‘…as the deer longs for running water’

As we have said, when speaking of the passive purgation of the senses, contemplation begins by a state of quiet that is very feeble, and hardly perceptible. A remembrance of God, vague, obscure, persistent and monotonous, a love not less vague and indistinct, and a dolorous need of possessing God by a closer union from the groundwork of this state. The quietude is too feeble to allow the soul to taste the sweetness of the divine presence. The soul thirsts and God gives her to drink not of “a stream” but of “a puny rill of water” as “to a child.” She is far from swimming in delights, but she is, in some small degree, relieved of her thirst, and held captive, for she feels the need of being alone with God, and, if she suffers in that state, she would be far worse off elsewhere. –Abbot Vitalis Lehodey “The Ways of Mental Prayer”



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