flew to perfection with such rapidity

7. The works of St. Teresa contain, besides
those that have been already adduced, many
beautiful passages on this subject. "Our
thoughts," says the Saint, "should be aspiring:
from great desires all our good will come."
In another place, she says : "We must not
lower our desires, but should trust in God that
by continual exertion we shall, by his grace,
arrive at the sanctity and felicity of the saints."
Again she says: "The Divine Majesty takes
complacency in generous souls who are diffident
in themselves." This great Saint asserted,
that in all her experience she never knew a
timid Christian to attain as much virtue in
many years, as a courageous soul acquires in a
few days. The reading of the lives of the
Saints contributes greatly to infuse courage
into the soul. It will be particularly useful to
read the lives of those who, after being great
sinners, became eminent saints; such as the
lives of St. Mary Magdalen, St. Augustine, St.
Pelagia, St. Mary of Egypt, and especially of
St. Margaret of Cortona, who was for many
years in a state of damnation ; but, even then,
cherished a desire for sanctity ; and who, after
her conversion, flew to perfection with such
rapidity, that she merited to learn by revelation,
even in this life, not only that she was
predestined to glory, but also, that a place was prepared for her among the Seraphim. St.
Teresa says, that the devil seeks to persuade
us that it would be pride in us to desire a
high degree of perfection, or to wish to imitate
the saints. . She adds, that it is a great delusion,
to regard strong desires of sanctity as the
offspring of pride : for, it is not pride in a soul,
diffident of herself, and trusting only in the
power of God, to resolve to walk courageously
in the way of perfection, saying with the Apostle — "
I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me." (Phil. iv. 13.) Of myself I can
do nothing ; but, by his aid I shall be able to
do all things, and, therefore, I resolve to desire
to love him as the saints have loved him.

Thank you for posting this; it is very encouraging.  I'm very glad to hear mention of Saint Mary of Egypt, a great penitent and one of my favorites.

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