Evelyn Underhill: What the Spirit Produces

St. John of the Cross says that every quality or virtue which that Spirit really produces in our souls has three distinguishing characters–Tranquility, Gentleness, Strength. All our action must be peaceful, gentle and strong. That suggests, doesn’t it, an immense depth, and an invulnerable steadiness as the soul’s abiding temper; a depth and steadiness which come from the fact that our small action is now part of the total action of God, whose Spirit, as another saint has said, “Works always in tranquility.” Fuss and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism, and wobble, and every kind of hurry and worry–these, even on the highest levels, are signs of the self-made and self-acting soul; the spiritual parvenu. The saints are never like that. They share the quiet and noble qualities of the great family to which they belong.

–The Spiritual Life