The Bridegroom, hidden in the ground and centre of the soul (as has been said), takes pleasure in sending from the sanctuary in which He dwells, certain effusions of His sensible graces, which produce, in the exterior of the Spouse, an abundance of different virtues, which are like flowers. Finding herself adorned with these she is so surprised and charmed, or perhaps has so little experience, that she believes her inward edifice is nearly completed. The roof is on, she says; the beams, which are the practice of exterior virtues, are laid of cedar; methinks I perceive their agreeable odor and that I can practice them with as much strength as ease. The regulation of the senses appears to me to be perfectly accomplished as the setting in order of the carved and beautiful ceiling of cypress.
But, O Spouse! this only appears so to thee because thy bed is adorned with flowers, and because the sweet, grateful and pleasant state which thou experiencest within, makes thee believe that thou hast gained everything without; but remember, thy ceilings are of cypress, which is a tree of death, and all this beauty and adornment are but the preparation for a sacrifice.