from Raymond's Contemplation
(De contemplatione Raymundi)

We have dealt with contemplation. Now we intend to provide a way in which, by the grace of God, rapture can be achieved. And we want to give an example of this by referring to the first part of the said Book of Contemplation which treats of the reasons or attributes of God. And the things said about the first part can be applied to the second and other subsequent parts of the said book.

And we want to give a method for the human intellect and will to ascend, with God's help, to contemplating the divine reasons with all the power and strength of the soul, while the human body is well disposed through reasonable fasting so that all bodily obstacles are removed. Now let us give a first example, with goodness.


A just person considering supreme goodness and desiring it wholeheartedly with love, mentally says: 

"Oh God, You are supreme in goodness! Here are my intellect and my will which You created for contemplating your most holy goodness. I beseech You to represent to them the intelligibility and lovability of your most holy goodness. And let this representation be made with as much magnitude, duration, power, virtue, glory and end as it pleased You to put contemplative virtue within the power of my intellect and will. And please deign to bring all this virtue from power to act, so that the intelligibility and lovability of your most holy goodness become joined to my active intellect and active will. And let this proceed in such a lofty clarity of intellect and flame of love, that my soul becomes totally absorbed in understanding and loving You in your coessential goodness, its essence and intrinsic activity with which it optimizes your intrinsic act within Godhead".

And while you, a human, keep your acts of understanding and love raised to this lofty degree, take care that your intellect and will remain free of any dependence on anything from the imagination or the senses. Rather, strive to strip every corporeal thing away from your acts of understanding and love, so that the virtue that your soul exercises in your body can fold back upon itself and through its inner self remembering ascend more powerfully while the body can no longer resist it.

And if you persevere for a long time in this lofty degree, you will know that God's goodness which is a reason for Him to do great good in his effect, will move God to reach down with his intelligibility and lovability so that your entire active intellect and will become totally absorbed, taken up and imbued with his goodness and conversely. And continue in this until you lose all bodily feeling through the prolonged withdrawal of your soul's virtue from your body as the soul with its acts of understanding and love soars aloft and attains the supreme goodness of God.

And if you, a human, do not become enraptured by this method, this cannot be attributed to a deficiency in divine grace or to some defect in the doctrine of our Art, but only to yourself because you are not disposing yourself to receive so lofty a grace. And if you reply that your becoming disposed to receive such great grace depends mainly on divine grace and not on you, you are right in what you say. But God is just and on account of his justice He will not violate the free will that He created in you, so that through free will you can freely choose to understand and love supreme goodness with all the power of your intellect and will, in accordance with the commandment given to man in the Old and New Testaments to "love God with all your heart and soul" (Dt. 6, 5; Luk. 10, 27).

Hence as you know that you are able to dispose yourself, as proven above, if you proceed in this way you can be assured that the supreme grace will come and dispose you to this supreme degree of rapture. And if you cannot achieve it fully in your first or second attempt, then you can reach this goal gradually through habitual practice, on the condition that you remain just and free of mortal sin; and you must also desire to contemplate God not for your personal enjoyment, but absolutely and exclusively for the sake of his goodness alone. 

Rapture in the Trinity

The method for achieving rapture in the contemplation of divine goodness has been sufficiently described. Now we want to show you briefly the way to achieve rapture by contemplating the second part of this Book of Contemplation, as well as the other parts that follow. And first, let us consider the Trinity of divine persons.

Oh man, you now desire to contemplate the divine Trinity in the highest degree of contemplation! Know that you cannot do this without having some infused and acquired knowledge of it. And to have this knowledge of the Trinity, go to the above treatise on the Trinity and become as totally familiar with it as you can; and make it entirely the sole object of your essential acts of understanding and love, to the point that you no longer understand or love anything except this treatise, so that this treatise is all that you understand and love. And proceed in sequence, line by line, to the end and back from the end to the beginning as you optimize, magnify, etc. your acts of understanding and love with your own goodness and greatness and other reasons, and strive to bring the said treatise within the reach of your understanding and loving. And do this assiduously and continually without any impediment from the senses and imagination. And then you will discover that you are well disposed to achieve rapture, to which divine grace will lead you as stated above. And the method described for the Trinity can also be applied to the Incarnation and the other chapters.

End of the treatise on Rapture by Blessed Raymond Lull.

Contemplating the Divine Reasons

Contemplating the Trinity

Contemplating the Incarnation

Reference: Ramon Llull Database by Professor Anthony Bonner
De contemplatione Raymundi 
Date: 8/1297  Place: París 
Catalogue number: III.28 
Short title: ContRaym 
ROL XVII, 1-61

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