MYSTICISM: The Characteristics Of Lovers, by Angela of Foligno

There are three properties peculiar to lovers which we must be aware of.  There are also certain signs of love which show each of us whether he or she is a true lover or not.

The first property is to be truly transformed as the will of the Beloved decides.  It seems to me that the will of the Beloved is his life as he demonstrates it in his own self.  He shows us his poverty, suffering, and contempt, which we must all certainly experience, and when the soul is strengthened and practiced in these things it is quite proof against all vice and temptation.

The second property is to be transformed in the qualities of the Beloved, of which I shall mention only three here.  The first is love; that is, to love all creatures as is due and seemly.  The second is to be humble and gentle.  The third (which God gives to his true children) is steadfastness; for the closer the soul is to God, the less it changes in its own self.

The third property is to be wholly transformed in God, when we are beyond all temptation.  Then we no longer live in ourselves, but in him; yet when we fall back again into our misery we must beware of too great concentration on any other creature and on our own selves.

Keep control over yourselves.  Do not surrender to any creature, or lend yourselves to anything whatsoever; but give yourselves wholly to the one who says: “You shall love the Lord with all your heart,and with all your mind, and with all your soul, and with all the strength that you have.”

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