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





Now our spirit and this love are living and fruitful in virtues; and for this reason the powers can no longer remain idle in the unity of the spirit. For the incomprehensible brightness of God and His boundless love brood above the spirit, and touch the loving power; and the spirit goes forth once more into its works, but with a more sublime and inward striving than ever before. And the more noble and inward it is, the more quickly it is spent and brought to nought in love, and goes forth once more into fresh works. And this is heavenly love. For ever does the craving spirit yearn to eat and to swallow God; but itself is swallowed up in the touch of God, and fails in all its works. For the highest powers are made one in the unity of the spirit. Here are grace and love in their essence, above all works; for here is the source of charity and every virtue. Here there is an eternal outflow into charity and the virtues, and an eternal return with inward hunger for the taste of God, and an eternal dwelling within in pure love. And all this is in a creaturely way and below God; it is the most inward exercise which one can perform in the created light, in heaven and on earth; and above it there is nothing but the God-seeing life in the Divine light and in the Godlike way. In this exercise one cannot go astray, nor can one be deceived; and it begins in grace, and shall for ever last in glory.

Next: Chapter LVI. Showing the Way in Which We Shall Meet God in a Ghostly Manner Both with and Without Means