Theology of the Heart: Wisdom of the heart- S. Catherine of Siena

Wisdom of the heart

Freed from Our Infirmity
St. Catherine of Siena

We must not complain or run-away in time of darkness, because out of the darkness is born light.

Oh, God, tender love what sweet teaching you give us that virtue is learned through what is contrary to it. Because of impatience, patience is acquired, for people who are conscious of their own impatience become patient because of what they suffer: They are impatient with their impatience, more sad that they are sad at all than for anything else. And so out of opposites we come to learn perfection without even noticing it. We discover that we have become perfect in the mists of storms and temptations. And there is no other way one can ever arrive at the port of perfection. So reflect on this: we cannot receive or even desire virtue unless we have desires and harassment and temptation to suffer with true holy patience fro love of Christ crucified. We must, then, be happy and glad in time of struggle, temptation, and darkness, since they are the source of so much virtue and joy…

I want you to gain knowledge of yourself, without confusion, from the darkness. And from your good will I want you to gain knowledge of God's infinite goodness and boundless charity. In such knowledge may your soul live and grow fat. Realize that in his love he has permitted you and me and his other servants all these temptations and illusions from the devil, from other people, and from our own flesh, simply to rouse us from our indifference and bring us to a real sense of responsibility, true humility and blazing charity. This humility comes from self-knowledge, and this charity from knowledge of God's goodness. And there the soul becomes drunk and consumed with love.

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