two yellow roses called wedding day

Sayings from The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing was probably written by a monk from a monastery in the East Midlands of England in the mid 14th Century. He describes how, for those who are called to this, one must leave the things of God behind in the quest for God himself.

God can be taken and held by love but not by thought.

The two essential virtues are meekness and charity. He who might get these needeth no more for he hath all. Meekness is a true knowledge of ourselves as we are. He who knows himself truly knows God as far as that is possible in this life.

For if God is your love and your intent, the choice and the ground of your heart, this is enough for you in this life; even though you never see more of him with the eye of reason all your life long. Such a blind shot with the sharp arrow of a love that longs can never miss the bull’s-eye, which is God...Whenever reason falls short, then it is love’s pleasure to look alive and to learn to occupy itself. For by love we can find him, experience him, and reach him as he is in himself.

GOD, unto whom all hearts be open, and unto whom all will speaketh, and unto whom no privy thing is hid. I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee, and worthily praise Thee. Amen.

(The above is the original form of the opening prayer in the Anglican Eucharistic rite.)

Not what you are, nor what you have been, does God look upon with his merciful eyes, but what you would be.