Stanza 8 of The Spiritual Canticle: The struggle between the desire for the natural and the desire for the supernatural

Stanza 8 and Commentary On It in The Spiritual Canticle by St. John of the Cross
My commentary on Section 3, Paragraph 3

For I take delight in the law of the God, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin.

Romans 7:23-24

It’s as if my soul doth magnify the Lord, but my body, my body holds me back in this cage. As Soungarden sings, “I’m going to break this rusty cage and run.”

The struggle between my desire for good (the sou) and desire for carnal delights (body), the fleeting moment versus the truly lasting moment of God’s peace. The natural life burdens us, but not so much that we are to throw it off literally, but figuratively break free. The law of the mind — divided against itslef — with this struggle between body and soul where the balance is found. “With my mind, serve the law of God but with my flesh, the law of sin.” We have to work on it, set our mind like flint on the task. Do or do not, there is no try: that sounds so simple, but the war within rages on.

Lord, allow me to set my face like flint, my mind on you daily, hourly, minutely in every facet of my life. Amen.

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