The Well-beloved, notwithstanding the resistance of his Bride, puts in his hand by a little opening which yet remains to Him, that is, a remnant of abandonment, in spite of the repugnance of the soul to abandon herself so absolutely. A soul in this degree has a depth of submission to every will of God that will refuse him nothing; but when he unfolds his plans in detail, and using the rights He has acquired over her, calls for the last renunciation and the extremest sacrifices, then it is that all her bowels thrill at His touch; and she finds trouble where she anticipated none. This difficulty arises from the fact that she was attached to something, without being aware of it. All her nature is in a tremor at this touch, for it is painful, and causes the most exquisite anguish to the soul, as was experienced by the most patient of men, when, after having suffered the most inconceivable ills without complaint, he could not refrain from crying out when the finger of God was laid upon him, Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me (Job xix.21). Thus the Spouse trembles at the touch of God.
How jealous art Thou, O Divine Spouse, that Thy bride should do all Thy will, since a simple excuse that seemed so just offends Thee so deeply! Couldst Thou not have hindered so dear and so faithful a Spouse from offering this resistance? But it was necessary for her perfection. The Bridegroom permits the presence of the fault, that He may punish, and at the same time purge her from that complacency in her own purity and innocence which still remained, and from the repugnance which she felt at being stripped of her own righteousness; for though she knew perfectly well that her righteousness belonged to the Bridegroom, she was still somewhat attached to it, and appropriated some of the credit of it to herself.