The Adornment Of The Spritual Marriage by John of Ruysbroeck
CHAPTER IV. SHOWING HOW WE SHOULD FOUND OUR INWARD LIFE ON A FREEDOM FROM IMAGES
Now Christ says in ghostly wise in the man who is turned within: Behold. Three things, as I have said, make a man seeing in his inward exercise. The first is a shining forth of the grace of God. The grace of God in a soul is like a candle in a lantern or in a glass vessel; for it enlightens, and brightens, and shines through, the vessel, that is, the righteous man. And it manifests itself to the man who has it within him, if he be observant of himself. And it manifests itself through him, to other men, in virtues and in good example. This flash of divine grace inwardly stirs and moves a man with swiftness, and this swift movement is the first thing which makes us see. Of this swift movement of God there springs from the side of man the second thing, which is a gathering together of all inward and outward powers in the unity of the spirit, in the bonds of love. The third point is the freedom which allows the man to turn inwards, without hindrance from sensible images, as often as he wills and thinks upon his God. This means that a man must be indifferent to gladness and grief, profit and loss, rising and falling, to strange cares, to delight and to dread, and never be attached to any creature. These three things make a man seeing in his inward exercise. If you have these three, you have the foundation and the beginning of the inward practice and the inward life.