Rest and Works

Wikis > Rest and Works

 One of the mysteries of God is His simultaneous call to rest and to works. We rest in Him, yet we work for Him. He works through us, yet we must yield to Him. Contemplation is free of desire and is perfected in detachment, but Intercession is effective because of desire. We live in the eternal now, but we also endure the cross for the joy set before us.

Reproduced below is a quote from John Ruysbroec, Danish Mystic/Scholar of the first rank that attempts to describe and explain this paradox:



“The Divine Persons who form one sole God are in the fecundity of their nature ever active; and in the simplicity of their essence they form the Godhead and eternal blessedness. Thus God according to the Persons is Eternal Work: but according to the essence and its perpetual stillness, he is Eternal Rest. Now love and fruition live between this activity and this rest….


Our activity consists in loving God and our fruition in enduring God and being penetrated by his love. There is a distinction between love and fruition, as there is between God and his Grace. When we unite ourselves to God by love, then we are spirit; but when we are caught up and transformed by his Spirit, then we are led into fruition. And the spirit of God himself breathes us out from himself that we may love and may do good works; and again he draws us into himself, that we may rest in fruition. And this is Eternal Life; even as our mortal life subsists in the indrawing and outgoing of our breath.


Understand, God comes to us incessantly, both with means and without means; and he demands of us both action and fruition, in such a way that the action never hinders the fruition, nor the fruition the action, but they strengthen one another. And this is why the interior man lives his life according to these two ways; that is to say, in rest and in work. And in each of them he is wholly and undividedly; for he dwells wholly in God in virtue of his restful fruition and wholly in himself in virtue of his active love. And God, in his communications, perpetually calls and urges him to renew both this rest and this work. And because the soul is just, it desires to pay at every instant that which God demands of it; and this is why each time it is irradiated of him, the soul turns inward in a manner that is both active and fruitive, and thus it is renewed in all virtues and ever more profoundly immersed in fruitive rest….”