You can progress very far in Divine Union without an advanced intellectual knowledge of the spiritual life. In fact I think these three simple principles can get you farther than you might realize.
1. Consistency and Generosity
Just like working out at the gym, success in your prayer life has so much to do with consistency. If God is going to accomplish in us what He wants we need to be available to Him on a consistent basis. If you engage in Christian meditation each day you will advance. It is that simple. Most of the battle of consistency will be to form a rhythm of life that is conducive to prayer. With consistency we must add generosity. We need to give God plenty of time each day. Again, like working out, if you expect any real bodily change then you need more than 5 minutes each day. The more generous we are with God the more He can accomplish in us.
Living a life of holiness has a lot to do with being led by the Holy Spirit. Throughout each day there will be countless moments of quiet inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it might just be a pious thought that we lean in to. It might be an intention that flashes into your mind. The more we cooperate with these movements the more autonomy we give the Holy Spirit in our soul. This will go a long way to bless our prayer life. This is a skill that will become especially beneficial when we advance in prayer and our prayer is less active and more receptive.
3. Earnest Struggle with Sin
Being methodical and strategic in our fight with sin will go a long way in advancing the life of the Trinity within us. Taking a serious look at the state of our soul and taking care to avoid even venial sin can be a battle but it is one that is worth fighting. St. Paul uses the example of running the race. When we lay aside the weight of sin that holds us back we are lighter and more free to run. Even venial sin binds us and when we loose those binds the Holy Spirit is more free to work within us.
If we seriously try to live by these three principles we will see a great advancement of the life of the Trinity within us.
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization at