“I and the Father are one”.

All not-at-one-ness, all division, rests on a concealed lack of real Christliness, on a clinging to individuality that hinders the coalescence into unity.

The most individual element in us – the only thing that belongs to us in the last analysis – our own “I”, is at the same time the least individual element of all, for it is precisely our “I” that we have neither from ourselves nor for ourselves. The “I” is simultaneously what I have completely and what least of all belongs to me. Thus, here again the concept of mere substance (= what stands in itself ! ) is shattered, and it is made apparent how being that truly understands itself grasps at the same time that in being itself it does not belong to itself; that it only comes to itself by moving away from itself and finding its way back as relatedness to its true primordial state.

J. Ratzinger. (1969) Intro to C. (pp189-190)


Now then let us deal with the divine and spiritual marriage…

… it should be understood that in this state there is no more thought of the body than if the soul were not in it, but one’s thought is only of the spirit. In the spiritual marriage, there is still much less remembrance of the body because this secret union takes place in the very interior centre of the soul, which must be where God Himself is.

What God communicates here to the soul in an instant is a secret so great and a favour so sublime – and the delight the soul experiences so extreme – that I don’t know what to compare it to. I can only say that the Lord wishes to reveal for that moment, in a more sublime manner than through any spiritual vision or taste, the glory of heaven. One can say no more – insofar as can be understood – than that the soul, I mean the spirit, is made one with God.

… everything corporeal in the soul was taken away and it was left in pure spirit. Thus, the soul could be joined in this heavenly union with the uncreated Spirit. For it is very certain that in emptying ourselves of all that is creature and detaching ourselves from it for the love of God, the same Lord will fill us with Himself.

The Lord puts the soul in this dwelling of His, which is the centre of the soul itself. They say that the empyreal heaven where the Lord is does not move as do the other heavens; similarly, it seems, in the soul that enters here there are none of those movements that usually take place in the faculties and the imagination… ( VII:2)

The first effect is a forgetfulness of self, for truly the soul, seemingly, no longer is.

It experiences strange forgetfulness, for, as I say, seemingly the soul no longer is…  or would want to be…

Nor does the Lord in all the favours He grants the soul here receive any assistance from the soul itself, except what it has already done in surrendering itself totally.

So, in this temple of God, in this His dwelling place, He alone and the soul rejoice together in the deepest silence. ( VII:3)

  • St Teresa of Avila. The Interior Castle