Chapter 21: That we must rest in God above all goods and gifts.
Lord, O my soul, for he himself is the eternal rest of the
saints. Grant me, most sweet and loving Jesus, to rest in Thee
above every creature, above all health and beauty, above all
glory and honour, above all power and dignity, above all
knowledge and skilfulness, above all riches and arts, above all
joy and exultation, above all fame and praise, above all
sweetness and consolation, above all hope and promise, above all
merit and desire, above all gifts and rewards which Thou canst
give and pour forth, above all joy and jubilation which the mind
is able to receive and feel; in a word, above Angels and
Archangels and all the army of heaven, above all things visible
and invisible, and above everything which Thou, O my God, art
art the Most High, Thou only the Almighty, Thou only the
All-sufficient, and the Fulness of all things; Thou only the
All-delightsome and the All-comforting; Thou alone the altogether
lovely and altogether loving; Thou alone the Most Exalted and
Most Glorious above all things; in Whom all things are, and were,
and ever shall be, altogether and all-perfect. And thus it
falleth short and is insufficient whatsoever Thou givest to me
without Thyself or whatsoever Thou revealest or dost promise
concerning Thyself, whilst Thou art not seen or fully possessed:
since verily my heart cannot truly rest nor be entirely content,
except it rest in Thee, and go beyond all gifts and every
soul, Ruler of this whole Creation, who shall give me the wings
of true liberty, that I may flee to Thee and find rest? Oh when
shall it be given me to be open to receive Thee to the full,
and to see how sweet Thou art, O Lord my God? When shall I
collect myself altogether in Thee, that because of Thy love I may
not feel myself at all, but may know Thee only above every sense
and measure, in measure not known to others. But now I ofttimes
groan, and bear my sad estate with sorrow; because many evils
befall me in this vale of miseries which continually disturb and
fill me with sorrow, and encloud me, continually hinder and fill
me with care, allure and entangle me, that I cannot have free
access to Thee, nor enjoy that sweet intercourse which is always
near at hand to the blessed spirits. Let my deep sighing come
before Thee, and my manifold desolation on the earth.
before Thee my mouth is without speech, and my silence speaketh
to Thee. How long will my Lord delay to come unto me? Let Him
come unto me, His poor and humble one, and make me glad. Let Him
put forth His hand, and deliver His holy one from every snare.
Come, Oh come; for without Thee shall be no joyful day or hour,
for Thou art my joy, and without Thee is my table empty. I am
miserable, and in a manner imprisoned and loaded with fetters,
until Thou refresh me by the light of Thy presence, and give me
liberty, and show Thy loving countenance.
it shall please them; but for my part nothing else pleaseth or
shall please, save Thou, my God, my hope, my eternal salvation.
I will not hold my peace, nor cease to implore, until Thy grace
return, and until Thou speak to me within.
call Me. Thy tears and the longing of thy soul, thy humbleness
and contrition of heart have inclined Me, and brought Me to
enjoy Thee, being ready to reject everything for Thy sake. For
Thou didst first move me to seek Thee. Therefore, blessed be
Thou, O Lord, who has wrought this good work upon Thy servant,
according to the multitude of Thy mercy. What then hath Thy
servant to say in Thy presence, save to humble himself greatly
before Thee, being alway mindful of his own iniquity and vileness.
For there is none like unto Thee in all marvels of heaven and
earth. Excellent are Thy works, true are Thy judgments, and by
Thy Providence are all things governed. Therefore praise and
glory be unto Thee, O Wisdom of the Father, let my mouth and my
soul and all created things praise and bless Thee together.