"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

* * *

"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "

St Alphonsus de Liguori

* * *

"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."

St Albert the Great

* * *

 

 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.
 

14. Of the submission of the souls in purgatory to the will of God.


"So hidden and transformed in God are they, that they rest content with all his holy will. And if a soul, retaining the slightest stain, were to draw near to God in the beatific vision, it would be to her a more grievous injury, and inflict more suffering, than purgatory itself. Nor could God himself, who is pure goodness and supreme justice, and the sight of God, not yet entirely satisfied (so long as the least possible purification remained to be accomplished) would be intolerable to her, and she would cast herself into the deepest hell rather than stand before him and be still impure."
 

15. Reproaches of the soul in purgatory to persons in this world.

 
And thus this blessed Soul, illuminated by the divine ray, said: "Would that I could utter so strong a cry that it would strike all men with terror, and say to them: O wretched beings! why are you so blinded by this world that you make, as you will find at the hour of death, no provision for the great necessity that will then come upon you?

"You shelter yourselves beneath your hope in the mercy of God, which you unceasingly exalt, not seeing that it is your resistance to his great goodness which will be your condemnation. His goodness should constrain you to his will, not encourage you to persevere in your own. Since his justice is unfailing it must needs be in some way fully satisfied.

"Have not the boldness to say: `I will go to confession and gain a plenary indulgence and thus I shall be saved.' Remember that the full confession and entire contrition which are requisite to gain a plenary indulgence are not easily attained. Did you know how hardly they are come by, you would tremble with fear and be more sure of losing than of gaining them."