John of Ruysbroeck
OF THE SPIRITUAL MARRIAGE
BOOK I THE ACTIVE LIFE
FROM the renunciation of
XIV] springs patience; for none can be perfectly patient in all things
save the man who has subjected his own will to the will of God, and also in
all profitable and seemly things, to the will of all other men.
Patience is a peaceful endurance
of all things that may befall a man either from God or from the creatures.
Nothing can trouble the patient man; neither the loss of earthly goods, of
friends and kinsmen; nor sickness, nor disgrace, nor life, nor death, nor
purgatory, nor devil, nor hell. For he has abandoned himself in perfect
charity to the will of God, and as he is not burdened by mortal sin,
everything that God imposes on him, in time and in eternity, is light to
him. By this patience a man is also adorned and armed against peevishness
and sudden wrath, and impatience in suffering; which often stir a man from
within and from without, and lay him open to many temptations.
FROM this patience there spring
meekness and kindliness, for none can be meek in adversity save the patient
Meekness gives a man peace and
rest in all things. For the meek man can bear provoking words and ways,
uncivil looks and deeds, and every kind of injustice towards himself and his
friends, and yet in all things remain in peace, for meekness is peaceful
endurance. By meekness the irascible or repulsive power remains unmoved, in
quietude; the desirous power is uplifted toward virtue; the rational power,
perceiving this, rejoices. And the conscience, tasting it, rests in peace;
for the second mortal sin, Anger, fury, or wrath, has been cast out. For
the Spirit of God dwells in the humble and the meek; and Christ says:
BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY SHALL
INHERIT THE EARTH, that is,
their own nature and all earthly things, in meekness; and after that the
Country of Life in Eternity.