Blessed the soul that enters the inner chambers.
For, rising up from the body, she becomes more distant from all, and she searches and seeks within herself, if in any way she can pursue the divine.
And when she can obtain it, having passed beyond intelligible things, she is strengthened in it and fed by it.
Such was Paul, who knew that he had been caught up into paradise but did not know whether he had been caught up in the body or out of the body.
For his soul had risen up from the body, had withdrawn from the bonds of the flesh, and had lifted herself up.
And he was made alien to himself and held within his very self the secret words which he heard and could not reveal, because, as he remarked, it was not permitted a man to speak such thoughts.
And so the good soul scorns visible and material things and does not linger over them or delay or tarry or despise them.
Rather, she rises to things eternal and immaterial and filled with wonders, for she rises with pure thought from a pious mind.
Intent on perfection, she strives only for the good that is God’s and considers none other necessary, because she possesses that which is supreme.
And so a man of this kind, in whom there is beauty of soul, has more than enough for himself, though he is alone, for he is himself sufficient for himself.
And yet the man is never alone who has the Lord with him as his protector.
[...] Therefore know yourself and the beauty of your nature, and go forth as if your foot had been freed of bonds and were visible in its bare step, so that you may not feel the fleshly coverings, that the bonds of the body may not entangle the footstep of your mind, that your foot may appear beautiful.
For such are they who are chosen by the Lord to announce the kingdom of heaven, and of them it was said, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace!
Such was Moses, to whom it is said, Remove the sandals from your feet, so that when he was about to call the people to the kingdom of God he might first put aside the garments of the flesh and might walk with his spirit and the footstep of the mind naked.
Ambrose of Milan (c. 337-397): On Isaac, or the Soul 4.11-12, 16; FoC 65 (1972) tr. McHugh; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time Year 2.