Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Holy Tryst

Evelyn Underhill says, in her book, Mysticism, The true end of [mystical prayer], like the true end of that mystical life within which it flowers, is the supreme meeting between Lover and Beloved, between God and the soul.…It means, during the hours of introversion, a retreat from and refusal of the Many, in order that the mind may be able to apprehend the One. P. 207/208
It takes much practice and patience in prayer before one experiences a few moments of union with the Sacred One. The practice and patience of this quiet waiting upon God is the “mystical life within which it flowers”.
It is a meeting with God in quiet, restful silence, day after day, in expectant waiting upon God with loving anticipation of a tryst with the Holy One.
Faithfully, the contemplative must come each day to be with God, holding herself still within her centre where God would dwell within her soul.
Joyfully she must prepare herself to be ready to receive the Sacred One who desires to live within her soul eternally, bringing her to spiritual maturity and holiness.
[The soul’s] method is the method of the mystic life, transcendence: a gradual elimination of sensible image, and bit by bit approximation of the contemplative self to reality, gradually producing within it those conditions in which union can take place. (Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism. Page 208)
© Judith Lawrence
This was first published in meditations on


Peter Black said...

Judith, I'm challenged.
The call to come daily to be with God and hold oneself "still within her centre where God would dwell within her soul" brought to mind a couple of situations:
Our mutual colleague and friend Glynis testified that during her bout with cancer, Psalm 46:10 was impressed deeply on her, "Be still and know that I am God."
And from two centuries or so ago, Suzanna Wesley, mother of 22 children (I think), was said to take time alone, shutting herself in with God, amidst all the activity around, by sitting on her chair and throwing her apron backwards over her head.
Hmm. I guess it CAN be done!

Judith Lawrence said...

Peter, thanks. I must say that if I was the mother of 22 children I would be throwing my apron backwards over my head and possibly throwing in the towel also! I doubt I would feel up to the task of taking a few quiet moments with God but, I dare say, I would be requesting God's help just to get through the day!