The Cantata of Love by Blaise Arminjon, SJ

The soul, in parallel with the body, has 5 senses in which certain experiential knowledge of divine things arise. This is within the logic of the Incarnation.

“Thus the soul has a sense of sight to contemplate supernatural objects, a hearing capable of distinguishing voices that do not resound in the air, a taste to savour the living bread come down from heaven… in the same way, a smell, leading Paul to speak of the perfume of Jesus, and also a sense of touch, which John had since he told us that he touched with his own hands the Word of God” ~ Origen

St. Ignatius asked a retreatant to “sense and taste through smell and taste the infinite sweetness and gentleness of the Divinity” when he was meditating on the Incarnation.

“Christ becomes the object of each sense of the soul. He calls himself the true light, to enlighten the eyes of the soul; the Word, to be heard; the bread of life, to be tasted; he is also called oil of anointing and nard because the soul is delighted by the perfume of the Logos. He became the Word made flesh, tangible, substantial, so that the inner man would be able to grasp the Word of life” ~ Origen

Purpose and Goal:

  • to evangelize the depth of our being – to unite our personality with Christ.
  • to truly purify our senses – only when we apply to the very person of Jesus our different senses can we, little by little, become detached from carnal seductions. And this is far more efficacious than through a simple discipline of voluntary deprivations.

“The eye, if it reaches the contemplation of the glory of the Word, the glory of the only Son coming from the Father, will not want to see anything else; and the ear will not want to hear anything but the Word of life that saves; and he whose hand has touched the Word of life will not want to touch anything fragile and perishable; and he whose taste has savoured the Word of life, his flesh and the bread come down from heaven, will thereafter be incapable of tasting anything else; and later he will not want any other food, for, in this bread capable of having all tastes, he will find all the desirable savours” ~ Origen, In Canticum Canticorum, 95.

“If the senses of the body have their pleasure, does not the soul also have pleasures?” ~ St Augustine

“It was very bad for more to ignore that it was possible to see something with eyes other than those of the body” ~ St Teresa of Avila


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