This is the age in which the Spirit begins to act within us. Our early development often bears fruit in relation to our commitment and our willingness to persevere. Although the strength and vitality needed for growth is grounded in the activity of grace, the felt experience often leads us to labor under the illusion that we are the primary agents in our transformation. This illusion, while useful in the beginning, soon must be shed for the reality that in order to bear fruit we must learn to rely less on ourselves and more on God.
In the second age, growth is less a result of carefully considered plans and set structures, but more on the more intuitive nature of inspiration. This can be scary at first because it requires we let go of many things. Such a path seems uncertain and can be a cause of concern for the soul that has grown accustomed to the comforts of the ego. We now have to learn to wait for the Lord to act and for the Lord to open up the mystery of our lives.
Due to this, prayer must become more receptive. We still will return to discursive meditation and our routines from the past, but now our insights come more through what seems like chance encounters with the Holy Spirit. What seemed like randomness and disorder before now starts to emerge as opportunity. The lines between prayer and life begin to break down as the heart now begins to turn to the Lord as if such a movement has become like a second instinct.
Mortification still must take place, but now the sweetness of solitude has begun to emerge. Silence no longer seems as scary, and we begin to see the cycles of our life with greater insight. This happens slowly, step by step. As we begin to grow accustomed to the patterns of inspiration, we begin to develop a new kind of knowledge. This knowledge is not facts or information, but rather deeper aspects of the heart that cannot be easily explained or taught to others. This knowledge is the fruit of experience as opposed to study.
The key for the soul that has entered the second age is to learn to be receptive to the Spirit. Growth will take place in unexpected ways. For us to reap the benefit we must learn to step outside of our expectations and our limited ways of thinking and embrace a whole new way of seeing. Thus our role is not to do more, but to wait with patience. Thus we must learn the art of getting out of the way of the Spirit.
Note: This age or stage is often called the Illuminative.