Here is an interview with Carmelite contemplative nun Ruth Burrows.
And an excerpt from her Essence of Prayer:
Many people carry a romantic notion of Carmel. For those who enter it this is quickly destroyed. Almost always there is the shock, the scandal almost, of ordinariness. In Teresa [of Avila]’s thought this blessed ordinariness is where God is, where we meet him and surrender to him. The sole ‘specialness’ of Carmel is simply to isolate the essential ingredients and live them in an intense, absolute way for the sake of all. It may seem a far cry from Carmelite nun to politician, civil servant, actress, or mother of a growing family. Speaking spiritually, there is no difference. Their lives are made up of the same ingredients; all have the same path to holiness.
From The Mystical Doctrine of St. John of the Cross, with an introduction by the Very Rev. R.H.J. Steuart, S.J. (Sheed & Ward, London, first published 1934):
O souls that seek your own ease and comfort, if you knew how necessary for a high state is suffering, and how profitable suffering and mortification are for attaining to God’s great blessings, you would never seek for comfort anywhere…This is the way God deals with those whom it is His will to exalt: He suffers them to be tempted, afflicted, tormented, and chastened, inwardly and outwardly, to the utmost limit of their strength, that He may deify them, unite them to Himself in His wisdom, which is the highest state.
St. Francis of Assisi on an interesting form of DIY exorcism, from The Little Flowers of St. Francis, trans. from the Latin and the Italian by Raphael Brown:
“But when the devil says to you again, ‘You are damned,’ St. Francis said, “you answer him confidently, ‘Open your mouth–and I will [empty my bowels] in it!’ And let it be a sign to you that he is the devil taht when you say those words, he will immediately go away. You should also have known that he was the devil because he hardened your heart to everything that is good, for that is exactly his job. But the Blessed Christ never hardens the heart of the faithful man but rather softens it, as He says through the Prophet: ‘I will take away your heart of stone and will give you a heart of flesh.’ “
From The Science of the Cross, by Edith Stein, trans. by Josephine Koeppel, O.C.D.:
Even worse than the misuse of pictures is the imperfection with which “one is accustomed to use a rosary. One rarely meets someone who does not show some weakness in this regard. They want the rosary to be made in one style rather than another, or that it be of this color or that metal rather than another….Will God hear the prayer more readily if it is prayed with this or that rosary? It is after all only important that one prays with a simple and pure heart, that one aims only to please God.”