"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."

St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."

St Philip Neri

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"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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 St Catherine of Genoa   (1447 - 1510)

 

TREATISE ON PURGATORY (cont)

 

by St Catherine of Genoa

The divine fire which St. Catherine experienced in herself, made her comprehend the state of souls in purgatory, and that they are contented there although in torment.
 

11. The desire of souls in purgatory to be purified from every stain of sin. The wisdom of God in veiling from them their defects.


"At her creation the soul received all the means of attaining perfection of which her nature was capable, in order that she might conform to the will of God and keep herself from contracting any stain; but being directly contaminated by original sin she loses her gifts and graces and even her life. Nor can she be regenerated save by the help of God, for even after baptism her inclination to evil remains, which, if she does not resist it, disposes and leads her to mortal sin, through which she dies anew.

"God again restores her by a further special grace; yet, she is still so sullied and so bent on herself, that to restore her to her primitive innocence, all those divine operations which I have described are needful, and without them she could never be restored. When the soul has reentered the path which leads to her first estate, she is inflamed with so burning a desire to be transformed into God, that in it she finds her purgatory. Not, indeed, that she regards her purgatory as being such, but this desire, so fiery and so powerfully repressed, becomes her purgatory.

"This final act of love accomplishes its work alone, finding the soul with so many hidden imperfections, that the mere sight of them, were it presented to her, would drive her to despair. This last operation, however, consumes them all, and when they are destroyed God makes them known to the soul to make her understand the divine action by which her purity was restored."