Towards a Transforming Union
If we take a global look at the soul’s journey in it’s ascent towards God from the first steps to the deepest communication, we will find the following panorama.
During the first stages, God leaves the initiative to the soul; in other words, He allows the soul to search for its own means and support, as if man were the only builder of his own world. Normally during these first stages divine consolations abound, and prayer activity seems more a product of human doings, resulting from human practices and teachings.
As the soul advances on its journey towards higher stages, God slowly begins to take the initiative, and intervenes more directly through special supports and unexpected touches.
At this level, the soul begins to realize that those psychological means that helped beforehand are now useless crutches. More resolutely each time, God wrests all initiatives away from the soul and begins to subject it to submission and surrender to the degree that another active person, the Holy Spirit, gradually enters the scene. Eventually, the Holy Spirit remains as the only architect until the soul is transformed into a beloved child of God and the living image of Jesus Christ.
In summary, during its first steps, the soul, like a child who is beginning to walk, looks for and needs psychological crutches, methods of concentration, silencing exercises, points for reflection. When God bursts into this scene, the soul feels the need to purify itself through a general operation of detachment. Once purity, liberty and peace are obtained, the soul finds itself able to advance without any obstacle towards the transforming union.
Extracted from the book “Journey Towards God” by father Ignacio Larrañaga