God’s speech is the effect He produces in the soul.
Since this flame is a flame of divine life, it wounds the soul with the tenderness of God’s life, and it wounds and stirs it so deeply as to make it dissolve in love. What the bride affirmed in the Canticle is fulfilled in the soul. She was so moved that her soul melted, and thus she says: “As soon as He spoke my soul melted”.
This feast takes place in the substance of the soul where the mind and senses cannot reach. God is the doer of all without the soul doing anything. Since the soul cannot do any work of its own save by means of the corporal senses, from which in this event it is very free and far removed, its sole occupation now is to receive.
And this is what happens, in an indescribable way, at the time this flame of love rises up within the soul. The divine substance which, because of its purity, touches everywhere profoundly, subtly and sublimely, absorbs the soul in itself with its divine flame.
Immersion of the soul in wisdom.
- St John of the Cross. The Living Flame of Love. Stanza 1