The soul undergoes its final purgation by means of a total annihilation of its former way of knowing, hoping and willing. This final stage is a passive purgation in that it is an action of God, requiring only the consent of the soul. The intellect comes to know God in a new way.
It is darkened and forgets its former and lower knowledge of God and comes to know Him more certainly, but in an obscure way, trading concepts and ideas of God for the pure and overwhelming light of infused faith. The will is slowly purged entirely and lets go of everything except the will of God. Though the soul experiences great humility, feels utterly impoverished and empty, it is closer to God than ever before. In this darkness, the soul finds security and safety from the three enemies—the world, the devil and the flesh.
These enemies no longer hinder it in any way. In this inner solitude and hiddenness, the soul becomes very strong and deeply resolved in its love for God. In this fortitude of spirit, after relentlessly searching for and finding God, the soul now makes God and His perfect will the one and only object of its desire.
Habitual contemplative prayer becomes the norm, meaning that the soul has completely abandoned all lower forms of prayer and begins to walk always with God, praying always, and never tiring of loving God. Once the soul climbs the ladder to its Beloved, it is prepared for Divine Union. In this state of perfection, the soul is so intimately united to God that it shares fully in the divine attributes of God.
Its intellect thinks with pure faith in God, its memory understands all things by the pure hope in God, its will is motivated by the pure charity of God, and all of its appetites, affections, desires and passions are completely ordered in God. The soul knows, understands, loves, feels, interacts and communicates in God and by God.
The soul even loves God by the power of God Himself. The primary image Saint John uses to describe this state of perfection is the log that is one with the flame and burns at its deepest center with the flame of the Holy Spirit. The best way to assure yourself of this initial conversion is to carefully, humbly and honestly go through the examination of conscience presented below.
Once complete, if you are aware of any serious sin, you must firmly resolve to turn away from that sin and go to Confession. If you do not do this, God is greatly hindered in His ability to draw you closer to Him and set you down the journey of deeper conversion. Pride —Pride is an untrue opinion of ourselves, an untrue idea of what we are not. Have I a superior attitude in thinking or speaking or acting?
Am I snobbish? Have I offensive, haughty ways of acting or carrying myself? Do I hold myself above others? Do I demand recognition? Do I desire to be always first? Am I ready to accept advice? Do I speak ill of others? Have I lied about others? Do I make known the faults of others? Do I seek to place the blame on others, excusing myself? Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak?
Is there anyone to whom I have not spoken for a long time? Am I prone to argue? Am I offensive in my arguments? Am I self-conscious? Am I sensitive? Am I easily wounded? Envy —Envy is a sadness that we feel on account of the good that happens to our neighbor. Do I feel sad at the prosperity of others? At their success in games?
In athletics? Do I rejoice at the failures and misfortunes of others? Do I envy the riches of others?
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Sloth —Sloth is a kind of cowardice and disgust, which makes us neglect and omit our duties rather than discipline ourselves. Have I an inordinate love of rest, neglecting my duties? Do I act lazily? Am I too fond of rest? Do I take lazy positions in answering prayers? Do I delight in idle conversation? Do I fail to be fervent in the service of God?
Lust —Lust is the love of the pleasures that are contrary to purity. Have I desired or done impure things out of selfishness? Have I taken pleasure in entertaining impure thoughts or desires? Have I read impure material, listened to music with impure lyrics, or looked at impure images, whether in photos or on television or in movies or on the Internet? Have I aroused sexual desire in myself or another by impure kissing, embracing, or touching? Have I committed impure actions alone, i. Do I dress immodestly or am I too concerned with the way I look? Do I use vulgar language or tell or listen to impure jokes or stories?
Have I given in to desires of adultery even in my imagination? Have I acted with seductive charm or been flirtatious? Greed —Greed is a disordered love of the goods of this world. Do I dispose of my money properly or selfishly? Do I discharge my duties in justice to my fellow man?
Do I discharge my duties in justice to the Church? Do I see money only as a means to serving God and others or do I see it as an end in itself? Do I obsessively think about wealth? Gluttony —Gluttony is a disordered love of eating and drinking. Do I eat to live or live to eat?
Do I drink to excess? Do I get drunk? Do I misuse prescription drugs? Do I use illegal drugs? Have I allowed myself to become addicted to alcohol? Anger —Anger is an emotion of the soul, which leads us violently to repel whatever hurts or displeases us. Am I prone to anger? Does practically any little thing arouse my temper? Do I fail to repress the first signs of anger? Do I fail to get along well with everybody? Do I ponder over slights or injuries and even presume them? Do I think of means of revenge? Am I of an argumentative disposition? Have I a spirit of contradiction? Am I given to ridicule of persons, places, or things?
Am I hard to get along with? Do I talk about the faults of others? Do I reveal the faults or defects of others? Do I reveal the faults of others from the wrong motive? Examination of Conscience —The examination of conscience on the Seven Capital Sins in the previous section should be returned to on a regular basis by the beginner.
The active purgation of the senses requires that you be freed of all of these sins in a habitual way. Though you will never permanently be free from every venial sin until you enter fully into the Beatific Vision of Heaven, you must seek to eliminate every ingrained habit of sin. Using this examination of conscience in an ongoing and thorough way, coupled with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, will be of great importance to you achieving this purgation.
Do not cease to examine your conscience with this method until God has truly freed you from every habitual sin identified. In addition to the examination of conscience on the Seven Capital Sins, it will be helpful to carefully reflect upon the virtues that bring complete freedom from those sins. Below is an examination of conscience that presents the Seven Capital Virtues. These virtues will bring a much deeper freedom from all sin. Humility —Humility cures pride and is ultimately knowing and believing the truth of who you are. Humility enables you to see yourself as God sees you.
You will not find offense in the criticism of others. You are at peace even when you are unnoticed, misunderstood and misjudged.
You will not take your identity in the opinions of others. You will regularly speak well of others, see goodness in them, and speak the truth without allowing your sin or the sins of others to cloud your judgment. You will be able to take responsibility for your failings, sincerely apologize as needed and regularly seek to heal discord.
Kindness —Kindness cures envy and leads a person to have a genuine love of neighbor, offering them unprejudiced, compassionate and charitable concern. You will find joy in the success of others and rejoice when they are sincerely honored and loved. Diligence —Diligence cures sloth and leads a person to great zeal for goodness and for the accomplishment of the works of God. Love of God and others will be far more important to you than your own selfish comfort. Negative conversations will be of no interest. You will find joy and energy in doing what is right and beneficial to others. Chastity —Chastity cures lust and will enable you to begin living in purity of mind and body.
Self ish ness will give way to self less ness in regard to disordered sexual desires. Others will no longer be looked upon as objects of desire, but will be seen as children of God our Father. The sacred dignity of each person will be revered in the way that is deserving of a child of God. Great care will be taken not to tempt, mislead or draw inordinate attention to yourself or your own body. Passions will be more easily mastered and brought under the control of the pure love of God. Chastity will especially be lived within marriage so that authentic and pure love can be shared between spouses and selfish love can be eliminated.
Liberality —Liberality is the cure for greed in that it will enable you to order your desires for material wealth in such a way that all is used for the single purpose of the greater glory of God. Money, or the lack thereof, presents each person with a powerful test. Simply put, liberality frees a person from an inordinate attachment to material wealth and even from the desire for it.
Temperance —Temperance cures gluttony in that it will enable you to act with self-control in regard to your desires for food and drink. Excessive cravings for food and drink will be eliminated and will be enjoyed in the ordered way God created them to be enjoyed.
Simply put, food and drink will not control you. Meekness —Meekness cures anger and will enable you to endure that which attempts to inflict harm upon you with patience and love. You will not be controlled by injustice but will respond to it with forgiveness. The ability to reconcile and be at peace with all people will grow strong.
Sincere compassion will be offered to those who act with malice. Others will not be seen as enemies but will be seen with dignity, even if they do not act in a dignified way.
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Simply put, the malice of others or injustices endured will have no power over you. Study —Another great help for the beginner will be to feed your mind with the truth by studying the Gospel and especially the person of Jesus. Read books about the Catholic faith, learn the Catechism , read the lives of the saints and continually strive to grow in a greater understanding of all that God has revealed to us through His Church. This knowledge will be a great help to you as you make a daily decision to turn from sin and turn to God.
Though this practice will be of great benefit to the beginner, it is necessary for those in every stage of spiritual development.
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Therefore, make sure you have a regular and faithful plan of ongoing learning. Prayer —The prayer proper to this stage of spiritual development is discursive meditation, which is a very careful, intentional and extended pondering of the Gospel and other truths God has revealed. This form of meditation is best practiced when you set aside at least 20 minutes, and ideally an hour, for prayer.
Read one passage of the Gospel slowly. Reflect upon it and let God speak to you through it. After you feel you have fully pondered one passage, move on to the next, but not in a hurried way. This is not just reading of Scripture, it is meditating on it. Sometimes meditation will be fueled by reflecting on beautiful prayers, especially those written by the saints. Therefore, find a good prayer book with traditional Catholic prayers and use those prayers for meditation.
Meditating on prayers is not the same as simply saying or reading prayers. To meditate on them you must take time with them, make them personal, understand them, and mean every word. Many people will find that daily devotionals, novenas, the rosary, chaplets, Stations of the Cross and various other forms of prayer will assist them in their meditations. Try new methods, new devotionals, reflections and inspirational meditations. When one feeds your prayer and draws you closer to God, stick with it.
Savor Spiritual Consolations —Sometimes, in prayer or study, God speaks to you in a powerful way. This is a grace, a sensible consolation sent from God to emphasize some particular truth that He wants you to focus on. At this stage of spiritual development, spiritual consolations and inspirations are quite common and useful, so be grateful for them when they come. In the next stage of spiritual development, this form of communication from God to you will end, so that God can communicate to you on an even deeper level.
But as long as the consolations and inspirations come to you, receive them and let them help you to change. Spiritual Maxims —Saint John offers us various spiritual maxims for meditation and prayer. These maxims will be challenging to read and even more challenging to desire. But remember, they come to us from perhaps the greatest spiritual doctor of the Church. You can trust that if these maxims are hard to embrace and live, that is because you need to be changed, not because there is something wrong with the maxim itself.
Therefore, if you want to walk through this stage of the active night of the senses, try to spend time reflecting upon these maxims and live them to the best of your ability. These maxims call the soul to strive to always prefer the most difficult rather than the easiest , the least pleasant rather than the most pleasant , the most wearisome rather than the most restful , and so on.
When they are pondered, they will have the effect of revealing to you all selfishness. You may react negatively at first, but this is an intellectual exercise by which you can bring to the surface the various weaknesses, sins, selfish tendencies and the like, so that they can be dealt with.
Therefore, meditate on these maxims and then ponder what comes to mind as you do. You may gain many very helpful insights that will enable you to become a much more selfless person. Use these maxims in an intellectual and moral exercise by which you will see your sinful tendencies in a more honest and humble way.
Strive always to prefer :. Not that which is easiest, but that which is most difficult;. Not that which is most delectable, but that which is most unpleasing;. Not that which gives most pleasure, but rather that which gives least;. Not that which is consolation, but rather that which is disconsolateness;. Not that which is loftiest and most precious, but that which is lowest and most despised;. Not that which is a desire for anything [to desire anything], but that which is a desire for nothing;.
Strive to go about seeking not the best of temporal things, but the worst. As mentioned, these maxims can, at first, seem contrary to happiness. But if they are practiced and lived, you will discover that they are the path to great delight and consolation. The soul will at first find them repugnant. Ignore that and seek to desire them anyway. The result will be a much better knowledge of who you are, and a clearer revelation of your selfish tendencies that need to be purged.
Once you have spent time on the above maxims ideally weeks or months , continue to reflect on the ones that follow in the same way. They will also be hard to accept. Further counsel to overcome: 1 concupiscence of the flesh, 2 concupiscence of the eyes, and 3 pride of life:. First, let the soul strive to work in its own despite, and desire all to do so.
Secondly, let it strive to speak in its own despite and desire all to do so. Third, let it strive to think humbly of itself, in its own despite, and desire all to do so. God wants so much more for you. Therefore, use them as a way of letting God begin to bestow everything good upon you. The highest good that only God can give! In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything, desire to have pleasure in nothing.
In order to arrive at possessing everything, desire to possess nothing. In order to arrive at being everything, desire to be nothing. In order to arrive at knowing everything, desire to know nothing. In order to arrive at that wherein thou hast no pleasure, thou must go by a way wherein thou hast no pleasure. In order to arrive at that which thou knowest not, thou must go by a way that thou knowest not.
In order to arrive at that which thou possessest not, thou must go by a way that thou possessest not. In order to arrive at that which thou art not, thou must go through that which thou art not. When thy mind dwells upon anything, thou art ceasing to cast thyself upon the All. For, in order to pass from the all to the All, Thou hast to deny thyself wholly in all. And, when thou comest to possess it wholly, Thou must possess it without desiring anything. For, if thou wilt have anything in having all, Thou hast not thy treasure purely in God.
If you found those painful then you are on the right track. They are very valuable exercises for you on your way to holiness. In this stage, the soul begins to be purged by God Himself rather than through its own efforts of mortification and self-denial. Two suggestions will be offered here for those whose senses are passively being purified by God through the invitation to infused contemplation.
This purgation can only take place through the prayer of purgative contemplation. God will remove the cause of the sin by drying up your spiritual consolations and, in fact, many other spiritual delights you have enjoyed within your sensory appetites. What do you do in this process of contemplative purgation?
As God begins to work on you, drawing you into this contemplation of sensory purgation, consciously allow yourself to be changed. God will do the work, but you must not interfere. You will feel different, see things differently, feel a loss of spiritual delight, and not sense the presence of God in the same way as you used to. Four Natural Passions of the Soul —Another area to be aware of is what Saint John identifies as the natural passions of joy, hope, sorrow and fear. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 09, Tanishia Pearson rated it it was amazing.
Lewis Oh my goodness! This book grabbed my attention and hooked me in the first chapter just like a great book should. I love Christian Fiction but Sherri L. Lewis exceeded my expectation. I love how she boldly addressed a topic that many people dare not approach. In addition to this, she let the love of God radiate throughout the entire story proving that true love for mankind does exist. She eloquently demonstrated that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above what we can ask or think.
What I loved the most was her ability to make me identify with her characters. There were even small lessons about health and entrepreneurship for all to behold. She did that! Great story! Five Stars! View all 3 comments. They dated for two years and have been happily married for two years. They tell each other everything, well, not everything.
Kevin has had a secret for years. One day Monica comes home unexpectedly and finds him in bed with another man! Secrets out! Searching for help in dealing with her recent revelations, Monica reaches out to their minister, Bishop Walker. Kevin was the minister of music.
He brought in large crowds every Sunday. At a total lost, it seems as if everyone Monica's believed in has failed her. There are situations for each and every one of us who say we are SAVED and how we react to a lot of things. Not just situations within the church, but in our everyday walk. I truly enjoyed this book and recommend it for all readers. Reviewed by: Carmen Nov 04, AC rated it really liked it Shelves: atl-afro-am-female-writers. I have a heart for Sherri Lewis' writing and her way of weaving a message through her stories. I never hesitate to pick up her book because I know I'll enjoy it, receive a message and be inspired by her.
Jun 01, Barbara Young rated it it was amazing. Monica had forgotten her stethoscope and went back home to get it, but once in the house she kept hearing a bumping noise and she went to investigate. She thought which one of her friends was with Kevin Day , buy when she opened the door she found out that it wasn't a she but a he, his closest friend Trey Hunter.
She was devastated and started throwing any and everything she could get her hands on.. Kevin told Monica when he was ten he was molested by a deacon and later she found out a Pastor also Monica had forgotten her stethoscope and went back home to get it, but once in the house she kept hearing a bumping noise and she went to investigate. Kevin told Monica when he was ten he was molested by a deacon and later she found out a Pastor also but Bishop Walker knew about Trey and sent him away and Monica was told to keep it to her self, because if it got out it would destroy Kevin and his church.
In college her friend tried to tell her not to marry him because he was gay. Alaysia talked her into moving to Atlanta and they ended up starting their own business. But what got me was when Kevin was in an accident the Bishop came to see him and Monica told him to tell him about what happened to him being molested and the Bishop said he would have to talk to them first to see what they had to say about the accusation. But he threatened Kevin if he told he would say he was messing with the boys,etc.
But her and Kevin got back together and he moved to Atlanta. Mar 08, Kim Motley rated it it was amazing. This book is a must read! I could not put it down. It's very realistic and isn't scared to address the issues that are really happening in the world today. It was beautiful how all of it came together! Sep 15, Gia Shaw rated it it was amazing. This book is a Christian novel. It goes through the life of a women as she rebuild and find her walk with the lord when she face a trying situation with her husband and his sexuality. She find her husband in the bed with another man A page turner for sure.
Feb 14, C. Darlington rated it really liked it Shelves: realistic-fiction , christian-contemporary , christian-romance. But the fact that Monica Harris-Day finds her worship-leader husband cheating with another man is an even greater shock. How could she have been so blind and not seen the signs? Should she divorce him on the spot? And why is their mega-church pastor so quick to look the other way?
Monica faces an emotional tempest in My Soul Cries Out. As a Christian woman she wants to do the right thing in God's eyes, but it's hard to know what that is in an age when Christians either pretend homosexuality doesn't exist or cast the first stone. Just how are we supposed to react to situations like Monica's?
Should we make those caught in this sin leave our churches? Should we pretend we don't know? This is an edgy novel that compassionately deals with the issue of homosexuality in the church. There are no easy answers here, but by following Monica's journey readers will start asking themselves the right questions.
And that's the first step toward understanding God's point of view.
Why is it that some sins are treated worse than others in the church? Why do we condemn gays to hell but allow gossip and envy? A relevant topic indeed. Lewis doesn't condone homosexuality in this novel. Sin is sin, and she makes sure we realize that. However, we're also shown both sides of the issue through the pain of Monica's husband.
Granted, there are scenes and phrases in the book you probably won't find in your Mom's Christian fiction. Sex is talked about openly several times. But even in those few eyebrow raising moments, you can tell Lewis took care not to push the envelope just because she could.
Let's be honest. Monica is the woman next door dealing with some very real issues. She struggles. She falls. She gets back up again because she wants to please God. Lewis is a talented new author who's breaking ground that's needed breaking for quite some time. View 1 comment. Oct 31, Chiquedee rated it really liked it. My very first Christian fiction novel and boy, did Sherri bring it!
I thought it would be the typical husband-caught-cheating-with-wife's-best-friend drama but OMG Didn't see that coming. The raw emotional reactions of the characters was authentic. Monica smashing the house up and wanting to obliterate Kevin depicts the extent of how hurt she was. Despite being the Christian woman she was, she was also human. Cussing Kevin out then calling on God to help her , I thought kept her My very first Christian fiction novel and boy, did Sherri bring it!
Cussing Kevin out then calling on God to help her , I thought kept her real. The way Sherri addressed the issue of homosexuality was interesting. The fact that the church considers it the sin of sins and the coverups was on point. How Kevin could struggle with his past yet be heavily anointed to minister spoke of God's unwavering, undeserved grace and His power to use broken vessels that we are.
The thing about Kevin was he realised his sin and wanted out of it. It took his wife finding out, leaving him, and confronting him about helping other boys in his sutuation to get him to act. I think he should have stepped down from his position earlier but, I guess that just contributed to the flawed bishop and his church storyline. Monica's journey back to herself and the marriage was realistic.
She didn't fake the happy couple act despite what the bishop told her. She was willing to forgive her husband but that didn't automatically mean all was good. She took the time to find healing for her insecurities before she could stand by her man. I questioned Khalil's relationship with Alaysia knowing her spiritual status. I think there are more apt ways he could have gone about the relationship but I guess the author intended it to be food for thought. Enjoyed reading this book! Highly recommend. Sep 17, Michelle rated it it was amazing Shelves: forpleasure , forreview , christianfiction.
My Soul Cries Out is a powerful redemption story about Monica and Kevin that on more than one occasion moved me to tears. I loved how the author wasn't afraid to tell it like it is when it came to internal thoughts, especially the skank ho references to certain women. The author masterfully wrote about Monica's rage the way it might really happen and didn't soften the issues for fear of offending the reader.
This is real life trauma and heartache! Monica was a very flawed character bu My Soul Cries Out is a powerful redemption story about Monica and Kevin that on more than one occasion moved me to tears. Monica was a very flawed character but the author did such a fantastic job of growing her in her relationship with the Lord and with others that I couldn't help but love her. I just can't say enough good things about this book. Kevin's characterization was so well done that I can honestly say I haven't read any novel highlighting the pain that comes from childhood abuse that was better at showing it than this one.
And I've read a lot of them. You can't help but have compassion on Kevin when he reveals his struggles and you see how even the church had betrayed him by not protecting him. The way Kevin and Monica's relationship developed throughout the story is proof that God can use anything--even the most horrible sin or mistake--to make us more like Him. In addition to the main story, there were several subplots regarding redemption that were both believable and moving.
The story of Alaysia's quest for peace and redemption was perfectly done and complimented the main theme of My Soul Cries Out. True-to-life, the comments made by an unbeliever can often be used to turn the struggling Christian's life around.
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Oh, and the ending gave me the happy shivers. I SO loved this story and can't wait to read the next book from this author, who is even more beautiful than the model on the cover. Jan 03, Brenda Brown rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed this book. The author drew me in like I was part of the story- feeling the anger, resistance, laughter and pity for each of the characters. Each character was well developed yet did not take away from Monica, the main character and her husband, Kevin. This was a touchy subject to write about, yet it is modern day reality. I think the author did a great job in giving details but not making it trashy or disrespectful to heterosexuals or homosexuals.
Even though the subject was abo I really enjoyed this book. Even though the subject was about Kevin going to bed with another man and talking about his past, it brought out dysfunctions that any person can be going through right now.