As we advance in spiritual life and we take good care for the garden of our lives, we experience that in some way things get easier. No more well and tiring labouring, no more wheel and aqueducts; now we feel as if prayer was a water flowing freely from the river or a font and watering the garden by its own.
St. Teresa of Avila finds this image adequate to describe what she calls „the dream of potencies”. In mystical language she expresses this state as being almost completely „dead” for all the things in the world. She calls it „the heavenly craziness”.
Human potencies, powers of memory, understanding, will and imagination in this state, moment, practice of prayer, can act only trying to get busy in God. A persons remains in a constant worship in her whole being, in each one of these potencies. She feels strong (although not on her own, all her powers are asleep, but because of God who does all of it to her) and doesn’t want anymore to be engaged in the things of the world nor to receive any kind of worship from anybody. It is to live exclusively for God desiring that the whole world, every human being, may be also as crazy for God as she is. She feels as in the prison when she has to live according to the laws of the world. The special difficulty she finds in respecting so-called „honor”: some people are so sensitive that they feel offended when told of something they do wrong. How we can help others if, because of fear of offending them, we cannot call things by their name? All we care for is for God to do with us whatever he pleases, to lead us wherever he wishes.
A person experiences this state as something completely NEW: she sees herself made totally new. Finally, a person is able to see her worth, her virtues, knowing that they don’t come from her own efforts but from God.
It may seem that this can be done only by the cloister nuns, that people who live normal, ordinary lives in the world can never achieve this state. Maybe that’s the reason why so few really achieve it. We live under the pressure of the world, we respect the laws of the world more than the laws of God. We respect people who hold high position in society because of their money, and we have no respect for those who live their simple lives according to God’s will. Our judgement is wrong, that’s why we never give up totally to God the control of our life, we never allow ourselves to be considered crazy because of how we live against what is accepted as normal in our society.
St. Teresa is clear: this can be achieved by everyone, not only by those in religious life. „Mary and Marta have to walk together”, she said. While we live united with God at this level, taking care only of him and his will, we can be at the same time working, doing mission, living normal life of an ordinary person. Because this way of watering the garden of our lives means remaining completely content, with no necessity for any pleasure and happiness that we used to get from the world, desiring to make happy God and only him. Isn’t it crazy?
Prepared by: Aleksandra Nawrocka CMT