Do you ever feel hungry…like really hungry? Or perhaps you have felt thirsty…maybe you are an athlete in training or you like to go on hikes…and you need water! Hunger and thirst are normal for us…when we are hungry and thirsty it reminds us how much we are in need of God…how much we ought to hunger and thirst for Jesus in the Eucharist! No five star meal can compare with Jesus in the Eucharist! He fully and truly satisfies us! The next few steps of love that we are speaking about are about having this great hunger for God! So great that we cannot imagine taking a breath without God!!
So, here we are at the fourth step of our journey with God on the ladder of love. St. John of the Cross speaks of this step as the step in which “love makes all burdensome and heavy things nearly nothing.” (Dark Night of the Soul Bk 2. Ch 19. Par. 3). At this step, St. John of the Cross says that here souls do not seek satisfaction or consolations in God, but they are seeking to serve God seeing that He deserves our complete and total love. This soul desires to suffer out of love for God.
At the fifth step, the soul has an impatient desire and longing for God, so much so that St. John of the Cross says, “the soul so feeds on love-for in accord with its hunger is its satisfaction-” (Dark Night of the Soul Bk 2 Ch.19. par 5). This can be compared to a great hunger…a starvation, not for physical food but to love God.
At the sixth step, to soul is “running swiftly toward God and experiences many touches in Him.” (Bk 2. Ch 19. Par.5) St. John of the Cross says that at this stage, the “soul’s charity is now highly increased and almost completely purified…” (Book 2. Chapter 20. Par.1). In other words, the heart is now enlarged to a greater degree, and the soul is cooperating with grace.
Image: Canada’s Food Guide Website: