This afternoon I have been reading for worship, "On Contemplation" by Guigo De Ponte. I will quote from this treatise since it goes along with what I have been writing about lately on conversion and regeneration/the work of the Holy Spirit spiritual illumination.
"BOOK THREE Chapter Fifteen: Third Degree of Divinely Infused Speculation:Inventive Contemplation
What follows is concerned with the third degree, which should be evaluated according to the following information. The third state is contemplation that finds, since it begins there where the godly spirit is suddenly carried away to a vision of divine glory, as the preceding chapters have explained. The godly spirit herself, through the practices of the second stage, rarely but indeed occasionally catches sight of the flash of divine light as she is lit up by the rays of divine grace. One may indeed frequently have the prospect of this envisioning contemplation in sight, when the godly favor of heavenly dignity smiles, but it seems that one rarely arrives at the aforementioned view of the supreme Truth, since, if one attains a bit of it, one immediately slips back into what is darkness compared with the light just seen. This does not involve slipping back all the way to the situation of general human thoughts nor even as far as the first step mentioned above [attentive consideration], but it is a return and withdrawal to a certain lofty state between the sapiential stage [alluring meditation] and the scintillating stage. The third degree can be called the flashing [scintillaris] stage, not because the godly spirit sees the flash of truth but because she is very close to seeing it. Yet sometimes in this in-between state her eyes are indeed opened to catch a glimpse of the gleam of truth before she completely returns to herself. One might also say-most accurately indeed-that this state has a view towards the lower, sapiential stage. For just as the godly spirit reaches the very threshold of the scintillating stage by ascending through the sapiential stage, so in retreating from the scintillating stage she descends to the very threshold of the sapiential stage." pg. 235, 236 Guigo De Ponte