Benedict came to the window of his chamber where he offered up his prayers to almighty God. Standing there, all of a sudden in the dead of the night, as he looked forth, he saw a light that banished away the darkness of the night and glittered with such brightness that the light which shone in the midst of darkness was far more clear than the light of the day. During this vision a marvelously strange thing followed, for, as he himself afterward reported, the whole world, gathered together, as it were, under one beam of the sun, was presented before his eyes.
How can I conceive by what means the whole world could be seen of any one man?
All creatures are, as it were, nothing to that soul that beholds the Creator. For though it sees but a glimpse of that light which is in the Creator, yet all things that are created seem very small. By means of that supernatural light, the capacity of the contemplative soul is enlarged, and is so extended in God, that it is far above the world. The soul of the contemplative who sees in this manner, is also above itself; for being rapt up in the light of God, it is inwardly in itself enlarged above itself. When it is so exalted and looks downward, it comprehends how little all creation is. The soul, in its former baseness, could not so comprehend.
The man of God, therefore, who had that vision, could not see those things but in the light of God. What marvel it is that Benedict who saw the world gathered together before him -- rapt up in the light of his soul -- was at that time out of the world. Although we say that the world was gathered together before his eyes, yet it is not that heaven and earth were drawn into any lesser room than they are of themselves. The soul of the beholder was more enlarged, rapt in God, so that it might see without difficulty that which is under God.