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Cloud of Unknowing
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HERE BEGINNETH THE SIX AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

 

A good teaching how a man shall flee these deceits, and work more with a listiness of spirit, than with any boisterousness of body

 

AND therefore for God’s love be wary in this work, and strain not thine heart in thy breast over‑rudely nor out of measure; but work more with a list than with any worthless strength. For ever the more Mistily, the more meekly and ghostly: and ever the more rudely, the more bodily and beastly. And therefore be wary, for surely what beastly heart that presumeth for to touch the high mount of this work, it shall be beaten away with stones. Stones be hard and dry in their kind, and they hurt full sore where they hit. And surely such rude strainings be full hard fastened in fleshliness of bodily feeling, and full dry from any witting of grace; and they hurt full sore the silly soul, and make it fester in fantasy feigned of fiends. And therefore be wary with this beastly rudeness, and learn thee to love listily, with a soft and a demure behaviour as well in body as in soul; and abide courteously and meekly the will of our Lord, and snatch not overhastily, as it were a greedy greyhound, hunger thee never so sore. And, gamingly be it said, I counsel that thou do that in thee is, refraining the rude and the great stirring of thy spirit, right as thou on nowise wouldest let Him wit how fain thou wouldest see Him, and have Him or feel Him.

This is childishly and playingly spoken, thee think peradventure. But I trow whoso had grace to do and feel as I say, he should feel good gamesome play with Him, as the father doth with the child, kissing and clipping, that well were him so.

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