The soul, advancing from step to step in holy prayer, becomes so resplendent that it is impossible she should not be admired, and that even the world, seeing her in the midst of the desert, solicited by so many sins, walking faithfully, and resembling a column of odoriferous perfume rising toward the sky, should not exclaim:
Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke, of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense, and all the powders of the perfumer?
But this applause is a hidden and sweetened poison, which very often causes the saintliest and devout to lose their justice and their devotion.
Let him whosoever hears his own praises turn towards those of God: let him persuade the praiser not to praise a thing of so little worth; but to draw up the praises of God out of our lowness and littleness. And if he cannot so soon fix his gaze on the Divinity, let him at least praise Jesus Christ, man, our true Solomon, and that principally in three things, His flesh, His cross, His Glory, saying: Behold worthy is His flesh, the bed of his Divinity and of His soul, surrounded by more than sixty valiant soldiers, who defend against every one who could cause it fear: that flesh which is not inclined to sin like ours, but by the hypostatic union, and by the empire it holds over the angels, it is altogether perfect and impeccable:
Behold threescore valiant ones of the most valiant of Israel, surrounded the bed of Solomon, and all holding sword’s and most expert in war: every man’s sword upon his thigh, because of fears in the night.
As for the Cross, how holy is it!
St Francis de Sales ‘The Mystical Explanation of the Canticle of Canticles’