The Goad, the Flames, the Arrows and the Mirror of Divine Love, was dictated by Br. John of Saint-Samson in 1629, upon request of his friend Msgr. Antoine Révol, bishop of Dol, for personal guidance in the spiritual life, writing, "So, if you sometimes feel yourself to have been drawn out of yourself by exterior concerns, then you may have recourse to this treatise, and by reading a chapter or two you may dispel unwelcome images, and recollect your heart and your spirit in peace and freedom, to later return to your external occupations totally renewed."
As the title suggests, the purpose of the treatise was to goad the reader on to loving God more, to enflame the readers heart with love of God, so that it may be transformed in love to become a mirror of the love of God in himself.
John offers us meditations, aspirations, guidance and precautions on self-knowledge and knowledge of God; on the practice of the presence of God and prayer during the duties of the active life; and on the entrance into the mystic way through the practice of prayers of aspiration. But in all that he speaks about, he speaks primarily about loving God, encouraging us. "Oh! How happy you will someday be to have ardently loved love itself! And to love so ardently at this hour so important to us all. So live then with
love and in love.'
Neil Conlisk, O. Carm., is from LaGrange, Illinois, attended the Carmelite novitiate in Middletown, New York and professed vows in 2016. He currently resides at the Monasterv of Mount Carmel in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science in 2009 from Marquette Uni-
versity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a Masters in Divinity in 2021 from Catholic University in Washington, DC. After studying French for reading for several years, he began translating documents from Carmelites of the early modern reform movement of the Touraine Province, with a particular interest in their school of affective mysticism, devotion, and prayer.