St. Gertrude complained at finding between God and herself a barrier made of the "thick leather" of her negligence. She spoke further of a hedge between her Lord and herself.
Certainly God is in Himself difficult to attain. Belonging to an invisible world, He escapes our immediate grasp, escapes us who are so immersed in sensible things. A constantly renewed effort of faith through an assiduous cultivation of supernatural reflection is needed to arrive at the truth of divine realities, so that they appear to us henceforth as something actually existing, absolutely real, nay, even more real than the most concrete realities here below.
But that still does not suffice. If between our souls, properly attentive let us suppose, and God, there arises the opaque wall of our self-indulgences, we will not attain to the Treasure hidden within us. It will escape our grasp; it will not let itself be discovered.
Then a double purification imposes itself....Purification of the powers of attention: cultivation of the spirit of faith, acclimatization of the soul to invisible realities, just as when we come from the outside, into a dark place, we see nothing at first, but upon becoming accustomed to the darkness, little by little, finally discover all.
Purification of the powers of the will: We must avoid everything which might make a barrier between God and our soul; not cherish any idol...mere trifles, perhaps, but they can create a wall....God alone!
I will therefore size up situations thoroughly; I will admit nothing between God and my soul. On this double condition I shall see God.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)