subject - prologue
The following is about a mystic path called exploratory mysticism, because through the three theological virtues – divine initiative – and three exploratory criteria – answer of the human – God and the searcher of God, the well-disposed explorer, are achieving some mysterious communion.
1. All the spirituality that I am going to expound in this mystic path is contained in the following strophes. These explain the way the well-disposed explorer, the “searcher of God” (Benedict XVI), goes towards new unexplored dimensions of the spirit, to reach, “in a dark night” (N, poem), the “perfect union with God” (N, prologue), the final aim of the Christian and human life.
2. We speak about a searcher of God, because under the impulse of the spirit "he has been definitely converted to the service of God" (1N 1,2).
Two clear and harmless eyes lead and direct his walk along the mystic path, “the path of perfection” (2S 7,3); they are the eyes of the Good Shepherd: Christ, the Mystery and the Universal Sacrament of salvation and the Redeemer of the mankind.
3. St. John of the Cross is “the chaste mind” (CB 1,22) who was able to look at these clear eyes, because he was protected from the contradiction of tongues (2N 16,3).
He is the Master and the father in the Faith, who shows them as the eyes of the good-hearted Angel to whom who will have the fortune of "entering upon this narrow path of obscure contemplation" (2S 7,13).
4. When the searcher of God gazes at these two twin methods, he discovers with great wonder that they have already leaded and forded with him the river of the history, when the fleeting sunset was already over: the first part of the night exceeded long since.
To these two clear eyes “as fire”, “Christ with his beautiful eyes”, as they were called by the sisters of St. Therese of Avila, the “searcher of God” addresses his worship. Actually, these eyes are always with him to drive his walk towards the new spiritual dimensions of the second part of the night.
5. The strophe are here all together because they will be the reference for the explanation of the exploratory mysticism, and because the reader could look at the synthesis, the substance of the following doctrinal parts: mystic theology (A); mystic dynamics (B); mysticism in evolution (A’). These strophes begin with a glance of wonder: they take as their starting point the wonder of the Mystic Doctor: "a thing of great wonder" (2N 5,7).
1. To explain and let the reader understand the nature of the mystic path, along which the “searcher of God” , the well-disposed explorer walks to reach the divine union with God, we refer to that mystic theology already traced in a masterly way by the expert explorer, our Saint Father St. John of the Cross. Our explorer, a proficient, following the example "of others" (2N 16,8), progresses into the mystic path, "the narrow path" (2S 7,7) of the eternal life, because he is led by God, "for love of Him alone" (1S 1,4).
2. In the spiritual exercise of this mystic path, leaving the state of the beginners, "the habits of the child" (1N 1,2), our explorer, thanks to "the grace of God" (1N 1,2), progresses in the ways of the spirit, the state of the proficients which is "the state of the contemplatives" (1N 1,1).
Through this way of the spirit, called the enlightening way, our explorer, "by means of a pure and dark contemplation" (2N 3,3), stretches to the state"of the perfect, which is that of the Divine union of the soul with God" (1N 1,1).
3. Along this mystic path, defined exploratory mysticism, our explorer is realizing the mysticism in evolution (A'), the summit and the novelty of these pages, to which the previous mystic theology (A) and mystic dynamics (B) are oriented. We will focus on this mysticism in evolution in the final synthesis.
4. The searcher of God walks along this mystic path, the spiritual way that Christ himself taught us, with three theological attitudes which prepare him to "the divine union with God" (1S 1,2): hope, faith, and love. These three virtues, gift instilled by God, "prepare" because they are in existential act (A') in the three following exploratory criteria:
5. These three exploratory criteria together with the three theological virtues, or rather the three theological virtues acting in the three exploratory criteria, contain our mystic in evolution (A'), through which, along this mystic path, the explorer is preparing himself to the union with God.
6. This is why we speak about the mystic path as a theological way; as mysticism in evolution (A'); as sequela Christi; because in this way of life "which has no way" (2S 4,5), our explorer is being transformed; he gradually destroys an old habit, "habitus", of the "old man" (2N 16,4), while he is dressing with the new: he removes an "old skin" (2N 13,11) because the new one is alive. In fact, it is impossible to remove something without starting to put something on, or to pose in act a "divine gift" of novelty, of grace.
7. As "Christ is the Way" (2S 7,9), God, as a loving mother (1n 1,2), encourages the "searcher of God" to walk with his feet (1N 12,1) along the "admirable doctrine" (2S 7,4), "so that it may lose the habit of a child and betake himself to more important and substantial occupations" (1N 1,2; 1N 8,3; 12,1).
8. In this mystic way of life, along the mystic path, the explorer becomes, by degrees, "a pure spirit well-disposed towards God" (CB 1,22).