Choose one among a thousand

In truth, your spiritual guide should always be as a heaven-sent angel to you;—by which I mean
that when you have found him, you are not to look upon him, or trust in him or his wisdom as an
ordinary man; but you must look to God, Who will help you and speak to you through this man,
putting into his heart and mouth that which is needful to you; so that you ought to hearken as though
he were an angel come down from Heaven to lead you thither. Deal with him in all sincerity and
faithfulness, and with open heart; manifesting alike your good and your evil, without pretence or
dissimulation. Thus your good will be examined and confirmed, and your evil corrected and
remedied;—you will be soothed and strengthened in trouble, moderated and regulated in prosperity.
Give your guide a hearty confidence mingled with sacred reverence, so that reverence in no way
shall hinder your confidence, and confidence nowise lessen your reverence: trust him with the
respect of a daughter for her father; respect him with the confidence of a son in his mother. In a
word, such a friendship should be strong and sweet; altogether holy, sacred, divine and spiritual.
And with such an aim, choose one among a thousand, Avila says;—and I say among ten thousand,
for there are fewer than one would think capable of this office. He must needs be full of love, of
wisdom and of discretion; for if either of these three be wanting there is danger. But once more I
ask such help of God, and when you have found it, bless His Holy Name; be stedfast, seek no
more, but go on simply, humbly and trustfully, for you are safe to make a prosperous journey.