I am now completely convinced that you will recognise from these
arguments that the more you strip yourself of the products of your
imagination and all worldly and created things, and are united to
God with your intellect by a good will, the closer you will
approach the state of innocence and perfection. What could be
better? And what could be more happy and joyful?
Above all it is important for you to keep your mind bare -
without imaginations and images and free of any sort of
entanglement, so that you are not concerned about either the
world, friends, prosperity or adversity, or anything present, past
or future, whether in yourself or in others - not even your own
sins. But consider yourself with a certain pure simplicity to be
alone with God outside the world, and as if your mind were already
in eternity and separated from the body so that it will certainly
not bother about worldly things or be concerned about the state of
the world, about peace or war, about good weather or rain, or
about anything at all in this world, but with complete docility
will turn to God alone, be empty for him and cleave to him.
So now in this way ignore your body and all created things,
present or future, and direct the high point of your mind and
spirit directly, as best you can, naked and unencumbered on the
uncreated light. And let your spirit be cleansed in this way from
all imaginations, coverings and things obscuring its vision, like
an angel (not) tied to a body, who is not hindered by the works of
the flesh nor tangled in vain and wandering thoughts.
Let your spirit therefore arm itself against all temptations,
vexations, and injuries so that it can persevere steadily in God
when attacked by either face of fortune. So that when some inner
disturbance or boredom or mental confusion come you will not be
indignant or dejected because of it, nor run back to vocal prayers
or other forms of consolation, but only to lift yourself up in
your intellect by a good will to hold on to God with your mind
whether the natural inclination of the body wills it or not.
The religious-minded soul should be so united to God and should
have or render its will so conformed to the divine will that it is
not occupied with any created thing or cling to it any more than
before it was created, and as if nothing existed except God and
the soul itself. And in this way it should accept everything
confidently and equally, in general and in particular, from the
hand of divine providence, agreeing in everything with the Lord in
patience, peace and silence.
The thing is that the most important thing of all for a spiritual
life is to strip the mind of all imaginations so that one can be
united in one's intellect to God by a good will, and conformed to
Besides, nothing will then be intermediary between you and God.
This obvious, since nothing external will stand between you when
by the vow of voluntary poverty you will have removed the
possession of anything whatsoever, and by the vow of chastity you
will have abandoned your body, and by obedience you will have
given up your will and your soul itself. And in this way nothing
will be left to stand between you and God. That you are a
religious person is indicated by your profession, your state, and
now your habit and tonsure and such like, but whether you are only
a religious in appearance or a real one, you will find out.
Bear in mind therefore how greatly you have fallen away and sin
against the Lord your God and all his justice if you behave
otherwise and cling with your will and love to what is created
rather than to the Creator himself, putting the created before the