Saint Francis de Sales used to say that we did not know what was the true service of God; that the true way of serving Him was to follow Him and walk after Him in the highest point of the soul, without the support of consolation, or of feeling, or illumination other than that of bare and simple faith. – – St Jane de Chantal writing about her spiritual director.
THE better known a road is to us, the more we frequent it; the more people we know therein, the more willingly also we journey thereby and the more easily: but still by such roads we are more slow in arriving at our journey’s end, because, having many acquaintance, here we speak to one, there to another, here we enter into somebody’s shop, there we stay to talk with a friend. For the consideration of God no track is more beaten, known, or familiar than that of corporeal things, amid which we live; no way is more easy in itself, but also no way has more distractions. When I meditate on God in the angel, who is an invisible thing, and one in no way familiar to me, it produces in me but few fancies and distractions: but if I consider God in man, my imagination descends from the universal to the particular, and under the name of man represents to me Peter, Paul, or somebody doing with me this or that thing. Hence while in this way which is so familiar to us we stop at all the shops of our acquaintance, we arrive at our journey’s end either late or never. – – St Francis de Sales on the Canticle of Canticles