(14th century)

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So that you do not err in this work [of contemplation] and think it to be something other than what it is, I will tell you a little more about it as it seems to me.

To do this work properly does not require a long time as some believe; it is the shortest work that you can imagine. It is neither longer nor shorter than an atom; and an atom is by the definition of true philosophers in the science of astronomy the least part of time. It is so small, in fact, that it is indivisible and practically incomprehensible.

It is this time of which it has been written: of the time that has been given to you, you shall be asked how you have spent it. And it is certainly reasonable that you give an account of it; for it is neither longer nor shorter than a single impulse of your will, the chief part of your soul.   

There can be as many movements or desires of your will within the hour as there are atoms of time.  If grace had restored your soul to the state of Adam’s soul before the Fall, you would be in control of your every impulse.  None would go astray, but all would reach out to the sovereign of all desires, the peak of all that can be willed, God himself. 

For God comes down to our level, adapting the Godhead to our power to comprehend.  Our soul has some affinity with God, of course, because we have been created in God's image and likeness.  Only God himself is completely and utterly sufficient to fulfil the will and longing of our souls.  Nothing else can.  The soul, when it is restored by grace, is made wholly sufficient to comprehend God fully by love.  God cannot be comprehended by our intellect, or by any human or angelic intellect for that matter.  For both we and they are created beings.  But only to our intellect is God incomprehensible: not to our love. 

All rational beings, human and angelic, possess two faculties: the power of knowing and the power of loving.  To the first, to the intellect, God who made them is forever unknowable; but to the second, to love, God is completely knowable, and this by every individual.  So much so that one love soul by itself, through its love, may know for itself the One who is incomparably more than sufficient to fill all souls that exist.  This is the everlasting miracle of love, for God always works in this fashion, and always will.  Consider this, if by God's grace you are able to.  To know it for oneself is endless bliss; its contrary is endless pain. 

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In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
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