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St Catherine of Siena

The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin

The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena was dictated to her secretaries by the Saint in ecstasy.

The format are questions asked, by St Catherine, with the response being God's answer to St Catherine.

 III. A Treatise of Discretion

1.     How the affection should not place reliance chiefly on penance, but rather on virtues; and how discretion receives life from humility, and renders to each man his due more....

2.     A parable showing how love, humility, and discretion are united; and how the soul should conform herself to this parable more....

3.     How penance and other corporal exercises are to be taken as instruments for arriving at virtue, and not as the principal affection of the soul; and of the light of discretion in various other modes and operations more....

4.     How this soul grew by means of the divine response, and how her sorrows grew less, and how she prayed to God for the Holy Church, and for her own people more....  

5.     How God grieves over the Christian people, and particularly over His ministers; and touches on the subject of the Sacrament of Christ's Body, and the benefit of the Incarnation more....

6.     How sin is more gravely punished after the Passion of Christ than before; and how God promises to do mercy to the world, and to the Holy Church, by means of the prayers and sufferings of His servants more....

7.     How the road to Heaven being broken through the disobedience of Adam, God made of His Son a Bridge by which man could pass more....

8.     How God induces the soul to look at the greatness of this Bridge, inasmuch as it reaches from earth to Heaven more....

9.     How this soul prays God to show her those who cross by the aforesaid Bridge, and those who do not more....

10.   How this Bridge has three steps, which signify the three states of the soul; and how, being lifted on high, yet it is not separated from the earth; and how these words are to be understood: "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things unto Me."  more....

11.   How this Bridge is built of stones which signify virtues; and how on the Bridge is a hostelry where food is given to the travelers; and how he who goes over the Bridge goes to life, while he who goes under It goes to perdition and death more.... .

12.   How traveling on both of these roads, that is the Bridge and the River, is fatiguing; and of the delight which the soul feels in traveling by the Bridge more....

13.   How this Bridge, having reached to Heaven on the day of the Ascension, did not for that reason have the earth more....

14.   How this soul wondering at the mercy of God, relates many gifts and graces given to the human race more.... .

15.   Of the baseness of those who pass by the river under the Bridge; and how the soul, that passes underneath, is called by God the tree of death, whose roots are held in four vices  more....

16.   How the fruits of this tree are as diverse as are the sins; and first, of the sin of sensuality  more....

17. How the fruit of others is avarice; and of the evils that proceed from it  more....

18.   How some others hold positions of authority, and bring forth fruits of injustice more....

19.   How through these and through other defects, one falls into false judgment; and of the indignity to which one comes more.....

20.   Of the words that Christ said: "I will send the Holy Spirit, who will reprove the world of injustice and of false judgment;" and how one of these reproofs is continuous more....

21.   Of the second reproof of injustice, and of false judgment, in general and in particular more....

22.   Of the four principal torments of the damned, from which follow all the others; and particularly of the foulness of the Devil more....

23.   Of the third reproof which is made on the Day of Judgment.  more....

24.   How the damned cannot desire any good more....

25.   Of the glory of the Blessed more....

26.   How, after the General Judgment, the pain of the damned will increase more....

27.   Of the use of temptations, and how every soul in her extremity sees her final place either of pain or of glory, before she is separated from the body  more....

28.   How the Devil gets hold of souls, under pretense of some good: and, how those are deceived who keep by the river, and not by the aforesaid Bridge, for, wishing to fly pains, they fall into them; and of the vision of a tree, that this soul once had  more....

29.   How, the world having germinated thorns, who those are whom they do not harm; although no one passes this life without pain more....

30.   How this soul was in great bitterness, on account of the blindness of those who are drowned below in the river.  more....

31.   How the three steps figured in the Bridge, that is, in the Son of GOD, signify the three powers of the soul  more....

32.   How if the three aforesaid powers are not united, there cannot be perseverance, without which no man arrives at his end  more....

33.   An exposition on Christ's words: "Whosoever thirsts, let him come to Me and drink."  more....

34.   The general method by which every rational creature can come out of the sea of the world, and go by the aforesaid holy Bridge more....

35.   How this devoted soul looking in the Divine mirror saw the creatures going in diverse ways more....

36.   How servile fear is not sufficient, without the love of virtue, to give eternal life; and how the law of fear and that of love are united more....

37.   How, by exercising oneself in servile fear, which is the state of imperfection, by which is meant the first step of the holy Bridge, one arrives at the second step, which is the state of perfection more....

38.   Of the imperfection of those who love GOD for their own profit, delight, and consolation more....

39.   Of the way in which GOD manifests Himself to the soul who loves Him more....

40.   Why Christ did not say "I will manifest My Father," but "I will manifest myself."  more....

41.   How the soul, after having mounted the first step of the Bridge, should proceed to mount the second more....

42.   How an imperfect lover of GOD loves his neighbor also imperfectly, and of the signs of this imperfect love more....

 

 



 
 

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