A. W. Tozer, Pursuit of God, von Hugel, Bernard of Clairvaux, and The Cloud of Unknowing

God’s WORD
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”—Isaiah 57:15

“Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.”—Job 41:11

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.”—Psalm 50:12

    von Hügel
    Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God

    All is of God, for as von Hugel teaches, God is always previous.

    About Baron Friedrich von Hügel

    Friedrich von Hugel (May 1852–1925) was an influential Austrian Roman Catholic layman, religious writer and thinker who lived in England from age 15 until his death. His scholarly concerns included the relationship of Christianity to history, ecumenism, mysticism and the philosophy of religion.
     
    Hügel characterized the human soul, the movements of western civilization, and the phenomena of religion itself by three elements:
    the historical or institutional element, the scientific or intellectual element, and the mystical or experiential element.
     
    Hügel cautions: “…mysticism would never be the whole of religion; it would become a dangerous error the very moment it claimed to be this whole; but, at the same time, it would be an element essential to religion
    in the long run and upon the whole…”

    Bernard of Clairvaux
    Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God

    St. Bernard stated this holy paradox in a musical quatrain that will be instantly understood by every worshipping soul:
    We taste Thee O Thou Living Bread,
 
    And long taste upon Thee still:

    We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
 
    And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

JTB Comment: This sounds like the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

    About Bernard of Clairvaux
    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) was a French abbot and the primary reformer of the Benedictine Cistercian monastic order, and the dominating figure in the Catholic Church from 1125 to 1153.

    Bernard was devoted to promoting the veneration of the Virgin Mary, and was the most influential advocate of the Second Crusade. In 1129, Bernard was instrumental in obtaining the recognition of the new order of Knights Templar, the rules of which he is said to have drawn up.

    In opposition to the rational approach to divine understanding that the scholastics adopted, Bernard preached an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary. Bernard played the leading role in the development of the Virgin cult, which is one of the most important manifestations of the popular piety of the twelfth century…

God’s WORD
“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”—Luke 1:46, 47

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”—1 Timothy 2:5

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”—Hebrews 9:15

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood
of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
—Hebrews 12:24

    The Cloud of Unknowing
    Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God
    “We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One.

    “The quaint old English classic, The Cloud of Unknowing, teaches us how to do this. ‘Lift up thine heart unto God with a meek stirring of love; and mean Himself, and none of His goods. And thereto, look thee loath to think on aught but God Himself. So that nought work in thy wit, nor in thy will, but only God Himself. This is the work of the soul that most pleaseth God.’

    “Again, he recommends that in prayer we practice a further stripping down of everything, even of our theology. `For it sufficeth enough, a naked intent direct unto God without any other cause than Himself.’

    “…And he is all for simplicity: If we would have religion `lapped and folden in one word, for that thou shouldst have better hold thereupon, take thee but a little word of one syllable: for so it is better than of two, for even the shorter it is the better it accordeth with the work of the Spirit. And such a word is this word God or this word love.'”

JTB note: Tozer is actually advising lectio divina here.

    The Cloud of Unknowing
    The Cloud of Unknowing is a spiritual guidebook thought to have been written in the latter half of the 14th century by an anonymous English monk, who counsels a young student as to how to seek God.

    The Cloud of Unknowing has been described as Christianity with a Zen outlook. The practical prayer advice contained in The Cloud of Unknowing forms a primary basis for the contemporary practice of centering prayer,
    a form of Christian meditation developed by Trappist monks William Meninger, Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating in the 1970s.

God’s WORD
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”—1 Corinthians 5:6

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”—Psalm 51:17

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—1 Corinthians 2:14

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”—Acts 3:19

Other Posts related to Tozer and The Pursuit of God
Conclusion of the Carmelite Order Posts or Why I am Writing about A W Tozer
Was A. W. Tozer a Mystic?
A. W. Tozer, the Mystic, Part 1
Tozer the Mystic, Part 2, What is wrong with Pursuing God?
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God and Augustine
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, the Chinese sage, Laotze, and Faber, the Catholic Hymnwriter
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Thomas a Kempis, and Nicholas of Cusa
Unbiblical and/or mystical phrases, in The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
What is so appealing about the The Pursuit of God by Tozer?
JTB series: Scripture compared with some phrases in The Pursuit of God

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