P. 7

God’s pure love for us! Oh, how great it is! ... He loves
               us even though we are most unworthy, mean and ungrateful
               creatures, nor does He seek His own advantage in loving us:
               On  the  contrary,  in  return  for  His  love  he  receives  endless
               ingratitude from us. Is that not a most pure and disinterested
               love of our Supreme Good? ... Pure love in a soul is known
               from  its  affections,  that  is,  from  the  uninterrupted  practice  of
               virtues;  but  as  it  is  easy  to  practice  virtue  in  times  of
               sweetness  and  external  consolation,  one  cannot  be  sure  if
               there is pure love at such times.
               But  let  times  of  dryness  come,  times  of  abandonment,
               boredom,  fear  and  hesitation,  and  infirmities  of  every  sort;
               pains  and  sorrows,  persecution,  scorn  and  disgrace,  being
               forsaken by everyone even in dire need, when soul is beset by
               countless temptations from the devil, and hell bursts out in all
               its fury: it is in such circumstances that you can tell if there is
               pure love in the soul.

               If  the  person  bears  everything  in  silence,  and  with  a  truly
               heroic  fidelity  embraces all  pain  and  contempt,  even  craving
               more of it, and with a magnanimous heart faces the powers of
               hell  out  of  love  for  the Supreme  Good  and keeps  for  God a
               superhuman fidelity: one can rightly say that such a generous
               soul is permeated through and through with pure love.

               The  person  herself  may  not  be  conscious  of  it;  in  fact,  she
               feels as cold as ice, but to such a person one might say with
               all truth: “Rejoice, blessed soul, because you are God’s own
               beloved Bride.  He finds his  delight in  you”. However,  a  true,

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