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The Form Of Perfect Living And Other Prose Treatises by Richard Rolle

CHAPTER VII. Amore langueo.à

Amore langueo. These two words are written in the Book of Love, that is called the Song of Love, or the Song of Songs. For he that loves greatly, lists often to sing of his love, for joy that he or she has when they think on that they love, specially if their love be true and loving. And this is the English of these two words: |I languish for love.| Separate men on earth have separate gifts and graces of GOD, but the special gift of those who lead the solitary life, is for to love JESUS Christ. Thou sayest to me, 'All men love Him who keep His commandments.' That is Truth. But all men who keep His bidding keep not also His Counsel. And all that do His Counsel are not all fulfilled by the sweetness of His love, nor feel the fire of burning love of heart. Therefore, the diversity of love makes the diversity of holiness and of need. In heaven, the angels who are most burning in love, are nearest to GOD. Also, men and women that have most of GOD'S love, whether they do penance or none; they shall be in the highest degree in heaven: they who love Him less, in the lower order. If thou lovest Him much, great joy and sweetness and burning thou feelest in His love, that is thy comfort and strength night and day. If thy love be not burning in Him: little is thy delight. For Him may no man feel in joy and sweetness, unless they be clean and filled with His love; and thereto shalt thou come with great travail in prayer and thanking, having such meditations as are all on the love and the praising of GOD. And when thou art at thy meal, ever love GOD in thy thought, at each moment, and say thus in thine heart: Loved be Thou, King: and thanked be Thou, King, and blessed be Thou, King, JESU all my joying, of all Thy good gifts: Who for me spilt Thy blood, and died on the rood. Do Thou give me grace to sing the song of Thy praise. And think it not only whiles thou eatest, but both before and after, and ever when thou prayest or speakest. Or if thou hast other thoughts, that thou hast more sweetness in and devotion than in those that I teach thee, thou may'st think them. For I hope that GOD will put such thoughts in thine heart, as He is pleased with, and as thou art ordained for. When thou prayest, look not how much thou sayest, but how well: that the love of thine heart be aye upward, and thy thought on what thou sayst as much as thou canst. If thou beest in prayers and meditations all the day, I wot well that thou must wax greatly in the love of JESUS Christ, and feel much of delight, and within short time.

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