Consider this article as a monologue or an interior thought, as if someone was thinking out loud and searching for an answer within themselves. At some points, I address the soul as “her,” instead of “it.” I do this partly because St. John of the Cross uses that kind of language in his writings. It is also used to make a slight distinction: The soul is to be receptive and docile to God. I say her to emphasize the relationship of the soul to God. Because language has limits, “her” may sound restrictive and feminine. However, the receptivity and docility of the soul in her relation to God is a crucial part of the reality we live in.
How else can the soul live in joy and peace, but by being docile and responsive to the Creator and Author of every single life? How else can the soul live “in harmony” with the universe, but by living in intimate and habitual union with the One who Knows creation so well. Finally, keep in mind that what follows are the ‘wandering thoughts’ of the soul at the moment of receiving “Her Beloved” in Eucharistic communion:
What is it that I expected upon the reception of Communion? I know he is the Bread of Life, but he is insensible. Upon reception, consumption, and consummation, my mind and body are as quiet as the passage of the bread is through the throat and to the stomach. My mind has knowledge of the Presence of God, but my heart and soul have no sensation of His Presence… I can’t feel His presence.
Even my heart, is my heart even slightly moved? My heart is moved when I recognize how scandalous this “non-sense” communication is. Does this thought not provoke every communicant to wonder, awe, to contrition, desire, and sanctity at the remembrance of this Most Real Truth?
And what about the soul? Can the soul contain and receive all she is in need of from Jesus in the Eucharist? Can her poverty of spirit “suffice” to receive such Beautiful Grace? What is the movement or action of the soul, having now received her Beloved? Does the body and its sensations impede her satiation of the True and Only Good? Does the heart falsely counsel the soul and tell her to look away from the face of God because of this lack of sensation? Is the mind still and darkened at the thought of its weak capacity to reason and understand and merit such Grace?
Rejoice, o my soul! Rejoice! Rejoice in and because of the Lord, your God, your Creator. He has set you free from the slavery of sin in this Divine Mystery. Respond, my soul, in your love; respond with your hunger and desire! Renounce your burdensome affection for lowly living.
Rejoice! Move away from what you know; move away from your habit of sin. Habituate your vulnerability to God. Habituate the virtue of contrition; habituate therefore the practice of repenting from these lowly affections.
The Effects of Communion
And then? What comes from this Communion, from this Repentance? Purity. Purity does three things: (1) Removes, (2) Reveals, (3) Receives. Purity removes stains, wounds, heavy burdens and cloudy thoughts, it removes bad perceptions and judgments. Purity removes the mud of the world.
Purity reveals the deeper and deepest hunger, desire, and need of the soul. Purity reveals the gravity of her weakness: her disordered will and affections. Hopefully too, purity reveals the roots of these destructive affections. What more does it reveal? Purity reveals that these affections are actually disordered and hidden needs. These afflictions and distorted needs are the effect of rejecting grace and nature, of ignoring action and solidarity.
Purity also receives. The soul, because of purity, can receive in her proper place and order God and His Grace, His healing and His restoration. The soul receives His Love and places it in the empty and insensible caverns that were once cluttered with habitual sin, attachment, judgments, and other affections. These were stored in there but never placed in their proper order… these sins never truly rested in the soul because such affections can never complete the soul, they can only distract it and harm it to the point of wasting away from within.
Therefore, the soul receives life and is no longer grasping for death… Being all stilled, the soul saw her true need because of and in the light of Purity. May she never distract her gaze or her heart. May she never presume or despair of God’s Love, Justice, and Mercy. May she never neglect herself in a way that breeds false humility, and a prideful disposition toward her community.