Journal Notes on Saint Paul of the Cross #26

by Amy Knight

You should not speak without necessity and reply briefly to those who come with the spirit of recollection and then return alone to the hermitage of your heart to treat one-on-one with your Divine Spouse. Oh! My daughter, Jesus shouted in a loud voice during his preaching: “Let him who is thirsty come to me and drink.” Oh! Daughter, let us approach this divine font and drink to satiety, but without ever satisfying ourselves. Whoever drinks at this fountain, drinks in rivers, seas, but seas of fire! Letter #240

John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 

Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed the kingdom of God is within you.”

In Luke 17, Jesus is giving some signs to look for that will be present in the day of his return; however, His instruction seems to indicate that the “kingdom of God does not come with observation” but it “is within you.”  What are we to make of Jesus’ words in this passage? He goes on for many verses about things to look for in the generation of His return. For instance, He says, “And as it was in the days of Noah so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”[1] Why does He give us these signs to look for, yet says His kingdom does not come with observation, but is within you?

Clearly, Jesus does want us to know the ‘signs of the times’ so as not to be unprepared. He mentions in many other places the importance to watch and pray and be ready for His return. He spoke whole parables on the subject and warns us repeatedly to be ready.[2] However, knowing the signs of the times is not enough to bring forth His kingdom, nor is it enough to prepare us for His kingdom to come. We must not just observe that we might be living in the generation of the Lord’s return, but we must live in such a way that His kingdom is already manifesting itself in us and through us to the world around us.

The apostle Peter in writing about the return of the Lord says something similar to the Lord Jesus. He describes the signs to look for in the generation describing “that scoffers will come in the last day, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’”[3] He expounds on more signs; however, he concludes with the statement, “…what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…”[4].

Both the Lord Jesus, and the Apostle Peter are mentioning the signs to look for, and both of them point to holy interior lives as the response to the preparation of the Lord’s return. The Apostle Peter even mentions the possibility to hasten the day of the Lord’s return by holy living. Again, we recall the Lord’s word to us, “the kingdom of God is within you.” Just being a good observer of the signs of the times will not hasten His return, nor is that an adequate response to the message of the Lord to be prepared for His coming.

God wants something more from us than just noting that these signs are happening. Indeed, the Lord will not return for a Bride that is unprepared, for Revelation 19:7 states, “…for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”  Could it be that He is waiting patiently on His Bride to make herself ready? What must we do make ourselves ready?

Saint Paul of the Cross gives us a hint when he says to his spiritual daughter, “You should not speak without necessity and reply briefly to those who come with the spirit of recollection and then return alone to the hermitage of your heart to treat one-on-one with your Divine Spouse.” He is speaking about cultivating an interior life that is a vibrant, deep, communion with the Lover of our souls. This interior life is to take precedent over conversations with others. Think of this: the Highest King of Heaven and all of the Universe is patiently waiting and knocking at the door of our hearts, and we are detaining Him with conversations that we are having with others. No matter who they are, they are not, in the least, more important than Him! Yet, how do we treat Him? How often do we neglect Him and assume He will always be there; therefore, we don’t need to pay attention to Him. This neglect and presumption is a grave error on our part!

How will His kingdom come? Many signs of the times will come about, and, in addition, the manifestation of His kingdom will be shining like a great light within His Bride: “Arise shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”[5] He desires that we are cultivating our interior life with Him. This interior prayer life is where the “fountain of living waters” will spring up and water the whole ground around us. Is God’s kingdom breaking out all around us because the fountain of the living God is flowing vibrantly out of us? Or is the fountain not flowing at all?  How is our interior communication with the Lord? Perhaps, conversations in the world need to be cut short in order to tend to Him. Perhaps other distractions that hinder this communication need to be eradicated from our lives. The outward signs of the times are manifesting, yet is His kingdom manifesting within you? He is waiting.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am so sorry to keep You waiting outside the door of my heart. All night long You wait for me to open to You. The dew rests on the locks of your hair as You patiently wait for me to open.[6] I am so sorry. I am so sluggish. How do I respond to such passionate Love? O Beloved One, Holy One, Beautiful One, please don’t leave. Come in, and dine with me. Receive my love. Amen

[1] Luke 17:26-27

[2] Mathew 24, Matthew 16:3, Mark 13:33, Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 21:36, Matthew 25

[3] 2 Peter 3:3-4

[4] 2 Peter 3:11-12

[5] Isaiah 60:1-2

[6] Song of Solomon 5:2

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