Saturday of the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time
We have climbed the Scale of the Cloister with Guigo II. Beginning with the simple reading of Sacred Scripture, we progressed through the assiduous mental work of meditation , through the enflamed desire of prayer, to the joyful possession of contemplation. But what happens to the soul after it has experienced such joy?
Here it is important to remember that what we possess in contemplation is no possession at all. Jesus can leave our souls just as quickly as he entered. Guigo says that even after the long-desired bridegroom has departed, he remains as guide of our souls. From his coming and going we have much to gain. The experience is not ours to keep or hoard. To do so would be to focus upon the good feeling, instead of the source of the feeling-to focus on self instead of upon God. The consolation of contemplation does not belong to us by nature, by only by grace. We live in utter reliance upon his gift. Yet the memory of his visitation remains in us as a reminder of the first-fruits of everlasting bliss which he has promised us. Having experienced God’s goodness, the true Christian becomes a more fervent disciple, pursuing the prize which awaits us and those we will bring with us. Let us therefore begin our upward journey on the Scale of the Cloister toward our heavenly homeland.