This is the short and the sure way of acquiring virtue; because, God being the principle of all virtue, we possess all virtue in possessing God.
More than this, I say that all virtue which is not given inwardly is a mask of virtue, and like a garment that can be taken off, and will wear out. But virtue communicated fundamentally is essential, true, and permanent. “The King’s daughter is all glorious within” (Ps. xlv. 13). And there are none who practise virtue more constantly than those who acquire it in this way, though virtue is not a distinct subject of their thought.
How hungry these loving ones are after suffering! They think only of what can please their Beloved, and they begin to neglect themselves, and to think
less of themselves. The more they love God, the more they hate themselves.
Oh, if all could learn this method, so easy that it is suited for all, for the most ignorant as for the most learned, how easily the whole Church would be reformed! You only need to love. St Augustine says, “Love, and do as you please;” for when we love perfectly, we shall not desire to do anything that could be displeasing to our Beloved.