It is not with doubtful but with assured awareness, O Lord, that I love you. Your Word struck into my heart and from that moment I loved you. Besides this, all about me, heaven and earth and all that they contain proclaim that I should love you, and their message never ceases to sound in the ears of all humankind, so that there is no excuse for any not to love you. But, more than all this, you will have mercy on whom you will have mercy and will show compassion to whom you show compassion (Romans 9:15). But if it were not for your mercy, heaven and earth would cry your praises to deaf ears.
           But what do I love when I love you? Not the beauty of body nor the gracefulness of temporal rhythm, not the brightness of light so friendly to the eyes, not the sweet and various melodies of songs, not the fragrance of flowers and ointments and spices, not manna and honey; not limbs receptive to bodily embraces. It is not these I love when I love my God. and yet, when I love him, I do love a kind of light, melody, fragrance, food, embrace; for he is a light, a melody, a fragrance, a food, an embracement in my inner self – where that light shines into my soul which no place can contain, and where that voice sounds which time does not sweep away, and where that fragrance breathes which no wind scatters, and where that flavour is relished which eating does not diminish, and where that embrace is felt which is not severed by fulfilment of desire. This is what I love when I love my God. 


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.