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Chapter 2 A Short Stirring To Meekness, And To The Work Of This Book, The CLoud Of Unknowing

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The Cloud of Unknowing, ed. by Evelyn Underhill, [1922]     A short stirring to meekness, and to the work of this book.   LOOK up now, weak wretch, and see what thou art. What art thou, and what hast thou merited, thus to be called of our Lord? What weary wretched heart, and sleeping in sloth, is that, the which is not wakened with the draught of this love and the voice of this calling! Beware, thou wretch, in this while with thine enemy; and hold thee never the holier nor the better, for the worthiness of this calling and for the singular form of living that thou art in. But the more wretched and cursed, unless thou do that in thee is goodly, by grace and by counsel, to live after thy calling. And insomuch thou shouldest be more meek and loving to thy ghostly spouse, that He that is the Almighty God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, would meek Him so low unto thee, and amongst all the flock of His sheep so graciously would choose thee to be one of His specials, and sithen set thee in the place of pasture, where thou mayest be fed with the sweetness of His love, in earnest of thine heritage the Kingdom of Heaven. Do on then, I pray thee, fast. Look now forwards and let be backwards; and see what thee faileth, and not what thou hast, for that is the readiest getting and keeping of meekness. All thy life now behoveth altogether to stand in desire, if thou shalt profit in degree of perfection. This desire behoveth altogether be wrought in thy will, by the hand of Almighty God and thy consent. But one thing I tell thee. He is a jealous lover and suffereth no fellowship, and Him list not work in thy will but if He be only with thee by Himself. He asketh none help, but only thyself. He wills, thou do but look on Him and let Him alone. And keep thou the windows and the door, for flies and enemies assailing. And if thou be willing to do this, thee needeth but meekly press upon him with prayer, and soon will He help thee. Press on then, let see how thou bearest thee. He is full ready, and doth but abideth thee. But what shalt thou do, and how shalt thou press?  

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A Short Stirring To Meekness, And To The Work Of This Book

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1 Ben N = "This "stirring to meekness" is a call to humility and gratitude; to recognize one's own insignificance in the vastness of the universe, and to be moved to awe that the infinite Creator should love us enough to take interest in us, and call us unto Himself."
2 Ben N = "Here, the author is saying that only the most self-centered and lazy of people could fail to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit, and the sweet love of the Almighty."
3 Ben N = "This is a warning to all who embark upon the spiritual path. To seek through prayer and contemplation to draw near the Divine, is the highest and noblest of callings, yet one must never "let it go to one's head." Here, the author warns us to stay humble, and to not ever consider ourselves better or holier than anyone else."
4 Ben N = "The author goes on to say that the spiritual seeker is indeed even more wretched and lowly than others, unless they can live up to a higher standard.  "
5 Ben N = "To draw near to God, one must be like Him. As God descends from heaven to earth to give of Himself, His tenderness and mercy, so we are to be humble, meek and mild and selflessly giving."
6 Ben N = "Do not be puffed up by your successes, but focus instead on those areas wherein you have room to improve. This helps one to stay humble."
7 Ben N = "Here, the author tells us to cultivate the most intense desire for God, and to give over the whole of our life and our will to this goal."
8 Ben N = "This statement that God is a jealous lover, as well as the preceding line about "your ghostly spouse," is a common theme in mystical literature. The relationship with God is like a marriage, or a love affair; it is intimate, engrossing, and exclusive."
9 Cary W = "Daily we pray that the words of our mouth and meditations of our heart may be pleasing to God, and that our devotion be singular toward intimacy with the Father and the Son."