In the quiet wisdom of St. John of the Cross, we find a profound observation that resonates through the corridors of the soul: "A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul." This poignant insight draws us into the depths of spiritual self-examination, prompting reflection on the nature of our inner disposition and the transformative power of love.

Have you ever found yourself in moments of grumbling, angst, quick temper, or anger? St. John invites us to consider that, in those very moments, we may be entangled in the web of self-love. It's a stark realization that challenges us to peel back the layers of our emotions and actions, confronting the tendency to prioritize our desires and ego over the gentle, meek, humble, and patient attributes that love can instill.

The connection between our emotional states and the presence of self-love is profound. It's a mirror reflecting the condition of our hearts and the areas that require the healing touch of divine love. When we choose to prioritize our needs, desires, and expectations, we inadvertently build walls around our hearts, making them resistant to the transformative power of love.

In those moments of turmoil and inner strife, consider the alternative path illuminated by St. John of the Cross. Enkindle your soul with love – a love that is not rooted in self-gratification but is expansive, sacrificial, and embracing. Allow the gentle flame of divine love to soften the hardened edges of your heart, replacing grumbling with gratitude, angst with peace, quick temper with patience, and anger with compassion.

The journey from self-love to love enkindled by the divine is a daily practice. It involves a conscious decision to surrender our selfish desires and open ourselves to the transformative work of love. As we navigate this path, let us reflect on the words of St. John of the Cross, finding solace in the truth that a soul softened by love becomes a radiant beacon of gentleness, meekness, humility, and patience.

May this awareness guide us in our daily interactions, empowering us to choose love over self-love, and in doing so, discover the boundless joy that comes from a heart transformed by the all-encompassing love of the Divine.

Dubay, Thomas . Fire Within: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Gospel on Prayer (p. 58). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition. 

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