I Will Rise Now and Go About the City in the Streets, and in the Broad Ways I Will Seek Him whom My Soul Loveth: Sought Him, but I Found Him Not.
Behold a miracle performed by the absence of a God! How many times had He invited His beloved to rise from her repose, and she could not do it? He entreated her with the tenderest expressions, but she was so intoxicated with the peace and tranquillity which she enjoyed, that she could not be induced to leave them.

O faithful soul! the repose enjoyed in thyself is but a shadow of that which thou wilt find in God! But it was impossible to arouse her; but now that she no longer finds her Well-beloved in her resting place, O, she exclaims, I will rise now; this couch, which was once paradise to me, is now a hell, since my beloved is gone; and with Him hell would be a paradise.

The city, this world which I formerly hated, shall be the field of my seeking. The soul, not yet fully instructed, however enamored she may appear, and justly eager for the possession of the Bridegroom, her final end, yet here talks as a child. She is so weak, that she cannot at first seek God in Himself; although she does not find Him within herself, she must seek Him in every creature, in a thousand places where He is not, and being thus dispersed abroad, she is occupied with the creature under pretext of seeking the Creator. She seeks, nevertheless; for her heart loves and can find no rest but in the object of its love, but she finds nothing, because God has not departed from her to be sought in other creatures. He desires to be sought in Himself, and when she shall have arrived there she will discover another truth, the beauty of which will entrance her, that her Well-beloved is everywhere and in everything, and that everything is He, so that she can distinguish nothing from Him who is in all places without being enclosed in any.

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