O God, the King of Glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven: we beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thy Holy Spirit to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
A reading from Walter Hilton, The Scale of Perfection
The saints say, and rightly, that there are two sorts of spiritual love. One is called uncreated and the other created. Uncreated Love is God himself, the Third Person of the Trinity, that is the Holy Ghost. He is uncreated Love: as St John says, ‘God is love’ (1 Jn 4:8) that is the Holy Ghost. Created love is the love that the Holy Ghost arouses in a soul at the sight of truth – that is, of God. This love is called created because it is brought about by the Holy Ghost. Being created it is not God himself, but it is the love which the soul feels at the contemplation of God, when it is drawn to him alone.
Now you can see how created love is not the cause of a soul coming to the contemplation of God. For there are some who think that they can love God so ardently, as it were by their own powers, that they can merit the contemplation of him, but it is not so. It is uncreated Love, that is God himself, who is the cause of all this knowledge. For owing to sin and the weakness of its human nature the poor, blind soul is so far from the clear knowledge of God and the enjoyment of his love that it would never be able to attain them, if it were not for the infinite greatness of God’s love. But because he loves us so much, he gives us his love that is the Holy Ghost. He is both the giver and the gift, and by that gift makes us know and love him. This is the love that I said you should desire, this uncreated Love that is the Holy Ghost. And indeed a lesser gift than he will not avail to bring us to the blessed knowledge of God. Therefore we should desire and ask of God only this gift of Love; that in the greatness of his blessed love he would illumine our hearts with his incomprehensible light that we may know him, and that he may impart his blessed love to us, that as he loves us, so we may love him in return. St John says, ‘Let us love God now, for he has first loved us’ (1 Jn 4:19). He loved us much when he made us in his likeness, but he loved us more when he redeemed us from the power of the devil and from the pains of hell through his precious blood by voluntarily undergoing death in his human nature. But he loves us most when he gives us the gift of the Holy Ghost, that is Love. By which we know him and love him and are assured that we are his sons chosen for salvation.
We are more bound to him for this love than for any other that he has shown is, either in creating or redeeming us. For though he had created us and redeemed us, if he had not saved us as well, what profit would it have been for us? None indeed.