Chapter XXXVIII He receives Christ as his guest

Our illumination comes from above

I considered these things within myself, and awaited what would follow. Behold! a bright light burst upon me from above. I looked up and saw the upper window full of dazzling light, in which brilliance I saw a man, in outward appearance like unto us men, but in his effulgence, truly God, descending toward me. His face, though dazzingly light, could yet be looked upon with the human eye; nor was it terrifying. On the contrary, such loveliness radiated from it as I had never experienced anywhere in the world. He then, all kindly, all benign, addressed me in these most gracious words.

The source of all light and all joy is there

2 “Welcome, welcome, my dear son and brother!” Saying that, he embraced me affably and kissed me. He filled the air with such an exquisite fragrance that I was overcome with ineffable joy and tears gushed from my eyes; nor did I know what to reply to such an unexpected welcome, so I sighed deeply and gazed humbly at him. Seeing me so terrified with joy, he went on speaking: “Where have you been, my son? Where did you tarry so long? Where have you been wandering? What have you been seeking in the world? Happiness? Where should you have sought God but in His temple? and where is the temple of the living God but the living temple which He has prepared for Himself, your own heart? I have watched you, my son, while you were straying, but I did not wish to see you stray any longer, and have brought you to me by leading you into yourself. For here have I chosen a palace for my dwelling; and if you dwell with me, you will find here all that you sought in vain in the world — peace, happiness, glory, and an abundance of all good things. I promise you, my son, that here you shall not be disappointed as you have been in the world.”

Total consecration to God

3 Hearing this speech and surmising that this was my Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom I had heard something even in the world, I clasped my hands joyfully and trustfully — not as formerly, fearfully and doubtfully — and stretched them toward Him. “Here I am, my Lord Jesus, take me to Thyself,” I cried. “Thine I desire to be and to remain forever. Speak to Thy servant and grant that I may obey; reveal what Thou wilt, and grant that I may find pleasure in it; lay on me what Thou pleasest, and grant that I may bear it; use me in whatever task Thou desirest, and grant that I may not fail Thee: command what Thou pleasest, and what Thou commandest, grant; may I be nothing, that Thou alone mayest be all in all.”