For those blessed souls who have entered into the unity of life in God, everything is one: rest and activity, looking and acting, silence and speaking, listening and communicating, surrender in loving acceptance and an outpouring of love in grateful songs of praise.

As long as we are still on the way and the farther away from the goal the more intensely we are still subject to temporal laws, and are instructed to actualize in ourselves, one after another and all the members complementing each other mutually, the divine life in all its fullness.

We need hours for listening silently and allowing the Word of God to act on us until it moves us to bear fruit in an offering of praise and an offering of action.

We need to have traditional forms and to participate in public and prescribed worship services so that our interior life will remain vital and on the right track, and so that it will find appropriate expression.

There must be special places on earth for the solemn praise of God, places where this praise is formed into the greatest perfection of which humankind is capable.

From such places it can ascend to heaven for the whole church and have an influence on the church’s members; it can awaken the interior life in them and make them zealous for external unanimity.

But it must be enlivened from within by this means: that here, too, room must be made for silent recollection. Otherwise, it will degenerate into a rigid and lifeless lip service.

And protection from such dangers is provided by those homes for the interior life where souls stand before the face of God in solitude and silence in order to be quickening love in the heart of the church.

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942): Before the Face of God