June 5, 2011

whatcha reading xv

I am not jealous of the saints, or of the martyrs, or of the blessed, or even of the seraphim. The greater I picture to myself to be the love of God for his creatures, and the graces and gifts he bestows upon them, the less am I troubled by jealousy; the more I love him, the nearer to me do I feel him to be, and the more loving and gracious does he seem toward me. My brotherhood, my more than brotherhood with all creatures, stands forth in a pleasing light. It seems to me that I am one with all things, and that all things are bound together in the bonds of love...


What! are the favors of Heaven thus obtained all at once? Is it only necessary to present one's self in order to triumph? A friend of mine, a naval officer, used to relate that, when he was in certain cities of America, being then very young, he sought to gain favor with the ladies with too much precipitation, and that they would say to him in their languid American accent: 'You have but just presented yourself, and you already want to be loved. Do something to deserve it, if you are able.' If these ladies answered thus, what answer will not Heaven give to those who hope to gain it without merit, and in the twinkling of an eye? Many efforts must be made, much purification is needed, much penance must be done, in order to begin to stand well in the sight of God, and to enjoy his favors. Even in those vain and false philosophies that have in them anything of mysticism, no supernatural gift or grace is received without a powerful effort and a costly sacrifice.

- Pepita Ximenez, Juan Valera

This is a great book. A++. (The Project Gutenberg version has very few errors - somebody took a lot of care with this one!)

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