The Spiritual Espousals
The Espousals is the masterpiece of the fourteenth-century Flemish mystic Jan van Ruusbroec, who described one's spiritual development as involving the active life, the inner or yearning life, and the contemplative life, all of which he explains in the Espousals. This translation of the first-ever critical edition of The Spiritual Espousal will introduce Ruusbroec's writings to the wider audience they deserve. The overall theme of the Espousals is the message of Matthew 25:6, "See,/ the Bridegroom cometh,/ go out/ to meet him," which involves a four-step experience in each of the three "loves." The reader travels past the same guideposts three times, each time at a higher plane. Three times the reader sees the same thing occur?the meeting of the person with God?in the same sequence, but under a new light. Ruusbroec supports his mystical treatise with solid anthropological and theological thought. He sketches the psychological structure of the person, as well as the natural and supernatural relationship between God and the person. The result is one mystical explanation or expression of the inner condition of a person becoming one with God.
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according activity becomes beginning bliss body brightness cease charity chiasmus Christ our Bridegroom Christ says Christian mystic coming of Christ consider consolation contemplative created creatures desire devotedness divine light dwell earth emptiness enjoyable love enjoyment enkindles enlightened person enriched essence eternal blessedness eternal image everything Father fathomless feels fidelity flow forsaken fruit generosity gifts gives glory Godhead ground heart heaven higher faculties holy Church Holy Spirit honor human humble humility impetuosity inclination incomprehensible inner practice innermost intermediary inwards Jan van Ruusbroec Jews justice kingdom live lust manner means meeting mercy Middle Dutch mode modelessness mystical experience ness Nevertheless nobility one-fold ourselves outward passage possess praise prayer prevenient grace reason receives remains rest rich rich hall sacraments saints savor shines single intention soul speak sublime suffering supernatural sweetness things three unities touch truth understand union unity of spirit virtues wish words yearning Zacchaeus