For Christ is revealed as the incarnation of God’s love for us: he is the great lover, and the Church is his beloved, and we in her. Academic theology finds its coherence, literally comes into being as a possibility, as we find in Christ God loving us and longing for our love. And it is this response to God’s love for us that is the central concern of spirituality. Prayer is in essence the loving pursuit of the beloved. The great part that silence plays in prayer has an analogy in the fact that silence becomes a mode of communion, and not an embarrassing pause, between people deeply devoted to one another. It is not without significance that the favourite single genre of mystical theology takes the form of commentary on the Song of Songs.
— Andrew Louth, Theology and Spirituality