While we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord.1 Souls that, in this life, love nothing but God are like noble pilgrims, destined, according to their present state, to be the eternal bride of the King of heaven, but who now live far away without seeing him; wherefore they do nothing but sigh to depart to the country of the blessed, where they know that their Spouse awaits them.
They know, indeed, that their Beloved is ever present with them, but that he is, as it were, hidden by a veil, and does not show himself. Or, to speak more correctly, he is like the sun behind clouds, which, from time to time, sends forth some ray of its splendor, but displays not itself openly. These beloved brides have a bandage before their eyes, which prevents them from seeing him whom they love. They live, nevertheless, contented, uniting themselves to the will of the Lord, who chooses to keep them in exile, and far away from himself; but with all this, they cannot but continually sigh to know him face to face, in order to be more inflamed with love towards him.
Therefore, every one of them often sweetly laments with their beloved Spouse, because he shows himself not; and they say, “O Thou only love of my heart, since Thou hast so loved me, and hast stricken me with Thy holy love, why hidest Thou Thyself, and makest me not to see Thee? I know that Thou art an infinite beauty, I love Thee more than myself, though I have never yet beheld Thee; open to me Thy fair countenance; I would know Thee all revealed, in order that I may no more look to myself nor to any creature, and may think only of loving Thee, my highest good.”
When to these souls thus filled with love for God there appears any ray of the divine goodness, and of the love which God bears them, they would be dissolved and fade away for desire of him; and though for them the sun is still hidden behind the clouds, and his fair face is covered by a veil, and their own eyes are bandaged, so that they cannot gaze on him face to face; yet what shall be their joy when the clouds disperse, and the gate opens, and the bandage is taken from their eyes, and the fair countenance of their Beloved appears without a veil, so that in the clear light of day they look upon his beauty, his goodness, his greatness, and the love which he bears to them !
O death, why dost thou so delay to come? If thou comest not, I cannot depart to behold my God. It is thou that must open to me the gate, that I may enter into the palace of my Lord. O blessed country, when will the day be here when I shall find myself beneath thy eternal tabernacles? O beloved of my soul, my Jesus, my treasure, my love, my all! when will that happy moment come, when, leaving this earth, I shall see myself all united with Thee? I deserve not this happiness; but the love which Thou hast shown me, and, still more, Thy infinite goodness, make me hope that I shall be one day joined to those happy souls, who, being wholly united with Thee, love Thee, and will love Thee with a perfect love through all eternity. O my Jesus! Thou seest the alternative in which I am placed, of being either ever united with Thee, or ever far from Thee; have mercy upon me; Thy blood is my hope; and thy intercession, O my Mother Mary! is my comfort and my joy.
1“Dum sumus in corpore, peregrinamur a Domino.” -- 2 Cor. v. 6.