Underhill - House of the Soul.pdf - Platonic Philosophy

Underhill - House of the Soul.pdf - Platonic Philosophy

Underhill - House of the Soul.pdf - Platonic Philosophy

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First Published . . . October 3rd 1929Second Edition . . .1933PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN


PREFATORY NOTETHIS little book is in no sense a literarywork. It merely consists <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> notes <strong>of</strong>a series <strong>of</strong> informal addresses which weregiven to a small group <strong>of</strong> like-minded people ;and isintended ra<strong>the</strong>r to stimulate meditationthan to give information. Its readers are asked<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir charity to judge itview.from this point <strong>of</strong>E. U.Feast <strong>of</strong> St. Mary Magdalen, 19.29

However great <strong>the</strong> breadth, <strong>the</strong> depth, <strong>the</strong>height <strong>of</strong> our thought <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul, we shallnot exceed <strong>the</strong> reality ; for its capacity isfar greater than we are able to conceive,and <strong>the</strong> Sun which dwells in this housepenetrates to every corner <strong>of</strong> it.ST. TERESA

IWHEN St.Paul described our mysterioushuman nature as a "Temple <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Holy Spirit" a created dwelling-place orsanctuary <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> uncreated and invisibleDivine Life he was stating in <strong>the</strong> strongestpossible terms a view <strong>of</strong> our status, our relationto God, which has always been present inChristianity; and is indeed implicit in <strong>the</strong>Christian view <strong>of</strong> Reality. But that statementas it stands seems far too strong for most <strong>of</strong> us.We do not feel in <strong>the</strong> very least like <strong>the</strong> temples<strong>of</strong> Creative Love. We are more at ease withSt. Teresa, when she describes <strong>the</strong> soul as an"interior castle" a roomy mansion, withvarious floors and apartments from <strong>the</strong> basementupwards; not all devoted to exalted uses,not always in a satisfactory state. And when,in a more homely mood, she speaks <strong>of</strong> her ownspiritual life as "becoming solid like a house,"we at last get something we can grasp.The soul's house, that interior dwellingplacewhich we all possess, for <strong>the</strong> upkeep <strong>of</strong>which we are responsible a place in which wecan meet God, or from which in a sense we canexclude Godthat is not too big an idea for us.Though no imagery drawn from <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong>sense can ever be adequate to <strong>the</strong> strange and

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULdelicate contacts, tensions, demands and benedictions<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> life that liesbeyond sense : though<strong>the</strong> important part <strong>of</strong> every parableis that whichit fails to express: still, here is a conceptionwhich can be made to cover many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> truthsthat govern <strong>the</strong> interior life <strong>of</strong> prayer.First, we are led to consider <strong>the</strong> position <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> house. However interesting and importantits peculiarities may seem to <strong>the</strong> tenant, it is notas a matter <strong>of</strong> fact an unusually picturesque andinteresting mansion made to an original design,and set in its own grounds with no o<strong>the</strong>r buildingin sight. Christian spirituality knowsnothing <strong>of</strong> this sort <strong>of</strong> individualism. It insiststhat we do not inhabit detached residences, butare parts <strong>of</strong> a vast spiritual organism ;that even<strong>the</strong> most hidden life is never lived for itselfalone. Our soul's house forms part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> vastCity <strong>of</strong> God. Though it may not be an importantmansion with a frontage on <strong>the</strong> mainstreet, never<strong>the</strong>less it shares all <strong>the</strong> obligationsand advantages belonging to <strong>the</strong> city as awhole. It gets its water from <strong>the</strong> main, and itslight from <strong>the</strong> general supply. The way wemaintain and use it must have reference to ourcivic responsibilities.It is true that God creates souls in a marvellousliberty and variety. The ideals <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>building estate tell us nothing about <strong>the</strong> Kingdom<strong>of</strong> Heaven. It is true, also, that <strong>the</strong>furnishing <strong>of</strong> our rooms and cultivation <strong>of</strong> ourgarden islargely left to our personal industry10

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULand good taste. Still, in a general way, we mustfall in with <strong>the</strong> city's plan; and consider,when we hang some new and startling curtains,how <strong>the</strong>y will look from <strong>the</strong> street. Howeverintense <strong>the</strong> personallife<strong>of</strong> each soul may be,that personal life has got out <strong>of</strong> proportion, ifit makes us forget our municipal obligationsand advantages; for our true significance ismore than personal,it is bound up with <strong>the</strong>fact <strong>of</strong> our status as members <strong>of</strong> a supernaturalsociety.So into all <strong>the</strong> affairs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> little house<strong>the</strong>re should enter a certain sense <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city,and beyondthis <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> infinite world in which<strong>the</strong> city stands: some awestruck memory <strong>of</strong>at once so homely andour double situation,so mysterious. We must each maintainunimpaired our unique relation with God; yetwithout forgetting our intimate contact with<strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city, or <strong>the</strong> mesh <strong>of</strong> invisiblelife which binds all <strong>the</strong> inhabitants in one,For it is on <strong>the</strong> unchanging Life <strong>of</strong> God, ason a rock, that <strong>the</strong> whole cityis founded. Thataugust and cherishing Spirit is <strong>the</strong> atmospherewhich ba<strong>the</strong>s it, and fills each room <strong>of</strong> everylittle house quickening, feeding and sustaining.He is <strong>the</strong> one Reality which makesus real; and, equally, <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r houses too."If I am not in Thee," said St. Augustine,"<strong>the</strong>n I am not at all." We are <strong>of</strong>ten urged tothink <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spirituallife as a personal adventure ,a ceaseless hustle forward; with all itsmeaningcondensed in <strong>the</strong> "perfection" <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> last stage.II

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULBut though progress, or ra<strong>the</strong>r growth, is trulyin it, such growth in so far as it is real can onlyarise from, and be conditioned by, a far morefundamental relation <strong>the</strong> growing soul'sabidingness in God.Next, what type <strong>of</strong> house does <strong>the</strong> soul livein? It is a two-story house. The psychologisttoo <strong>of</strong>ten assumes that it is a one-roomedcottage with a mud floor; and never evenattempts to go upstairs.The extreme transcendentalistsometimes talks as thoughit wereperched in <strong>the</strong> air, like <strong>the</strong> lake dwellings <strong>of</strong>our primitive ancestors, and had no groundfloor at all. A more humble attention to factssuggests that nei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se simplifications istrue. We know that we have a ground floor,a natural life biologically conditioned, withanimal instincts and affinities ;and that this lifeis very important, for it is <strong>the</strong> product <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>divine creativity its builder and maker is God.But we know too that we have an upper floor, asupernatural life, with supernatural possibilities,a capacity for God; and that this, man'speculiar prerogative, is more important still.If we try to live on one floor alone we destroy<strong>the</strong> mysterious beauty <strong>of</strong> our human vocation;so utterly a part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> fugitive and creaturelylife <strong>of</strong> this planet and yet so deeply colouredby Eternity so; entirely one with <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong>nature and yet, "in <strong>the</strong> Spirit," a habitation<strong>of</strong> God. "Thou madest him lower than <strong>the</strong>angels, to crown him with glory and worship."12

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULWe are created both in Time and in Eternity,not truly one but truly two ;and every thought,word and act must be subdued to <strong>the</strong> dignity <strong>of</strong>that double situation in which Almighty Godhas placed and companions <strong>the</strong> childish spirit<strong>of</strong> man.Therefore a full and wholesome spiritual lifecan never consist in living upstairs, and forgettingto consider <strong>the</strong> groundfloor and itshomely uses and needs thus; ignoring <strong>the</strong>humbling fact that those upper rooms areentirely supported by Nor it. does it consist in<strong>the</strong> constant, exasperated investigation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>shortcomings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> basement. When St.Teresa said that her prayer had become "solidlike a house" she meant that its foundationsnow went down into <strong>the</strong> lowly but firm ground<strong>of</strong> human nature, <strong>the</strong> concrete actualities <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> natural life :and, on those solid foundations,its wall rose up towards heaven. The strength<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> house consisted in that intimate weldingtoge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> divine and <strong>the</strong> human, whichshe found in its perfection in <strong>the</strong> humanity <strong>of</strong>Christ. There, in <strong>the</strong> common stuff <strong>of</strong> humanlife which He blessed by His presence, <strong>the</strong>saints have ever seen <strong>the</strong> homely foundations<strong>of</strong> holiness. Since we are two-story creatures,called to a natural and a supernatural status,both sense and spiritmust be rightly maintained,kept in order, consecrated to <strong>the</strong> purposes<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city,if our full obligations are to beIfulfilled. The house is built for God; to reflect,B13

forTHE HOUSE OFTHE SOULon each level, something <strong>of</strong> His unlimitedPerfection. Downstairs that general rightness<strong>of</strong> adjustment to all this-world obligations,which <strong>the</strong> ancients called <strong>the</strong> quality <strong>of</strong>Justice; and <strong>the</strong> homely virtues <strong>of</strong> Prudence,Temperance and Fortitude reminding us <strong>of</strong>our creatureliness, our limitations, and sohumbling and disciplining us. Upstairs, <strong>the</strong>heavenly powers <strong>of</strong> Faith, Hope and Charity;tending towards <strong>the</strong> Eternal,nourishing ourlife towards God, and having no meaningapart from God.But <strong>the</strong> soul's house will never be a realhome unless <strong>the</strong> groundfloor is as cared forand as habitable as <strong>the</strong> beautiful rooms upstairs.We are required to live in <strong>the</strong> whole<strong>of</strong> our premises, and are responsible <strong>the</strong>,condition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> whole <strong>of</strong> our premises. It isuseless to repaper <strong>the</strong>ifdrawing-room whatwe really need is a new sink. In that secretDivine purpose which is all lifedrawingtowardsperfection, <strong>the</strong> whole house is meant tobe beautiful and ought to be beautiful; for itcomes from God, and was made to His design.Christ's soul when on earth lived in one <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>se houses; had to use <strong>the</strong> same fitments,make <strong>the</strong> same arrangements do. We cannotexcuse our own failures by attributing <strong>the</strong>m to<strong>the</strong> inconvenience <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> premises, and <strong>the</strong> factthat some very old-fashioned bits <strong>of</strong> apparatussurvive. Most <strong>of</strong> us have inherited some uglybits <strong>of</strong> furniture, or unfortunate family portraits'

| disconcertingi whereTHE HOUSE OFTHE SOULwhich we can't get rid <strong>of</strong>, and which preventour rooms being quite a success. Never<strong>the</strong>less<strong>the</strong> soul does not grow strong merely byenjoying its upstairs privileges and ignoringdownstairs disadvantages, problems and responsibilities; only by tackling its real taskbut<strong>of</strong> total transformation. It is called to maintaina house which shall be in its completeness "ahabitation <strong>of</strong> God in <strong>the</strong> Spirit" ;subdued toHis purpose on all levels, manifesting Hisglory in what we call natural life, as well asin what we call spiritual life. For man is <strong>the</strong>link between <strong>the</strong>se two orders; truly createda little lower than <strong>the</strong> angels, yet truly crownedwith glory and worship, because in this unperfectedhuman nature <strong>the</strong> Absolute Lifeitself has deigned to dwell.That means, reduced to practice, that <strong>the</strong>whole house with its manifold and gradedactivities must be a house <strong>of</strong> prayer. It does.not mean keeping a Quiet Room to which wecan retreat, with mystical pictures on <strong>the</strong> walls,and curtains over <strong>the</strong> windows to temper <strong>the</strong>intensity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> light; a roomwe can forget <strong>the</strong> fact that <strong>the</strong>re areblack beetles in <strong>the</strong> kitchen, and that <strong>the</strong> rangeis not working very well. Once we admit anyviolent contrast between <strong>the</strong> upper and lowerfloor, <strong>the</strong> "instinctive" and "spiritual" life, orfeela reluctance to investigate <strong>the</strong> humblingrealities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> basement, our life becomes less,pot more, than human ;and our position is

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULunsafe. Are we capable <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> adventure <strong>of</strong>courage which inspires <strong>the</strong> great prayer <strong>of</strong> St.Augustine: "The house <strong>of</strong> my soul is narrow;do Thou enter in and enlargeit! It is ruinous;do Thou repair it"? Can we risk <strong>the</strong> visitation<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mysterious Power that will go through allour untidy rooms, showing up <strong>the</strong>ir shortcomingsand <strong>the</strong>ir possibilities; reproving by <strong>the</strong>tranquillity <strong>of</strong> order <strong>the</strong> waste and muddle <strong>of</strong>our inner life ? The mere hoarded rubbish thatought to go into <strong>the</strong> dustbin; <strong>the</strong> things thatwant mending and washing <strong>the</strong> ; possessions wehave never taken <strong>the</strong> trouble to use ? Yet this is<strong>the</strong> only condition on which man can participatein that fullness <strong>of</strong> life for which he is made.The Lord's Prayer, in which St. Teresa saidthat she found <strong>the</strong> whole art <strong>of</strong> contemplationfrom its simple beginning to its transcendentgoal, witnesses with a wonderful beauty andcompleteness to this two-story character <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>soul's house ;and yet its absolute unity.Itbegins at <strong>the</strong> top, in <strong>the</strong> watch tower <strong>of</strong> faith,with <strong>the</strong> sublime assertion <strong>of</strong> our supernaturalstatus <strong>the</strong> one relation, intimate yet inconceivable,that allgoverns <strong>the</strong> rest "OurFa<strong>the</strong>r who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thyname." Whatever <strong>the</strong> downstairs muddle andtension we have to deal with, however great<strong>the</strong> difficulty <strong>of</strong> adjusting <strong>the</strong> claims <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>instincts that live in <strong>the</strong> basement and <strong>the</strong>interests that clamour at <strong>the</strong> door, all <strong>the</strong>sedemands, all this rich and testing experience, is16

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULenfolded and transfused by <strong>the</strong> cherishing,over-ruling life and power <strong>of</strong> God. We are liftedclear <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> psychological tangle in which <strong>the</strong>life <strong>of</strong> our spirit too <strong>of</strong>ten seems enmeshed, into<strong>the</strong> pure, serene light <strong>of</strong> Eternity and shown;<strong>the</strong> whole various and disconcerting pageant <strong>of</strong>creation as proceeding from God, and existingHis name. Childlikeonlythat itmayglorifydependence and joyful adoration are placedtoge<strong>the</strong>ras <strong>the</strong> twin characters <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul'srelation to God.Thence, step by step, this prayer brings usdownstairs, goes with us through <strong>the</strong> wholelouse; bringing <strong>the</strong> supernatural into <strong>the</strong>natural, blessing and sanctifying, cleansing andrectifying every aspect <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> home. "ThyKingdom come!" Hope trustful expectation."Thy will be done !" Charity <strong>the</strong> loving union<strong>of</strong> our wills with <strong>the</strong> Infinite Will. Then <strong>the</strong>ground floor. "Give us this day" that foodfrom beyond ourselves which nourishes andsustains our life. Forgiveall our little failuresand excesses, neutralize <strong>the</strong> corroding power<strong>of</strong> our conflicts, disharmonies, rebellions, sins.We can't deal with <strong>the</strong>m alone. Teach us, astowards our fellow citizens, to share thatgenerous tolerance <strong>of</strong> God. Lead us not intosituations where we are tried beyond ourstrength; but meet us on <strong>the</strong> battlefield <strong>of</strong>personality, and protect <strong>the</strong> weakness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>adolescent spirit against <strong>the</strong> downward pull <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> inhabitants <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lower floor.

THEHOUSEOF THE SOULAnd <strong>the</strong>n, <strong>the</strong> reason <strong>of</strong> all this ;bringingtoge<strong>the</strong>r, in one supreme declaration <strong>of</strong> joyand confidence, <strong>the</strong> soul's sense <strong>of</strong> that sup-<strong>the</strong>porting, holy, and eternal Reality who isRuler and <strong>the</strong> Light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city,and <strong>of</strong> everyroom in every little house. Thine is <strong>the</strong> Kingdom,<strong>the</strong> Power and <strong>the</strong> Glory. If our interiorlife be subdued to <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> this prayer, withits rich sense <strong>of</strong> our mighty heritage and childlikestatus, our total dependence on <strong>the</strong> Reality<strong>of</strong> God, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> soul's house is truly runningwell. Its action is transfused by contemplation.The door isopen between <strong>the</strong> upper and <strong>the</strong>lower floors; <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> spiritand life <strong>of</strong> sense."Two cities," said St. Augustine, "have beencreated by two loves: <strong>the</strong> earthly city by love <strong>of</strong>self even to contempt <strong>of</strong> God, <strong>the</strong> heavenlycity by love <strong>of</strong> God even to contempt <strong>of</strong> self.The one city glories in itself; <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r cityin itsglories in <strong>the</strong> Lord. The one city gloriesown strength; <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r city says to its God,'I will love Thee, O Lord my strength.'Perhaps <strong>the</strong>re has never been a time in Christianhistory when that contrast has been moresharply felt than it is now <strong>the</strong> contrastbetween that view <strong>of</strong> man's situation andmeaning, in which <strong>the</strong> emphasisfalls on humanity,its vast desires and wonderful achievements,even to contempt <strong>of</strong> God and <strong>the</strong> view in;which <strong>the</strong> emphasisfalls on God's transcendentaction and over-ruling will, even to contempt <strong>of</strong>self. St. Augustine saw, and still would see,18"

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULmankind ever at work building those two cities;and every human soul as a potential citizen <strong>of</strong>one or <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r. And from this point <strong>of</strong> view,that which we call <strong>the</strong> "interior life" is just <strong>the</strong>home life <strong>of</strong> those who inhabit <strong>the</strong> invisible City<strong>of</strong> God ;realistically taking up <strong>the</strong>ir municipalprivileges and duties, and pursuing <strong>the</strong>m "evento contempt <strong>of</strong> self." It is <strong>the</strong> obligation and<strong>the</strong> art <strong>of</strong> keeping <strong>the</strong> premises entrusted to usin good order, having ever in view <strong>the</strong> welfare<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city as a whole.Some souls, like some people, can be shimmyanywhere. There isalways a raucous and uncontrolledvoice ascending from <strong>the</strong> basement,and a pail <strong>of</strong> dirty water at <strong>the</strong> foot <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stairs.O<strong>the</strong>rs can achieve in <strong>the</strong> most impossiblesituation a simple and beautiful life. The goodcitizen must be able without reluctance toopen <strong>the</strong> door at all times, not only at <strong>the</strong>week-end; must keep <strong>the</strong> windows cleanand taps running properly, that <strong>the</strong> light andliving water may come in. These free gifts <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> supernatural are <strong>of</strong>fered to each house ;andonly as free gifts can <strong>the</strong>y be had. Our noisylittleengine will not produce <strong>the</strong> true light nor;our most desperate digging a proper watersupply. Recognition <strong>of</strong> this fact, this entiredependence <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> creature, is essential if <strong>the</strong>full benefits <strong>of</strong> our mysterious citizenship areever to be enjoyed by us. "I saw," said <strong>the</strong> poet<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Apocalypse, "<strong>the</strong> holy city coming downfrom God out <strong>of</strong> heaven . . . <strong>the</strong> glory <strong>of</strong> God

lit itTHE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL... <strong>the</strong> water <strong>of</strong> life proceeded out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>throne <strong>of</strong> God." All is <strong>the</strong> free gift <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> supernatural;not <strong>the</strong> result <strong>of</strong> human growth andeffort. God's generous and life-givingwork in<strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> souls ever goes before man's workin God. So <strong>the</strong> main thing about <strong>the</strong> InvisibleCity is not <strong>the</strong> industry and good character <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> inhabitants: <strong>the</strong>y do not make it shine. Itis <strong>the</strong> tranquil operation <strong>of</strong> that perpetualprovidence, which incites and supports <strong>the</strong>irsmall activities ;<strong>the</strong> direct and childlike relationin which <strong>the</strong>y stand to <strong>the</strong> city's Ruler; <strong>the</strong>generous lightand air that ba<strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong> littlehouses; <strong>the</strong> unchanging rock <strong>of</strong> Eternity onwhich <strong>the</strong>ir foundations stand.20

IIWE come back to examine more closely ourdomestic responsibilities: <strong>the</strong> two floors<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's house. We begin on <strong>the</strong> groundfloor;for until that is in decent order it isuseless to go upstairs.A well-ordered naturallife is <strong>the</strong> only safe basis <strong>of</strong> our supernaturallife: Christianity, which brought <strong>the</strong> groundfloor, with its powerful but unruly impulses,within <strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> God's grace, demands its sublimationand dedication to His purposes. Weare required to live in <strong>the</strong> whole <strong>of</strong> our house,learning to go freely and constantly up anddown stairs, backwards and forwards, easilyand willingly, from one kind <strong>of</strong> life to <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r ;weaving toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> higher and lower powers<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul, and using both for <strong>the</strong> glory <strong>of</strong> God.No exclusive spiritualitywill serve <strong>the</strong> purposes<strong>of</strong> man, called to be a link between two worlds.There are days, months for some <strong>the</strong>rewill be years when we look out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> window<strong>of</strong> faith, and find that <strong>the</strong> view is hidden ina mantle <strong>of</strong> fog: when we turn to <strong>the</strong> workshop<strong>of</strong> hope, and find <strong>the</strong> fog has made thatchilland gloomy too: when we resort to <strong>the</strong>central heating, and find that is not workingvery well. Then when Faith, Hope andCharityall seem to fail us is <strong>the</strong> time to21

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULremember <strong>the</strong> excellent advice which Mrs.Berry gave to Richard Feverel's bride: "When<strong>the</strong> parlour fire burns low, put on coals in <strong>the</strong>kitchen." Accept your limitations, go downstairs,and attend to <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lower floor.Our vocation requires <strong>of</strong> us an equal alertnesswith <strong>the</strong> censer and <strong>the</strong> scrubbing brush.When <strong>the</strong> door between <strong>the</strong> two stories is open,a flood <strong>of</strong> disconcerting lightis shed upon thatlower floor and itscondition; and our feebleexcuses for its muddled state fade into silence.But if we face <strong>the</strong> facts in <strong>the</strong> right spiritweshall find, like St. Teresa, <strong>the</strong> Presence we lostupstairs walking among <strong>the</strong> pots and pans.The disciplined use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lower floor and all<strong>the</strong> rich material it <strong>of</strong>fers is <strong>the</strong>refore essentialto <strong>the</strong> peace and prosperity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upper floor ;we cannot merely shut <strong>the</strong> door at <strong>the</strong> top <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> basement stairs and hope for <strong>the</strong> best. Theloud voices <strong>of</strong> unmortified nature, saying "Iwant! I will! I won't!" rising up from <strong>the</strong>kitchen premises, will ruin <strong>the</strong> delicate music<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upstairs wireless. Here is <strong>the</strong> source <strong>of</strong> all<strong>the</strong> worst distractions in prayer, and <strong>the</strong> lair <strong>of</strong>all <strong>the</strong> devils that tempt us most : our inclinationsto selfish choices, inordinate enjoyments,claimful affection, self-centred worry, instinctiveavoidance <strong>of</strong> sacrifice and painall <strong>the</strong>downward drag <strong>of</strong> animal life. Here, as St.Teresa says in The Interior Castle ywe arelikely to find damp unpleasant corners; andreptiles and o<strong>the</strong>r horrors lurking in <strong>the</strong>m. If22

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong> house is to be well run, we must begin bycleaning <strong>the</strong> kitchen and <strong>the</strong> scullery; andgiving <strong>the</strong>ir energetic but unruly inhabitants<strong>the</strong>ir jobs. The human power <strong>of</strong> choice mustbe submitted to <strong>the</strong> rule <strong>of</strong> Prudence ;humanimpulse and desire to <strong>the</strong> rule <strong>of</strong> Temperance ;our self-protecting mechanisms, sloth, s<strong>of</strong>tness,nervous fears, to <strong>the</strong> bracing touch <strong>of</strong> Fortitude.That threefold reordering and sublimation <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> ground floordrastic but unsensationalwill test and purify <strong>the</strong> soul's realism, humilityand love, far more fully, will subdue it to <strong>the</strong>mysterious Divine action far more completely,than any hasty retreat upstairs can do. "Notonly a good way, but <strong>the</strong> best <strong>of</strong> ways," saysSt. Teresa, "is to strive to enter firstby <strong>the</strong>room where humility is practised, which is farbetter than at once rushing on to <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs."It was no mere upstairs mystic, exclusivelyabsorbed in spiritual things, who uttered <strong>the</strong>mysterious and haunting words "To me, tolive is Christ." It was St. Paul, wrestling withhis own difficult nature, and perpetually conscious<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> conflict between sense andspirit as he lived towards God. Here and now,on <strong>the</strong> ground floor, to live with Prudence,Temperance and Fortitude in <strong>the</strong> circumstancesgiven me, and with <strong>the</strong> temperament andfurniture given me because that ground flooris crowned and blessed by <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> Faith,Hope and Charity tending towards God this"is Christ." There is not one landlord for23

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong> lower floor,and ano<strong>the</strong>r for <strong>the</strong> upstairsflat.Every soul, says that true psychologistAugustine Baker, has two internal lights orguides, <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> Nature and <strong>the</strong> Spirit <strong>of</strong>God: and besides <strong>the</strong>se "we nei<strong>the</strong>r have norcan have, any o<strong>the</strong>r within us." We arereminded <strong>of</strong> that familiar picture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> oldfashionednursery<strong>the</strong> child with a good angelat <strong>the</strong> righthand and a bad angel at <strong>the</strong> left.Like many o<strong>the</strong>r bits <strong>of</strong> childish mythology,that picture points beyond itself to a deeptruth. The good angel is really <strong>the</strong>re: Anima,<strong>the</strong> soul's being when it ascends to its apex, as<strong>the</strong> mystics say, stands in <strong>the</strong> watch tower <strong>of</strong>faith, opens <strong>the</strong> window towards Eternity,beholds <strong>the</strong> Light that is God. "The Supreampart <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Soul</strong>," says Peter Sterry, "whichis above Sensible Things, ever living in <strong>the</strong>midst <strong>of</strong> Invisible Things this is each Man'sAngel." And <strong>the</strong> bad angel is really <strong>the</strong>re toothis same complex and variable soul, when itcapitulates to <strong>the</strong> unfortunate influences <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>scullery.We know too well that, like <strong>the</strong> dogwho has been trained to <strong>the</strong> drawing-room,<strong>the</strong>re still remains something in us which takesa sneaking interest in <strong>the</strong> dustbin and will drift<strong>of</strong>f in that direction if given a chance. The firstthing we realize when we achieve any genuineself-knowledgeis <strong>the</strong> existence <strong>of</strong> those twolevels or aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's life : <strong>the</strong> naturalself subject to mutability, <strong>the</strong> secret and24

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULessential self capable <strong>of</strong> reality, tending to God.They<strong>of</strong>ten seem to pull different ways; <strong>the</strong>unstable will can hardly keepits feet between<strong>the</strong>m. If we consider in this light <strong>the</strong> lastunfortunate episode which showed us up toourselves; when we make <strong>the</strong> second-bestchoice, when a sudden tug at our elbow assuredus that this particular bit <strong>of</strong> magnanimity, thatrenunciation, was really too much to expecteven though it shone with an unearthlyradiance, though Anima said "Follow me!"<strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> force <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ancient Advent prayercomes home to us. "O Wisdom proceeding out<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mouth <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Most High, come and teachme <strong>the</strong> way <strong>of</strong> Prudence" between <strong>the</strong> twoconflicting aspects <strong>of</strong> my double life.Prudence, on <strong>the</strong> natural level so suggestive<strong>of</strong> a self-centred carefulness, <strong>the</strong> miserablepolicy <strong>of</strong> "safety first,"and beauty when thus raised toonly achieves dignity<strong>the</strong> spiritualstatus, and related to our life in God. Then itis revealed as <strong>the</strong> virtue which governs andsublimates all behaviour; as isTemperance <strong>the</strong>virtue which governs and sublimates desire.We owe to St. Thomas <strong>the</strong> noblest and deepest<strong>of</strong> all definitions <strong>of</strong> Prudence. For him, allvirtues, all <strong>the</strong> soul's sources <strong>of</strong> energy, areforms and expressions <strong>of</strong> one thing Love, <strong>the</strong>self's will and desire, in <strong>the</strong> ascending degrees<strong>of</strong> preference, interest, longing and devotedness,set towards God and <strong>the</strong> will <strong>of</strong> God. And,conversely, all sin is due to something gone25

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULwrong with that same sacred power <strong>of</strong> energeticlove; its direction to wrong objectives. Sin is"a withdrawal from <strong>the</strong> art <strong>of</strong> Divine Wisdomand <strong>the</strong> order <strong>of</strong> Divine Love" : a wilful setting<strong>of</strong> our own small lives, hopes and loves out <strong>of</strong>line with <strong>the</strong> vast purposes <strong>of</strong> God. The rightordering <strong>of</strong> its innate powers <strong>of</strong> love and will is<strong>the</strong>refore all <strong>the</strong> soul has to do to actualizeits inheritance, make it fit for God. Ordinaquest' amore, o tu che m'ami. Then, <strong>the</strong> _soul'shouse is ready for its guest. And Prudence,says St. Thomas again, is this Love "choosingbetween what helps and what hinders"choosing what helps <strong>the</strong> fulfilment <strong>of</strong> God'swill, and leaving what hinders <strong>the</strong> fulfilment <strong>of</strong>that will; because He is <strong>the</strong> soul's love. It is<strong>the</strong> dedicated use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> great human power <strong>of</strong>choice, its subjection to <strong>the</strong> rule <strong>of</strong> charity <strong>the</strong>:right ordering <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> natural life in <strong>the</strong> interests,not <strong>of</strong> one's own preference or advancement,but <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city and <strong>the</strong> city's King.Thus Prudence is like a good housekeeper ;not very attractive at first sight, but a valuablesort <strong>of</strong> woman to put in charge if you want yoursoul's house to be well run. With her eye onefficiency, but always for love's sake, she willuse her resources in <strong>the</strong> best way, keep up <strong>the</strong>premises, provide regular and suitable meals.She will not serve devotional meringues forbreakfast, or try to make beautiful fluffyomelettes full <strong>of</strong> fervour just when eggs arescarce. Dealing with her situation as it really is,26

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULand not proceeding on <strong>the</strong> assumption that itreally ought to be something else, more interesting,exalted and flattering to self-love, shewill be provident: not using upall her resourcesat <strong>the</strong> beginning <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> week, or making plansshe cannot carry out. She will refuse to translate<strong>the</strong> words "called to be saints" into "calledto behave as if we were already saints." Shewill balance prayer and action, never givingout beyond her power, or forgetting to get infresh supplies: so that her spiritual storecupboard is never bare. How mortified, freefrom all spiritual fancifulness and extravagance,is a life over which Prudence presides love <strong>of</strong>;God, even to contempt <strong>of</strong> self, determining allchoices, purifying all motives, and maintainingan orderly, disciplined life in <strong>the</strong> soul.We find this science <strong>of</strong> behaviour operativein both <strong>the</strong> great aspects <strong>of</strong> our human experience,<strong>the</strong> outward and <strong>the</strong> inward: our behaviourtowards o<strong>the</strong>r souls, our behaviour toourselves. As regards o<strong>the</strong>rs, itwill mean <strong>the</strong>loving and careful choice <strong>of</strong> all that helps anddoes not hinder <strong>the</strong>m. In <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> action, <strong>the</strong>mortified use <strong>of</strong> our rightful initiative.In <strong>the</strong>life <strong>of</strong> feeling, <strong>the</strong> custody <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> heart, in <strong>the</strong>interests <strong>of</strong> our neighbour's peace as well as ourown. In <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> thought, a humble avoidance<strong>of</strong> comments on <strong>the</strong> crude and childish nature<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> symbols through which o<strong>the</strong>r souls reachout to God; a discreet suppression <strong>of</strong> thatclever and interesting bit <strong>of</strong> up-to-date27

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong>ology, those startling ethical ideas, whichflatter our intelligence but may disturb moretender-minded souls. Nothing is more markedin <strong>the</strong> Gospels than <strong>the</strong> prudence with whichChrist gave spiritual truths from His infinitestore: always enlightening, but never overwhelming<strong>the</strong> homely sense-conditioned,humancreatures to whom He was sent. The Mindwhich saw God, and all things displayed in <strong>the</strong>light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Divine Wisdom, and which longedto give all men that great vision which isbeatitude, came down from nights <strong>of</strong> communionwith that Reality upon <strong>the</strong> mountain,to teach with Prudence. "Without a parablespake He not" and those parables were made<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> homeliest materials, with little to attracta fastidious spirituality. Yet in <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> secret<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kingdom was hid, so that only those whowere ready for <strong>the</strong> teaching received it. PerfectWisdom came with kindergarten methods tomen's kindergarten souls.The mind awakened to spiritual reality <strong>of</strong>tenneeds much self-control, much prudence,if it isto put <strong>the</strong> truth it has acquired usually verylittle so generally and so genially that <strong>the</strong>re isno risk <strong>of</strong> giving anyone a spiritual shock, or<strong>the</strong> chance <strong>of</strong> spiritual gastritis.All teachershave to learn with St. Paul to subordinate <strong>the</strong>irown vision to <strong>the</strong>ir pupils' needs ; feeding babieswith milk because <strong>the</strong>y need milk, whilstsuppressing <strong>the</strong> disheartening information that<strong>the</strong>re is a more complete diet in <strong>the</strong> cupboard.28

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULPrudence proves her love as much by what shewithholds as by what she gives: humbly andpatiently adapting her method to <strong>the</strong> capacity<strong>of</strong> each. She never bewilders, dazzles, littlegrowing souls never over-feeds or;drags <strong>the</strong>mout <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir depth. The cakes upon her teatableare suited to <strong>the</strong> digestion <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> guests.Prudence fur<strong>the</strong>r requires <strong>the</strong> careful handling<strong>of</strong> our own lives and capacities; instrumentsgiven us by God, and destined to bemirrors <strong>of</strong> His skill. It means choosing wha<strong>the</strong>lps, and rejecting what hinders, <strong>the</strong> fulfilment<strong>of</strong> that design, that vocation, which is alreadypresent in embryo in our souls. This subjection<strong>of</strong> behaviour to <strong>the</strong> ultimate purpose <strong>of</strong> Godmay mean on one hand conduct which seemsabsurdly over-careful ; or, on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r, conductwhich seems imprudent to <strong>the</strong> last degree. Thetruly prudent, love-impelled choices <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>saints are <strong>of</strong>ten in <strong>the</strong> eyes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world <strong>the</strong>extreme <strong>of</strong> foolishness. St. Simon Stylites,making his pillar higher and higher in his quest<strong>of</strong> that solitude to which he knew that he wascalled St. ; Francis, stripping <strong>of</strong>f all that impededhis love, even to his very clo<strong>the</strong>s, and goingout to destitution; St. Ca<strong>the</strong>rine <strong>of</strong> Genoa,forcing herself to repulsive duties because<strong>the</strong>y helped to kill fastidiousness, and makeher self-oblivious love more complete Fa<strong>the</strong>r;Damien, choosing <strong>the</strong> certitude <strong>of</strong> a leper'sdeath; Fa<strong>the</strong>r Wainright, deliberately goingwithout a midday meal for years, becauseC 29

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULlove made him want to share <strong>the</strong> privations <strong>of</strong>those he served all <strong>the</strong>se are <strong>the</strong> actions <strong>of</strong>celestial prudence. Prudence, not preference,took St. Teresa to <strong>the</strong> convent. She did notlike <strong>the</strong> cloister, but she knew herself called byGod and chose that which;helped to fulfil Hiswill for her soul. Prudence locked <strong>the</strong> door <strong>of</strong>Lady Julian's cell, but sent MarySlessor from<strong>the</strong> Scottish mill to <strong>the</strong> African jungle; tookFoucauld to <strong>the</strong> solitude <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sahara, Livingstoneto Africa, Grenfell to Labrador.Love chooses <strong>the</strong> work it can do, not <strong>the</strong>work that it likes. Prudent love took St.himThomas from contemplation and made<strong>the</strong> teacher <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> schools. Prudent love doesnot insist on being a philanthropist when itlacks <strong>the</strong> warm outgoing temperament that isneeded, and is decisivelycalled to <strong>the</strong> morelonely but not less essential vocation <strong>of</strong>studying <strong>the</strong> deep things <strong>of</strong> God. It uses <strong>the</strong>material givenit in <strong>the</strong> best possible way and;thus doing, makes its appointed contribution tothat eternal plan which requires <strong>the</strong> perfectactive surrender <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> willing creature, <strong>the</strong><strong>of</strong> allmaking <strong>of</strong> all choices and performancetasks in subservience to that God Who is PureAct <strong>the</strong> total consecration <strong>of</strong> natural life. "Weare always," says De Caussade, "runningaftersome chimerical perfection, and losing sight<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> only rule <strong>of</strong> real perfection, which iswill <strong>of</strong> God<strong>the</strong>that infinitely wise and infinitelygentle will, which if we make it our guide, will3

TH HOUSE OF THE SOULshow us near at hand at any moment, that whichwe vainly and laboriously seek elsewhere."In <strong>the</strong> Paradiso Dante, with his usual acuteness,makes Prudence love choosing rightly<strong>the</strong> boundary between perfect and imperfectbeatitude. The Heaven <strong>of</strong> those active saintsthrough whom <strong>the</strong> Divine Wisdom is impartedto men is <strong>the</strong> Heaven <strong>of</strong> Prudence. Mindswidely separated in temper and outlook, butunited by <strong>the</strong>ir loving choice <strong>of</strong> GodAnselm and Chrysostom, Francis and Dominic,Hugh <strong>of</strong> St. Victor and Thomas Aquinas<strong>the</strong>re dwell toge<strong>the</strong>r. It is <strong>the</strong>re that <strong>the</strong> music<strong>of</strong> eternity first becomes audible by humanears. And this is surely right for it is only by;means <strong>of</strong> those costly, love-impelled choiceswhich are <strong>the</strong> essence <strong>of</strong> heavenly Prudencethat <strong>the</strong> natural creature can enter more andmore fully into <strong>the</strong> rhythm <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> supernaturallife.For in <strong>the</strong> governance <strong>of</strong> our natural lives, agenuine choice .is left to us. We are nei<strong>the</strong>rdummies, nor <strong>the</strong> slaves <strong>of</strong> circumstance. Weare living creatures possessed <strong>of</strong> a limitedfreedom, a power <strong>of</strong> initiative, which increasesevery time we use it <strong>the</strong> right way; we aretrained and developed by being confrontedwith alternatives, on which tremendous issueshang. It is typical <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> completeness withwhich each essential factor <strong>of</strong> our human experiencefinds its rule and patternin <strong>the</strong>Gospels that this free choice between possible

THE HOUSE OF T H E SOULcourses should form our Lord's actual preparationfor His public ministry. Enlightenedat baptism as to His divine Sonship, Hisunique commission, He did not at once rush<strong>of</strong>f "in <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit" to preach <strong>the</strong>good news. "He who believeth shall not makehaste." Real poweris <strong>the</strong> result <strong>of</strong> innerharmony, and requires perfect accord between<strong>the</strong> upper and lower floors ; impulse harnessedto obedience. Therefore <strong>the</strong> Spirit <strong>of</strong> Wisdomdrove Him into <strong>the</strong> wilderness, to come toterms with His own human nature. More thanone path lay open before Him. He might claim<strong>the</strong> privileges <strong>of</strong> an exceptional spirit,in <strong>the</strong>midst <strong>of</strong> a world which is not exceptional at all :turn <strong>the</strong> material world to His own purpose,transcend <strong>the</strong> common laws <strong>of</strong> nature, assume<strong>the</strong> position <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Fa<strong>the</strong>r's pet child. He mightfollow <strong>the</strong> path disclosed by spiritual ambition,leading to obvious power and success : <strong>the</strong> mostinsidious <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> three temptations, because itsuggested that His mission <strong>of</strong> redemption andenlightenment could be fulfilled on a greatscale, by entering into alliance with <strong>the</strong> spiritand methods <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. People who think innumbers always mistake this for a call fromGod. Love, choosing what helped, rejected all<strong>the</strong>se opportunities, and elected <strong>the</strong> humblecareer <strong>of</strong> a local prophet and evangelist: alimited scope, unrewarded service, an unappreciativepublic, a narrow path leading to<strong>the</strong> Cross.32

THE HOUSE OFThe spiritual life constantlyTHE SOUL<strong>of</strong>fers its neophytes<strong>the</strong> equivalent <strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong>se temptations.There are those who think first <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir ownspiritualfeedinghunger, and <strong>the</strong> imperative duty <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>ir own souls: those for whom <strong>the</strong>spiritual life means spiritual privilege whodefy common sense,, take foolish risks, and call<strong>the</strong> proceeding trust in God : those who acceptmethods <strong>of</strong> recommending religion which aresomething less than spiritual, and call this"dealing with <strong>the</strong> conditions <strong>of</strong> modern life."All <strong>the</strong>se courses in <strong>the</strong>ir different ways mayseem prudent ;and all wilt away before <strong>the</strong>selflessprudence <strong>of</strong> Christ. That picture, inits austere majesty and loneliness, forces <strong>the</strong>soul to consider how much disguised selfinterest,how much irresponsibility, how muchinclination to compromise, hang about itsground floor and impede <strong>the</strong> puritychoice for God. For <strong>the</strong> inner spring which<strong>of</strong> itsgoverns all truly prudent choice is such agenerous, general and self-oblivious surrenderas overrules mere personal preference, canenvisage with equal calmness apparent failureand apparent success, and ignores even its ownspiritual advantage. The New Testamentcontains no single instance in which ourLord sought or obtained a private spiritualwho do soadvantage and <strong>the</strong> devout :personsare at best only vegetable-fibre saints. Likeartificial silk, <strong>the</strong>y look very glossy, but do notstand much wear and tear.33

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULNow Prudence is a positive, not a negative,principle .<strong>of</strong> action. It requires behaviour, notabstention from behaviour. Itrejects <strong>the</strong>lower, in order that itmay be free to accept<strong>the</strong> higher choice. Thus our dominant attractionis in <strong>the</strong> eyes <strong>of</strong> Prudence as important asour dominant temptation: it may be <strong>the</strong> magnetby which we are being drawn to <strong>the</strong> place wehave to fill. The creative method completesdetachment by attachment: "Leave all" requiresas its corollary "Follow me." It may<strong>the</strong>refore be a work <strong>of</strong> Prudence to make tentativeadvances along a path which attracts us ;whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>of</strong> prayer, study, active work, humanlove or renunciation. But when God, speakingthrough circumstances, says "That way isnot open," <strong>the</strong>n it is for us humbly to acquiesce,whatever <strong>the</strong> cost. Love must learn by experienceto recognize when <strong>the</strong> secret inwardpressure comes from God, and when itcomes from self-will,reallyand we persuade ourselvesthat it is <strong>the</strong> push <strong>of</strong> God. Nothing ismore important than that we should faithfullyfollow our own true spiritual attraction ; developand use <strong>the</strong> talent given into our care. Butit needs a humble and a prudent spirit todiscover what that is, and distinguishit from<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r more exciting kind <strong>of</strong> attractionwhich is really rooted in self-love.To do this is <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> Discretion, <strong>the</strong>handmaid <strong>of</strong> Prudence : and <strong>the</strong> test that sheproposes is simple enough. "If God be thy love34

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULand thy meaning, <strong>the</strong> choice and point <strong>of</strong> thyheart," says <strong>the</strong> author <strong>of</strong> The Cloud <strong>of</strong> Unknowing,"it sufficeth to <strong>the</strong>e in this life."There, in a phrase, is <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> HeavenlyPrudence. It requires a total transformation <strong>of</strong>our attitude towards existence; because <strong>the</strong>choice and point <strong>of</strong> our heart is set towards <strong>the</strong>Eternal, our love and our meaning is God, andwe are running our house for Him. If wetest by this standard <strong>the</strong> dubious choices wehave made, <strong>the</strong> chances we have missed, <strong>the</strong>responsibilities we have dodged, we shall perceivein each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m a virtual confession that<strong>the</strong> LivingPerfect and its interests were notreally <strong>the</strong> choice and point <strong>of</strong> our heart. Easypaths taken, awkward paths left ; a cowardlyinclination to take shelter behind circumstances.In personal relationships, a quiet avoidance <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> uncongenial, a certain blindness to opportunitiesfor -exercising generous love. Inreligion, perverse insistence on particularnotions and practices ;self-chosen adventuresin devotional regions to which we were notPrudence, remembering <strong>the</strong>decisively called.modest size <strong>of</strong> her own premises and <strong>the</strong>sublimity <strong>of</strong> those experiences <strong>of</strong> God which<strong>the</strong> mystics try with stammering tongues tosuggest, will always choose a simple type <strong>of</strong>prayer suited to her capacity, and neverattempt that which isbeyond her powers; forshe has no spiritual ambition, beyond faithfulcorrespondence with God. How sober, morti-35

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULfied, truly discreet is <strong>the</strong> prayer <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> saints;faithful, loyal, free from self-chosen peculiarities,keeping steadily on through darknessand through light.So too <strong>the</strong> detachment to which Prudencewill urge us will not merely consist in cuttingout those things and persons which attract us,and are occasions <strong>of</strong> temptation and unrest:thus eliminating <strong>the</strong> very material <strong>of</strong> selfdisciplinefrom life. It will ra<strong>the</strong>r require <strong>the</strong>practice <strong>of</strong> detachment in attachment: usingwith love <strong>the</strong> educational toys in our cupboard,but refusing to make <strong>the</strong>m into idols or breakintoangry howls when <strong>the</strong>y are taken away.Prudence requires love without claimfulness,and service without self-will; cherishing andstudying <strong>the</strong> people placed within our radius,but even here, never seeking our own along<strong>the</strong> subtle paths <strong>of</strong> spiritual friendship. Shedemands a life that is both world-embracingand world-renouncing in itsamplitude <strong>of</strong> surrenderedlove. This means a constant anddifficult tension ; many falls, perhaps continuoussuffering, perpetual slaps to affection andpride. Again and again <strong>the</strong> unruly lowernature seems to be conquered ; again arid againit catches us out. It is one thing to makeLove's choice, and quite ano<strong>the</strong>r to stick to it.Never<strong>the</strong>less this is <strong>the</strong> right way to handle <strong>the</strong>ground-floor life not; eliminating its frictions,but usingits capacities,and gradually purifying<strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m from self-love. We can afford36

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULto have a warm and well-furnished kitchen, andeven to take pride in it, so long as we rememberthat it is a kitchen; and that all its activitiesmust be subservient to <strong>the</strong> interests <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>whole house, and its observance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city'slaw,37

IllIF it is <strong>the</strong> special work <strong>of</strong> Prudence tomanage our basement premises, so run <strong>the</strong>domestic life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul that all its willedchoices, <strong>the</strong> trend <strong>of</strong> its behaviour, subserve <strong>the</strong>purposes <strong>of</strong> God it is <strong>the</strong>; special work <strong>of</strong>Temperance to harness and control <strong>the</strong> naturaland subdue <strong>the</strong>m to <strong>the</strong> same end.instincts,Temperance, says St. Thomas, is <strong>the</strong> Virtue <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Beautiful, <strong>the</strong> virtue which tempers andorders our vehement desires, and subjects evenour apparently spiritual cravings to <strong>the</strong> mortifyingaction <strong>of</strong> love for :moderation, proportion,reverence for conditions, is <strong>the</strong> very secret <strong>of</strong> alasting beauty. To worship <strong>the</strong> Lord in <strong>the</strong>beauty <strong>of</strong> holiness does not mean <strong>the</strong> unbridledenthusiasm <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dervish, but <strong>the</strong> quiet andsteadfast loyalty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> saint.Temperance, <strong>the</strong>n, must preside over <strong>the</strong>furnishing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's house, if it is to be <strong>the</strong>setting <strong>of</strong> a useful, ordered, peaceful interiorlife. Much discipline, moderation, actual selfdenialare involved in wise furnishing.Nohurried purchase <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cheap or attractive,without considering <strong>the</strong> size and shape <strong>of</strong> ourrooms; no copying <strong>of</strong> our neighbour's interestingnew curtains, oblivious <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> fact that <strong>the</strong>ywill never live with pur dear old rugs; no38

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULfrenzied efforts to get a grand piano into a tworoomedflat. If <strong>the</strong> house is to be a success,what we leave out will be quite as important aswhat we putin. Abstine et sustine. At everyturn we are required to reconsider our firstnotions, accept our limitations, mortify ourdesires. It is useless to begin in a style that wecannot keep up; or, when we see what itinvolves, will want to keep up. We all knowrooms full <strong>of</strong> little vases, faded photographs,plush elephants, and shabby books <strong>of</strong> verse;relics <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> owners' transient and uncontrolledimpulses.Those rooms lack all sense <strong>of</strong>space, tranquillity and dignity ;because Temperance,<strong>the</strong> strong virtue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Beautiful,has not been called in. So too <strong>the</strong> furnishing<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's house depends for its successon a wise austerity. It requires a spirit <strong>of</strong>renunciation; checkingthat love <strong>of</strong> whatis new, odd or startling, which so easilykills <strong>the</strong> taste for quiet colour and simple(things, that tendency to accumulate oddsand ends which swamps our few real treasuresin a dusty crowd <strong>of</strong> devotional knick-knacks.The inner life does not consist in <strong>the</strong> abundanceand peculiarity <strong>of</strong> our spiritual possessions.There is nothing so foolish, snobbish,and in <strong>the</strong> end so disastrous as trying t<strong>of</strong>urnish beyond our means; forgetting ourcreaturely status, and <strong>the</strong> very moderateposition which our small house occupies in<strong>the</strong> City <strong>of</strong> God.39

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULAgain, Temperance will lay a restraininghand on <strong>the</strong> speculative instinct, when it istempted to rush <strong>of</strong>f to <strong>the</strong> horizons <strong>of</strong> thoughtor make fatuous efforts to achieve a "concept<strong>of</strong> God"; forgetting, in its immoderate cravingfor sharper outlines or more light, <strong>the</strong> awfuland <strong>the</strong>disparity between <strong>the</strong> infinite mysteryuseful but limited human mind, and <strong>the</strong> factthat it is under human conditions, in a humanworld, that God desires to maintain andtransfigure <strong>the</strong> soul. "The angels feed on Theefully," says <strong>the</strong> ancient prayer <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> priestbefore Mass: "let pilgrim man feed on Theeaccording to his measure."Christianity insists that all we need and canassimilate will be given to us at home; <strong>the</strong>Light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> human world comingto us hereand now, as <strong>the</strong> Bread <strong>of</strong> Life. But it takes atemperate soul to savour all that lies hidden inthis sayingits moderation, homeliness, perfectadaptation to our creaturely needs True <strong>the</strong>. ,heavens declare <strong>the</strong> glory <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lord ;but we,whirling along on our tiny bit <strong>of</strong> heaven, aremore overwhelmed than illuminated by thatmajestic revelation. We remain merely dazzledand bewildered till we consent to come <strong>of</strong>f ourhigh horse, get our feet firmly on <strong>the</strong> earth, andlook here and now for <strong>the</strong> life-giving Realitymediated through earthly things. "I am <strong>the</strong>Son <strong>of</strong> man, that two-storied, half-madecreature. I do not despise <strong>the</strong> ground floorand its needs. I am <strong>the</strong> Bread <strong>of</strong> his little -life,40

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong> Light <strong>of</strong> his little world: yet I and MyFa<strong>the</strong>r are one."Thus <strong>the</strong> characteristic mode <strong>of</strong> God's selfgivingto <strong>the</strong> human soul is declared to besomething which we can best compare to ourordinary necessary daily food; given to usdown right in <strong>the</strong> common life, and satisfying afundamental need which isindependent <strong>of</strong> feelingand taste. Man lives on God, is "renewedday by day by <strong>the</strong> Spirit"; by regular plaintaken here andmeals, <strong>of</strong>fered and deliberatelynow, not by occasional moments <strong>of</strong> ecstaticcommunion. By solid food, not spiritualsweets. "He gave <strong>the</strong>m bread from Heaven toeat." Only a soul disciplined to temperance canrelish all that <strong>the</strong>re is to be found in bread. Itsexcursions and aspirations, its delightful ascentsto God, if legitimate and wholesome, mustalways bring it back to discover more savourand meaning in this plain, homely Bread <strong>of</strong> Life."You seek," says De Caussade, "<strong>the</strong> secret<strong>of</strong> union with God. There isno o<strong>the</strong>r secretbut to make use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> material God givesus." That material is mixed, like <strong>the</strong> environmentin which we find ourselves. Temperancewill teach us to acceptit as it comes to usnot arrogantly ignoring <strong>the</strong> visible in oursearch for <strong>the</strong> invisible, but rememberingthat <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city enfolds and penetratesboth. Here <strong>the</strong> greatest mystics have been <strong>the</strong>most temperate, and so most closely in touchwith <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> New Testament. St.

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULFrancis finds in <strong>the</strong> difficulties and humiliL ctions <strong>of</strong> normal existence <strong>the</strong> essence <strong>of</strong> perfeLjoy. St. Teresa "desires no o<strong>the</strong>r prayer thJjfthat which makes her a better woman." T| nlatest in time <strong>of</strong> her daughters, St. Therese LLisieux, esteems "one sacrifice better than ai]ecstasy." Bro<strong>the</strong>r Lawrence is content tohis cooking in <strong>the</strong> Presence <strong>of</strong> God.Francois de Sales, when St. Chantal triesturn <strong>the</strong> conversation to spiritual channelhdirects her attention to <strong>the</strong> little tune <strong>the</strong> fooLman is singing outside <strong>the</strong> door. For all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>;1

:THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULrocious spring-clean, or gets in things from.e confectioner when she is expecting guests.[fany man open <strong>the</strong> door, I will come in tom"; share his ordinary meal, and irradiate's ordinary life. The demand for temperancesoul, for an acknowledgment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sacredliaracter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> normal, is based on that factcentral Christian fact <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> humblentrance <strong>of</strong> God into our common human life,he supernatural can and does seek and find, in and through our daily normal experience :e invisible in <strong>the</strong> visible. There is no need topeculiar in order to find God. The Magiere taught by <strong>the</strong> heavens to follow a star;nd itbrought <strong>the</strong>m, not to a paralysingisclosure <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Transcendent, but to a littleoy on His Mo<strong>the</strong>r's knee.So too we observe how moderate, humble,ttuned to <strong>the</strong> scale <strong>of</strong> our daily life are all <strong>the</strong>rucial events <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> New Testament. Seenom <strong>the</strong> outside, none could have guessed <strong>the</strong>irlatter ing and transfiguring power. Thepocalyptists looked for a superhuman beingcoming in <strong>the</strong> clouds" <strong>the</strong>y could not escaperom <strong>the</strong> idea <strong>of</strong>,<strong>the</strong> abnormal but <strong>the</strong> realvents which transformed <strong>the</strong> spiritual historyf man were startling only m <strong>the</strong>ir simplicity,"he quiet routine <strong>of</strong> a childhood and workingjfe in Nazareth; <strong>the</strong> wandering ministry <strong>of</strong>Caching and compassion, with <strong>the</strong> least possibletress laid on supernatural powers ;<strong>the</strong> homelyjttle triumph <strong>of</strong> Palm Sunday; <strong>the</strong> pitiful43

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULsufferings <strong>of</strong> an arrest and execution toocommonplace to disturb <strong>the</strong> city's life. Christnever based His claim on strangeness:it is bywhat He is, ra<strong>the</strong>r than by what He does, thatHe awes, attracts, amazes.In spite <strong>of</strong> its contrasts between <strong>the</strong> sternand tender, how steadily temperate and centralin itsemphasis is all His :teaching full <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>colour and quality <strong>of</strong> real life, free from <strong>the</strong>merely startling, ever keeping close to ournormal experience. Sowing, reaping, breadmaking,keeping sheep; in <strong>the</strong>se <strong>the</strong> secrets<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kingdom are hid. He does not askHis disciples to speculate on <strong>the</strong> DivineNature, but to consider <strong>the</strong> lilies; it comes to<strong>the</strong> same thing and is more suited to ourpowers. He looks at and studies <strong>the</strong>se simpleand natural things with <strong>the</strong> eyes <strong>of</strong> sympa<strong>the</strong>ticlove; because for Him <strong>the</strong> supernaturalindwells and supportsall natural things, notmerely abnormal or "religious" things. Thereforeeach and all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se natural things, madeby God and kept by God, can become supernaturalrevelations <strong>of</strong> His Spirit. We feelour Lord's complete understanding <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>thing- world in all its richness, beauty andpathos, His careful, reverent, tender observation<strong>of</strong> animals, birds and plants: yet, Hisentire alo<strong>of</strong>ness from its clutch, <strong>the</strong> deepharmony <strong>of</strong> His Spirit with <strong>the</strong> very Spirit <strong>of</strong>Creative Love. No cleavage here between <strong>the</strong>two levels <strong>of</strong> man's life: <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upper44

THEHOUSE OFTHE SOULfloor penetrates to every corner, and transfusesalike <strong>the</strong> most sacred and homely activities.The discourse in <strong>the</strong> 1 2th chapter <strong>of</strong> St.Luke is full <strong>of</strong> this temperate genial attitude to<strong>the</strong> natural, in its contrast with that intemperance<strong>of</strong> soul which alternates between anabsolute and inhuman detachment and using<strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> things in a childish grasping way.It is a long varied lesson in <strong>the</strong> true realism.Consider that wonderful world <strong>of</strong> life in whichyou are placed, and observe that its greatrhythms <strong>of</strong> birth, growth and death all <strong>the</strong>things that really matter are not in your control.That unhurried process will go forward inits stately beauty, little affected by your anxiousfuss. Find out, <strong>the</strong>n, where your treasure reallyis. Discern substance from accident. Don't confuseyour meals with your life, and yourclo<strong>the</strong>s with your body. Don't lose your headover what perishes, Nearly everything doesperish: so face <strong>the</strong> facts,don't rush after <strong>the</strong>transient and unreal. Maintain your soul intranquil dependence on God; don't worry;don't mistake what you possess for what youare.Accumulating things is useless. Both mentaland material avarice are merely silly in view<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dread facts <strong>of</strong> life and death. The WhiteKnight would have done better had he left hisluggage at home. The simpler your house, <strong>the</strong>easier it will be to run. The fewer <strong>the</strong> thingsand <strong>the</strong> people you "simply must have," <strong>the</strong>nearer you will be to <strong>the</strong> ideal <strong>of</strong> happinessD45

THE HO USE OFTHE SOUL"as having nothing, to possess all." We observehow exquisitely <strong>the</strong> whole doctrine is keptwithin <strong>the</strong> boundaries <strong>of</strong> our natural experience;how it tends to deepen this given experiencera<strong>the</strong>r than escape from it. Man is being taughthow to run that ground-floorlife which hecannot get rid <strong>of</strong> and must not ignore; yettaught by one in whom <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r life shineswith unmatched perfection, whose wholepersonality radiates God.If now we consider how we ourselves standin respect <strong>of</strong> this virtue <strong>of</strong> Temperance, wediscover that it must bring its sobering realisminto our social, personal, and spiritual life.peaceful acceptance <strong>of</strong> facts must colour all ourrelations with o<strong>the</strong>rs, all our dealings withourselves, all our responses to God.First, in relation to o<strong>the</strong>rs Temperancerequires a quiet refusal to capitulate to feverishand distracting emotions ;intense attractionsand intense hostilities. It means a tempering<strong>of</strong> ground-floor passions to <strong>the</strong> needs <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>upstairs life; that check upon vehementimpulse, that ordering <strong>of</strong> love, which involvesits absolute dissociation from claimfulness,clutch and excess. The love which <strong>the</strong> Saintspour out is a gentle and genial sunshine;.never fierce, concentrated, intemperate. Thosewho come to <strong>the</strong> soul's house should find itnicely warmed all over; its inner chamber mustnot be like one <strong>of</strong> those rooms which have afierce little gas stove in one corner, and aIts

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULdeadly chill everywhere else. Custodia cordis,<strong>the</strong> secret <strong>of</strong> an ordered life, involves <strong>the</strong>maintenance <strong>of</strong> an even temperature; and arefusal to rush out upon a flood <strong>of</strong> inordinatefeeling towards certain persons, deeds andthings, instead <strong>of</strong> taking what comes to ustranquilly, with a light hand.Again, <strong>the</strong>ological views, and political loyalties,must all be subject to <strong>the</strong> rule <strong>of</strong> temperance;killing presumption, intolerance and<strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> controversy, acknowledging ateach point <strong>the</strong> fragmentary and relativecharacter <strong>of</strong> all human knowledge and <strong>the</strong>refore<strong>the</strong> peril and absurdity <strong>of</strong> absolute judgmentsand scornful criticisms <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> opinions <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rmen. So too <strong>the</strong> restless, energetic desire toget things done, <strong>the</strong> impetuous determinationto remodel <strong>the</strong> world nearer to our own hearts'desire, <strong>the</strong> exaggerated importance we attributeto our own action, <strong>the</strong> emphasis placed ondoing, to <strong>the</strong> detriment <strong>of</strong> being all this mustbe mortified if calm and order are to rule <strong>the</strong>lower floor. We shall never create a home-likeatmosphere unless we consent to spend sometime in our own home; and, were a betterbalance struck between our inward life and ouroutward activities, <strong>the</strong> result would at once beseen in <strong>the</strong> improved quality <strong>of</strong> that outwardwork. Like Peter's wife's mo<strong>the</strong>r, while <strong>the</strong>fever is on us we cannot really serve our fellowmen.I <strong>of</strong>ten think that when St. Paul wrote his47

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULclassic list <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> fruits <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit he gave usunconsciously a wonderful account <strong>of</strong> his owngrowth in this spiritual realism. We shouldhardly think <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> virtue <strong>of</strong> Temperance asspecially characteristic <strong>of</strong> St. Paul, and even to<strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> his days he probably found it difficult;yet in this he discovers <strong>the</strong> final pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>working <strong>of</strong> Creative Spirit in his soul. Hebegins upona note <strong>of</strong> convinced fervour. "Thefruit <strong>the</strong> harvest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> .Spirit is Love, Joy,Peace." No three words could better expressthat rich beatitude which, in his holiestmoments, has flooded his soul. Then he pauses,We seem to see him thinking: "After all, I don'talways feel like that. Things are <strong>of</strong>ten very trying.I don't seem able to love ; peace and joy areunobtainable ;I feel ano<strong>the</strong>r law in my memberswarring against <strong>the</strong> law <strong>of</strong> my mind. Yet <strong>the</strong>indwelling Spiritis still <strong>the</strong>re: to live is Christ.How does that Spirit act on my troubled spiritin those less expansive moments? Surely in<strong>the</strong> long-suffering, gentleness and kindnesswhich I know must control all my reactions to<strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> men." They were not <strong>the</strong> reactionswhich St. Paul found specially easy. We see<strong>the</strong> yoke being laid on his stormy instinctivenature: <strong>the</strong> love that is easy on <strong>the</strong> upperfloor being brought downstairs, to prove itselfin <strong>the</strong> common life.At last, at <strong>the</strong> very end, we reach thoseunexpected characters which are <strong>the</strong> earnest<strong>of</strong> his total transformation in <strong>the</strong> Spirit.

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULFidelity, Meekness, Moderation :an unsensationalbut unbroken loyalty to <strong>the</strong> infinite lifeand purpose which had made him its own, anacceptance <strong>of</strong> its gradual pace, a refusal, tohurry, a restraining <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> impetuous desireto get everything possible out <strong>of</strong> those newconverts who were only babies still, and tell <strong>the</strong>candid truth to those who had let him down<strong>the</strong>se are <strong>the</strong> real fruits <strong>of</strong> his subjection to God.Paul, whose first idea had been to brea<strong>the</strong> fireand slaughter upon <strong>the</strong> Christians, and whosesecond idea had been to be "all out" for Christwho was quite as obsessed as we are by <strong>the</strong>vision <strong>of</strong> all that <strong>the</strong>re was to do, and <strong>the</strong> sensethat he was called uponto do itlearns that<strong>the</strong> final gift <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit is not intensity <strong>of</strong> life,but Temperance. "The servant <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Lordmust not strive." Hurry, bustle, anxiety toget things done an immoderate demand for;perfection and consequent nervous wear andtear ;<strong>the</strong> wasteful use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> premises given usby God, are all condemned.Next, we are called to be temperate asregards <strong>the</strong> standard by which we estimateourselves ;which must nei<strong>the</strong>r be too degradednor too exalted for our status. We are nei<strong>the</strong>rangels nor devils, but half-achieved, unstablecreatures ; alternately pulled towards <strong>the</strong> higherand <strong>the</strong> lower life.Temperance, <strong>the</strong>refore, willnot take too ferocious a view <strong>of</strong> our inevitablefluctuations. It will not judge <strong>the</strong> state <strong>of</strong> ourhouse|by its ground floor alone or its upper49

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULrooms alone ;but by both. The ground floor,to <strong>the</strong> very end, will partake <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> imperfection<strong>of</strong> nature. It isgood and humbling thatthis should be so : and we should bring a certaingenial patience to acceptance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> facts,bearing evenly our own uneven performances.Our part is to manage <strong>the</strong> household wisely,without overstraining its resources ;if we do, itwill have its revenge. So we are required to bereasonable both in what we refuse to nature andwhat we demand from it ; temperate in renunciationas well as enjoyment, in supersensibleas well as sensible activities. The spirituallifeconstantly draws upon <strong>the</strong> resources <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>natural life; much nervous energyis used inprayer, especially absorbed or difficult prayer.Therefore we should treat our limited powerswith reverence, avoiding wasteful overstrain.Fur<strong>the</strong>r, we should arrange our housework on areasonable plan not ; letting ourselves in for awhole day's scrubbing, and <strong>the</strong>n in our desperationresorting to strong soda and harsh soap,After all, <strong>the</strong> interior life needs no sensationalmeasures. It requires only our gentle andfaithful collaboration with God, in fitting <strong>the</strong>human nature He has given us for Him;gradually making <strong>the</strong> whole house ready forthat Spiritwhich is tranquillity and peace.Thus temperance in regard to ourselvesinvolves temperance as towards God; anavoidance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> devotional strain and clutchwe sometimes mistake for fervour; a humble50

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULrecognition <strong>of</strong> our limits in respect<strong>of</strong> thatcommunion with Him which we can enjoy.wisdom is aThe beginning <strong>of</strong> all spiritualrealization <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> moderate character <strong>of</strong> oursituation <strong>the</strong> vast distance between even <strong>the</strong>most illuminated soul and those mysteries <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Being <strong>of</strong> God on which <strong>the</strong> seraphs did notdare to look. Temperance suggests to us howawestruck and humble, how full <strong>of</strong> adorationour demeanour should be, over against thatunsearchable Reality; how moderate and childlikeour choice <strong>of</strong> religious objectives andpractices. We are not to "ransack <strong>the</strong> DivineMajesty" as <strong>the</strong> old mystics had it, but meeklyaccept <strong>the</strong> revelation <strong>of</strong> Himself that Hegives us; never arrogantly seeking more lightthan we can bear, or more food than we candigest."Well, Sadie,"said an American mo<strong>the</strong>r toher little girl,who was devouring everythingwithin reach, "I reckon you won't long have<strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> that breakfast." There are intemperatedevotional meals to which <strong>the</strong> same riskis attached. It is left to us to feed our soulswisely and carefullynot too many spiritualsweets, not too much effervescent emotion. Weare to be content with <strong>the</strong> food we find suits usstreng<strong>the</strong>ns us, makes us grow not makewild efforts to get <strong>the</strong> food we like best. Norare we to be fastidious in our rejection <strong>of</strong> everythingwe do not think "essential," until wereach what we choose to regard as a "purelySi

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULspiritual" type <strong>of</strong> prayer. Our ghostly insidesare much like our natural insides ; <strong>the</strong>y need acertain amount <strong>of</strong> what doctors call ' ' ' 'roughage ,and seldom thrive on too refined a diet.The homely mixed food, <strong>the</strong> routine meals,<strong>of</strong> institutional religion, keep our digestions ingood order. Particularlyat times when we aredrawn to fervour, or our spiritual sensibilityseems to transcend <strong>the</strong> average level, we need <strong>the</strong>wholesome corrective <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> common religiousdiet, <strong>the</strong> average practice, with itsrough andready adaptation to ordinary needs and limitations,to remind us that we are hot pure spiritsyet. In that excellent parable, The History <strong>of</strong>Sir John Sparrow, a logical insistence on <strong>the</strong>reduction <strong>of</strong> his food to its essential constituentsat last left <strong>the</strong> hero face to face with a saucer <strong>of</strong>canary seed. He had proved that it containedall <strong>the</strong> human body needed ;but somehow <strong>the</strong>position was not a satisfactory one. ThereforeTemperance will restrain us from simplifyingor e<strong>the</strong>realizing our religious diet overmuch.We are mixed feeders, and must do as ourfellows. Fastidious choices, special paths, lookra<strong>the</strong>r ridiculous in <strong>the</strong> "perpetual brightclearness <strong>of</strong> Eternity."The light which ba<strong>the</strong>s <strong>the</strong> paintings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Umbrian masters, and gives <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong>ir pr<strong>of</strong>oundtranquillity,is not a vivid illumination.It reveals no distant detail, creates no violentcontrasts. Yet we feel that its gentle radiance,s<strong>of</strong>tening all harsh outlines, comes from beyond52

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong> world in its unearthly beauty and ; quietenseverything on which it falls. It stills all passionand intensity, reprovesall haste: gives <strong>the</strong>calm beauty <strong>of</strong> holiness even to <strong>the</strong> anguish<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross. That is <strong>the</strong> light in which <strong>the</strong>soul's life, world, prayer, should be ba<strong>the</strong>d:harmonizing nature and spirit in its lovely,temperate radiance. The Heaven <strong>of</strong> Temperance,says Dante, is <strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> contemplativesaints. In its soil <strong>the</strong> ladder isplanted on which <strong>the</strong>y ascend to <strong>the</strong> Vision <strong>of</strong>God. For Temperance, stilling those excesses<strong>of</strong> desire, those self-actuated struggles, whichhinder <strong>the</strong> silent working <strong>of</strong> Creative Spirit in<strong>the</strong> soul, finds its perfect work in that quietude,humility and suppleness which are <strong>the</strong> onlypreparation <strong>of</strong> prayer.53

IVWHAT is <strong>the</strong> final need <strong>of</strong> our groundfloorpremises, if <strong>the</strong>y are to bear <strong>the</strong>weight <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upper story; <strong>the</strong> thrust andpressure <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> supernatural life The ? Saintsreply, with one voice: Fortitude, strength,staying-power! To be "stablished, streng<strong>the</strong>ned,settled" not e<strong>the</strong>realized, exalted,illuminated is St. Peter's supreme desire forhis converts. It is^<strong>the</strong> sober ambition <strong>of</strong> arealist who has known in his own person <strong>the</strong>so establish <strong>the</strong> soul'sdisasters that await a fervour based on feelingra<strong>the</strong>r than will. The perfect work <strong>of</strong> Prudenceand Temperanceis to make our natural humanity"strong in <strong>the</strong> Lord" ;house on <strong>the</strong> rock, and make its walls solid,that it can carry those strange upper workswhich are part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> builder's design.The ground floor, rising up from <strong>the</strong> naturalorder, is subject to its law <strong>of</strong> consequence ; all<strong>the</strong> vicissitudes <strong>of</strong> circumstance, health, opportunity,<strong>the</strong> ebb and flow <strong>of</strong> energy and inclination,<strong>the</strong> temperamental reaction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soulswith whom we must live. Through <strong>the</strong>se, Godreaches us, deals with us, trains us; and to<strong>the</strong> uttermost. That living Spirit pressingsoinsistently on our spirits, filling with its spacelesspresence every room <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's house,54

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULcomes yet to us in and through natural circumstance;and makes <strong>of</strong> this circumstance,however homely, <strong>the</strong> instrument <strong>of</strong> its purifyingpower.The touch <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> eternal reaches usmost <strong>of</strong>ten through <strong>the</strong> things <strong>of</strong> sense. Weare called to endure this ceaseless divine action ;not with a sullen stoicism, but With a livinggrateful patience. The events by which we arethus shaped and disciplined are <strong>of</strong>ten as muchas <strong>the</strong> natural creature can bear. God comesto <strong>the</strong> soul in His working clo<strong>the</strong>s, and bringsHis tools with Him. We need fortitude if weare to accept with quietness <strong>the</strong> sharp blowsand persistent sandpapering which bring ourhalf-finished fitments up to <strong>the</strong> standard requiredby <strong>the</strong> city's plan. But it is this steadyendurance, born <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> humble sense thateverything which happens matters, yet onlymatters because it mediates God, and <strong>of</strong>fers anever to be repeated opportunity <strong>of</strong> improvingour correspondence with God, which more andmore makes <strong>the</strong> house fit to be a habitation <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Spirit.It is not a week-end cottage. Itmust be planned and organized for life, <strong>the</strong>whole <strong>of</strong> life, not for fine wea<strong>the</strong>r alone. Hencestrong walls and dry cellars matter more thanmany balconies or interesting garden design.The winds will blow and <strong>the</strong> floods come to<strong>the</strong> very end; overwhelming events, wild gales<strong>of</strong> feeling and impulse, will sweep round <strong>the</strong>walls. The doors will bang and windowsrattle. The bitter, cold and penetrating waters55

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>of</strong> disappointment and grief will rise.But <strong>the</strong>little house will stand firm, if it is establishedon <strong>the</strong> solid rock <strong>of</strong> spiritual realism ;not <strong>the</strong>s<strong>of</strong>t easily-dug ground <strong>of</strong> spiritual sentiment.Its foundations must go down into <strong>the</strong> invisibleworld <strong>of</strong> prayer: something <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> steadfastness<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Unchangingmust underlie our humanchangefulness. The balance between <strong>the</strong>different parts, with <strong>the</strong>ir compensatingthrusts and strains, must keep <strong>the</strong> walls true.If one becomes excessive, and pushes too much,<strong>the</strong> house may fall.That <strong>the</strong> soul's self-giving prayer and workshould be really costly and difficult, shouldand made fit tocall for <strong>the</strong> putting out <strong>of</strong> a definite degree <strong>of</strong>effort, should involve a certain tension andeven painall this is surely good. The job thatis done quite easily is seldom done quite well.However we conceive it whe<strong>the</strong>r as pilgrimage,or growth <strong>the</strong> spiritual life <strong>of</strong> man isnever without an element <strong>of</strong> conflict. Effortand endurance must enter deeply into <strong>the</strong>process by which our mixed beingis harmonized,simplified, expanded,be <strong>the</strong> instrument <strong>of</strong> God. For those in whom<strong>the</strong>re is a pronounced disharmony betweennatural temperament and supernatural call,<strong>the</strong> struggle may be bitter until <strong>the</strong> very end;and it is better that it should so continue thanthat we should harmonize ideal and achievementon a lower level than <strong>the</strong> best possible,and so false to <strong>the</strong> city's building-law. We are56

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULnot to yield an inch to <strong>the</strong> bungalow-ideal <strong>of</strong>human character. But this rightful interiortension should never threaten our spiritualequilibrium. When Fortitude begins to becoloured by strain, and action tends to becomewe agitation, are approaching <strong>the</strong> danger zone<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's life. That soul is required to bea "fixed abode for God through <strong>the</strong> Spirit";and for this, something <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stillpeace <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Eternal, "never changing state into <strong>the</strong> contrary"must toughen its fragility, temper itsrestlessness. The paradox <strong>of</strong> peaceful strivingruns right through <strong>the</strong> New Testament.Fortitude means <strong>the</strong> achievement, even on <strong>the</strong>natural level, <strong>of</strong> an inward stability whichtranscends <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> change. The small size<strong>of</strong> our premises matters little, if <strong>the</strong> walls arewea<strong>the</strong>r-pro<strong>of</strong> and stand firm.Such fortitude is not <strong>the</strong> virtue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dashingsoldier. It means ra<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> virtue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>keeper <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> fortress; <strong>the</strong> inconspicuousheroism that sits tight.And in <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>spirit <strong>the</strong>re is a great deal <strong>of</strong> sitting tight <strong>of</strong>;refusing to be frightened out <strong>of</strong> it or decoyedaway from it; <strong>of</strong> refusing to despair, waitingtill <strong>the</strong> wea<strong>the</strong>r improves,till business getsbrisker, day breaks, <strong>the</strong> shadows lift. Wemust endure a mysterious pressure, whichoperates more <strong>of</strong>ten and more purely in darknessthan in light.We cannot take up <strong>the</strong>soul's privileges and responsibilities as a householder<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spiritual City, merely by paying57

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULone instalment and getting immediate delivery<strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong> goods we desire, with an insurancepolicy protecting us from risk so that <strong>the</strong>re;isnothing to do but settle down cosilyin ourfreshly furnished rooms. That citizenship is<strong>the</strong> beginning <strong>of</strong> a new life ;a total sublimation<strong>of</strong> experience, in which all life's tensions andpossibilities are raised to a higher term. Moredemand on prudence and initiative, keenerstruggle than before a new; capacity for joy,but also a new capacity for pain. It meansincorporation in that Mystical Body, throughwhich <strong>the</strong> awful saving power <strong>of</strong> God ispouredout on <strong>the</strong> world: and taking our small sharein filling up <strong>the</strong> measure <strong>of</strong> those sufferingsby which alone redeeming work is done. TheHoly City stands on a rock but in <strong>the</strong> midst <strong>of</strong>;a world <strong>of</strong> sin and pain. And <strong>the</strong> price <strong>of</strong>citizenship, as regards contact with that world,is likely to include suffering and loneliness,much misunderstanding, much self-giving withlittle apparent result. It may go fur<strong>the</strong>r, andrequire that entire and pure act <strong>of</strong> resignation,that self-oblation even to <strong>the</strong> uttermost, whichwas once accomplished in Gethsemane, andremains <strong>the</strong> clue to <strong>the</strong> whole redeeming andcreative life. The soul needs Fortitude, if it isto take up that great vocation.Baron von Hiigel speaks gratefully in one <strong>of</strong>his letters <strong>of</strong> "Mylittle old life which God hasdeigned to train by not a few trials." It is thisdeeply grateful recognition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Divine58

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULaction, as specially discovered in those disciplinessufferings, which teach Fortitude toand<strong>the</strong> soul, and toughenit to take its share in <strong>the</strong>sacrificial action <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Body <strong>of</strong> Christ, whichdistinguishes from <strong>the</strong> devotee <strong>the</strong> trulyawakened spirit, <strong>the</strong> living acting member <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Communion <strong>of</strong> Saints. An uncalculatingsurrender <strong>of</strong> our own premises to <strong>the</strong> generalpurpose, losing all individual preferences andreluctances in <strong>the</strong> vast outlines <strong>of</strong> God'smysterious design, is <strong>the</strong> condition <strong>of</strong> thatmembership and to be able to make this willed:surrender is <strong>the</strong> most solemn dignity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>human soul. It means a sober willingness torenounce allspiritual enjoyments, in order totakeup <strong>the</strong> burden <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world's wrongness ;put up in our own persons with <strong>the</strong> results. Allmust suffer ;<strong>the</strong> lesson <strong>of</strong> Christianity is whatcan be done with suffering,when it is met withself-oblivious courage and love."To him that overcometh ispromised Angels'Food: and to him that is overcome, muchmisery," says Thomas a Kempis. The breaking<strong>of</strong> bread, without <strong>the</strong> cup <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Passion, isonly half <strong>the</strong> Eucharistic secret. We do notunderstand that secret till we see <strong>the</strong> Eucharistand <strong>the</strong> Cross as two aspects <strong>of</strong> one indivisibleact. The communicant ismerely what St. John<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross roughly calls a "spiritual glutton"unless this rich mysterious action involves forhim a complete and sacrificial self-giving for<strong>the</strong> saving purposes <strong>of</strong> God ;unless he makes59

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULhis tiny contribution to that perfect work <strong>of</strong>charity, which is <strong>the</strong> eternal act <strong>of</strong> Christ.The supernatural food is given, <strong>the</strong> littleseparate life fed and enhanced, that it may bega<strong>the</strong>red, itself a lively sacrifice, into <strong>the</strong> greatsacrificial movement <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Divine life. "Hethat eateth dwelleth hi Me, and I in him." But<strong>the</strong> energy thus received from beyond <strong>the</strong> worldmust be met by <strong>the</strong> soul's self-oblivious fortitude,its spirit <strong>of</strong> steadfast endurance, stayingpower. Fervour is not enough. We need <strong>the</strong>grit that puts things through in spite <strong>of</strong>apparent failure or <strong>the</strong> shrinking horror <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>flesh : that achieves its victory by way <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>lonely darkness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Garden, <strong>the</strong> more lonelyand terrible darkness which fell at middayupon <strong>the</strong> Cross. Those whose courage andfidelity failed at <strong>the</strong> first wi<strong>the</strong>ring touch <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Passion had just experienced in <strong>the</strong>ir ownpersons <strong>the</strong> solemn and touching mystery onwhich <strong>the</strong> Church lives still.By it tneir spiritswere made willing; but <strong>the</strong>ir flesh was weak.And however great <strong>the</strong> peace and joy thatwelcome <strong>the</strong> soul when it elects for <strong>the</strong> spirituallife, it will not be long before it, too, experiences<strong>the</strong> fundamental need <strong>of</strong> Fortitude if it is tobe faithful to <strong>the</strong> supernatural call. Its trueinitiation into <strong>the</strong> realities <strong>of</strong> that call comeswith <strong>the</strong> first secret stand-up fight with atemptation, desire, or attachment that trulyattracts it; <strong>the</strong> first deliberate sacrificial deathto sin and self. That means deep suffering,60

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULwhatever form it takes : and included in it is<strong>the</strong> temptation to abandon a jobthat seemsbeyond our feeble powers.The soul, said Coventry Patmore, "dies upon<strong>the</strong> Cross every time it resists interior temptationeven to despair." We must be crucified to<strong>the</strong> world, <strong>the</strong> downward pull, not once, butagain and again because <strong>the</strong> conflict between;<strong>the</strong> two lives persists in us till holiness is reached.The Cross stands on <strong>the</strong> frontier between <strong>the</strong>natural and supernatural worlds. Thus <strong>the</strong>bracing<strong>of</strong> natural character isessential if weare to bear <strong>the</strong> tensions <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> supernaturallife. It is a stern business. It enters intoconflict, it goes on being in conflict, with allin us that is turned toward <strong>the</strong> world. Theprinciples <strong>of</strong> Christianity are absolute; <strong>the</strong>yreflect Eternity. The principles<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> worldmay be judicious, amiable, beneficent. But<strong>the</strong>y are contingent: <strong>the</strong>y arise from, and areadapted to, a world <strong>of</strong> change. Christianitylooks beyond <strong>the</strong> world's flux to God, <strong>the</strong>unchanging Reality. It seeks <strong>the</strong> increasingincarnation <strong>of</strong> His Spirit ;and for that sakeaccepts a standard <strong>of</strong> purity, renunciation andforgiveness alien to <strong>the</strong> interests <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world.Thus, to live in <strong>the</strong> world and not <strong>of</strong> it andthis is <strong>the</strong> situation for which our house is maderequires much fortitude, a love that is loyaland courageous ra<strong>the</strong>r than demonstrative:"not worn out with labours, not daunted withany difficulties."E 61

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULWe are committed to a swaying battle, notan easy victory; and our worst enemies arethose <strong>of</strong> our own house. Again and again ourtemperamental devils will be too much for us;ingrained habits, inherited tendencies, willfling us into <strong>the</strong> dungeon <strong>of</strong> impotent despair,It is with our spiritual as with our physicalmaladies. When we have faithfully used allrightful means <strong>of</strong> healing, a certain residuummay remain; some humiliating weakness, orchronic malformation we cannot cure, but canmake an occasion <strong>of</strong> patience, courage, surrender."Fear none <strong>of</strong> those things thou shaltsuffer." If our first experience<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong>spirit comes with <strong>the</strong> lovely glow <strong>of</strong> victorywhich rewards a bit <strong>of</strong> costly self-conquest;perhaps <strong>the</strong> second, and more real experiencecomes when we attempt a fur<strong>the</strong>r strugglewith our unfortunate ground-floor conditionsin our own strength, and fail abjectly. For<strong>the</strong>n we are thrown back upon God, <strong>the</strong> onlysource <strong>of</strong> strength and; abruptly reminded thatcontempt <strong>of</strong> self is said to be <strong>the</strong> city's law."When I am weak, <strong>the</strong>n I am strong." TheMiserere, <strong>the</strong> classic poem <strong>of</strong> penitence, is allabout this paradoxical power <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul whichabides in its own nothingness; <strong>the</strong> abandonmentas it were <strong>of</strong> all trust in its own poorindividualized bit <strong>of</strong> moral energy, and <strong>the</strong>receiving instead <strong>of</strong> a mysterious participationin <strong>the</strong> Spirit <strong>of</strong> living strength.Certainly our own preliminary effort and62

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULarestruggle needed. Fortitude does notmerely consist in waiting about but in a real;pacing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> will to courageous action. It isto him that overcometh that <strong>the</strong> fruit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Tree <strong>of</strong> Life is given. "Will and grace rise andall toge<strong>the</strong>r." Ghostly strength is like one <strong>of</strong>those funds to which <strong>the</strong> Government adds 1for every pound subscribed voluntarily. It is<strong>the</strong> reward <strong>of</strong> really trying to do or bear somethingfor God; not <strong>of</strong> wanting to do or bearsomething. As even <strong>the</strong> most impressive viewfrom <strong>the</strong> hotel terrace tells nothing <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> realsecret <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mountains, which is only impartedto those who will turn <strong>the</strong>ir backs on comfort,take <strong>the</strong> risks; so <strong>the</strong> passive appreciation<strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> spiritual landscape, <strong>the</strong> agreeable reading<strong>of</strong> mystical books fruit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> courage andlove <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r souls, but making no demand onours gives us no genuine contact with <strong>the</strong>things <strong>of</strong> God. We must put on our own boots,face <strong>the</strong> early start and long slow plod through<strong>the</strong> lower pastures, where <strong>the</strong> mountains areseldom in view make a rule <strong>of</strong> life, and practiseit in <strong>the</strong> teeth <strong>of</strong> reluctance and discouragementif we want to share <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>mountaineer; know <strong>the</strong> strange rapture <strong>of</strong>communion with <strong>the</strong> everlasting hills."No one can come to <strong>the</strong> sublime heights <strong>of</strong>he Divinity," said <strong>the</strong> voice <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> EternalWisdom to Suso, "if <strong>the</strong>y have not experienced<strong>the</strong> bitterness and lowliness <strong>of</strong> My humanity."That is <strong>the</strong> soul's testing ground. It is <strong>the</strong>re,63

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULunder ordinary human conditions and subjectto <strong>the</strong>ir humbling limitations, that itgets itstraining for <strong>the</strong> heights; purges its love <strong>of</strong>comfort, learns patience, shows its grit. Thereit discovers that fortitude does not mean anyspectacular display <strong>of</strong> gallantry;but stickingit out in fog and storm, loneliness and disillusiongoing on and on, in spite <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cuts andbruises to affection, dignity and self-esteem,never unnerved by <strong>the</strong> endless tumbles, <strong>the</strong>dull fatigue, through which it must ascendin heart and mind, accomplish <strong>the</strong> work oisacrifice and prayer. Fortitude means <strong>the</strong> courage<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> lonely soldier in an isolated corner<strong>the</strong> courage <strong>of</strong> one whose friends deserted Hinin <strong>the</strong> crisis ;with <strong>the</strong> Will <strong>of</strong>God .<strong>the</strong> courage <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> naked will alonfManhood isincomplete tilit has known <strong>the</strong> agony <strong>of</strong> spiritual isolation ira crowded world : endured with fortitude th

hourTHE HOUSE OFTHE SOULhorror <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> austere side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spiritual life,test and brace <strong>the</strong>ir growing spirits,make <strong>the</strong>mcapable <strong>of</strong> its full privileges and responsibilities.Little quarter is given to those in whom thistotal transformation is begun. "His Majesty,"says <strong>the</strong> ever-valiant Teresa, "loves a courageoussoul"; and, old and very ill, strugglingin <strong>the</strong> teeth <strong>of</strong> circumstance to make her lastfoundation at Burgos, she hears <strong>the</strong> inner voicewhich has been <strong>the</strong> support <strong>of</strong> all her labours,saying "Now, Teresa, be strong!" So too <strong>the</strong>angel,who visited, Suso in <strong>the</strong> . <strong>of</strong> hisutmost trial >did not <strong>of</strong>fer him a devotionalaspirin; but merely made <strong>the</strong> astringent remark"Behave like a man!" That was Suso'simmediate task; <strong>the</strong> way in which his soul wascleansed and streng<strong>the</strong>ned, and brought to "<strong>the</strong>Upper School <strong>of</strong> Perfect Self-abandonment."So our survey <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ground floor<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>soul's house brings us to <strong>the</strong> acceptance <strong>of</strong> thisideal <strong>of</strong> a disciplined normal humanity, deepenedand organized, "stablished, streng<strong>the</strong>ned,settled," as <strong>the</strong> true basis <strong>of</strong> a spiritual life.The peaceful, temperate and balanced employmentin God <strong>of</strong> those natural faculties andopportunities committed to us, choosing withself-oblivious love what helps, rememberingthat excess mogt <strong>of</strong>ten hinders, bearing andenduring all that <strong>the</strong> choice <strong>of</strong> His interestsentails ;this must bring order to our downstairslife, if <strong>the</strong> home is ever to be fit for its guest."Peace," says St. Thomas Aquinas,65"is <strong>the</strong>

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULtranquillity <strong>of</strong> order; disquiet diminishes assanctity increases." And if <strong>the</strong>re is onecharacteristic which marks a genuine spiritualexperience, that characteristic is surely <strong>the</strong> deeppeace in which it places <strong>the</strong> soul. Thus acertain slowing down and spacing out <strong>of</strong> ourceaseless clockwork activities is a necessarycondition <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> deepening and enrichment <strong>of</strong>life. The spirit <strong>of</strong> Joy and <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> Hurrycannot live in <strong>the</strong> same house. But Joy, notHurry, is an earnest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Presence <strong>of</strong> God;an attribute <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> creative life.Without <strong>the</strong> steadying influences <strong>of</strong> Prudence,Temperance and Fortitude, without <strong>the</strong>wise austerity <strong>of</strong> feeling, thought and willwhich <strong>the</strong>se require, who can hope to be quiet,and so prepare a habitation for that serene Spirit<strong>of</strong> Joy which is God ? Without <strong>the</strong>se, we are perpetuallytormented by indecision, weakened byexcesses, discouraged by failures; <strong>the</strong> trials anddarkness which form part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> prayerdefeat instead <strong>of</strong> bracing us, <strong>the</strong> very richness oiexperience and opportunity through which Godmoulds our characters, bewilders us. It is nottill <strong>the</strong> ground floor is in goodorder that weacquire <strong>the</strong> priceless art <strong>of</strong> doing one thing a)a time, and doingit with total dedication, whiclis <strong>the</strong> foundation <strong>of</strong> an ordered life. The sensi<strong>of</strong> cleavage between <strong>the</strong> duties <strong>of</strong> Mary an

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULwhole house is devoted to one interest, anda working harmonyis established between<strong>the</strong> upper and <strong>the</strong> lower floor, each action, howeverhomely, has <strong>the</strong> quality <strong>of</strong> prayer; sinceevery corner and all that is done in it is informedby God and tends to God. It is <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong>Prudence to discern and acceptall that Heproposes; because however odd it seems, it is<strong>the</strong> apt means <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's contact with Him.It is <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> Temperance to resist <strong>the</strong>temptation to bring in o<strong>the</strong>r things, crowd <strong>the</strong>soul's life with loves, labours, or devotions nottruly proposed to it by God. It is <strong>the</strong> work<strong>of</strong> Fortitude to endure His moulding actionwith tranquillity, and maintain our steadfastcorrespondence with His will. In <strong>the</strong> secretworld <strong>of</strong> self-conquest, in all dealings with circumstancepeople, opportunities, trials, tasksand in <strong>the</strong> most hidden experiences <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>spirit, it is on this triplesoul's deepfoundation that <strong>the</strong>action must rest. Here is <strong>the</strong> solidbasis <strong>of</strong> that truly mortified and tranquilcharacter which can bear <strong>the</strong> stress and burden<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> supernaturallife.

VWE go on to consider <strong>the</strong> upper floor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>soul's house ;<strong>the</strong> home <strong>of</strong> those facultieswhich point beyond our here-and-now existence,which are capable <strong>of</strong> God, tend towardsGod, and only find <strong>the</strong>ir full meaning in God.We have seen what we have to do in <strong>the</strong> way <strong>of</strong>transmuting <strong>the</strong> powers and instincts whichrule <strong>the</strong> natural life. Behaviour, Impulse, Enduranceaspects <strong>of</strong> our living correspondencewith <strong>the</strong> natural order must all be purified,sublimated, if <strong>the</strong> house is to become a solidhabitation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit if its walls are to bear;<strong>the</strong> thrust <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upperfloor. But <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong>nature, even in its perfection, is not enoughin itself. It makes an admirable bungalow but;<strong>the</strong> City <strong>of</strong> Mansoul isnot a bungalow town.Though it is based on <strong>the</strong> purification, <strong>the</strong>transmutation <strong>of</strong> our common earthborn nature,more than moralityis needed for <strong>the</strong> purposes<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spirituallife. That life requires <strong>the</strong> transfigurationin God <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upper floor and itsspecial powers <strong>the</strong> stuff <strong>of</strong> personality, <strong>the</strong>"superior faculties <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul," as <strong>the</strong> oldpsychologists say and this :is <strong>the</strong> peculiar work<strong>of</strong> Faith, Hope and Charity, <strong>the</strong> three "supernaturalvirtues" which imply God, tend to God,and take <strong>the</strong> soul beyondits own resourcesinto Him. By Faith we mean <strong>the</strong> lifting up into68

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULGod <strong>of</strong> our natural human power <strong>of</strong> understanding<strong>the</strong> world ; by Hope, <strong>the</strong> state in whichour whole mental content, our "apperceivingmass" is penetrated and transmuted by ourconfident expectation <strong>of</strong> Him ; by Charity, thatglowing friendship between Creator andcreated, which merges our will in His will.Thus all three are forms <strong>of</strong> one thirst forultimate Being, <strong>the</strong> drive <strong>of</strong> personality towardsGod ;and at <strong>the</strong>ir fullness merge into oneact or state ,which lifts <strong>the</strong> soul up and out beyonditself and <strong>the</strong> interests <strong>of</strong> its own small house,and beyond all merely utilitarian and thisworldnotions <strong>of</strong> goodness, to something morea certain loving participationin Eternal Life.For this, to make a home for <strong>the</strong> soul's adoringvision, confidence, and love, <strong>the</strong> house <strong>of</strong>humanity is built and kept in order. Theprudence, moderation, steadfast endurancewhich control its domestic life, <strong>the</strong> constantdeath to self which <strong>the</strong>y entail, are worth while,simply because <strong>the</strong>y support this o<strong>the</strong>r life;<strong>the</strong> life that flowers in Faith, Hope and Charity,and thus incarnates something <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Eternal ;<strong>the</strong> life which is in its fullest sense <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong>prayer. For real prayer is simply <strong>the</strong> expressionand <strong>the</strong> experience <strong>of</strong> Faith, Hope and Charity ;each penetrating and enhancing <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r, andmerging to form in us that state <strong>of</strong> energeticand loving surrender, in which our spirits haveaccording to<strong>the</strong> Spirit <strong>of</strong> God.<strong>the</strong>ir measure communion with69

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULThus an outlook upon <strong>the</strong> world controlledby Faith is <strong>the</strong> privilege <strong>of</strong> every house that isestablished in <strong>the</strong> City <strong>of</strong> God. It means <strong>the</strong>transcending <strong>of</strong> our limited anthropocentricoutlook; being lifted up to a certain participationin <strong>the</strong> universal Divine outlook. Thosewho "in heart and mind thi<strong>the</strong>r ascend andwith Him continually dwell" change <strong>the</strong>irangle <strong>of</strong> vision ;see <strong>the</strong> world and all things init from His point <strong>of</strong> view. A tremendous changefrom our ordinary way <strong>of</strong> seeing and thinkingtakes place <strong>the</strong>n. We gaze with cleansed sight on<strong>the</strong> world we are placed in,and <strong>the</strong> life we areprivileged to lead in it; perceive its richnessand mystery,its utter dependence on God.Faith <strong>of</strong>ten so cheaply equated with merebelief issomething<strong>the</strong> soul's watch-tower ;far more than this. It isa solitary place at <strong>the</strong>top <strong>of</strong> a steep flight <strong>of</strong> stairs. Those stairs, forsome souls, have almost <strong>the</strong> character <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Way <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross so ; humbling are <strong>the</strong> falls, sodisconcerting <strong>the</strong> evidence <strong>of</strong> our human weakness,so absolute <strong>the</strong> stripping, and so complete<strong>the</strong> sacrifice which is asked as <strong>the</strong> price <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><strong>of</strong> sensitiveascent. Bit by bit, all <strong>the</strong> wrappingsnature must be left behind. And even for thoseto whom <strong>the</strong> way lies open, and <strong>of</strong>whom thisutter denudation is not asked, it is sometimes agreat effort to go up. The stairs are steep; weare, or think that we are, very busy. We knowthat if we do go,it must be with purified sight,clear <strong>of</strong> prejudice and <strong>of</strong> distracting passions,70

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULempty <strong>of</strong> our selves; for only in emptiness <strong>of</strong>spirit, as Ruysbroeck says, can we receive thatIncomprehensible Light which is "nothingelse but a fathomless gazing and seeing." Withso little leisure and so languid an inclination, itseems better to mutter a few prayers whilst wetidy <strong>the</strong> kitchen; content ourselves with <strong>the</strong>basement view <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, and rationalizethis interior laziness as humility <strong>of</strong> soul.But if we do make <strong>the</strong> effort needed for thatascent, what a revelation !Busy on <strong>the</strong> groundfloor, we never realized that we had a place likethis ;that our small house shot up so high intoHeaven. We find ourselves, as it were, in a littleroom with a window on each side. There is noguarantee as to what any one soul will see out <strong>of</strong>those windows, for <strong>the</strong>re is always far more tosee than we can apprehend. Nor is <strong>the</strong> view onany one day equally good out <strong>of</strong> each window.Sometimes it is <strong>the</strong> homely detail in <strong>the</strong> foregroundthat we notice seen now in new;proportion,from a fresh point <strong>of</strong> view. Sometimesthat is forgotten, and <strong>the</strong> eyeis drawn to <strong>the</strong>greatness and beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> distant hills. Sometimes<strong>the</strong> countrylies before us hard and clearas a map; at o<strong>the</strong>rs, a delicate haze givesmystery to <strong>the</strong> landscape <strong>of</strong> faith. The light,too, is variable. Sometimes <strong>the</strong> heavenly sunshinestreams in with overwhelming splendour.We are warmed, dazzled, delighted ; though wesee nothing distinctly, <strong>the</strong> lovely radiancebrings its own assurance. Sometimes we go up,

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULto find a grey day. The view is <strong>the</strong>re, but allseems cheerless; <strong>the</strong>re is no joy in our faith.This does not mean that we had better godownstairs. The upper room is more than adevotional sun- trap. Faith seeks <strong>the</strong> enlightenment<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> understanding, whatever paincomes with it; and shirks no truth, howeverbewildering, which is shown to it by God. Itmeans a share in <strong>the</strong> outlook <strong>of</strong> one who rejoicedin spirit, yet was sorrowful even untodeath ;whose rich experience embraced spiritualvision and spiritual darkness too. Thevariations <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> wea<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong>n, should nevercontrol our faith.Though <strong>the</strong> landscape in which our watchtowerstands is really continuous, <strong>the</strong> twowindows seem to us to look out on differentand contrasting worlds. The soul can neverpeer round <strong>the</strong> corner, and see <strong>the</strong> point atwhich <strong>the</strong>y meet. Moreover, <strong>the</strong> windows<strong>the</strong>mselves are not always <strong>the</strong> same size. Somehave a great casement opening to <strong>the</strong> north,which reveals vast expanses <strong>of</strong> sky. O<strong>the</strong>rs,as St. Bernard says, only have narrow slitsthrough which <strong>the</strong> rays <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Eternal Lightcome in ;but <strong>the</strong>se may have a big bow windowon <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> tower.The northward view is a view <strong>of</strong> infinitespaces a wild and solemn landscape overagainst us, which seems without meaning for<strong>the</strong> little lives <strong>of</strong> men a desert country full <strong>of</strong>strange beauty, which leads <strong>the</strong> eye outward to72

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong> horizon ;and shows it, at an awful distance,<strong>the</strong> peaks <strong>of</strong> great mountains hanging in<strong>the</strong> air. Here <strong>the</strong> soul looks out with adorationto <strong>the</strong> vast uncharted continent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Divine. For some, this is <strong>the</strong> window that exercisesa perpetual attraction ;<strong>the</strong> view exhilarateswhile it daunts <strong>the</strong>m, <strong>the</strong> mysteryin its incomparablemajesty is friendly though august.It is God Pure, <strong>the</strong> soul's country, <strong>the</strong> Tran-notscendent World in itself, that <strong>the</strong>y crave for ;<strong>the</strong> bit made over to <strong>the</strong> use <strong>of</strong> man. This it iswhich wakes <strong>the</strong>ir awestruck and delightedadoration, nourishes <strong>the</strong>ir souls. The stellarradiance in which <strong>the</strong>y see it is more desirable<strong>of</strong> earth. It liftsthan <strong>the</strong> sunny landscapes<strong>the</strong>m beyond all conflict, all self-occupation,and fills <strong>the</strong>m with a solemn joy. "Thou art!"cries St. Augustine as he gazes from this window,"and art God and Lord <strong>of</strong> all that Thouhast created; and in Thy sight stand fast <strong>the</strong>and <strong>the</strong> fountains <strong>of</strong>causes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> transient,<strong>the</strong> changeable abide unchanged!"Even though <strong>the</strong> revelation comes seldom,for this is <strong>the</strong> outlook which is most <strong>of</strong>tenclouded, <strong>the</strong> souls who are possessed by thisthirst for <strong>the</strong> Unchanging are content to kneelby <strong>the</strong> window, and know that <strong>the</strong> unspeakablesplendour <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Eternal is <strong>the</strong>re. "Here," saysRuysbroeck, "our reason abides with open eyesin <strong>the</strong> darkness; that is, in an abysmal ignorance.And in this darkness, <strong>the</strong> abysmalSplendour remains covered and hid from us,73

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULfor its unsearchable infinitude blinds our reason,but its simplicity and selfhood enfold andtransform us." Thus even those who have yetseen nothing from this window should resist<strong>the</strong> temptation to veil its gaunt outline incurtains embroidered with symbolic designs.and waitAs travellers who go up to Darjeelingfor many days to see <strong>the</strong> majestic vision <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Himalaya at dawn, a moment will come when,if <strong>the</strong>y wait long enough and look high enough,<strong>the</strong>y will see <strong>the</strong> mighty summits hanging in<strong>the</strong> air; and, after that, <strong>the</strong> world will never be<strong>the</strong> same to <strong>the</strong>m again. "It is far better," saysSpinoza, "to know that God's Perfections areinfinite, than to persuade ourselves that weknow what those Perfections are." It wassurely for <strong>the</strong> refreshment <strong>of</strong> that vision, arenewal <strong>of</strong> that still and joyous gazing onEternal Life, that our Lord went up alone into<strong>the</strong> mountain to pray. Strength and patience,a renewed sense <strong>of</strong> proportion, come fromcommunion with that wide horizon, that sky<strong>of</strong> uncounted stars: a wholesome humblingsense <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> contrast between our tiny houseand <strong>the</strong> life it shelters, and <strong>the</strong> steadfastmystery <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> heavens with <strong>the</strong>ir unknownworlds. "The utmost that we know <strong>of</strong> God,"says St. Thomas, "is nothing in respect <strong>of</strong> thatwhich He is."Such an outlook on <strong>the</strong> Unchanging redeemsour prayer from pettiness, discounts ourworries, brings a solemn selfless peace. Every-74

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULthing drops away except awe, longing, andhumility. "Whom have I in heaven but <strong>the</strong>e?and <strong>the</strong>re is none upon earth that I desirebeside <strong>the</strong>e." The soul stands over against <strong>the</strong>eternal reality <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Universe, and finds <strong>the</strong>rea friend and not a void. Dens metis! My God!We have, in our creaturely weakness, a personalThe Psalms arehold upon Infinite Reality.full <strong>of</strong> this exultant certitude. "O God, thouart my God! earlywill I seek <strong>the</strong>e!" St.Augustine is ever recurring to such thoughts:isolating, gazing at, <strong>the</strong> Fact <strong>of</strong> God. Thus todwell upon <strong>the</strong> great key-words <strong>of</strong> religion givesdepth and width to human prayer clarifies <strong>the</strong>;sight with which we look out upon <strong>the</strong> sky.We turn to <strong>the</strong> window on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r side <strong>of</strong>Faith's tower. That looks out upon our homely,natural, changeful world. It shows us humanlife, conditions, problems, from <strong>the</strong> angle <strong>of</strong>faith; and <strong>the</strong> mystery <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Eternal selfrevealedin human ways. That too is a wonderfuland inspiring sight, enlightening <strong>the</strong>understanding. Though clouds passover thatlandscape, storms come, seasons change,ityet seen to be full <strong>of</strong> God's glory. The sameunchanging light and life ba<strong>the</strong>s <strong>the</strong> world wesee out <strong>of</strong> each window. Jungle and city,church and market-place, <strong>the</strong> most homely and<strong>the</strong> most mysterious aspects <strong>of</strong> creation, areequally known as works <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Wisdom <strong>of</strong> God.From this window <strong>the</strong> earth with itsintricate life is perceived in <strong>the</strong> light75is<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULIncarnation; God self-disclosed in and withus, as well as God over against us. The depthand mystery <strong>of</strong> Reality, its stern yet lovingaction,are revealed within <strong>the</strong> limitations <strong>of</strong>history, and in <strong>the</strong> here-and-now experience<strong>of</strong> men. We pierce <strong>the</strong> disconcerting veil <strong>of</strong>appearance, and discern that Holy Creativity,making, rectifying, and drawing all things toitself. At times a lovely glint transfigures even<strong>the</strong> smallest living things. We see <strong>the</strong> kittenplay in Paradise. The humble inhabitants <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> hedgerows suddenly reveal <strong>the</strong>ir origin,<strong>the</strong>ir kinship with God. At o<strong>the</strong>r times adeeper secret, <strong>the</strong> little rillgolden <strong>of</strong> Holinesswelling up from beyond <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> visiblelife, is glimpsed by us in <strong>the</strong> most unexpectedsituations. Yet <strong>the</strong>re is no pink glass in thiswindow. It blurs none <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dread facts; <strong>the</strong>ever-present evil, <strong>the</strong> baffling pain, <strong>the</strong> conflictand apparent failure and inequality <strong>of</strong> life.But from <strong>the</strong> angle <strong>of</strong> Faith <strong>the</strong>se are seen inproportion, as material for <strong>the</strong> self-imparting <strong>of</strong>God; and for man's self-giving to God truly<strong>the</strong> clatter <strong>of</strong>tabernacled among us. Through<strong>the</strong> world, Faith hears an insistent call topurity and sweetness and discerns in <strong>the</strong>;tangle<strong>of</strong> life <strong>the</strong> perpetual emergence <strong>of</strong> an o<strong>the</strong>rworldlybeauty, which has its source and end inHim alone.Even from <strong>the</strong> ground-floor level, all persons<strong>of</strong> goodwill can realize <strong>the</strong> moral beauty anddeep human pathos <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Gospels <strong>the</strong> ; pattern

.FTHE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>of</strong> behaviour put before us in Christ, and againand again incarnate in <strong>the</strong> Saints. But Faith, -ascending in heart and mind, sees here <strong>the</strong>Living Real self-revealed in human ways tohuman creatures; and in every scene andmystery <strong>of</strong> this life a natural and a supernaturalquality-^-light cast on <strong>the</strong> meaning <strong>of</strong>our strange human experience, as <strong>the</strong> medium<strong>of</strong> God's secret moulding action, and on Hisway with <strong>the</strong> growing souls <strong>of</strong> men. By this"living way" as <strong>the</strong> writer <strong>of</strong> Hebrews says,and through <strong>the</strong> veil <strong>of</strong> this humanity, we penetrateto <strong>the</strong> Holiest. It isby going upstairs andgazing out <strong>of</strong> that window that we regain poise,courage and peace when our own human experienceseems too much for us : for <strong>the</strong>re we see itlitby a supernatural light, and one walkingthrough that earthly landscape in all thingstempted as we are yet without sin, who humblesand convicts us on <strong>the</strong> one hand streng<strong>the</strong>nsand refreshes us on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand. As a greatartist, taking from <strong>the</strong> natural world <strong>the</strong> formand raw material <strong>of</strong> his picture, is loyal andreverent in accepting <strong>the</strong> limits <strong>of</strong> that material,subordinating his freedom to <strong>the</strong> stuff in whichhe works, and only thus conveys <strong>the</strong> message <strong>of</strong>his spirit ;so God here gives man a picturewoven <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stuff <strong>of</strong> human history andexperience, which is a full and perfect revelation<strong>of</strong> His eternal Spirit in human terms.Faith lifts us to <strong>the</strong> level at which we can seethis, and more and more vividly as our eyes.77

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULgrow clearer:shows us <strong>the</strong> express image <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Eternal Perfect revealed in a human life,<strong>of</strong> which <strong>the</strong> various and serial action dependson an unchanging contemplation <strong>of</strong> God.Above all in <strong>the</strong> mysterious power and holiness<strong>of</strong> sacrifice, <strong>the</strong> Cross, transfiguring and liftingup <strong>the</strong> created soul though in utmost pain,darkness and confusion to a share in <strong>the</strong>creative work <strong>of</strong> God, it finds <strong>the</strong> one enduringlink between <strong>the</strong> natural and <strong>the</strong> supernaturallife.Thus, to <strong>the</strong> eye <strong>of</strong> Faith <strong>the</strong> common life<strong>of</strong> humanity, not any abnormal or unusualexperience, is material <strong>of</strong> God's redeemingaction. As ordinary food and water are <strong>the</strong>stuff <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christian sacraments, so it is in <strong>the</strong>ordinary pain and joy, tension and self-oblivion,sin and heroism <strong>of</strong> normal experience that Hismoulding and transfiguring work is known.The Palestinian glow which irradiates <strong>the</strong>homely mysteries <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Gospel, and gives to<strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> quality <strong>of</strong> eternal life, lights up forFaith <strong>the</strong> slums and suburbs, <strong>the</strong> bustle, gamesand industries, <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> modern world, Then<strong>the</strong> joys, sorrows, choices and renunciations,<strong>the</strong> poor little efforts and tragedies, <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ground-floor life, are seen to be shot through,dignified and transfigured by <strong>the</strong> heavenlyradiance, <strong>the</strong> self-oblivious heroism, <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>upstairs life. Nor can we exclude from a sharein this transforming glory <strong>the</strong> mystery andpathos <strong>of</strong> that animal creation from which our78

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULnatural lives emerge. Faith shows us each tinycreature ringed round by <strong>the</strong> celestial light.A deep reverence for our common existence,with its struggles and faultiness, yet itssolemn implications, comes over us when werealize all this; gratitude for <strong>the</strong> ceaselesstensions and opportunities through which Godcomes to us and we can draw a little nearer toHim a divine economy in which <strong>the</strong> simplestand weakest are given <strong>the</strong>ir part and lot in <strong>the</strong>holy redemptive sacrifice <strong>of</strong> humanity, andincorporated in <strong>the</strong> Mystical Body whichincarnates Eternal Life.So in this upper room, this "spire-top <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>soul" as <strong>the</strong> mystics call it, we are <strong>of</strong>fered a life<strong>of</strong> prayer so full and rich that in it we can turnto and even combine both <strong>the</strong> great aspects<strong>of</strong> God's self-disclosure to man. If our prayeris to be adequate to our vision, <strong>the</strong>re must be aplace in it for <strong>the</strong> Transcendent Mystery and<strong>the</strong> Incarnate Life ;for adoration and sacrament,awe and active love. But we have not finishedyet with all that <strong>the</strong> upper room has to give us.There are days when we are not drawn toei<strong>the</strong>r window; when it is dark outside, <strong>the</strong>stars are hidden, and <strong>the</strong> landscape loses allcolour and significance. What is <strong>the</strong>n left forFaith? Perhaps <strong>the</strong> best thing <strong>of</strong> all: as <strong>the</strong>best hours <strong>of</strong> human life are <strong>of</strong>ten those when<strong>the</strong> home is closed from <strong>the</strong> outside world, <strong>the</strong>curtains are drawn and <strong>the</strong> lamp lit.When <strong>the</strong> curtains <strong>of</strong> Faith are drawn, we79

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULfind that we are not alone in <strong>the</strong> upper room.A companionis <strong>the</strong>re with us, and has alwaysbeen with us ;whom we hardly noticed almosttook for granted when we were gazing at <strong>the</strong>marvellous view. Now in <strong>the</strong> dimness we drawnear one ano<strong>the</strong>r. As <strong>the</strong> mystics say, it is in<strong>the</strong> Night <strong>of</strong> Faith that <strong>the</strong> soul draws nearestto God ;and discovers <strong>the</strong> indwelling Powerwhose presence does not depend on vision andfeeling, but only on faithfulness. This is <strong>the</strong>"wondrous familiarity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> blessed Presence<strong>of</strong> God" <strong>of</strong> which <strong>the</strong>y <strong>of</strong>ten speak. Here, asGrou teaches, is that place <strong>of</strong> prayer which cannever fail us ;<strong>the</strong> place where our bare, nakedbeing has contact in its ground with <strong>the</strong> Being<strong>of</strong> God "created intelligence with IncreateIntelligence, without intervention <strong>of</strong> imaginationor reason, or anything else but a verysimple attention <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mind and an equallysimple application <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> will." Here, where<strong>the</strong> mysterious Source <strong>of</strong> all beauty, truth andlove enters and obscurely touches our spirit,<strong>the</strong> most secret and intimate experiences <strong>of</strong>religion take place. Happy in her bareness andpoverty, <strong>the</strong> soul sits like <strong>the</strong> beggar maid atCophetua'sfeet. She has no desire to look out<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> window <strong>the</strong>n. She is absorbed in thatgeneral loving attention which is <strong>the</strong> essence<strong>of</strong> contemplative prayer; an attention sometimesfull <strong>of</strong> peace and joy, at o<strong>the</strong>rs withoutlight or emotional gladness, but always controlledby a gratitude, adoration, humble80

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULaffection, which exclude allthought even <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> needs <strong>of</strong> self. Such prayer, said one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>mystics, "brings God and <strong>the</strong> soul into a littleroom, where <strong>the</strong>y speak much <strong>of</strong> love."Through Faith, <strong>the</strong>n, <strong>the</strong> soul, shut in itslittle house, can receive <strong>the</strong>se three disclosures<strong>of</strong> God ;and respond byits adoration, adherence,humble collaboration with Him. But notallthree at once; or, as a rule,all three wi<strong>the</strong>qual fullness and intensity.A baby mayexperience <strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r's breast, or from <strong>the</strong>cradle gaze up at <strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r's face, or clutchfor safety at <strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r's dress. All three aredistinct and complementary experiences <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>same mo<strong>the</strong>r; and in <strong>the</strong> dim yet vivid babymind-, <strong>the</strong> great fact <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r alreadyexceeds and unites all <strong>the</strong>se separate experiences.So it is with Faith's vivid yet obscureexperience <strong>of</strong> God <strong>the</strong> Transcendent :Mystery,<strong>the</strong> Manifest Life, <strong>the</strong> Indwelling Guest.Ascending to <strong>the</strong> "fine point <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spirit" <strong>the</strong>soul everywhere finds Him, since <strong>the</strong>re is noplace where He is not and; just because <strong>of</strong> herdiscovery <strong>of</strong> all that is given in secret to <strong>the</strong>depths within, can dare to stretch out towards<strong>the</strong> heights above. But she must divide herexperience, if she is ever to express even <strong>the</strong>fragment that can be told <strong>of</strong> it : and even so <strong>the</strong>ultimate fact "incomprehensible yet comprehendingall" escapes her. For <strong>the</strong> Divine actionexceeds, while it encloses and penetrates,all <strong>the</strong>partial apprehensions81<strong>of</strong> Faith. "What shall

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULany man say," cries St. Augustine, "when hespeaks <strong>of</strong> Thee?"What <strong>the</strong>n is this experience, in so far as <strong>the</strong>limited mind <strong>of</strong> man can grasp it? It is anexperience <strong>of</strong> Trinity in Unity:<strong>of</strong> EternalFa<strong>the</strong>r, Manifest Son and Indwelling Spirit.Yet in this experience <strong>the</strong> three are known tobe one : <strong>the</strong> unmeasured Light <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Godheadis truly <strong>the</strong> Light <strong>of</strong> our world and <strong>the</strong> InnerLight <strong>of</strong> each soul. Perhaps this approximation<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ology and prayer will give <strong>the</strong>traditional language <strong>of</strong> religion fresh depth,quality, and meaning for us. "I confess toGod Almighty ,<strong>the</strong> Fa<strong>the</strong>r, Son and Holy Spirit,in <strong>the</strong> sight <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> whole Company <strong>of</strong> Heaven !"How overwhelmingis<strong>the</strong> meaning carried bythis familiar phrase, for those who stand in<strong>the</strong> watch-tower <strong>of</strong> Faith. The self-contemptengendered by our own dingy domesticities isunmeasurably deepened and purified, when <strong>the</strong>soul thus finds itself over against <strong>the</strong> livingPerfection <strong>of</strong> God.Thus Faith, and <strong>the</strong> prayer <strong>of</strong> Faith, as itbecomes more realistic, raises penitence to newlevels <strong>of</strong> contrition and love; and so doing,opens <strong>the</strong> door wider to God. More than this,itoperates a stern cleansing ^<strong>of</strong> our wholeunderstanding <strong>of</strong> existence; taking us backwardsand forwards from <strong>the</strong> surroundingmystery to <strong>the</strong> human necessity, from <strong>the</strong> vastand dimly seen supernaturallife to <strong>the</strong> divinelysupported natural life which trains us, and in-82

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULward to <strong>the</strong> soul's own secret life, divinely supportedtoo. Three in one, all controlled andused by God in His transcendent Majesty andfreedom, all subject to a vast purpose which isfar beyond our knowledge, and yet in whichwe share. Queer little scraps <strong>of</strong> spirit, ridingwith comparative ease on <strong>the</strong> bosom <strong>of</strong> Creativity,we think seldom <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mysteriousrealities <strong>of</strong> our situation ;more seldom <strong>of</strong> thatspiritual economy, <strong>of</strong> which our own growingspirits must form part.How <strong>the</strong>n do we stand in respect <strong>of</strong> our use<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> watch-tower <strong>of</strong> Faith ? Are we so busyon <strong>the</strong> ground floor that we take it for granted,and seldom go upstairs? It is true that thosestairs are dark and steep ;but if we never make<strong>the</strong> effort, never ascend to <strong>the</strong> soul's summit,we remain somethingless than human. Wemiss our most sacred privilege and source <strong>of</strong>life; and our understanding <strong>of</strong> existence, ourreaction to circumstance, remain petty, earthy,unpurified. Many things that look too hard tobe borne at <strong>the</strong> foot <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stairs are recognizedin <strong>the</strong> watch-tower as a privilege arid a joy.So <strong>the</strong> first movement <strong>of</strong> prayer should alwaysbe an ascent <strong>of</strong> that staircase, a lifting up <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>heart from basement levels; and <strong>the</strong> nextshould be an opening <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> window. The airthat comes in may be sharp, but it is healthyand bracing. The stuffiness and clatter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>kitchen, all Martha's worried self-importantfuss, fall away from us when we brea<strong>the</strong> that83

air,THE H O U SE OF THE SOULlook out on that landscape. We are standingat <strong>the</strong> apex <strong>of</strong> our spirit ;and <strong>the</strong> childishabsurdity <strong>of</strong> our normal troubles and preoccupationsis made plain to us. Our understanding,usually pinned down to <strong>the</strong> here-andnow,and beset by <strong>the</strong> ceaseless succession <strong>of</strong>demands and events, is being steadied andpurified by contact with <strong>the</strong> Unchanging. Weare lifted above <strong>the</strong> level <strong>of</strong> sense to widehorizons; and see that sense-life in new proportion,lit by a new compassion and love.Faith simplifies our sight and pacifies ourminds, by subordinating all things to <strong>the</strong>Reality <strong>of</strong> God.Certainly it may take years for our faiththus to become truly realistic. At first, we donot understand that it is not realistic. Likebeginners in physical science, we live happilyamong its symbols unconscious <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> hidden;universe with which <strong>the</strong>se symbols deal. Onlyas we emerge into realism do we see what<strong>of</strong> which weregions <strong>of</strong> broadening experience,did not even suspect <strong>the</strong> existence, still intervenebetween us and that which St. John <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Cross calls <strong>the</strong> "divine abyss <strong>of</strong> faith.""God," says De Caussade, "is <strong>the</strong> Centre <strong>of</strong>Faith; and all His words and works are like<strong>the</strong> dark rays <strong>of</strong> a sun which todarker still."Onlyour sight isthose who live much in <strong>the</strong>watch-tower can grasp <strong>the</strong> reality within suchwords as <strong>the</strong>se.Those who do will realize how grotesqueis

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULany alliance between spiritual self-occupationand faith: how absurd is <strong>the</strong> situation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>small creature gazing from itswindow at <strong>the</strong>majestic spectacle <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Universe, or watching<strong>the</strong> searching drama <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross, or shut in <strong>the</strong>dimness with that presence whose love andlowliness so unmeasurably exceed its ownwhose only thoughtis: How can this help me?We have to drop all that sort <strong>of</strong> killthing, <strong>the</strong>reflex action <strong>of</strong> our egoistic minds, achieve alittle loving self-oblivion, before we can lookwith purity <strong>of</strong> sight upon <strong>the</strong> Real. Faithrequires <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul an adoration <strong>of</strong> God, adherenceto God, collaboration with God, pursuedeven to forgetfulness <strong>of</strong> self. We climb <strong>the</strong>stairs obsessed by our own difficulties, prejudicesand worries, weighing <strong>the</strong> pros and cons<strong>of</strong> our little affairs ; secretly hoping that someholy ointment may soo<strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong> wounds to selfimportance,or repair a complexion roughenedby <strong>the</strong> friction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. And <strong>the</strong>n we areastonished because we find ourselves "distracted,"and our eyes are not in focus for <strong>the</strong>view. But if we desire to enter into our supernaturalinheritance, <strong>the</strong> deep tranquillity <strong>of</strong>Faith, coming unto God we must be completelyabsorbed in <strong>the</strong> fact that He is ;and rewards insuch ways as we can endure <strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong>monly that diligently seek Him for His ownsake alone.

VI'"TpHERE is a story told <strong>of</strong> an old womanA who went into a shop and asked for aquarter <strong>of</strong> a pound <strong>of</strong> 2/- tea. The grocer askedher what sort <strong>of</strong> tea she expected to get. Shereplied that she hoped for <strong>the</strong> best, but wasprepared for <strong>the</strong> worst. This, <strong>of</strong> course, wasnot <strong>the</strong> virtue <strong>of</strong> Hope.Hope, <strong>the</strong> second <strong>of</strong> those spiritual powers inman which tend towards God, is a completelyconfident expectation;that sureness and certitudewith which <strong>the</strong> awakened soul aims atGod and rests in God. It is <strong>the</strong> source <strong>of</strong> thatliving peace, that zestand alertness, that power<strong>of</strong> carrying on, which give its special colour to<strong>the</strong> genuine Christian life. Hope brings <strong>the</strong>exalted vision <strong>of</strong> Faith into <strong>the</strong> wear and tear<strong>of</strong> our daily life.watch-tower, where we feelWhen we descend from <strong>the</strong>that we can doall things or ra<strong>the</strong>r that in us all things canbe done and try to do <strong>the</strong> things, <strong>the</strong> firstresult is usually disillusion. Unless Hope hascome downstairs with us to sweeten fortitude,<strong>the</strong> lastpermeate <strong>the</strong> content <strong>of</strong> our minds,resultmay be apathy and despair.The old moralists said that Hope was <strong>the</strong>virtue which purified <strong>the</strong> Memory and mademeant allit fit for God ; and by Memory <strong>the</strong>y86

THE HOUSEOF THE SOULour funded experience, that hoarded pasttfhich we drag along with us, and which conditionsour whole outlook on life. In respect <strong>of</strong>all this, Hope teaches us <strong>the</strong> art <strong>of</strong> wise forgetting;<strong>of</strong> dropping <strong>the</strong> superfluous, <strong>the</strong> out-<strong>the</strong> trivial. It cleanses <strong>the</strong> mind fromgrown,all those half-realities which impede <strong>the</strong> totalandconcentration <strong>of</strong> our love and will on God ;lifts upall <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> our experience into <strong>the</strong>eternal light, saying, "Even thoughI do notsee <strong>the</strong> meaning, yet I know all this is conditioningmy growth, purifying my spirit,taking me towards You; and nothing mattersbjitthat."Hope finds all life penetrated by a significancethat points beyond itself, and has atrustful expectation that <strong>the</strong> ceaseless streamrf events, thoughts, joys, trials <strong>the</strong> wholestuff <strong>of</strong> experience means something, contributesto something; and only has valuebecause it points beyond itself to God, is anearnest <strong>of</strong> rich fields <strong>of</strong> experience awaiting <strong>the</strong>side <strong>of</strong> self-soul. Such Hope is <strong>the</strong> brightibandonment. Much so-called self-abandonmentis conceived in <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 2/- tea ;but that real self-abandonment to God whichis <strong>the</strong> supreme expression <strong>of</strong> our human freedomshould be a delighted act <strong>of</strong> Hope. "0.God, my hope is in Thee," does not mean "Ihave tried everything else first." It means that<strong>the</strong> final achievement <strong>of</strong> His hidden purposeiswhat we really care about, and that we entirely

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULdepend on Him for <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> achieving our|little bit <strong>of</strong> His plan.Thus <strong>the</strong> pain and disappointment, <strong>the</strong>!tragedy and frustration <strong>of</strong> existence, are transfiguredwhen Hope purifies <strong>the</strong> mind. If Fai<strong>the</strong>nlarges and illuminates <strong>the</strong> understanding,shows it <strong>the</strong> fields <strong>of</strong> experience that liebeyond its span, Hope integrates Faith's visionwith <strong>the</strong> very texture <strong>of</strong> our common thoughts,our mental life as a whole ; merging <strong>the</strong> interests<strong>of</strong> that little life in <strong>the</strong> vast interests <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>]Divine love and will. "When I am in trouble,I will think upon God," said <strong>the</strong> Psalmist;!think about that mysterious and living loveand here andpressing in on human history,<strong>the</strong>re working through in <strong>the</strong> shimmer <strong>of</strong>holiness, <strong>the</strong> sharp glint<strong>of</strong> sacrifice. I willforget my personal discomfort, my unsteadiness |and anxieties, and anchor myself <strong>the</strong>re. It istrue that my little boat rolls heavily on <strong>the</strong>surface <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> waves, and <strong>of</strong>ten makes me feelvery ill; but under those waves is <strong>the</strong> firmground <strong>of</strong> Reality, <strong>the</strong> Life <strong>of</strong> God. This sensethat beyond all appearance we depend utterlyon <strong>the</strong> Goodness <strong>of</strong> God, and can depend on itthis isHope. "Thy goodness," says Thomasa Kempis, "never ceases to do well by me."Such Hope gives <strong>the</strong> spiritual life its stayingpower. It is <strong>the</strong> necessary condition <strong>of</strong> keepingthings going and getting things done. Thestruggles to which <strong>the</strong> ground floor <strong>of</strong> humannature commits us will never be maintained,

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULunless that living, spirit presides upstairs. Asife goes on, nothing but Hope, its supernaturalzest and adventurous temper, will preserve usrom <strong>the</strong> insidious tendency to settle down intomaking religious pot-boilers; reproducing ourold designs, instead <strong>of</strong> moving on to <strong>the</strong> thingsthat are before. It is <strong>the</strong> very soul <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong>>rayer whe<strong>the</strong>r that;prayer be poured out forhe world's betterment, for <strong>the</strong> many shortcomings<strong>of</strong> our own premises and performances,or directed beyond all thought <strong>of</strong> selfand world to God its Home: for it is <strong>the</strong>property <strong>of</strong> Hope, says St. Thomas, "to makeus tend to God, both as a good to be finallyattained, and as a helper strong to assist."Thus Hope is supremely <strong>the</strong> virtue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>incomplete; <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> creature stretching out inbve and prayer to <strong>the</strong> complete Reality <strong>of</strong>God, <strong>the</strong> final object <strong>of</strong> Hope. In this double,trustful tendency to Him, as at once ourCompanion and our Goal, Faith achieves itsperfect work. God whose vast purposes maybe veiled from us, but whose personal, moulding,cherishing action, whose urgent anddemanding Spirit,is felt at work within ourlittle homes. Such Hope inspires and upholds<strong>the</strong> prudence, temperance and fortitude required<strong>of</strong> us in our dealings with life and with<strong>the</strong> peculiarities <strong>of</strong> our own basement. Even itstiany falls are like <strong>the</strong> falls <strong>of</strong> eager children.They are dreadful at <strong>the</strong> moment, and <strong>of</strong>tenmake us bruised and muddy. But we pick

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULourselves up and go on ; forgetting that whichisbehind, reaching forward to that which isbefore, because <strong>the</strong>re issomething more atstake than "Safetyfirst."Even on <strong>the</strong> psychological level we allexperience <strong>the</strong> creative power <strong>of</strong> Hope. Ourminds are so made that convinced assurance,trustful expectation, always tends to realizeitself. It concentrates energy on <strong>the</strong> matterin hand, creates a favourable psychic atmosphere,encourages<strong>the</strong> will to flow undividedalong <strong>the</strong> path leading to fulfilment, and setsgoing <strong>the</strong> appropriate mechanisms. Hencethose who ask with confidence are likely toreceive, and those who seek to find. Whe<strong>the</strong>rin that corporatelife <strong>of</strong> souls which we callhistory in <strong>the</strong> ; personal work <strong>of</strong> costly transformationto which each separate soul is committed;or in that secret and most sacred flightto God, in which <strong>the</strong> human spirit achieves itsgoal, Hope is <strong>the</strong> living spirit <strong>of</strong> transcendence,<strong>the</strong> pathfinder <strong>of</strong> life.In history we see Hope as <strong>the</strong> spiritualpreparation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> future and a; preparationwhich is left entirely in our hands. It is <strong>the</strong> wayin which <strong>the</strong> corporate soul <strong>of</strong> man stretchesout to lay hold upon <strong>the</strong> gifts <strong>of</strong> God. Did welook with more loving attention at God's workin history, it would help us to discern His secretworkings in <strong>the</strong> soul. History, even that whichwe call secular history, always shows us Hopegoing before, to make plain <strong>the</strong> path along90

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULwhich <strong>the</strong> creative purpose shall move. It is<strong>the</strong> growing point <strong>of</strong> life. Social justice, education,child welfare, women's freedom all <strong>the</strong>sewere hoped for long before <strong>the</strong>y were achieved.And now, looking towards <strong>the</strong> future, it is <strong>the</strong>solemn duty <strong>of</strong> every awakened spirit to enlarge,deepen and enrich this hope for mankind.Every movement <strong>of</strong> pessimism is a betrayal<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>, purposes <strong>of</strong> God a; short-circuiting <strong>of</strong>that flows from Him<strong>the</strong> spiritual energysouls. The web <strong>of</strong> life is in-through livingfinitely sensitive to <strong>the</strong> morbid activity <strong>of</strong> each<strong>of</strong> its cells. There can hardly be a more lethalweapon than <strong>the</strong> mind <strong>of</strong> a nation filled with<strong>the</strong> thought that war must come, or thatsociety is running down hill and some;responsibilityfor this corporate mind rests upon everycitizen.Thought is a greatgiven to us by God ;and sacred forceour share in <strong>the</strong> life thatlies behind appearance. It is a creative forcewhen filled with Hope a destructive force when;it concentrates on <strong>the</strong> ground floor and its <strong>of</strong>tendeplorable state, and calls this "facing reality."Hence <strong>the</strong> building up <strong>of</strong> a public opinion full<strong>of</strong> Hope, because it tends with confidence toGod and <strong>the</strong> things <strong>of</strong> God, is a spiritual dutylaidupon all Christians; who are bound tobelieve in <strong>the</strong> continuous incarnation <strong>of</strong> HisSpirit in human life, and to make plain <strong>the</strong>paths along which that Spirit can move. Wedo nothing for <strong>the</strong> Kingdom by going into <strong>the</strong>garden to eat political or ecclesiastical worms.9*

THE- HOUSE OFTHESOULThe whole <strong>of</strong> Christian history really turnsupon <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong> human hope this absolute:hold upon <strong>the</strong> reality <strong>of</strong> God, His supernaturalenergy and freedom, with <strong>the</strong> correspondingconviction that He does and will act within <strong>the</strong>human arena, intervene to save. "I am not aGod afar <strong>of</strong>f: I am thy Maker and friend" aMaker who has not finished His work, but ismaking us all <strong>the</strong> time, whose capacity forloving action is inexhaustible. The psychologicallandscape in which <strong>the</strong> greatest eventin man's spiritual history was prepared wascoloured by Expectation, Hope. Christ wasborn among those who waited for <strong>the</strong> consolation<strong>of</strong> Israel; who were sure, in spite <strong>of</strong>baffling appearance, that <strong>the</strong> purpose <strong>of</strong> Godwould be fulfilled. The Blessed Virgin, standingat <strong>the</strong> budding-point <strong>of</strong> Christian history,meets her strange destiny with selfless confidence.The same necessary condition runsthrough <strong>the</strong> Gospels. Those are healed thatcome hopefully; <strong>the</strong>ir confident expectationis always approved. We are to expect thatGod will give us good gifts, answer our prayers,provide for our necessities. This note recursperpetually in all our Lord's teaching.If weask we get,if we seek we find, if we knockhopefully on <strong>the</strong> door it will open. The unlimitedworld <strong>of</strong> eternal life is here on <strong>the</strong>threshold with its riches ;it is for us to stretchout to it with confidence. If we are not morespiritually effective,it is because <strong>of</strong> our low92

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULlevel <strong>of</strong> desire, our lack <strong>of</strong> initiative, <strong>of</strong> courageousexpectation. The Spirit <strong>of</strong> God worksin and with <strong>the</strong> faithful, hopeful will thatexpects, and waits upon, <strong>the</strong> supernaturalresponse. The lessons <strong>of</strong> psychology are liftedup, and shown to us as shadows cast by <strong>the</strong>laws <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spiritual world.In His own prayer, our Lord rejoices becauseallhappens and must happen accordingto <strong>the</strong> mind <strong>of</strong> God ;even though that fulfilmentis reached by paths which cut across ourhuman notions <strong>of</strong> success. In <strong>the</strong> events <strong>of</strong> HolyWeek He teaches by demonstration <strong>the</strong> lesson<strong>of</strong> an unconquerable Hope; <strong>the</strong> anchoring <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> soul's trust, beyond all appearance, in <strong>the</strong>infinite 'Life <strong>of</strong> God. From <strong>the</strong> poor littletriumph <strong>of</strong> Palm Sunday, through <strong>the</strong> ga<strong>the</strong>ringcloud <strong>of</strong> foreboding, to <strong>the</strong> stress and agony <strong>of</strong>Gethsemane and Calvary with an ever increasingsense <strong>of</strong> isolation, forsakenness anddarkness, culminating in <strong>the</strong> utter helplessnessand ignominy <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross <strong>the</strong> soul <strong>of</strong> Christmoves with a steadiness transcending humanagony: sure that in spite <strong>of</strong> appearances <strong>the</strong>Will <strong>of</strong> God is holy, and that along <strong>the</strong>se darkpaths, by utmost sacrifice and apparent failure,<strong>the</strong> purposes <strong>of</strong> His Love must prevail. Thatsupernatural Hope transfigured even <strong>the</strong> awfulmoment <strong>of</strong> dereliction, when He felt himself tobe abandoned by God, and tasted <strong>the</strong> horrors<strong>of</strong> spiritual death. It was through this darknessthat He rose to <strong>the</strong> heights <strong>of</strong> self-abandonedG 93

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULtrust. "Fa<strong>the</strong>r, into Thy hands I commend myspirit" <strong>the</strong> evening prayer <strong>of</strong> every Jewishchild "I do not ask, know, or guess, what isgoing to happen; Thou art my Hope!""Christ," said <strong>the</strong> poet Peguy, "was <strong>the</strong> Man<strong>of</strong> Hope." He showed it in a heavenly splendouronly possible to those whose lives are lostin God. Here we leave human fortitude andcourage, <strong>the</strong> mere Stoic power <strong>of</strong> sticking itout, far behind; are caught in <strong>the</strong> mightycurrent which sets from <strong>the</strong> natural to <strong>the</strong>supernatural life, and learn that <strong>the</strong> veryanguish <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul on <strong>the</strong>se frontiers <strong>of</strong> experienceis an earnest that <strong>the</strong> expectation <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> creature will be fulfilled. Devout personsspeak much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Easter Hope; but it issurely <strong>the</strong> Good Friday Hope, with its lesson<strong>of</strong> self-oblivious confidence in life's blackestmoments, that speaks most clearly to <strong>the</strong> needs<strong>of</strong> men. It is <strong>the</strong>n that <strong>the</strong> Church, with trueinstinct, exclaims, "Agios ischyros! Agios athanatos!"By that contemplation we are liftedfrom all petty preoccupation with our ownreasons for despondency, taught to look onwide horizons, depersonalize our prayer confidentthat in suffering and apparent failure;wecontribute to<strong>the</strong> mysterious purposes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>God we love.We come down from this tremendous revelation,to look at something a little nearer to ouraverage level, and consider <strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> Hope in<strong>the</strong> cleansing and re-ordering <strong>of</strong> our own soul's94

THE HOUSE. OFTHE SOULlife. We remember how Dante places at <strong>the</strong>beginning <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Purgatorio a wonderful picture<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ship <strong>of</strong> souls, driven towards <strong>the</strong> purifyingmountain by <strong>the</strong> great wings <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Angel<strong>of</strong> Hope. There <strong>the</strong>y are, with all <strong>the</strong>ir humanimperfections, stains and limitations and with;<strong>the</strong>ir faces set towards <strong>the</strong> infinite possibilities,<strong>the</strong> unspeakable perfections <strong>of</strong> God. Theyknow that much suffering and difficult purificationmust be <strong>the</strong> path along which <strong>the</strong>y willreach Him ;but hope <strong>of</strong> God, thirst for God,overrules all fear <strong>of</strong> pain.As <strong>the</strong> ship comesto shore, <strong>the</strong>y fling<strong>the</strong>mselves on <strong>the</strong> landcrying "Who will show us <strong>the</strong> waymount?" There isto <strong>the</strong>cleansing no reluctance t<strong>of</strong>ace <strong>the</strong> penalty <strong>of</strong> conduct, <strong>the</strong> working <strong>of</strong>that law <strong>of</strong> consequence which burns out <strong>the</strong>very root <strong>of</strong> man's self-love. They look beyondall that to God, <strong>the</strong> soul's Patria, towardswhich <strong>the</strong>y. tend in hope.We know, in our lucid moments, that we tooare committed to such a painful re-ordering <strong>of</strong>our love; some cleansing discipline must setour muddled lives in order, deal with <strong>the</strong> stainsand excesses we have accumulated during ourtenancy, if <strong>the</strong> creature is to be made fit forGod its Home. When <strong>the</strong> radiance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Holyshines on our defenceless souls, we shall knowourselves for what we are. "Then said I, Woeis me !. . . for mine eyes have seen <strong>the</strong> King,<strong>the</strong> Lord <strong>of</strong> Hosts." Then <strong>the</strong> measure <strong>of</strong> ourFaith, Hope and Charity will be <strong>the</strong> gladness95

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULwith which we welcome <strong>the</strong> humiliations whichmust break our foolish pride, <strong>the</strong> lessons <strong>of</strong>patience that must curb our childish anger, <strong>the</strong>deprivations that will turn our possessiveinstincts from unreal to real objectives. Butif this be so, how artificial, how, deficient inrealistic Hope, is that notion <strong>of</strong> God's actionon and in our spirits,which refers to an unknownfuture <strong>the</strong> opportunity <strong>of</strong> purgation.The cleansing touch is already completelypresent in all <strong>the</strong> ups and downs, <strong>the</strong> trials,sacrifices, humiliations <strong>of</strong> our personal andpr<strong>of</strong>essional life; in all those inequalities <strong>of</strong>health, affection, opportunity, which mortifyself-will and self-esteem. It is <strong>the</strong> business <strong>of</strong>Hope, tending here and now to God, to recognizewithin <strong>the</strong>se baffling accidents <strong>the</strong> operations<strong>of</strong> Creative Love, and its own duty <strong>of</strong>collaboration ; looking fairly and squarely at allthat needs to be done to fit <strong>the</strong> soul for itsdestiny, and <strong>the</strong>n starting <strong>the</strong> work in perfectconfidence that <strong>the</strong> energy <strong>of</strong> God is with usfrom <strong>the</strong> moment that we really take <strong>the</strong>scrubbing-brush into our hands.The house <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul is properly furnished ;<strong>the</strong> cleaning materials are all <strong>the</strong>re. Thelanguors and difficulties <strong>of</strong> ill-health, <strong>the</strong>friction <strong>of</strong> uncongenial temperaments, <strong>the</strong> hardrubs <strong>of</strong> circumstance, can all leave us cleanerthan before. As <strong>the</strong>re is nothing more destructive<strong>of</strong> serenity than unwilling endurance <strong>of</strong> aspring-clean; so <strong>the</strong>re is nothing more exhilar-96

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULating than <strong>the</strong> same process when we do some<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> work ourselves. If our own hands carry<strong>the</strong> cherished bundle <strong>of</strong> rubbish to <strong>the</strong> dustbin,if we acquiesce in <strong>the</strong> fact that <strong>the</strong> far toocomfortable s<strong>of</strong>a does crowd up our room toomuch, and has got to go;if we put zest andhope into <strong>the</strong> struggle to efface those blackmarks from walls that were meant to be white<strong>the</strong>n even <strong>the</strong> most painful effort is transformedby <strong>the</strong> knowledge that we are workingto make our house what it is meant to be andcan be : a habitation fit for <strong>the</strong> Spirit now. Weare creatures for whom <strong>the</strong> Beauty <strong>of</strong> Holinessis a possibility in so far as we;place our confidencein <strong>the</strong> perpetual operations <strong>of</strong> that Spiritwhich "has marvellously made our humannature, and still more, marvellously remakes it"and accept with love and courage <strong>the</strong> methodby which <strong>the</strong> work is done centring our sense<strong>of</strong> reality <strong>the</strong>re, and letting all <strong>the</strong> rest dropaway.For <strong>the</strong> true basis <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul's hope <strong>of</strong> Godis God's hope for <strong>the</strong> soul. His confident intention;precedes and inspires ours, and gives allits significance to our life. God's hope for souls<strong>of</strong>ten seems to us to be thwarted ;but itbeginsagain in its power and freshness with everybaby born into <strong>the</strong> world. Each represents ahope <strong>of</strong> God; a possibility <strong>of</strong> holiness, fullness<strong>of</strong> life. He has made us for Himself; but <strong>the</strong>fulfilment <strong>of</strong> that hope is partly in our ownhands. It requires our generous and courageous97

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULresponse to <strong>the</strong> secret Divine incentive, ourpeaceful acceptance <strong>of</strong> purification, our activecharity; <strong>the</strong> full and dedicated use <strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong>resources <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upper floor. Our own reluctance,cowardice, want <strong>of</strong> hope, keep us back."The weakest <strong>of</strong> sinners," said Peguy, "canei<strong>the</strong>r frustrate or crown a hope <strong>of</strong> God." Whenwe think <strong>of</strong> this aspect <strong>of</strong> our freedom, <strong>of</strong> ourever-growing, mobile, never finished livesthat <strong>the</strong>re is one fragment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Eternal purposewhich no one else can fulfil, one place in<strong>the</strong> world where we and none o<strong>the</strong>r are meantto transmit God's life and love, and so fulfilHis Hope <strong>the</strong>n even in our timid souls <strong>the</strong>reis born a faint desire to give ourselves withoutreserve to His purpose, whatever <strong>the</strong> cost.There is work which God requires to bedone by each one <strong>of</strong> us, and which no one elsecan do. Therefore our business is to get downto it, checking <strong>the</strong> instinctive recoil to <strong>the</strong>inferiority complex, <strong>the</strong> easy resort to "I'mnot up to it : <strong>the</strong>re must be some mistake" ;insure and certain hope that if we get <strong>the</strong> job weshall get <strong>the</strong> authority it requires. "He gavepower and authority to <strong>the</strong> twelve," says <strong>the</strong>Gospel; not merely to <strong>the</strong> most spiritual andenlightened. It does not appear that <strong>the</strong>majority were very spiritual or very enlightened;but <strong>the</strong>y were free from <strong>the</strong> introspectiveweakness which perpetually strokes its ownimperfections, and makes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m a reason forits deprecating reluctance to serve. The Twelve

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULmust have felt very odd when <strong>the</strong>yout alone to teach and heal; but <strong>the</strong>y wentwith Hope, and <strong>the</strong>y came back with Joy. Andtwere sent<strong>the</strong> same thing has ever been true <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Saints,and <strong>of</strong> countless souls far below <strong>the</strong> level <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Saints, who have accepted in <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> Hopean infinite variety <strong>of</strong> jobs. "I said to God thatit was His business I was about, and after thatI found itvery well performed," said Bro<strong>the</strong>rLawrence, when called from contemplation tobuy wine for his convent a business for whichhe knew that he had no capacity.Hope <strong>of</strong> that quality is <strong>the</strong> source <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gaycourage with which <strong>the</strong> real lover <strong>of</strong> God faces<strong>the</strong> apparently impossible or <strong>the</strong> unknown:and we observe that it is not merely an easyand comfortable optimism. It means actingupon our assurance, taking risks for it ; enteringupon a path <strong>of</strong> which we do not see <strong>the</strong> end. Itmeans "Go forward"; not "Wait and see," or"Safety first." Forgetting <strong>the</strong> things which arebehind, this hope reaches forth with confidenceunto <strong>the</strong> things which are before ; stripping <strong>of</strong>fall that impedes it, refusing to be clogged byold fears and prejudices, moribund ideas. Itbelieves in <strong>the</strong> God <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> future, as well as <strong>the</strong>God <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> past. It knows how to combine aliving suppleness and freedom with an utterself-abandonment, a humble self-knowledgewith a vigorous initiative. "What is my hope?even Thou, O God !Though I lost my temperyesterday,youcan use me to help a soul to-day."99

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL"The self-satisfaction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> finite," saysBernard Bosanquet, "is <strong>the</strong> portal where Hopevanishes." But once <strong>the</strong> great principle <strong>of</strong>doing nothing in our own strength is grasped,we shall find with surprise that our performanceis not much affected by our own dreadfulmediocrity. Something else, a stronger, richer,steadier life, supports, controls and actsthrough us. The guest for whom We have maderoom isrunning <strong>the</strong> house. Hope means beingprepared for this, and trusting it, when we aredefinitely given a job, placed in a situation,which we feel to be beyond our powers; andwhich, for that very reason, contributes to <strong>the</strong>soul's growth by throwing it back upon God.So Hope must preside over <strong>the</strong> soul'scleansing and re-ordering <strong>of</strong> its premises, and<strong>the</strong> work it has to do. But our supernaturalHope has a dignity and a sanction far beyond<strong>the</strong>se here-and-now objectives ;and asks <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>creature a courage and sacrifice commensuratewith its transcendental goal. We find its trueimage in that natural order, where <strong>the</strong> Saintshave so <strong>of</strong>ten followed <strong>the</strong>ir model in lookingfor <strong>the</strong> supernatural lessons <strong>of</strong> God: in <strong>the</strong>autumn migrants, starting on <strong>the</strong>ir immensejourney along <strong>the</strong> invisible pathways<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>air, towards a summer home which <strong>the</strong>y cannotan irresistiblesee, yet which draws <strong>the</strong>m bypower. Migration is not an easy or a pleasantbird to face. It must turnthing for a tinydeliberately from solid land, from food,100

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULshelter, a certain measure <strong>of</strong> security, and flyacross an ocean unfriendly to its life, destitute<strong>of</strong> everything it needs. We make much <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>heroism and endurance <strong>of</strong> our airmen andexplorers. Perhaps some day man will rival<strong>the</strong> adventurous hope <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> willow wren and<strong>the</strong> chiff-chaff; an ounce and a half <strong>of</strong> livingcourage, launching out with amazing confidenceto a prospect <strong>of</strong> storms, hardship,exhaustion perhaps starvation and death.Careful minds would hardly think <strong>the</strong> riskwas worth taking. But <strong>the</strong> tiny bird, beforeconditions force it not driven by fear, butdrawn by Hope commits itself with perfectconfidence to that infinite ocean <strong>of</strong> air; whereall familiar landmarks will vanish, and if itsstrength fails it must be lost. And <strong>the</strong> bird'shope is justified. There is summer at <strong>the</strong>o<strong>the</strong>r end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> perilous journey. The scrap<strong>of</strong> valiant lifeobeys a true instinct whenit launches itself on <strong>the</strong> air. It isurged fromwithin towards a goalit can attain; andmay reckon <strong>the</strong> suffering <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> moment notworthy to be compared to <strong>the</strong> glory that shallbe revealed.Our Lord found great significance in <strong>the</strong>life <strong>of</strong> birds; in <strong>the</strong>ir freedom, <strong>the</strong>ir selfabandonedtrust, <strong>the</strong>ir release from mere carefulness.He held <strong>the</strong>m precious to God, andpatterns for <strong>the</strong> faith and hope <strong>of</strong> man. I sometimesthink that <strong>the</strong> divine <strong>of</strong> gift Hope thatconfident tendency <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul, that trust in101

THE HOUSE OF THE SOUL<strong>the</strong> invisible, and in a real goal, a Country,truly awaiting uspoured into man by God togive meaning and buoyancy to his life :was first, as it were, tried out in <strong>the</strong> birds. Longall thisages before we appeared, <strong>the</strong> clouds <strong>of</strong> tinymigrants swept over <strong>the</strong> face <strong>of</strong> this planet.Incarnate scraps <strong>of</strong> hope, courage, determination,<strong>the</strong>y were ready at a given moment toleave all and follow <strong>the</strong> inward voice ; obeying<strong>the</strong> instinct that called <strong>the</strong>m in <strong>the</strong> teeth <strong>of</strong>peril and difficulty, giving <strong>the</strong>mselves trustfullyto <strong>the</strong> supportingair.Nor does this exhaust <strong>the</strong>ir likeness to <strong>the</strong>soul. If we ask why <strong>the</strong> bird is so utterly athome what is <strong>the</strong> cause <strong>of</strong> this confidence,this buoyancy, this easy, steady flight sciencereplies that it is itself partly a creature <strong>of</strong> air.Its very bones are so made that <strong>the</strong> air penetratesand informs <strong>the</strong>m. It is lifted fromwithin, as well as supported from without; <strong>the</strong>invisible Kingdom to which it gives itself is<strong>of</strong> its own life. Even so areinseparably a partwe both penetrated and supported by an ocean<strong>of</strong> Love and Life, an infinite yet indwellingReality experienced though unseen: "God inHimself as He iseverywhere and at all times,"as St. Thomas has it. "And now what ismyhope? surely my hopeis in Thee" as <strong>the</strong>bird in <strong>the</strong> air, so we in <strong>the</strong> Being <strong>of</strong> God. As<strong>the</strong> bird, we are called to ano<strong>the</strong>r country,aPatria. The courage which can face long effort,vast and lonely distances, apparent emptiness,102

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULmay be <strong>the</strong> testing condition <strong>of</strong> our flight. Yet<strong>the</strong> loneliness and emptiness are only apparent :for in Him we live and move and have ourbeing, even while to Him we tend. He inspiresand supports <strong>the</strong> adventure <strong>of</strong> which He is <strong>the</strong>goal. For Hope is Love, tendingto God atall costs; bearing all things, believing allthings, enduring all things, because sure thatHe has made us for Himself, and our heartsshall find <strong>the</strong>ir rest in Him alone.103

VIIWE have inspected both floors <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul'shouse; stood in its watch-tower, andstudied its domestic arrangements <strong>the</strong> disadvantagesand possibilities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> doublesituation in which we are placed. Yet <strong>the</strong>restill seems something lacking; somethingwhich must fill <strong>the</strong> whole house from basementto attic and bind in one both levels <strong>of</strong> life, ifitsupkeep is to be worth while, if it is to beanything more than a model dwelling without<strong>the</strong> atmosphere <strong>of</strong> a home. What is it that iswanting ? Charity <strong>the</strong>; living Spirit <strong>of</strong> CreativeLove. To be a home, a dwelling-place in timefor that Spirit, <strong>the</strong> house has been swept andgarnished, <strong>the</strong> best loved bits <strong>of</strong> rubbish havebeen sacrificed, <strong>the</strong> windows have been cleaned,<strong>the</strong> table set. It is not intended to be a showplace,but a real "habitation <strong>of</strong> God through<strong>the</strong> Spirit"; and <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit isCharity. If Faith opened <strong>the</strong> eyes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> understandingon that threefold vision in which wesee that only God is fully real and if; Hope sopurified <strong>the</strong> mind's content that alldroppedaway but its trustful tendency to that unchangingReality <strong>the</strong>n Charity transforms in God <strong>the</strong>;very mainspring <strong>of</strong> character, <strong>the</strong> active will,and thus completes <strong>the</strong> spiritualization <strong>of</strong> man.104

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULSo Charity, when it enters <strong>the</strong> soul's house,swallows up and irradiates its Faith and Hope."God is Charity," says St. John, "who dwellsin Charity dwells in God" a saying whichmight deliver us from much anthropomorphicpietism, did we realize its depth and sweep. Itmeans that <strong>the</strong> Spirit <strong>of</strong> Creative Love is <strong>the</strong>very character <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Infinite God. There isno difference between saying God "comes" to<strong>the</strong> soul in Himself, or "sends" -His love; forin that love we receive, in a way that we canbear, <strong>the</strong> impact <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ever-present Divinelifeupon <strong>the</strong> creature it has made. When wedepart from that love we depart from Reality;leave <strong>the</strong> vivid world <strong>of</strong> spiritual fact, andenter <strong>the</strong> museum-like atmosphere <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ology,full <strong>of</strong> stuffed birds that once were living bits<strong>of</strong> Faith and Hope. For <strong>the</strong> Charity <strong>of</strong> Godis,as it were, <strong>the</strong> air that ba<strong>the</strong>s <strong>the</strong> city, <strong>the</strong>sun that lights it, <strong>the</strong> heat that warms it; and,as experienced in each little house, by each<strong>of</strong> allseparate soul, <strong>the</strong>re is in it something<strong>the</strong>se. If a spark from that fire burns on <strong>the</strong>hearth <strong>of</strong> personality, <strong>the</strong> soul has become tothat extent a partaker <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Divine nature. Sheshares in <strong>the</strong> verylife <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Saints; receivesand distributes something <strong>of</strong> that radiantwarmth which fills <strong>the</strong> whole spiritual universe,<strong>the</strong> "Love that makes all things fair." "Wehave," says St. Teresa, "<strong>the</strong> Sun in our house" :that Sun which is not <strong>the</strong> soul's self, but is <strong>the</strong>soul's life, Like central heating, its influence is105

feltTHE HOUSE OF THE SOULeverywhere, upstairs and downstairs too;distributing an equable fosteringwarmth toevery corner, conditioning our growth int<strong>of</strong>ulness <strong>of</strong> personality.Charity, <strong>the</strong>n, means something which farexceeds altruism. It is <strong>the</strong> human spirit's share<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Divine life: <strong>the</strong>re is, indeed, no o<strong>the</strong>rin which it can share that life. "Whowaydwells in charity dwells in God";is unitedto God ; partakes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> creative point <strong>of</strong> view.We are looking with awe at <strong>the</strong> approachmade by <strong>the</strong> human soul to <strong>the</strong> burning heart<strong>of</strong> Reality an approach only made possibleby <strong>the</strong> prevenient action <strong>of</strong> God and, turningto our own narrow hearts, our feverish andclaimful desires, unreal objectives, and fluctuatinglove, we ask: Can <strong>the</strong>se things be? Inour own strength, <strong>of</strong> course, <strong>the</strong>y could not be;but <strong>the</strong>y can be, because <strong>the</strong> initiative lies with<strong>the</strong> Divine life. As <strong>the</strong>ology says: "We loveHim because He first loved us." Before <strong>the</strong>stellar universe, before <strong>the</strong> first mysteriousbeginnings <strong>of</strong> creation, <strong>the</strong> fire <strong>of</strong> Charity wasalready lighted. Creation is an act <strong>of</strong> love;love, as Julian <strong>of</strong> Norwich was taught in hervision, is its "meaning" however much thatmeaning has been overlaid and distorted by<strong>the</strong> sins and confusions <strong>of</strong> life. No religioussystem is worth accepting or imparting thatis not in harmony with this mysterioustruth: for life, <strong>the</strong> "more abundant life" <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Eternal World which is <strong>of</strong>fered by God106

THE HOUSE OFto men, can onlyTHE SOULbe measured in terms <strong>of</strong>love."O luce eterna plena d'amore!" cries Dante,caught for one dazzlingmoment to a vision <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> Real. Unless our tendency to God bringsus ever nearer <strong>the</strong> point at which we see <strong>the</strong>world and all things in it in this generous transfiguringlight, it is not a reality; nor is anyspiritual experience valid, which fails to introduceus into that Ocean <strong>of</strong> Creative Love."How could those books have taught meCharity?" said St. Augustine, as he turnedfrom <strong>the</strong> alluring mysticism <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Neoplatonists,with its tremendous appeal to his speculativeintellect, and capitulated to <strong>the</strong> Cross.That was <strong>the</strong> final question for him; and stillmust be so, for allgenuine seekers afterReality. It marks <strong>the</strong> boundary betweenphilosophy and religion, between <strong>the</strong> objectives<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> visionary and <strong>the</strong> saint. "Without <strong>the</strong>exercise <strong>of</strong> love," says Ruysbroeck, "we cannever possess God; and whosoever thinks orfeels o<strong>the</strong>rwise is deceived."Charity is no easyemotion. It does notmerely consist in yielding to <strong>the</strong> unspeakableattraction <strong>of</strong> God. We are <strong>of</strong>ten terrified andalways shamed when we see what its achievementinvolved for <strong>the</strong> Saints; what steadyendurance <strong>of</strong> darkness, what suffering andcourage, are <strong>the</strong> price <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir love, joy andpeace. The fire <strong>of</strong> Charity,lit in <strong>the</strong> soul,needs careful tending. The first tiny flame107

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULmust not be allowed to die down for lack <strong>of</strong>fuel ;and we may have to feed it with things weshould prefer to keep for ourselves. It willonly be developed and kept burning in a lifeinformed by prayer faithful, steady, mortified,self-oblivious prayer, <strong>the</strong> humble, aspiration <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> spiritto its Source: indeed, <strong>the</strong> very object<strong>of</strong> prayeris to increase and maintain Charity,<strong>the</strong> loving friendship <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul with God.All o<strong>the</strong>r aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> inner lifeare subsidiaryto this: and only<strong>of</strong> value in so far as<strong>the</strong>y contribute to it. For <strong>the</strong> prayer <strong>of</strong> Charityintroduces us into <strong>the</strong> very atmosphere andpresence <strong>of</strong> God, that secret chamber <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>soul where He dwells ;and shows us, obscurelybut intensely, God as <strong>the</strong> one object <strong>of</strong> thissoul's love and longing, and all struggles andsacrifices made in His interests as forms <strong>of</strong>joy. It lifts <strong>the</strong> heavy cloud <strong>of</strong> self-occupationfrom our spirits, transforms <strong>the</strong> mental andmoral problems that torture us; <strong>the</strong>y all lookdifferent in <strong>the</strong> light <strong>of</strong> that fire. "Love," saysThomas a Kempis, "sees causes <strong>of</strong> fear andfeareth not; but as a quick brand or sparkle<strong>of</strong> fire flameth ever upward." And it is thisconstant desirous aspiration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul towards<strong>the</strong> Beloved Perfection, with itsutter forgetfulness<strong>of</strong> personal dreads and risks, whichdelivers it from evil. "Adam sinned when hefell from contemplation" and <strong>the</strong> essence <strong>of</strong>contemplation is <strong>the</strong> soul's loving attention toGod. "Were we always simple," says Ruys-108

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULbroeck, "and could we always contemplatewith <strong>the</strong> same recollection, we should alwayshave that same experience, which is our properresting-place,"Within <strong>the</strong> prayer <strong>of</strong> Charity, too, we catcha glimpse <strong>of</strong> our own small life in <strong>the</strong> light <strong>of</strong>God, and <strong>of</strong> our own soul's house as it is meantto be a habitation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Creative Love. It isa bracing and a humbling vision. We see ourvocation <strong>the</strong>n, however prosaic, as a form <strong>of</strong>Charity; simply a call to express <strong>the</strong> creativelove infused into us, in this or that way. ForCharity introduces <strong>the</strong> soul into a vast organism,built <strong>of</strong> all striving, loving spirits; anorganism which is destined to be possessed andused by God, for creative and redemptive workwithin <strong>the</strong> world.Hence <strong>the</strong> only active works worth doing orworth having are ultimately found to be thosethat proceed from Charity that are <strong>the</strong> work:<strong>of</strong> a soul adhering to God and acting as Histool. This gives <strong>the</strong>m what painters call"quality." We know how <strong>the</strong> Dutch artistscould give quality to a heap <strong>of</strong> vegetables, or achild's toy. If th$ quality <strong>of</strong> charity isin ourwork, that work, however modest, will suffice.If not, all itsapparent devotedness, efficiencyand success will merely give out <strong>the</strong> correct butunmusical noise <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> gong, or <strong>the</strong> tinkle <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>bright and busy cymbal. Works <strong>of</strong> mercy doneby <strong>the</strong> Saints come out, as it were almost <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong>mselves, from a soul so utterly merged in <strong>the</strong>H 109

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULlove <strong>of</strong> God that He acts through Thus it. <strong>the</strong>yhave an effect quite out <strong>of</strong> proportion to <strong>the</strong>irapparent scope. A real act <strong>of</strong> Charityis <strong>the</strong>exact opposite <strong>of</strong> an act <strong>of</strong> philanthropy. It isdone wholly to, for and in God; for His sake,as a contribution to His purpose, because wesee <strong>the</strong> situation from His point <strong>of</strong> view. It isborn <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> First, not <strong>the</strong> Second Commandment:<strong>of</strong> supernatural, not <strong>of</strong> natural, love. Sotoo all religious acts and sacrifices more, allsacred objects, symbols and devotions, even to<strong>the</strong> l<strong>of</strong>tiest degrees <strong>of</strong> mental prayer are only<strong>of</strong> spiritual worth if soaked in Charity and usedwith Charity: with a loving tendency <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>naked will through <strong>the</strong>m to God. "Unless,"to Godsays Maritain, "we direct very purelyalone our desire <strong>of</strong> contemplation itself and itsjoys, which St. Bernard called '<strong>the</strong> paradise <strong>of</strong>interior delights,' we shall not truly advancein <strong>the</strong> way <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit.".All <strong>the</strong> exercises <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> devotional life fallunder this law. The use <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Crucifix,meditation on Christ's Life and Passion, arefound to be <strong>of</strong> value to <strong>the</strong> soul because <strong>the</strong>yconvey love and evoke love; and so feed <strong>the</strong>fire at <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> personality. The disciplinesand renunciations which give order and beautyto <strong>the</strong> soul's house are only fruitful whenundertaken for <strong>the</strong> sake <strong>of</strong> Charity. The houseis meant to radiate that; our business is to takeaway everything which interferes. This is <strong>the</strong>principle which givesnoall valid asceticism its

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULmeaning and worth. So <strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> poverty,deliberately loosening its clutch on possessions ;<strong>the</strong> spirit <strong>of</strong> chastity, calling in all vagrant,immoderate and distracting desires; <strong>the</strong> spirit<strong>of</strong> obedience, subduingits will to <strong>the</strong> overrulingDivine Will, give health, strength andorder to <strong>the</strong> love that is intended to find itsgoal in God: but only impoverish or sterilize<strong>the</strong> soul that is seeking for self-fulfilment by<strong>the</strong>se paths. "Charity," says Augustine Baker,"lives and grows according to <strong>the</strong> measure thatself-love is abated, and no fur<strong>the</strong>r." We havereached <strong>the</strong> "short point'* as <strong>the</strong> lawyers say;<strong>the</strong> one thing needful, <strong>the</strong> all-sufficing rule bywhich <strong>the</strong> house is to be run. And we find it tobe identical with <strong>the</strong> law <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city: "Love <strong>of</strong>God even to contempt <strong>of</strong> self."Thus in <strong>the</strong> last resort Christian perfection,in fact <strong>the</strong> whole course <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> spiritual life, isfound to be <strong>the</strong> same thing as Charity <strong>the</strong>loving union <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> human spiritwith <strong>the</strong>Eternal Spirit <strong>of</strong> God. Nothing but this lovewill drive it to <strong>the</strong> heroic struggles, selfstrippingand purifications, maintain it through<strong>the</strong> long slow climb with many humbling falls,whereby it is remade in <strong>the</strong> image <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>Absolute Love. The soul that plays for safety,even spiritual safety, never becomes perfect."Real Charity," says St. John <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross, "isnot shown merely by tender feelings, but by astrength, courage and endurance unknown too<strong>the</strong>r souls." The true lover, wholly given toin

THE HOUSE OF THE SOULGod and His interests, is released from allcarefulness about his own interests, safety andcomfort. Thus not Faith and Hope alone, butPrudence, Temperance and Fortitude too, arefound in <strong>the</strong> last resort to be swallowed up inCharity.This, <strong>the</strong>n, is <strong>the</strong> first point <strong>of</strong> Charity; thatpure thirst for God and complete self-givingto God that return movement <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul toits origin which makes man a spiritual creature,and is<strong>the</strong> very substance <strong>of</strong> his eternallife. We go on to <strong>the</strong> second point. St. Thomassays, "Charity includes not only love <strong>of</strong> God,but also a certain friendship with Him. It is alove if a man devotes himself tosign <strong>of</strong> greatero<strong>the</strong>rs for his Friend's sake, than if he be willingonly to serve his Friend." That opens upano<strong>the</strong>r aspect <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> Charity, and links<strong>the</strong> First with <strong>the</strong> Second Commandmentlove <strong>of</strong> God Pure, and love <strong>of</strong> His creation forHis sake. Adoring love alone is not enough.Charity requires us, beyond this, to place ourneighbours' rights and needs on an equalitywith our own ;because <strong>the</strong> generous love <strong>of</strong> Godispoured out upon <strong>the</strong> whole world, and ourlove too must be perfect, complete, as that <strong>of</strong>our Fa<strong>the</strong>r and Origin is perfect, complete.The Cross is <strong>the</strong> supreme symbol <strong>of</strong> thatdouble movement <strong>of</strong> Charity ;<strong>the</strong> pouring forth<strong>of</strong> self-oblivious love, up towards God, outwardstowards men, and surely downwards too,to all <strong>the</strong> smaller children <strong>of</strong> God. Here we are112

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULconfronted by a Charity as rich, wide and deepas Creation, entirely self-giving and entirelyits fellowsundemanding, which loves God first,next, itself not at all; <strong>the</strong> consummation <strong>of</strong> alife in which prayer and work, teaching andhealing, joy and suffering, were simply <strong>the</strong>different strings <strong>of</strong> an instrument on which wasplayed <strong>the</strong> only music <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Love <strong>of</strong> God.And in those Saints who approach <strong>the</strong>ir modelmost nearly, as did St. Francis, this widespreadinglove is <strong>the</strong> very substance <strong>of</strong> perfection,and ultimate source <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir life-givingpower. They are complete in <strong>the</strong>ir self-giving,like God. "Because," says Ruysbroeck, "<strong>the</strong>living fountain <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Holy Spirit, which is <strong>the</strong>irwealth, can never be spent," <strong>the</strong>y are becomedistributors <strong>of</strong> His creative and redeemingenergy. Their passionate identification withHis interests flows out in an endless variety <strong>of</strong>expression to share His love and care for o<strong>the</strong>rmen: and it is this, more than any moralcorrectness, any exemption from special faultsor failings,which is <strong>the</strong> earnest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir supernaturallife. .So <strong>the</strong> soul's secret holy love for <strong>the</strong> One, itsadoring contemplation, will flow out if it begenuine on waves <strong>of</strong> generous compassion to<strong>the</strong> Many and ; especially to those whom anexact standard <strong>of</strong> merit might find unworthy <strong>of</strong>pity and care. "To love <strong>the</strong> unlovely intolovableness" has been called <strong>the</strong> perfect work<strong>of</strong> Charity; for here we apply <strong>the</strong> DivineIJ 3

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULmethod to those bits <strong>of</strong> His creation that mostneed it : share His redeeming work.Faith may release <strong>the</strong> mind from <strong>the</strong> tyranny<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> here-and-now, and Hope may seem toconcentrate <strong>the</strong> whole drive <strong>of</strong> our being upon<strong>the</strong> Reality <strong>of</strong> God. Only Charity can thusweave toge<strong>the</strong>r both worlds, both levels <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>soul's life ; and, making our love <strong>of</strong> God and <strong>of</strong>His creatures one, provides a habitation, aga<strong>the</strong>ring point for <strong>the</strong> Creative Love, andopens a channel through which it can be appliedto each detail <strong>of</strong> His unfinished world. Thus itis, as <strong>the</strong> mystics say, that Charity makes Godand <strong>the</strong> soul "one thing." Some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> difficultiessurrounding <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> prayer, and particularly<strong>of</strong> intercession, might vanish, did weunderstand it as an application to particularcases <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> boundless Charity <strong>of</strong> God; anapplication which is effected by means <strong>of</strong> ourwill and love.Science sees <strong>the</strong> universe in natural regard,as a cosmic cloud <strong>of</strong> infinitely tenuous matterfilling all space; and <strong>the</strong> stars as special condensations<strong>of</strong> that universal substance, able toradiate with peculiar intensity <strong>the</strong> energy weknow as light an energy which is equallypresent throughout space, though <strong>the</strong>re unseen.An apt parable <strong>of</strong> that supernatural universein which we live and have our being; trulycontinuous too, and delicately luminous with<strong>the</strong> Love <strong>of</strong> God. Within it we may think <strong>of</strong>each separate soul as a special condensation <strong>of</strong>114

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULspiritual life; able to receive and give againthat energetic Charity which ispoured out onall creation from <strong>the</strong> Heart <strong>of</strong> God. For eachsoul <strong>the</strong> final question must be: how muchCharity can you receive and transmit? TheSaints glow like living suns. With everyaspiration towards God, <strong>the</strong> ardour <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ircharity increases. Its radiance penetrates toevery corner <strong>of</strong> creation. It warms and vivifies<strong>the</strong> chillier worlds, which equally depend on<strong>the</strong>ir share in this generous and life-givinglife : this one mighty movement <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Divinegenerosity, running right through <strong>the</strong> spiritualworld, and using as its agents <strong>the</strong> loving andsurrendered souls <strong>of</strong> men.Beyond time, God loves and gives, in <strong>the</strong>changeless perfection <strong>of</strong> His Charity and <strong>the</strong>;terms on which His creatures receive is that<strong>the</strong>y should give again, heedless <strong>of</strong> self-interestand personal considerations. Thus all prayers,all sufferings,all deeds from <strong>the</strong> l<strong>of</strong>tiest to <strong>the</strong>most homely, given in Charity to <strong>the</strong> purposes<strong>of</strong> God, become charged with His energy <strong>of</strong>life and avail for <strong>the</strong> perfecting <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. Inthis universal sense, Charity puts us in line withall <strong>the</strong> noblest aspects <strong>of</strong> Creation <strong>the</strong> generousoutpouring <strong>of</strong> sunshine, <strong>the</strong> uncalculating fertility<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> earth, <strong>the</strong> great life-giving mantle <strong>of</strong>air; all those undemanding giftswhich conditionour existence, and are reflected fragments<strong>of</strong> that unlimited self-giving which is <strong>the</strong> fundamentalcharacter <strong>of</strong> God.

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULThe New Testament is full <strong>of</strong> reminders <strong>of</strong><strong>the</strong> transcendent worth, <strong>the</strong> life-giving quality,<strong>of</strong> this generous unlimited love : <strong>the</strong> love thatpours out <strong>the</strong> precious ointment, and <strong>the</strong>nbreaks <strong>the</strong> vase and gives that too ;that throwsin <strong>the</strong> second mite after <strong>the</strong> first ;that sets asideas equally irrelevant personal desires, personalfailings,and personal achievements. TheCharity willing to feed <strong>the</strong> sheep and lambs,and go on and on chopping <strong>the</strong> turnips andtending <strong>the</strong> fold, for <strong>the</strong> sake <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Beloved:adoration and penitence blossoming in homelyservice. Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord!"in accents <strong>of</strong> devotion enters <strong>the</strong> supernaturalworld <strong>of</strong> Charity but; only those self given forlove's sake to <strong>the</strong> purposes <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Eternal Will.Even when that Will must be carried throughby means <strong>of</strong> dreary, exacting, and unrewardinglabour; even where it means unlimited sacrificefor apparently unworthy ends completecollaboration with <strong>the</strong> Divine redemptivework.The <strong>House</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Soul</strong>, <strong>the</strong>n, must be anopen house for all who are sent to it;whom <strong>the</strong>re are things to be done ;all who arecare. Its welcomeall forproposed to its fosteringmust be as wide as that Poverty which, empty<strong>of</strong> itself, has room for all. Upstairs and downstairs,in work and in prayer, it must whollyserve <strong>the</strong> creative purpose; mortifying <strong>the</strong>desire <strong>of</strong> devotional sweetness, ignoring <strong>the</strong>claims <strong>of</strong> spiritual comfort, and bringingall <strong>the</strong>116

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULneeds <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city,and <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> vast desolate worldbeyond <strong>the</strong> city, within <strong>the</strong> area <strong>of</strong> its widespreadinglove. There must be room for morethan two chairs on <strong>the</strong> hearthrug. The Love<strong>of</strong> God is a large generosity, not a number <strong>of</strong>intense individual love affairs; and this is <strong>the</strong>love which <strong>the</strong> living soul is called to pour outon <strong>the</strong> world. Only when it is wholly made overto His creative, saving and restoring purpose,when all that it does is done in <strong>the</strong> power <strong>of</strong>supernatural Charity, is <strong>the</strong> house indeed ahabitation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Spirit, and doing <strong>the</strong> work forwhich it was made. This is that union withGod to which <strong>the</strong> mystics look; a union thatis not consummated in feeling, but in willand work.The Parable <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Talents, into which we soeasily read a utilitarian meaning hardly accordantwith <strong>the</strong> mind <strong>of</strong> Christ, seems ra<strong>the</strong>rdesignedto enforce <strong>the</strong> lesson <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul'sresponsibility in respect <strong>of</strong> this mysterious gift<strong>of</strong> Charity;its share <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> riches <strong>of</strong> God.Those riches are given into its care, that <strong>the</strong>ymay be increased and made fruitful. We arenot to wrap up our bit <strong>of</strong> love, in case itmightbe lost or damaged; dig a hole in <strong>the</strong> soul'sgarden and hide itaway. We are to deal withit in <strong>the</strong> world, with prudence and courage;risk it, putit out. Those who venture <strong>the</strong>irCharity down in <strong>the</strong> rough and tumble <strong>of</strong>existence, submit it to <strong>the</strong> alchemy <strong>of</strong> thought,work with itboldly, and thus increase <strong>the</strong>117

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOULliving wealth <strong>of</strong> God <strong>the</strong>se are approved. Thevictims <strong>of</strong> a miserly, timid and unfruitfulspirituality are utterly condemned. At <strong>the</strong> end<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> story,it is to those who have most thatmore isgiven: for <strong>the</strong>se alone are able toreceive <strong>the</strong> riches <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Kingdom <strong>of</strong> God."When <strong>the</strong> evening <strong>of</strong> this life comes," saysSt. John <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Cross, "you will be judged onlove." The only question asked about <strong>the</strong> soul'suse <strong>of</strong> its two-storied house and <strong>the</strong> gifts thatwere made to it will be: "Have you lovedwell?" All else will be resumed in this; allthoughts, beliefs, desires, struggles and achievements,all <strong>the</strong> complex activities <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> upperand <strong>the</strong> lower floor. For Faith isnothingunless it be <strong>the</strong> obscure vision <strong>of</strong> a lovedunless it be <strong>the</strong>Reality; and Hope is nothing,confidence <strong>of</strong> perfect love. So too with all <strong>the</strong>persons, events, opportunities, conflicts andchoices proposed for <strong>the</strong> soul's purification andgrowth. Was everything that was done, donefor love's sake? Were all <strong>the</strong> doors opened,that <strong>the</strong> warmth <strong>of</strong> Charity mightfill <strong>the</strong> wholehouse; <strong>the</strong> windows cleaned, that <strong>the</strong>y mightmore and more radiate from within itsmysteriousdivine light? Is <strong>the</strong> separate life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>house more and more merged in <strong>the</strong> mightycurrent <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> city'slife? Is it more and moreadapted to <strong>the</strong> city's sacred purpose <strong>the</strong>saving radiation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Perfect within animperfect world? For this is Charity; <strong>the</strong>immense expansion <strong>of</strong> personality effected bylio

THE HOUSE OFTHE SOUL<strong>the</strong> love <strong>of</strong> God, weaving toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> naturaland <strong>the</strong> supernatural powers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> soul, andfilling <strong>the</strong>m with its abundant life. Overflowing<strong>the</strong> barriers <strong>of</strong> preference, passing throughallitcontrary appearance, mediates <strong>the</strong> Divinepity and generosity to every mesh and corner<strong>of</strong> creation; and rests at last in God, Who is<strong>the</strong> life and love <strong>of</strong> every soul.

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