Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The conspiring Universe

One of my favourite passages from The Cloud of Unknowing, and in my favourite translation (by Carmen Avecedo Butcher, who captures the earthiness and dynamism of the original so well):

"Every rational creature, every person, and every angel has two main strengths: the power to know and the power to love. God made both of these, but he's not knowable through the first one. To the power of love, however, he is entirely known, because a loving soul is open to receive God's abundance ... So don't be surprised if I direct you to the work of contemplation. If humanity had never sinned, this work would not have stopped. You were made for contemplation, and everything in the universe conspires to help you with it. And contemplation will heal you." (from chapter 4)

In the original text, the author speaks of this capacity of human beings, who cannot encompass God through knowledge, to enfold him entirely in our love as "the endless marvellous miracle of love, which shall never end." Wonderful.

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