interdependency, integrity and independency. Starting with inner change within each mind of human need self-awareness and development. Think Globally, Act Locally is the way to share and care with basic and common humanitarian attitude.
Let each of us act, not just merely talk or preach! Let each of us practice to feel and experience the silence within! Let each of us travel through that mysterious spiritual journey of silence to refine ourself! Let each of us get enlightened with self awareness and development to maintain natural peace to tranform and liberate within and all around.
Ganadhipati Tulsi. Rod Pezeshki. Live a Purposeful Life with Passion. Frank Roby. Silence Is Not Peace. Frank EmpowerAfricanChildren. Chernus, I. Solomonow, A. Holmes, Editor. Apsey, L. Satha-Anand, C. Paige, C. Satha-Anand, and S. Gilliatt, Editor. Rahula, W. King, M. Suggested Readings. Rashmi Chandran ISBN: The Art of Compassion in Natural Life. Global Education section, Pg. The Red Cross Red Crescent approach to promoting a culture of non-violence and peace. Saving lives, changing minds. Global Education Magazine.
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