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CHAPTER XXIX

The saint urged to give an idea of her state.

Of free-will this blessed one said, that when she considered carefully her vocation, she saw such great things effected by God in her, that it almost seemed as if she had been forced by him, for she could nowhere see her own consent, but rather it seemed to her that she had resisted, especially in the beginning, and the sense of this had inflamed her with a burning love. But generally, when speaking of it, she said: “God first arouses man from sin, then with the light of faith illuminates the intellect, and afterwards, with a certain satisfaction and zeal, inflames the will. And Almighty God does this in an instant, although we tell it in many words, and measure it by time.”

When the saint was sometimes urged by her spiritual children to give them an idea of her state in words, she would tell them it was impossible, but on one occasion she allowed a religious to interpret it, in order to gratify his desire to understand it better, which he did to her great satisfaction and joy; wherefore, with a benignant countenance, she exclaimed: “Oh my dear child, it is as you have said, and hearing you I feel that it is thus. You have said all that can be said, but the effect is incomprehensible.” Then the religious said to her: “Oh mother, cannot you ask of God, your Love, some little drops of it for your children?” and she answered joyfully: “I see this sweet Love so gracious to his children, that I can ask nothing for them, but that I may present them in his presence.”

This creature became at length like a cherub to look upon, so that she gave great consolation to every one who beheld her; and those who visited her found it hard to leave her. When she was about sixty-three years of age, her heart was inflamed anew with a ray of love. This dart was so powerful and penetrating, that she felt as if severely wounded in the region of the heart, and she suffered great bodily pain. After some days she was again inflamed with love, and it always seemed to her that the last wound was the greatest.

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