The Interior Castle - The Sixth Dwelling Places Ch 7-11

The Sixth Dwelling Places
Contains 11 chapters

(Chapters 7 - 11 here)

Chapter 7

Discusses the kind of suffering those souls to whom God grants the favours mentioned feel concerning their sins.  Tells what a great mistake it is, however spiritual one may be, not to practise keeping the humanity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ present in one’s mind; also His most sacred Passion and life, His glorious Mother, and the saints.  The chapter is very helpful.

‘You will think, Sisters, that these souls to whom the Lord communicates Himself in this unusual way will already be so sure of enjoying Him forever that they will have nothing to fear nor sins to weep over.  Those especially who have not attained these favours from God will think this, for if they had enjoyed them, they would know what I’m going to say.  But to think the above would be a great mistake because suffering over one’s sins increases the more one receives from our God.  And, for my part, I hold that until we are there where nothing can cause pain this suffering will not be taken away.’

Keeping our human weakness and our sinfulness in mind is a great way of retaining the virtue of humility.  When we compare ourselves to the goodness of our Lord especially as we come closer to Him in prayer, we are even more aware of our sins.

The closer the soul comes to the Lord the more it laments about the wasted years it spent in idle activities.  But it is important to remember that the Lord brings each soul along a different path.  We learn more about ourselves based upon our past lives.  So for those times when we loved the world more than the Lord, we can now see how infinitely superior knowledge of the Lord is to knowledge of the world.  Self-knowledge is the key to knowing God.  Knowledge of our sinfulness forces us to trust in His Divine Mercy.

‘For in these grandeurs God communicates to it, it understands much more about Him.  It is astonished at how bold it was; it weeps over its lack of respect; it thinks its foolishness was so excessive that it never finishes grieving over that foolishness when it recalls that for such base things it abandoned so great a Majesty.  Much more does it recall this foolishness than it does the favour it receives, though these favours are as remarkable as the ones mentioned or as those still to be spoken of.  These favours are like the waves of a large river in that they come and go; but the memory these souls have of their sins clings like think mire.  It always seems that these sins are alive in the memory, and this is a heavy cross.’

Any distress is caused not from fear, but from love and from being withdrawn from God’s love.  It is always the presence of God that the soul seeks, and in purgatory, the lack of His presence is very painful.

‘As for the fear of hell, such persons don’t have any.  That they might lose God, at times – though seldom – distresses them very much.  All their fear is that God might allow them out of His hand to offend Him, and they find themselves in as miserable a state as they were once before.  In regard to their own suffering or glory, they don’t care.  If they don’t want to stay long in purgatory, the reason comes from the fact of their not wanting to be away from God – as are those who are in purgatory – rather than from the sufferings undergone there.’

To remain humble always remember that we are weak.

‘I wouldn’t consider it safe for a soul, however favoured by God, to forget that at one time it saw itself in a miserable state.  Although recalling this misery is a painful thing, doing so is helpful for many.’

‘No relief is afforded this suffering by the thougth that our Lord has already pardoned and forgotten the sins.  Rather, it adds to the suffering to see so much goodness and realise that favours are granted to one who deserves noting but hell.  I think such a realisation was a great martyrdom for St Peter and the Magdalene.  Since their love for God had grown so deep and they had received so many favours and come to know the grandeur and majesty of God, the remembrance of their misery would have been difficult to suffer, and they would have suffered it with tender sentiments.’

Meditation on the sacred humanity of Christ

‘It will also seem to you that anyone who enjoys such lofty things will no longer meditate on the mysteries of the most sacred humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Such a person would now be engaged entirely in loving.  This is a matter I wrote about at length elsewhere.  They have contradicted me about it and said that I don’t understand, because these are paths along which our Lord leads, and that when souls have already passed beyond the beginning stages it is better for them to deal with things concerning the divinity and flee from corporeal things. Nonetheless, they will not make me admit that such a road is a good one.’

Our humanity is the very tool that our Lord used in order to save us from our sins.  He became man to save us, so we must not discard the importance of our humanity.  If the Lord can use it to save us, we can use it too to bring us closer to Him.  Our bodies must become instruments of salvation as His body crucified on the cross became the supreme instrument of our salvation.

We can also rely on our brothers and sisters in heaven, the saints, who have lived mortal lives like us to help us in our daily struggles.

crucifixion icon

‘It will also seem to some souls that they cannot think about the Passion, or still less about the Blessed Virgin and the lives of the saints; the remembrance of both of these latter is so very helpful and encouraging.  I cannot imagine what such souls are thinking of.  To be always withdrawn from corporeal things and enkindled in love is the trait of angelic spirits not of those who live in mortal bodies.  It’s necessary that we speak to, think about, and become the companions of those who having had a mortal body accomplished such great feats for God.’

Jesus is the true guide for life in the flesh – we need not look for any other.  But take care not to discount His sacred humanity.

‘How much more is it necessary not to withdraw through one’s own efforts from all our good and help which is the most sacred humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I cannot believe that these souls do so, but they just don’t understand; and they will do harm to themselves and to others….For if they lose the guide, who is the good Jesus, they will not hit upon the right road.  It will be quite an accomplishment if they remain safely in the other dwelling places.  The Lord Himself says that He is the way; the Lord says also that He is the light and that no one can go to the Father but through Him, and “anyone who sees me sees my Father.”’

‘The soul desires to be completely occupied in love and does not want to be taken up with anything else, but to be so occupied is impossible for it even though it may want to; for although the will is not dead, the fire that usually makes it burn is dying out, and someone must necessarily blow on the fire so that heat will be given off.  Would it be good for a soul with this dryness to wait for fire to come down from heaven to burn this sacrifice that it is making of itself to God, as did our Father Elijah?  No, certainly no, nor is it right to expect miracles.  The Lord works them for this soul when He pleases.. .. But His Majesty wants us to consider ourselves undeserving of them because of our wretchedness, and desires that we help ourselves in every way possible.  I hold for myself that until we die such an attitude is necessary however sublime the pray may be.’

Remain in His presence always, in humility and trust, eagerly awaiting His actions in our soul.

‘…such a person walks continually in an admirable way with Christ, our Lord, in whom the divine and the human are joined and who is always that person’s companion.  As for the above, when the fire in the will that was mentioned is not enkindled and God’s presence is not felt, it is necessary that we seek this presence.’

The path of the Lord – to do His will, to obey His commandments, to love Him, to patiently bear all that comes from His hand.

‘Since we know the path by which we must please God, which is that of the commandments and counsels, we should follow it very diligently, and think of His life and death and of the many things we owe Him;  let the rest come when the Lord desires.’

Those who come to this level of prayer, that is of perfect contemplation, are unable to practise this type of meditation.

‘By meditation I mean much discursive reflection with the intellect in the following way: we begin to think about the favour God granted us in giving us His only Son, and we do not stop there, but go on to the mysteries of His whole glorious life; or we begin to think about the prayer in the garden, but the intellect doesn’t stop until He is on the cross; or we take a phase of the Passion like, let us way, the arrest, and we proceed with this mystery considering in detail the things there are to think of and feel about the betrayal of Judas, the flight of the apostles, and all the rest; this kind of reflection is an admirable and very meritorious prayer.’

‘…. the soul [in perfect contemplation] understands these mysteries in a more perfect manner.  The intellect represents them in such a way, and they are so stamped on the memory, that the mere sight of the Lord fallen to the ground in the garden with that frightful sweat is enough to last the intellect not only an hour but many days, while it looks with a simple gaze at who He is and how ungrateful we have been for so much suffering.

We must constantly reflect on the prayer of the Gospels.  What better way to do this but by praying the Rosary daily.

‘[None]..will make me think, however spiritual he may be, that he will advance by trying to turn away from these mysteries.’

Christ, the supreme model of holiness.  He also gives us His Mother Mary and the Saints to be our companions along the way.

  ‘Life is long, and there are in it many trials, and we need to look at Christ our model, how He suffered them, and also at His apostles and saints, so as to bear these trials with perfection.  Jesus is too good a companion for us to turn away from Him and His most blessed Mother, and He is very pleased that we grieve over His sufferings even though we sometimes leave aside our own consolation and delight.’

 

Chapter 8

Discusses how God communicates Himself to the soul through an intellectual vision; gives some counsels.  Tells about the effects such a vision causes if it is genuine.  Recommends secrecy concerning these favours.

‘…the further a soul advances the more it is accompanied by the good Jesus…’

'…we cannot do otherwise than walk always with Him.’

St Teresa never thinks more of herself than she is.  She is like us a sinner, and she keeps this knowledge always close at hand to maintain the virtue of humility.  That Christ should want to associate with creatures so removed from His perfection is a great mystery of the mercy of God.

'….though He is filled with majesty and power He nonetheless desires to communicate thus with a creature.’

We have a great phrase that things will happen when you least expect it and such is the case with the graces one receives from the Lord.  If we are looking at the pot waiting to boil, it will never boil.  However if we are patient in allowing God’s will to be fulfilled in our lives, and not trying to enforce our will on His actions, His graces will come to us, He will come to us when we least expect it.

'It will happen while the soul is heedless of any thought about such a favour being granted to it, and though it never had a thought that it deserved this vision, that it will feel Jesus Christ, our Lord, beside it.  Yet, it does not see Him, either with the eyes of the body or with those of the soul.  This is called an intellectual vision; I don’t know why.’

‘I saw the person to whom God granted this favour, along with other favours I shall mention further on, quite worried in the beginning because since she didn’t see anything she couldn’t understand the nature of this vision.  However, she knew so certainly that it was Jesus Christ, our Lord, who showed Himself to her in that way that she couldn’t doubt; I mean she couldn’t doubt the vision was there.  As to whether it was from God of not, even though she carried with her great effects to show that it was, she nonetheless was afraid….But she understood very clearly that it was this same Lord who often spoke to her in the way mentioned.  For until He granted her this favour I am referring to, she never knew who was speaking to her, although she understood the words.’

Vision of Christ Carrying the Cross

The vision is a great help to maintaining a constant remembrance of God.

‘Although some persons put many fears in her, she was still frequently unable to doubt, especially when the Lord said to her: “do not be afraid, it is I.”  These words had so much power that from then on she could not doubt the vision, and she was left very much strengthened and happy over such good company.  She saw clearly that the vision was a great help towards walking with a habitual remembrance of God and a deep concern about avoiding anything displeasing to Him, for it seemed to her that He was always looking at her.  And each time she wanted to speak with His majesty in prayer, and even outside of it, she felt He was so near that He couldn’t fail to hear her.  But she didn’t hear words spoken whenever she wanted; only unexpectedly when they were necessary.  She felt He was walking at her right side, but she didn’t experience this with those senses by which we can know that a person is beside us.’

Discernment of the sender of these visions

‘…it is so certain and leaves much certitude; even much more that the other visions do because in the visions that come through the senses one can be deceived, but not in the intellectual vision.  For this latter brings great interior benefits and effects that couldn’t be present if the experience were caused by melancholy; nor would the devil produce so much good; nor would the soul go about with such peace and continual desires to please God, and with so much contempt for everything that does not bring it to Him.’

With companionship comes a deeper love & affection for God and purity of intention

‘…since the vision is something definitely understood to be a gift from God and human effort would not be sufficient to produce this experience, the one who receives it can in no way think it is his own good but a good given through the hand of God….this favour bears with it a particular knowledge of God.  This continual companionship gives rise to a most tender love for His Majesty, to some desires … to surrender oneself totally to His service, and to a great purity of conscience because the presence at its side makes the soul pay attention to everything.’

‘For even though we already know that God is present in all we do, our nature is such that we neglect to think of this.  Here the truth cannot be forgotten, for the Lord awakens the soul to His presence beside it.’

‘The soul thanks the Lord that He gives the vision without any merits on its part and would not exchange that blessing for any earthly treasure or delight.  Thus, when the Lord is pleased to take the vision away, the soul feels very much alone.  But all the efforts it could possibly make are of little avail in bringing back that companionship.  The Lord gives it when He desires, and it cannot be acquired.  Sometimes also the vision is of some saint, and this too is most beneficial.’

Each soul has its own path to follow and the Lord lovingly leads each according to its individual personality.  He is always preparing us for what is to come, this means Heaven and the eternal beatitude, but also He is preparing us to do great things for Him here on earth.  Because just as He used His mortal body to do good works, so to we are expected to do good works also on earth.  The path of preparation serves to give us the tools & virtues we require to do these good works with great love for God and for neighbour.

‘The Lord leads each one as He sees is necessary.  This path is a preparation for becoming a very good servant of God, provided that one co-operate.  But sometimes God leads the weakest along this path.  And so there is nothing in it to approve or condemn.  One should consider the virtues and who it is who serves our Lord with greater mortification, humility, and purity of conscience; this is the one who will be the holiest.  Yet, little can be known here below with certitude; we must wait until the true Judge gives to each one what is merited.  In heaven we will be surprised to see how different His judgement is from what we can understand here below.  May He be forever praised, amen.’

 

Chapter 9

Treats of how the Lord communicates with the soul through an imaginative vision; gives careful warning against desiring to walk by this path and the reasons for such a warning.  The chapter is very beneficial.

‘Now let us come to imaginative visions, for they say the devil meddles more in these than in the ones mentioned, and it must be so.  But when these imaginative visions are from our Lord, they in some way seem to me more beneficial because they are in greater conformity with our nature.’

‘When our Lord is pleased to give more delight to this soul, He shows it clearly His most sacred humanity in the way He desires; either as He was when He went about in the world or as He is after His resurrection.  And even though the vision happens so quickly that we could compare it to a streak of lightening, this most glorious image remains so engraved on the imagination that I think it would be impossible to erase it until it is seen by the soul in that place where it will be enjoyed without end.’

‘…though the soul is detained by this vision for some while, it can no more fix its gaze on the vision than it can on the sun.  Hence this vision always passes very quickly, but not because its brilliance is painful, like the sun’s, to the inner eye.’

‘O Lord, how we Christians fail to know you!  What will that day be when You come to judge, for even when You come here with so much friendliness to speak with your bride, she experiences such fear when she looks at You?  Oh, daughters, what will it be like when He says in so severe a voice, depart you who are cursed by My Father?’

'….while the soul is very far from thinking that anything will be seen, or having the though even pass through its mind, suddenly the vision is represented to it all at once and stirs all the faculties and senses with a great fear and tumult so as to place them afterward in that happy peace.  Just as there was a tempest and tumult that come from heaven when St Paul was hurled to the ground, here in this interior world there is a great stirring; and in a moment, as I have said, all remains calm, and this soul is left so well instructed about so many great truths that it has no need of any other master.  For without any effort on the soul’s part, true Wisdom has taken away the mind’s dullness and leaves a certitude, which lasts for some time, that this favour is from God.’

Always each vision should have an odour of great humility surrounding it.  If the soul becomes proud then it is certain that the vision is not from God.

‘…it’s necessary to proceed with caution, wait for the time when these apparitions will bear fruit, and move along little by little looking for the humility they leave in the soul and the fortitude in virtue.  If the vision is from the devil, he will soon show a sign, and will be caught in a thousand lies.’

The confessor or spiritual director is very beneficial in helping to discern these things.  Even the act of sharing these experiences is a humbling thing to do.  The soul will be tested in this virtue by the obedient fruit that is produced.

‘What is necessary, Sisters, is that you proceed very openly and truthfully with your confessor.  I don’t mean in regard to telling your sins, for that is obvious, but in giving an account of your prayer.  If you do not give such an account, I am not sure you are proceeding well, nor that it is God who is teaching you.  He is very fond of our speaking as truthfully and clearly to the one who stands in His place as we would to Him and of our desiring that the confessor understand all our thoughts and even more our deeds however small they be.  If you do this you don’t have to go about disturbed or worried.  Even if the vision is not from God, it will do you no harm if you have humility and a good conscience.  His Majesty knows how to draw good from evil, and the road along which the devil wanted to make you go astray will be to your greater gain.’

‘As a very learned man said, the devil is a great painter and that if the devil were to show him a living image of the Lord, he wouldn’t be grieved but allow the image to awaken his devotion, and that he would thereby wage war on the devil with that evil-one’s own wickedness.  Even though a painter may be a very poor one, a person shouldn’t on that account fail to reverence the image he makes if it is a painting of our every Good.’

Trusting in God’s time, nor our own.

‘…I advise you strongly that when you learn or hear that God grants these favours to souls you never beseech Him or desire Him to lead you by this path.’

‘First, the desire to be given what you have never deserved shows a lack of humility, and so I believe that whoever desires this path will not have much humility….I believe that these favours will never be given to those who desire them, because before granting them God gives a deep self-knowledge.  For how will he who has such desires understand in truth that he is being granted a very great favour at no being in hell?’

‘Second, such a person will very certainly be deceived or in great danger because the devil needs nothing more than to see a little door open before playing a thousand tricks on us.’

‘Third, the imagination itself, when there is a great desire, makes a person think that he sees what he desires and hears it, as with those who desiring something during the day and thinking a great deal about it happen to dream of it at night.’

‘Fourth, it would be extremely bold to want to choose a path while not knowing what suits me more.  Such a matter should be left to the Lord who knows me – for He leads me along the path that is fitting – so that in all things I might do His will.’

‘Fifth, do you think the trials suffered by those to whom the Lord grants these favours are few?  No, they are extraordinary and of many kinds.  How do you know you would be able to bear them?’

‘Sixth, by the very way you think you will gain, you will lose, as Saul did by being king.’

God’s will is the only way

'…believe me, the safest way is to want only what God wants.  He knows more than we ourselves do, and He loves us.  Let us place ourselves in His hands so that His will may be done in us, and we cannot err if with a determined will we always maintain this attitude.’

‘And you must note that greater glory is not merited by receiving a large number of these favours; rather, on the contrary the recipients of these favours are obliged to serve more since they have received more.’

'….do not think the favours are given continually; rather, for each time the Lord grants them there are many trials.’

‘It is true that this vision must be a powerful help toward possessing the virtues with higher perfection, but the person who has gained them at the cost of his own labours will merit much more.’

‘It is true that these desires also, in my opinion, are supernatural and characteristic of souls very much inflamed in love.  Such souls would want the Lord to see that they do not serve Him for pay.  Thus, as I have said, they ever, as a motive for making the effort to serve more, think about receiving glory for anything they do.  But their desire is to satisfy love, and it is love’s nature to serve with deeds in a thousand ways.  If it would, love would want to discover ways of consuming the soul within itself.  And if it were necessary to be always annihilated for the greater honour of God, love would do so very eagerly.’

‘May He be praised forever, amen.  For in lowering Himself to commune with such miserable creatures, he wants to show His greatness.’

 

Chapter 10

Tells about other favours God grants the soul, in a way different from those just mentioned, and of the great profit that comes from them.

‘When what you see is an authentic vision, you won’t go about disturbed or afflicted if you understand that such a thing is possible.  The devil gains much and is extremely pleased to see a soul afflicted and disquieted, for he knows that disturbance impedes it from begin totally occupied in loving and praising God.’

‘It will happen, when the Lord is pleased, that while the soul is in prayer and very much in its senses a suspension will suddenly be experienced in which the Lord will reveal deep secrets.  It seems the soul sees these secrets in God Himself, for they are not visions of the most sacred humanity…In this vision it is revealed how all things are seen in God and how He has them all in Himself.’

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

‘Oh, human misery!  When, daughters, will we imitate this great God?  Oh, let us not think we are doing anything by suffering injuries, but we should very eagerly endure everything, and let us love the one who offends us since this great God has not ceased to love us even though we have offended Him very much.  Thus the Lord is right in wanted all to pardon the wrongs done to them.’

Walk always in the truth of God.

‘It also happens very quickly and ineffably that God will show within Himself a truth that seems to leave in obscurity all those there are in creatures, and one understands very clearly that God alone is Truth, unable to lie.  What David says in a psalm about every man being a liar is clearly understood. [Ps 116:11]  However frequently the verse may be heard, it is never understood as it is in this vision.  God is everlasting Truth.  I am reminded of Pilate, how he was often questioning our Lord when during he Passion he asked Him, “What is truth?” and of the little we understand here below about his supreme Truth.’

‘…in order to live in conformity with our God and Spouse in something, it will be well if we always study diligently how to walk in the truth.’

‘I’m saying that we should walk in truth before God and people in as many ways as possible.  Especially, there should be no desire that others consider us better than we are.  And in our works we should attribute to God what is His and to ourselves what is ours and strive to draw out the truth in every thing.  Thus, we shall have little esteem for this world, which is a complete lie and falsehood, and as such will not endure.’

‘Once I was pondering why our Lord was so fond of this virtue of humility, and this thought came to me … It is because God is supreme Truth; and to be humble is to walk in truth, for it is a very deep truth that of ourselves we have nothing good but only misery and nothingness.  Whoever does not understand this walks in falsehood.  The more anyone understands it the more he pleases the supreme Truth because he is walking in truth.’  


Chapter 11

Treats of some desires God gives the soul that are so powerful and vehement they place it in danger of death.  Treats also of the benefits cased by this favour the Lord grants.

"Even though it [the butterfly] may have been receiving these favours for many years, it always moans and goes about sorrowful because they leave it with greater pain.  The reason is that since it is getting to know ever more the grandeurs of its God and sees itself so distant and far from enjoying Him, the desire for the Lord increases much more; also love increases in the measure the soul discovers how much this great God and Lord deserves to be loved.’

‘…I well understand that one must not put limits on God; in a moment He can bring a soul to the lofty experience mentioned here.  His Majesty has the power to do whatever he wants and is eager to do many things for us.’

‘Well, here is what happens sometimes to a soul that experiences these anxious longings, tears, sighs, and great impulses that were mentioned (for all of these seem to proceed from our love with deep feelings …for they resemble a smoking fire that though painful can be endured.’

‘While this soul is going about in this manner, burning up within itself, a blow is felt from elsewhere (the soul doesn’t understand from where or how).  The blow comes often through a sudden thought or word about death’s delay.  Or the soul will feel pierced by a fiery arrow.’

The Transverberation

‘..it isn’t felt where earthly sufferings are felt, but in the very deep and intimate part of the soul, where this sudden flash of lightening reduces to dust everything it finds in this earthly natures of our; for while this experience lasts nothing can be remembered about our being.  In an instant the experience so binds the faculties that they have no freedom for anything except those things that will make this pain increase.’

‘It is an enrapturing of the faculties and senses away from everything that is not a help, as I said, to feeling this affliction.  For the intellect is very alive to understanding the reason why the soul feels far from God; and His Majesty helps at that time with a vivid knowledge of Himself in such a way that the pain increases to a point that makes the one who experiences it begin to cry aloud.’

‘This feeling is not in the body, as was said, but in the interior part of the soul.  As a result, this person understood how much more severe the feeling of the soul are than those of the body, and she reflected that such must be the nature of the sufferings of souls in purgatory, for the fact that these souls have no body doesn’t keep them from suffering much more than they do through all the bodily sufferings they endure here on earth.’

‘The reasoning faculty is in such a condition that the soul is not the master of it, nor can the soul think of anything else than of why it is grieving, of how it is absent from its Good, and of why it should want to live.  It feels a strange solitude because no creature in all the earth provides it company, nor do I believe would any heavenly creature, not being the One whom it loves; rather, everything torments it.  But the soul sees that it is like a person hanging, who cannot support himself on any earthly thing; nor can it ascend to heaven.  On fire with this thirst, it cannot get to the water; and the thirst is not one that is endurable but already at such appoint that nothing will take it away.  Nor does the soul desire that the thirst be taken away save by that water of which our Lord spoke to the Samaritan woman.  Yet no one gives such water to the soul.’

‘Lord, how You afflict Your lovers!  But everything is small in comparison with what You give them afterward.  It’s natural that what is worth much costs much.’

‘…if the suffering is to purify this soul so that it might enter the seventh dwelling place – just as those who will enter heaven must be cleansed in purgatory – it is as small as a drop of water in the sea.’

‘…in spite of all this torment and affliction….the soul feels that the pain is precious; so precious – it understands very well – that one could not deserve it.  However, this awareness is not of a kind that alleviates the suffering in any way.  But with this knowledge, the soul suffers the pain very willingly and would suffer it all its life, if God were to be thereby served; although the soul would not then die once but be always dying, for truly the suffering is no less than death.’

‘Well, let us consider, Sisters, those who are in hell, who do not have this conformity or this consolation and spiritual delight which is placed by God in the soul; nor do they see that their suffering is beneficial, but they always suffer more and more.  The torments of the soul are so much more severe than those of the body, and the torment souls in hell suffer is incomparably greater than the suffering we have here mentioned, and must, it is seen, last forever and ever.’

‘This experience is a painful one, but the soul is left with the most beneficial effects and fear of the trials that can come its way is lost.  When compared to the painful feeling experienced in the soul, the trials don’t seem to amount to anything.  The benefits are such that one would be pleased to suffer the pain often.’

‘The soul must wait until the Lord desires to give this favour, just as there is no way to resist it or remove it when it comes.’

‘The soul is left with greater contempt for the world than before because it sees that nothing in the world was any help to it in that torment, and it is much more detached from creatures because it now sees that only the Creator can console and satisfy it.  And it has greater fear of offending Him, taking more care not to do so, because it sees that he can also torment as well as console.’

‘..His Majesty gives strength to the one He sees has need of it.  He defends these souls in all things; when they are persecuted and criticized He answers for them as He did for the Magdalene – if not through words, through deeds. And in the very end, before they die, He will pay for every thing at once, as you will now see.  May He be blessed forever, and may all creatures praise Him, amen.’