That A Man Truly Devout Must Seek God in Purity of Mind and Heart

As you go forward in this work of ridding you of every earthly thought and entanglement you will behold your soul regain her strength and the mastery of her inward senses, and you will begin to taste the sweetness of heavenly things.

Learn, therefore, to keep yourself free from the images of outward and material objects, for God loves with a special love the soul that is thus purified. His "delights" are "to be with the children of men," that is, with those who, set free from earthly affairs and distractions, and at peace from their passions, offer Him simple and pure hearts intent on Him alone.

If the memory, imagination, and thoughts still dwell below, it follows of necessity that fresh events, memories of the past, and other things will ensnare and drag you down. But the Holy Spirit abides not amid such empty thoughts.

The true friend of Jesus Christ must be so united by his intelligence and will to the Divine will and goodness that his imagination and passions have no hold over him, and that he troubles not whether men give him love or ridicule, nor heeds what may be done to him. Know well that a truly good will does all and is of more value than all.

If the will is good, wholly conformed and united to God, and guided by reason, it matters little that the flesh, the senses, the exterior man are inclined to evil and sluggish in good, or even that a man find himself interiorly lacking in devotion. It suffices that he remains with his whole soul inwardly united to God by faith and a good will.

This he will accomplish if, knowing his own imperfection and utter nothingness, he understands that all his happiness is in his Creator. Then does he forsake himself, his own strength and powers, and every creature, and hides himself in complete abandonment in the bosom of God.

To God are all his actions simply and purely directed. He seeks nothing outside of God, but knows that of a truth he has found in Him all the good and all the happiness of perfection. Then will he be in some measure transformed in God. He will no longer be able to think, love, understand, remember aught save God and the things of God. He will no longer behold himself or creatures save in God; no love will possess him but the love of God, nor will he remember creatures or even his own being, save in God.

Such a knowledge of the truth renders the soul humble, makes her a hard judge towards herself, but merciful to others, while earthly wisdom puffs up the soul with pride and vanity. Behold, this is wise and spiritual doctrine, grounded upon the truth, and leading unto the knowledge and service of God, and to familiarity with Him.

If you desire to possess Him indeed, you must of necessity despoil your heart of earthly affections, not alone for persons, but for every creature, that you may tend to the Lord your God with your whole heart and with all your strength, freely, simply, without fear or solicitude, trusting everything in entire confidence to His all-watchful Providence.

- text taken from On Union with God, by Saint Albert the Great, translated by a Benedictine of Princethorpe Priory; it has the Imprimatur of Edmund Surmont, Vicar General, Westminster, 7 December 1911