The disgusted sick man has no appetite for eating, yet has he an appetite to have an appetite; he desires no meat, but he desires to desire it. Theotimus, to know whether we love God above all things is not in our power, unless God himself reveal it unto us: yet we may easily know whether we desire to love him; and perceiving the desire of holy love in us, we know that we begin to love. It is our sensual and animal part which covets to eat, but it is our reasonable part which desires this appetite; and because the sensual part does not always obey the reasonable part, it frequently happens that we desire appetite and cannot have it. But the desire of loving and love depend upon the same will: wherefore as soon as we have framed the true desire of loving, we begin to have some love; and ever as this desire grows, love also increases. He who desires love ardently shall shortly love with ardour. Ah! who will give us the grace, Theotimus, that we may burn with this desire, which is the desire of the poor, and the preparation of their heart, which God willingly hears. He who has no assurance of loving God is a poor man, and if he desire to love him he is a beggar, but a beggar with the blessed beggary of which Our Saviour has said: Blessed are the beggars of spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God, Bk. XII, ch. 2