Nyssa on the Night

I haven’t said much for a while but, there’s a time for everything under the sun and so there might, now, be a time to speak.

I’ve been dipping back into Thomas Merton. He was my first love. I was living in a bedsit in Paris shortly after a life-changing religious exerience and the Seven Story Mountain was under the bed.

I’m re-reading his Contemplative Prayer where he writes:

St. Gregory of Nyssa describes the “mystical night” : Night designates the contemplation (theoria) of invisible things after the manner of Moses who entered into the darkness where God was, this God who makes of darkness his hiding place. Surrounded by the divine night the soul seeks him who is hidden in darkness. She possesses indeed the love of him whom she seeks, but the Beloved escapes the grasp of her thoughts.

. . . Therefore abandoning the search she recognizes him whom she desires by the very fact that his knowledge is beyond understanding. Thus she says, “Having left behind all created things and abandoned the aid of the understanding, by faith alone I have found my Beloved. And I will not let him go, holding him with the grip of faith, until he enters into my bedchamber.”

The chamber is the heart, which is capable of the indwelling when it is restored to its primitive state.

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