NOT the Seventeenth Century The


NOT the Seventeenth Century

The following passage is from a very short, lovely treatise by Walter Hilton called "The Song of Angels." The entire thing is available here.

Also, our Lord comforts a soul by angel's song. This song cannot be described by any bodily likeness, for it is spiritual, and above all imagination and reason. It may be felt and perceived in a soul, but it may not be showed. Nevertheless, I will speak of it to you as I think. When a soul is purified by the love of God, illumined by wisdom, and stabilized by the might of God, then the eye of the soul is opened to see spiritual things, as virtues and angels and holy souls, and heavenly things. Then, because it is clean, the soul is able to feel the touching, the speaking of good angels. This touching and speaking is spiritual and not bodily. For when the soul is lifted and ravished out of the sensuality, and out of mind of any earthly things, then in great fervour of love and light (if our Lord deigns) the soul may hear and feel heavenly sound, made by the presence of angels in loving God. Not that this song of angels is the supreme joy of the soul; but because of the difference between a person's soul in flesh and an angel, due to uncleanness, a soul may not hear it except by ravishing in love, and it must be much purified and well cleaned, and filled with much love, before it will be able to hear heavenly sound. For the supreme and essential joy is in the love of God by Himself and for Himself, and the secondary is in communing with and beholding angels and spiritual creatures. For just as a soul, in understanding spiritual things, is often touched and moved through bodily imagination by the work of angels, as when Ezekiel the prophet saw in bodily imagination the truth of God's hidden mysteries, just so, in the love of God, a soul by the presence of angels is ravished out of mind of all earthly and fleshly things and filled with a heavenly joy, to hear angel's song and heavenly sound, according to the measure of its love. I think that no soul may truly feel the angel's song or heavenly sound, unless it is in perfect love, though not all that are in perfect love have felt it, but only the soul that is so purified in the fire of love that all earthly savor is burned out of it, and all obstacles between the soul and the cleanness of angels are broken and put away from it. Then truly may he sing a new song, and truly may he hear a blessed heavenly sound, and angel's song, without deceit or feigning. Our Lord knows the soul that, for abundance of burning love, is worthy to hear angel's song.

"You may hear and feel the heavenly sound, made by the presence of Angels in loving God." This song is such that it does not consist of mere words. This song may be felt as well as heard. It is a song that enters the flesh through the grace of God, and serves as another consolation.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 10, 2002 6:13 PM.

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