"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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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "

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.
 

8. Of the necessity of purgatory, and of its terrific character


"I will say furthermore: I see that as far as God is concerned, paradise has no gates, but he who will may enter. For God is all mercy, and his open arms are ever extended to receive us into his glory. But I see that the divine essence is so pure--purer than the imagination can conceive--that the soul, finding in itself the slightest imperfection, would rather cast itself into a thousand hells than appear, so stained, in the presence of the divine majesty.

"Knowing, then, that purgatory was intended for her cleaning, she throws herself therein, and finds there that great mercy, the removal of her stains.

"The great importance of purgatory, neither mind can conceive nor tongue describe. I see only that its pains are as great as those of hell; and yet I see that a soul, stained with the slightest fault, receiving this mercy, counts its pains as naught in comparison with this hindrance to her love.

"And I know that the greatest misery of the souls in purgatory is to behold in themselves aught that displeases God, and to discover that, in spite of his goodness, they had consented to it. And this is because, being in the state of grace, they see the reality and the importance of the impediments which hinder their approach to God.