left QuoteSt Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130—c. 202)

St Irenaeus of Lyons
(c. 130—c. 202)
No one may draw near God who does not first, by persevering in the way of thought, abandon all the senses and operations of the intellect, together with everything that can be sensed, and everything that is and is not, and, having achieved a state of not-knowing, is restored to the unity—as far as is possible—of Him who is above every essence and understanding.... It is for the very few, wholly detached from earthly thoughts and purged by virtue and knowledge, to know God in these visible creatures….

Affirmation is less capable than negation of signifying the ineffable Essence of God, seeing that by the former one among the created attributes [e.g., goodness, truth, etc.] is transferred to the Creator, whereas by the latter the Creator is conceived in Himself beyond every creature.

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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. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.