Impotence and joy

It is dreadful, the total spiritual impotence I suffer at this time, just because it is combined with a consuming longing, with a spiritual ardour – and so without form that I don’t even know what it is I am missing.

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There is an indescribable joy that is kindled in us just as inexplicably as the apostle’s unmotivated exclamation: ‘Rejoice and again I say, Rejoice’. —Not a joy over this or that, but a full-bodied shout of the soul ‘with tongue and mouth and from the bottom of the heart’: ‘I rejoice in my joy, of, with, at, for, through, and with my joy’ — a heavenly refrain which suddenly interrupts our other songs, a joy which like a breath of air cools and refreshes, a puff from the trade winds which blows across the plains of Mamre to the eternal mansions.

— Kierkegaard, Journals (tr. A. Hannay)

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