(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 293

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293. To the above shall be adjoined two Memorable Relations. The first is this:
Once when looking through a window towards the east, I saw seven women sitting on a bed of roses by a fountain, drinking water. I strained my sight to see what they were doing, and the intentness of my gaze affected them; whereupon, one of them by a nod invited me, and I left the house and quickly went to them. When I arrived, I asked them politely whence they came. They said, "We are wives and are talking here about the delights of conjugial love, and from much confirmation we conclude that those delights are also the delights of wisdom."
This answer so delighted my mind that I seemed to myself to be in the spirit and hence in a perception more interior and clearer than ever before, whereupon I said to them, "Permit me to ask a few questions about these delights." They nodded assent, and I asked, "How do you wives know that the delights of conjugial love are the same as the delights of wisdom?"
[2] They replied: "We know it from the correspondence of the wisdom in our husbands with the delights of conjugial love in us; for in us the delights of this love are exalted and diminished, and thus qualified, entirely according to the wisdom of our husbands."
On hearing this, I asked them, saying: "I know that the fair words of your husbands and the cheerfulness of their minds affect you, and that from these you experience delights in your whole bosom, but I wonder at your saying that it is their wisdom that does this. But tell me, what is wisdom? and what wisdom does this?"
[3] Indignant at this, the wives responded: "You think we do not know what wisdom is and what wisdom it is that does this, when yet we are continually reflecting on the wisdom in our husbands and learn it daily from their lips; for we wives think about the state of our husbands from morning to evening. Scarcely a moment in the day passes in which our intuitive thought is entirely withdrawn or absent from them. On the other hand, during the day our husbands think very little about our state. Hence it is that we know what wisdom of theirs it is that is in its delight in us. Our husbands call that wisdom spiritual-rational and spiritual-moral. Spiritual-rational wisdom, they say, pertains to the understanding and to cognitions, and spiritual-moral wisdom to the will and to life; but they join these two together to make a single wisdom. They also declare that from their minds the amenities of this wisdom are transcribed in our bosoms into delights; and from our bosoms they return into theirs and so to wisdom, their origin."
[4] To my question, "Do you know anything more about the wisdom of your husbands becoming delight in you?" they said: "We do. There is spiritual wisdom and from this, rational and moral wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is to acknowledge the Lord the Savior as the God of heaven and earth; to acquire from Him the truths of the Church whence comes spiritual rationality, this being done by means of the Word and preaching therefrom; and from Him to live according to them, whence comes spiritual morality. It is these two that our husbands call the wisdom which in general effectuates love truly conjugial. We have also heard from them the reason, namely, that by this wisdom the interiors of their minds and thence of their bodies are opened whereby free passage is given, from firsts even to lasts for that vein of love, on the afflux, sufficiency, and strength of which conjugial love depends and from which it lives. The spiritual-rational and spiritual-moral wisdom of our husbands, especially in respect to marriage, has for its end and goal the loving of the wife only and the putting off of every concupiscence for other women. So far as this is done, so far is that love exalted in degree and perfected in quality, and so far also do we the more distinctly and exquisitely sensate within ourselves those delights which correspond to the enjoyments of our husbands' affections and the amenities of their thoughts."
[5] I then asked whether they know how the communication is effected. They said: "In all conjunction by love there must be action, reception, and reaction. The delightful state of our love is the agent or action. The state of the wisdom of our husbands is the receiving or reception; it is also the reagent or reaction according to the reception.* This reaction with its delights is perceived by us in our bosom according to our state--a state which is continually expanded and prepared for receiving the things which in some way cohere with the virtue in our husbands--and thus also with the extreme state of love in ourselves--and which proceed therefrom." They said further: "Be careful that you do not interpret the delights we have mentioned, as meaning the ultimate delights of that love. Of these we never speak. What we are now speaking of is our bosom delights, which are in perpetual correspondence with the state of the wisdom of our husbands."
[6] After these words, there was seen at a distance what seemed like a dove flying with the leaf of a tree in its mouth; but as it drew near, in place of a dove was seen a little boy with a paper in his hand. Coming to us, he held it out to me saying, "Read this to these Virgins of the Fountain." I then read these words: "Tell the inhabitants of earth with whom you are, that there is a love truly conjugial, the delights of which are myriad. As yet scarcely any of them are known to the world; but the world will know them when the Church betroths herself to her Lord and becomes His bride."
I then asked, "Why did that boy call you Virgins of the Fountain?" They replied: "We are called virgins when sitting at this fountain because we are affections of the truths of our husbands' wisdom, and the affection of truth is called a virgin. Moreover, a fountain signifies the truth of wisdom, and the rose-bed whereon we are sitting signifies its delights."
[7] One of the seven then twined a wreath of roses and, sprinkling it with the water of the fountain, placed it on the boy's cap around his little head and said: "Receive the delights of intelligence. You know that a cap signifies intelligence, and a wreath from this rose-bed, delights." Adorned with these, the boy then went away; and at a distance he again appeared like a dove flying, but with a wreath upon its head.
* The Latin is perceptionem (perception), but the context shows that this is an error for receptionem as in the translation.


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