Spiritual Examples

“Now all these things represent spiritual examples. Light is first created in the heart of the sinner, when he begins to recognize himself, so that he distinguishes between light and darkness, and begins to call light day, and darkness night, and is no longer of those of whom it is said: “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness. (Isa. 5, 20). After this, however, when he has begun to distinguish between light and darkness, and also to call light day, darkness night, that is, when he has begun truly to condemn his evils by the judgment of reason, and to choose the works of light, which are good and praiseworthy, there remains for the firmament to be made in him. This means that he must be strenghtened in his good resolution to distinguish between the upper and lower waters, namely, the desires of the flesh and of the spirit, so that as an interposer and mediator he may not suffer two mutually hostile elements to be mingled or to be transposed, not suffer what should be divided to be brought together nor what should be placed below to be above, nor what should be placed above to be below. Finally there follows in the order of disposition the work of the third day: the waters which are under the heavens are to be gathered into one place, lest the desires of the flesh should be floods, and expand beyond the bound of necessity, so that the whole man, being recalled to the status of his nature and disposed according to the order of reason, may collect into one place every desire to the end that the flesh may be subject to the spirit and the spirit to the Creator. Whoever is so ordered is worthy of the light of the sun, so that, when the mind is directed upward and the desires fixed upon heavenly things, the ,light of the highest truth may beam forth upon the beholder, and no longer “through a glass in a dark manner,” (I Cor. 13, 12), but in itself as it is, he may recognize and know truth.

Hugh of St. Victor, De Sacramentis, Bk. One, Cap. XII, par. 3.

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