I should be packing for my holiday...early start tomorrow and I have just finished my Kumon prep for my next centre day...but what am I doing? I am reading St Teresa of Avila's Way of Perfection. Again. ( And now I am blogging!)
I am reading of Love.
Spiritual Love. A type of love and friendship that our secular world sometimes finds hard to understand. Friendship between men and women without sensuality. Without thought of gain for self. Friendship between women that shares pain and suffering, that allows growth.
There are two kinds of love which I am describing. The one is purely spiritual, and apparently has nothing to do with sensuality or the tenderness of our nature, either of which might stain its purity.....
It is of the first kind of spiritual love that I would now speak. It is untainted by any sort of passion, for such a thing would completely spoil its harmony. If it leads us to treat virtuous people, especially confessors, with moderation and discretion, it is profitable;...
.....with spiritual affection......our reason soon begins to reflect whether our friend's trials are not good for her, and to wonder if they are making her richer in virtue and how she is bearing them, and then we shall ask God to give her patience so that they may win her merit. If we see that she is being patient, we feel no distress -- indeed, we are gladdened and consoled. If all the merit and gain which suffering is capable of producing could be made over to her, we should still prefer suffering her trial ourselves to seeing her suffer it, but we are not worried or disquieted.
...I repeat once more that this love is a similitude and copy of that which was borne for us by the good Lover, Jesus. It is for that reason that it brings us such immense benefits, for it makes us embrace every kind of suffering, so that others, without having to endure the suffering, may gain its advantages.