Great storms and temptations shall doubtlessly arise during this journey, leaving you bewildered and wondering which way to turn for help, for your affection will feel deprived of both your ordinary grace and your special grace. Yet I say again: fear not. Even though you think you have great reason to fear, do not panic. Instead, keep in your heart a loving trust in our Lord, or at any rate, do so as best you can under the circumstances. Truly, he is not far away and perhaps at any moment he will turn to you, touching you more intensely than ever in the past with a quickening of the contemplative grace. Then for as long as it remains, you will think you are healed and that all is well. But when you least, expect, it will be gone again, and again you will feel abandoned in your ship, blown hither and yon, you know not where. Still, do not lose heart, I promise you he will return and soon. In his own time he will come to your rescue and receive your anguish. As often as he goes, he will come back. And if you will manfully suffer it all with gentle love, each coming will be more marvelous and more joyful than the last. Remember, all he does, he does with wise intent; he desires that you become as spiritually supple and shaped to his will as a fine Roan glove is to your hand.
…In the absence of all enthusiasm he will have you learn the real meaning of patience. With your enthusiasm gone you will think you have lost Him, too, but this is not so, it is only that he wishes to teach you patience. For make no mistake about this; God may at times withdraw sweet emotions, joyful enthusiasm, and burning desires but he never withdraw his grace form those he has chosen, except in the case of deadly sin. Of this I am certain. All the rest, emotions, enthusiasm, and desires, are not in themselves grace, only tokens of grace. And these he may often withdraw, sometimes to strengthen our patience, sometimes for other reasons, but always for our spiritual good, though we may never understand. Grace, we must remember, in itself, is so high, so pure, and so spiritual that our senses and emotions are actually incapable of experiencing it. The sensible fervor they experience are the tokens of grace, not grace itself. These our Lord will withdraw from time to time to deepen and mature our patience. –The Book of Privy Counseling