Saint Catherine of Genoa: Spiritual Dialogue
Part I, Chapter VII
Of the light which God gave to the Soul to discover all her faults, and the state into which she had sunk. - Of her submission, confidence, and conversion.
After God in his goodness had left the Soul to wander for awhile among the things of this world until she became disgusted (for she soon found by experience that such things could never satisfy her; but that, on the contrary, they became daily more distasteful), this merciful God sent a light which penetrated her intellect, and showed her all the errors and dangers into which she had fallen, and from which God alone could deliver her. When she saw just where she was, and what path she was pursuing, and that the death of the body was on one side, and the death of the soul on the other, and found herself in the midst of so many enemies whom she allowed to lead her like a beast to the shambles, and even seemed to go joyfully on her way, terror seized upon her and with a deep and piteous sigh she turned to God, and cried to him as best she could.
Soul. O wretched creature that I am! who will deliver me from all this misery? God alone is able: Domine, fac ut videam lumen, that I may escape these snares.
No sooner had she directed her thoughts to God, and implored his help, without which she saw she had no power to move, but could only go from bad to worse, than suddenly her confidence in him became firm, and she left him to do his own will in what manner, and so far as it pleased him; and she added:
Soul. From henceforth all that befalls me I will receive as from the benign hand of God, excepting my sins, for they are all my own; committing them is always contrary to the divine will, and therefore they are our own property; nothing is ours but voluntary sin.
This firm resolution, made by the Soul before God, was secret and in her own spirit alone, without any outward demonstration. Now, when God sees that man distrusts himself, and places his whole confidence in Providence, he immediately stretches forth his holy hand to help him. He stands ever at our side, he knocks, and, if we open to him, he enters; he drives forth our enemies one after another, and restores to the Soul its baptismal robe of innocence; and all this God does in different modes and ways, operating according to the state in which he finds his creature. For the present we will speak of his dealings with Self-Love, and how he purifies the soul from it.