"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "

St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."

Thomas á Kempis

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St. Catherine of Siena  (1347-1380)
 Doctor of the Church

 
THE DIALOGUE OF ST CATHERINE OF SIENA

Dictated by her, while is a state of ecstasy, to her secretaries, and completed in the year of Our Lord 1370.

A TREATISE OF DISCRETION

32. How if the three aforesaid powers are not united, there cannot be perseverance, without which no man arrives at his end.


"I have explained to you the figure of the three steps, in general, as the three powers of the soul, and no one who wishes to pass by the Bridge and doctrine of My Truth can mount one without the other, and the soul cannot persevere except by the union of her three powers. Of which I told you above, when you asked Me, how the voyagers could come out of the river.

"There are two goals, and, for the attainment of either, perseverance is needful -- they are vice and virtue. If you desire to arrive at life, you must persevere in virtue, and if you would have eternal death, you must persevere in vice. Thus it is with perseverance that they who want life arrive at Me who am Life, and with perseverance that they who taste the water of death arrive at the Devil."
 

 

33. How if the three aforesaid powers are not united, there cannot be perseverance, without which no man arrives at his end.

 
"You were all invited, generally and in particular, by My Truth, when He cried in the Temple, saying: 'Whosoever thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, for I am the Fountain of the Water of Life.' He did not say 'Go to the Father and drink,' but He said 'Come to Me.'

"He spoke thus, because in Me, the Father, there can be no pain, but in My Son there can be pain. And you, while you are pilgrims and wayfarers in this mortal life, cannot be without pain, because the earth, through sin, brought forth thorns. And why did He say 'Let him come to Me and drink'?

"Because whoever follows His doctrine, whether in the most perfect way or by dwelling in the life of common charity, finds to drink, tasting the fruit of the Blood, through the union of the Divine nature with the human nature. And you, finding yourselves in Him, find yourselves also in Me, who am the Sea Pacific, because I am one thing with Him, and He with Me. So that you are invited to the Fountain of Living Water of Grace, and it is right for you, with perseverance, to keep by Him who is made for you a Bridge, not being turned back by any contrary wind that may arise, either of prosperity or adversity, and to persevere till you find Me, who am the Giver of the Water of Life, by means of this sweet and amorous Word, My only-begotten Son.

"And why did He say: 'I am the Fountain of Living Water'? Because He was the Fountain which contained Me, the Giver of the Living Water, by means of the union of the Divine with the human nature.

"Why did He say 'Come to Me and drink'? Because you cannot pass this mortal life without pain, and in Me, the Father, there can be no pain, but in Him there can be pain, and therefore of Him did I make for you a Bridge. No one can come to Me except by Him, as He told you in the words: 'No one can come to the Father except by Me.'

"Now you have seen to what way you should keep, and how, namely with perseverance, otherwise you shall not drink, for perseverance receives the crown of glory and victory in the life everlasting."