Virgin Annunciate, attributed to Lorenzo di Niccolo, 1392-1412
But this is not real service; and if I think that service begins outwardly, in any way, attached to this world or creation, I am mistaken. There is only one actual service that must come first and always, and that is inward service to God.
This is a true thing which one can experience if one opens. Otherwise, everything is theory, and one will argue about everything endlessly, and circles, as is once again quite normal for human beings, so much so that we take great comfort in our iniquities.
This can only be done through the receiving of the Presence through the inflow (Jeanne de Salzmann's "higher energy"—and why she insisted on such euphemisms, I cannot understand) because unless one recognizes God as a reality within Being, one cannot see one's nothingness— all that one sees is a selfish vision, not one that has formed a proper contact with the soul in relationship to God.
If human beings loved God first, all other love that came afterwards would be valid; but our love is invalid – that is, infirm, ill, unable — because it does not begin here, at the root of love, which is generous and all-merciful and forever forgiving of everything.
How I know this, I cannot tell you — but I can assure you as surely as I live and breathe that this is truth, and nothing else is truth unless one understands this first.