…outside of God’s special intervention, I believe it is humanly impossible for a sinner to come to a peaceful repose in the spiritual experience of himself and of God until he has first exercised his imagination and reason in appreciating his own human potential, as well as the manifold works of God, and until he has learned to grieve over sin and find his joy in goodness. Believe me, whoever will not journey by this path will go astray. One must remain outside contemplation, occupied in discursive meditation, even though he would prefer to enter into the contemplative repose beyond them. Many mistakenly believe that they have passed within the spiritual door when, in reality, they are still outside it. What is more, they shall remain outside until they learn to seek the door in humble love. Some find the door and enter within sooner than others, not because they possess a special admittance or unusual merit, but simply because the porter chooses to let them in.
And oh, what a delightful place is the household of the spirit! Here the Lord himself is not only the porter but the door. As God, he is the porter; as man, he is the door. And thus in the Gospel he says:
I am the door of the sheepfold
He that enters by me shall be saved.
He shall go in and go out
And find pastures.
He that enters not through the door
But climbs up another way
The same as a thief and a robber.
‘The Book of Privy Counseling’