Do you like heights? Some people get such a thrill going up high off the ground! Some people get sick just thinking about going up high. I remember going on a ride at Canada’s Wonderland (the image that you see here is the Drop Zone at Canada’s Wonderland) when I was a teenager called “Drop-Zone” and I remember looking down at the spot where my dad was standing…and he seemed to get smaller and smaller, until eventually I could not see him anymore! It seemed the higher we went, the smaller everything else became. Perhaps this is a good meditation for the spiritual life: the higher we go in union with God, the smaller everything else becomes, especially the things of the world.
St. John of the Cross speaks about the steps of love in the “mystical ladder of divine love.” We will speak about these various steps in detail. He speaks in the first step about a “soul sickness.” The soul’s sickness comes because of the “heat from above” where “the soul changes the colour of its past life and loses its appetite for things.” (Dark Night of the Soul Bk 2. Chapter 19. Par. 1).
The second step causes a person to search for God without ceasing. She is looking for her Beloved in all things. In all its thoughts it turn immediately to her Beloved. (Book 2. Chapter 19 par. 2).
The third step involves prompting the soul to the performance of good works giving it fervor to keep going and not fail! (Dark Night of the Soul Book 2. Chapter 19. Par 3). The soul believes that the works done for God are small and from this comes a deep sorrow that the soul is not doing enough for God…that everything he does is so little. What is the effect of this step? St. John of the Cross says that one effect is that love is teaching him what God deserves. In this way the soul is removed from vainglory, presumption, and the condemnation of others…” (Bk 2. Chapter 19. Par.3).
The fourth step…well you will find out next week!!!
Image taken from “Canada Alive Website” https://canadaalive.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/canadas-wonderland/