Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Tauler: a purely negative state

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
    Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865
    [Jesus:] “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
    —Matthew 23:10-12 (ESV)
    Let a man but separate himself from all contingencies and from all works, and there will come over him in this state of emptiness a peace which is very great, lovely, and agreeable, and which is in itself no sin since it is part of our human nature. But when it is taken for a veritable possessing of God, or unity with God, then it is a sin; for it is in reality nothing else than a state of thorough passivity and apathy untouched by the power from on high, which any man can attain without special grace of God. It is a purely negative state from which (if one in arrogance calls it divine) nothing follows but blindness, failure of understanding, and a disinclination to be governed by the rules of ordinary righteousness.
    ... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), quoted in The Meaning of God in Human Experience: a philosophic study of religion, William Ernest Hocking, Yale University Press, 1912, p. 576 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 23:8-12; Deut. 15:7-8; Isa. 58:7; Luke 3:11; 1 John 1:6; 2:10-11; 3:17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your Spirit places me under Your rule.
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