.. an s-note from my Wine to Water substack.
I’ve really had a hard time focusing these past couple of days. You know why.. It feels like I need confession, a purge. Here’s where I am mentally, spiritually, physically:
-I cannot write.
-I’m having difficulty praying, sitting still, focusing.
-All the prep I did for Nano evaporated, from about October 25th to now.
-I want alcohol to forget. Or some other sensory satiation. Appetites filled. You can guess..
-All duties of Love are complete: work, family, home. I anticipate tomorrow and this weekend, but I’m at a loss because I miss my God.
.. dearest, this is it, this is it.. I’m a lost widow. My spouse stands there, but I’ve been running around, busy with so many different things, so many opinions, so many thoughts, so many people.. gathering, moving, unsettled.. and the dress He had given me is dishelved. I’ve been in places where my skirts have gotten caught on corners, snagged on singular thorned thoughts, my blouse drooled upon by my incessant talking & lack of silence in my soul, lipstick smeared on the cuffs, buttons carelessly mis-buttoned out of order.
My intellect is at a loss, not knowing where to settle. My memory knows to immerse itself in the beautiful, bathe my soul in holy literature, my heart wills it to go..
Of the Affinity There is Between God and Man
As soon as man thinks with even a little attention of the divinity, he feels a certain delightful emotion of the heart, which testifies that God is God of the human heart; and our understanding is never so filled with pleasure as in this thought of the divinity, the smaller knowledge of which, as says the prince of philosophers, is worth more than the greatest knowledge of other things, as the least beam of the sun is more luminous that the greatest of the moon or stars, yea is more luminous than the moon and stars together. And if some accident terrifies our heart, it immediately has recourse to the Divinity, protesting thereby that when all other things fail him, It alone stands his friend, and that he is in peril, It only, as his sovereign good, can save and secure him.
This pleasure, this confidence which mean’s heart naturally has in God, can spring from no other root that the affinity there is between the divine goodness and man’s soul, a great but secret affinity, an affinity which etc h one knows but few understand, an affinity which cannot be denied not yet be easily sounded. We are created to the image and likeness of God — what does this mean but that we have an extreme affinity with this divine majesty?
Our soul is spiritual, indivisible, immortal; understands and wills freely, is capable of judging, reason gin, knowing, and of having virtues, in which it resembles God. It resides whole in the whole body, and whole in every part thereof, as the divinity is all in all the world, and all in every part thereof. Man knows and does himself by produced and expressed acts of his understanding and will, and distinct from one another, yet are and remain inseperately united in the should, and in the faculties from whence they proceed. So the Son proceeds from the Father as his knowledge expressed, and the Holy Ghost as love breathed forth and produced from the Father and the Son, both the Persons being distinct from one another and from the Father, and yet inseparable and united, or rather one same, sole, simple, and entirely one indivisible divinity.
But besides this affinity of likeliness, there is an Incomparable correspondence between God and man, for their reciprocal perfection: not that God can receive any perfection from many, but because as man cannot be perfected but by the divine goodness, so the divine goodness can scarcely so well exercise its perfection outside itself, as non our humanity: the one has great want and capacity to receive good, the other great abundance and inclination to bestow it. Nothing is so agreeable to poverty as. liberal abundance, nor to a liberal abundance as a needy poverty, and by how much the good is more abundant by so much more strong is the inclination to pour forth and communicate itself. By how much more the poor man is in want, so much the more eager is he to receive, as a void is to fill itself. The meeting then of abundance and indigence is most sweet and agreeable, and one could scarcely have said whether the abounding good have a grater contentment in spreading and communicating itself, or the failing and needy good is receiving and in drawing to itself, until Our Saviour had told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Now where there is more blessedness there is more satisfaction, and therefore the divine goodness receives greater pleasure in giving than we in receiving.
Mothers’ breasts are sometimes so fun that they must offer them to some child, and though the child takes the breast with great avidity, the nurse offers it still more eagerly, the child pressed by its necessity, and the mother by her abundance.
The sacred spouse wished for the holy kiss of union: O, said she, let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth. But is there affinity enough, O well-beloved spouse of the well-beloved, between thee and they loving one to bring to the union which thou desires? Yes, says she: give me it: this kiss of union, O though dear love of my heart: for they breasts are better than wine, smelling sweet of the best ointment. New wine works and boils in itself by virtue of its goodness, and cannot be contained within the casks; but thy breasts are yet better, they press thee more strongly, and to draw the children of thy heart to them, they spread a perfume attractive bey and all the scent of ointments. Thus, Theotimus, our emptiness has need of the divine abundance by reason if its want and necessity, but God’s abundance has no need of our poverty but my reason of the excellency of his perfection and goodness; a goodness which is not at all bettered by communication , for it acquires nothing in pouring itself out of itself, on the contrary it gives: but our poverty would remain wanting and miserable, if it were not enriched by the divine abundance.
Our soul then seeing that nothing can perfectly content her, and that nothing the world can afford is able to fill her capacity, considering that her understanding has an infinite inclination ever to know more, and her will an insatiable appetite to love and find the good; — has she note reason to cry out: Ah! I am not then made for this world, there is a sovereign good on which I depend, some infinite workman who has placed in me this endless desire of knowing, and this appetite which cannot be appeased? And therefore I must tend and extend towards Him, to unite and join myself to the goodness of Him to whom I belong and whose I am! Such is the affinity between God and man’s soul.
-St. Francis de Sales’ Treatise on the Love of God, Chapter XV, Book 1 – Containing a Preparation for the Whole Treatise
.. dearest, I just picked this book up from my prayer corner, I hadn’t opened it in a while.. do you see how connected it is with what I’m experiencing? This is the way it is with God:
Nothing has satisfied me these days, I am restless. Nothing comforts – the world is occupied non-stop with current events (here in my home, too). I have a great, great poverty – a need – that no one can fill, and Jesus has begun to fill it in His great mercy. He cannot help but begin to fill me.
Look at this language from St. Francis:
“The sacred spouse wished for the holy kiss of union:
O, said she, let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth.
But is there affinity enough, O well-beloved spouse of the well-beloved, between thee and they loving one to bring to the union which thou desires?
Yes, says she: give me it: this kiss of union, O though dear love of my heart: for they breasts are better than wine, smelling sweet of the best ointment.
New wine works and boils in itself by virtue of its goodness, and cannot be contained within the casks; but thy breasts are yet better, they press thee more strongly, and to draw the children of thy heart to them, they spread a perfume attractive bey and all the scent of ointments.”
Dearest, Dearest, Sweetest Jesus, My Lord & My King.. help me make a good confession tomorrow, purify my soul, empty it all, that only You can fully occupy it, throned upon my heart.. that everything else can in my life silently orbit in homage to You. Amen.
Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam, 10112020
Take away from us our iniquities, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the Holy of Holies, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sancta Missa, Feria Sexta infra Hebdomadam XXII post Octavam Pentecostes I