I offer this meditation with the awareness that this kind of writing and thought is almost foreign to the 21st Century. Yet, it bears careful reading and study. After such study, it invites us to a slower, deeper walk with God. Our culture is driven by instant reward. The way of spiritual life requires a patient, persistent awakening to the qualities of the relationship with the Divine. Just as we patiently wait for the child to learn to read or the rose bud to unfold, we patiently wait for the Spirit to create divine life and love in us.
"The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself, for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her. This she does because knowledge must precede love, and only when she has attained love, can she strive to follow and to clothe herself with the truth. But, in no way, does the creature receive such a taste of the truth, or so brilliant a light therefrom, as by means of humble and continuous prayer, founded on knowledge of herself and of God; because prayer, exercising her in the above way, unites with God the soul that follows the footprints of Christ Crucified, and thus, by desire and affection, and union of love, makes her another Himself."— St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Sienna, p.1