How the three powers of the soul are sanctified
by Saint Camilla Battista da Varano
In the work of sanctification, it is necessary to purify the three powers of the soul: the memory, intellect and will, so that also these may be solely directed towards God. The memory, above all, according to the teaching of the Saint, is purified by the threefold remembrance of the Passion of Christ, of one’s own sins and of the innumerable benefits received from the Goodness of God.
First: the memory is sanctified when it is dedicated wholly to thee things: firstly, to a continual remembrance of the Passion of Christ; secondly, to sorrowing over one’s own sins; thirdly, to a continual remembrance of the benefits received from God. The remembrance of the Passion of Christ us like an ark of heavenly treasures(Pr 2:4, Jb 28:18), a door which gives access to enter (Cfr Jn 10:9) and enjoy the glorious Jesus, and a perfect mistress of all the spiritual arts: an inexhaustible source of living water (Ct 4:15), a profound well of the secrets of God. Blessed is he who has this, because it is a probable sign of predestination, by means of which we are written in the book of life (Ap 21:27). O sweet remembrance that causes to gush forth the sweet tears of love, with which, by your sweetness, you move the heart to its very depths and bring innumerable ornaments to the soul! He who does not believe this should set about trying it for himself, and he will experience such remembrance exceeds all the works which man can perform in this life with his mind.
He, therefore, who wants to be free from every impurity and have a pledge of the future glory and beatitude, in as much as it may be had in this life, is to seek this sweet remembrance of the Passion of Christ, just like the Apostle Paul, who bore continually the stigmata of the Passion in his body (Gal 6:17). Therefore, do not be amazed if he dared to say: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or the sword?”(Rm 8:35) “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Tm 4:8).
The remembrance of one’s sins is also pleasing to God, provided that it is done in the way indicated by the Prophet: Before you I pondered over all my years in the bitterness of my soul(Is 38:15) remembering one’s own sins with the most bitter sorrow, since this comes from true contrition which restores first innocence to the soul, rendering it acceptable and lovable to God, to such a point that it remains in grace, like a fruitful olive (Ps 51:10). In these oblations, the soul begins to hear the trumpet of the most ardent charity, thinking on the abyss of the immense goodness which it finds in God.
Since it feels itself to have returned with little effort to the grace of the Lord Whom it has so much offended, it begins to sound the organ of seraphic affections and, bowed down with the eyes of contrition, adores God with true adoration, that of latria, considering itself to be nothing. In such consideration it melts and, and in the secret of the Heart, sends to Heaven voices from the depths of its loving heart, saying continually: O Spouse of Whom I am unworthy. Father, not deserving of such a miserable soul - who will be able to give me the strength and the power to die for Thee?
O love, O happy remembrance totally dedicated to the sweetness and amazing goodness of your God and of your bitterness and miseries, just as it was for St. Francis! I dare to say, that though you are in this mortal body, nonetheless you already possess the reward of immortality, because, whether you are seated or standing, silent or speaking, you always have God as your inseparable companion (Ps 138:1).”
From De vita Contemplativa – Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy [ From Saint Camilla's Treatise on the purity of heart - Contribution and Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana. Saint Camilla Battista da Varano, O.S.C., of Camerino, was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2010.]
Two angels came to me, dressed in resplendent white garments which I have seen only worn by Jesus. They had wings of gold. One of them took my soul from the right side, the other from the left side, and they elevated it in the air, laying it down near the crucified feet of the Son of God made Man. This state lasted about two months almost continually; I seem to walk, to speak, and do what I wished, deprived however of my soul. It remained there where the two Angels had placed it but they never abandoned it. They (the celestial spirits) declare to me that they were so intimate with God that God is not ever separated from them. They also explained to me that the Seraphim were likewise united to the Cherubim in that none of them could ever go without the other to a soul.
- from by St. Camilla Battista