A Year with the Saints – 7 February


One day of humble self-knowledge is a greater grace from the Lord, although it may have cost us many afflictions and trials, than many days of prayer. Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Gertrude, once reflecting upon the benefits she had received from God, blushed for herself and became so odious in her own eyes that she seemed unworthy to remain in the sight of God, and she would gladly have found some nook, where she might conceal from man, if not from God, the odor of corruption with which she felt herself tainted. At this, Christ humbled Himself to her with so much goodness that the whole celestial court stood amazed.

The venerable Mother Seraphina di Dio received, one day, a spiritual light, by means of which (as she states in her account of it to her director) she perceived clearly that God, being by His nature luminous truth, can behold in Himself only that which He really is – that is, infinite perfection, in which He rejoices and delights. Therefore, when He wishes to unite a soul to Himself, He communicates to it a light of truth, by which it sees, without error or deception, its own nature; that is, that by itself it has never done any good, neither is it able to do any; that in itself it has only inclination to evil, and what good it has is altogether from God. And such a person has no need of much consideration and analysis, because with such a light of truth, all appears so clear that to think otherwise would be mere darkness and deceit. But though the soul, in this clear light, appears ugly, deformed and odious in its own eyes, yet, in the eyes of God, it seems beautiful and very pleasing, because it becomes like His own most true and luminous nature. It happened that this same servant of God, after leading an innocent and most perfect life, came at one time to know her imperfections with such clearness that they seemed to her to become very grave and frightful sins, so that she experienced great bitterness of spirit and could obtain no peace; when she was reproved for any failure, she was not at all disturbed, but said in her heart: “What you see is nothing. Oh, if you saw all, how you would abhor me!” But the Lord consoled her by telling her interiorly that her past imperfections seemed to her so unusually great because her soul was in a state of clear light, but that these deformities were no longer in existence, as He had already cancelled them by His Blood.

MLA Citation