Now the more the mind is concerned about thinking and dealing with
what is merely lower and human, the more it is separated from the
experience in the intimacy of devotion of what is higher and
heavenly, while the more fervently the memory, desire and
intellect is withdrawn from what is below to what is above, the
more perfect will be our prayer, and the purer our contemplation,
since the two directions of our interest cannot both be perfect at
the same time, being as different as light and darkness.
He who cleaves to God is indeed translated into the light, while
he who clings to the world is in the dark. So the supreme
perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all
his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into
the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers
nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God,
but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests
contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone.
Now the image of God as found in the soul consists of these three
faculties, namely reason, memory and will, and so long as they are
not completely stamped with God, the soul is not yet deiform in
accordance with the initial creation of the soul. For the true
pattern of the soul is God, with whom it must be imprinted, like
wax with a seal, and carry the mark of his impress.
But this can never be complete until the intellect is perfectly
illuminated, according to its capacity, with the knowledge of God,
who is perfect truth, until the will is perfectly focused on the
love of the perfect good, and until the memory is fully absorbed
in turning to and enjoying eternal happiness, and in gladly and
contentedly resting in it.
And since the glory of the beatitude which is achieved in our
heavenly homeland consists in the complete fulfilment of these
three faculties, it follows that perfect initiation of them is
perfection in this life.