MAGNIFICAT's "Meditation of the Day", for 26 August 2011, caught my attention firstly for its title: The Pining of the Wise Virgins. It comes from the Paulist Press edition of the complete works of Blessed Angela of Foligno and helps me with my difficulty in facing the "dark night" imagery of St. John of the Cross, which although it may not strike me as esoteric certainly hits me as less than universally applicable as a description of the obligatory hurdles the ordinary Christian must clear in his search for the living God. As far as I am concerned Bl. Angela is on to something.
Let me share this lovely piece, just in case you are not a MAGNIFICAT person:
"Love has various properties. Because of love, and in it, the soul first grows tender, then it pines and grows weak, and afterward finds strength. When the soul feels the heat of divine love, it cries out and moans... Assurance of God's presence engenders tenderness in the soul. In this state it is satisfied with consolations and other similar gifts. But in the absence of these, love grows and begins to seek the loved one. If it does not find him, the soul pines. It is then no longer satisfied with consolations, for it seeks only the beloved. The more the soul receives consolations and feels God, the more its love grows, but the more, likewise, it pines in the absence of the beloved.
But once the soul is perfectly united to God, it is placed in the seat of truth, for truth is the seat of the soul. It then no longer cries out nor complains about God, nor grows tender or pines away. On the contrary, it acknowledges itself to be unworthy of every good and every gift of God, and only worthy of a hell more horrible than the one which exists. Wisdom and maturity are established in the soul. As a result the soul becomes ordered and so strengthened that it can face death. It possesses God to the fullness of its capacity. And God even expands the soul so that it may hold all that he wishes to place in it. The soul then sees the one who is, and it sees that all else is nothing except insofar as it takes its being from him."
I particularly treasure the image of wisdom and maturity being established in the soul through genuine love. May the Bridegroom draw us to Himself!
properantes adventum diei dei