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The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage, by Jan van Ruysbroeck, [1916], at





The second point is charity, beginning and origin of all virtues. This charity upheld the higher powers of His soul in quietness, and in a fruition of that very bliss which He now enjoys. And this charity kept Him constantly uplifted to His Father in reverence, in love, in adoration, in praise; with fervent prayers for the needs of all men, and with an offering up of all His works to the glory of His Father.

It was also this same charity that made Christ stoop with loving faithfulness and kindness to the bodily and ghostly needs of all men. And in this He gave an example to all men, teaching them by His life how to live. He fed in ghostly wise with true and inward teachings all those men who could understand them: and others from without through the senses with signs and wonders. And sometimes He fed them also with bodily food, as when they had followed Him into the desert and were in need of it. He made the deaf hear and the lame walk straight, and the blind see, and the dumb speak, and cast forth devils from men. He raised up the dead; and this should be understood both in a bodily and a ghostly way. Christ, our Lover, has laboured for us from without and from within, with true faithfulness. His charity we cannot fathom and understand, for it flows out of the unfathomable fountain of the Holy Ghost, and transcends all that creatures have ever experienced of charity; for Christ was God and man in one Person.

And this is the second point: that is to say, charity.

Next: Chapter V. Of Patient Endurance