She shook her head. “Go, please. I do not want to call in Mr. Vyse.”
“You don’t mean,” he said . . . “you don’t mean that you are going to marry that man?”
The line was unexpected.
She shrugged her shoulders, as if his vulgarity wearied her. “You are merely ridiculous,” she said quietly.
Then his words rose gravely over hers: “You cannot live with Vyse. He’s only for acquaintance. He is for society and cultivated talk. He should know no one intimately, least of all a woman.”
It was new light on Cecil’s character.
“Have you ever talked to Vyse without feeling tired?”
“I can scarcely discuss –“
“No, but have you ever? He is the sort who are all right so long as they keep to things — books, pictures — but kill when they come to people.” (A Room With a View by E.M. Forster)
We all know Mr. Vyse. He may be nice and neatly dressed. He may be polished and polite. He may be gracious and gregarious. But, “Have you ever talked to Vyse without feeling tired?” Mr. Vyse is relationally vacant. He cannot know anyone intimately. His life is limited to activities, things, and events.
Intimacy requires sacrifice. Relationships that bring great blessings come at a cost. This is true of human relationships. It’s also that way with God. Fully committing our lives to God does not mean instant intimacy. In fact, He will “disregard” our yearnings for intimacy until these longings permeate our soul. We must love God with intensity.
Preparation for intimacy comes, in part, through suffering. These interior and exterior trials keep us from becoming Mr. Vyse. There are plenty of people who say and do all the “right” things, but they don’t know what intimacy is. The sixth Mansions of the Interior Castle will end sterile relationships.
The soul is now completely determined to take no other spouse; but the Spouse disregards its yearnings for the conclusion of the Betrothal, desiring that they should become still deeper and that this greatest of all blessings should be won by the soul at some cost to itself. . . . Oh, my God, how great are these trials, which the soul will suffer, both within and without, before it enters the seventh Mansion! (Teresa of Avila: Sixth Mansions: Chapter One)