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Life and Doctrine of Saint Catherine of Genoa
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CHAPTER XXVI

Of the three things to which she could not consent, and of those which she could not refrain from desiring.

This soul had so close a union with God, and her free-will was brought into such subjection, that she felt no resistance nor choice, having conquered all things, more than humanity can comprehend; yet she said there were three things to two of which she could not consent, and a third which she could not but desire.

In the first place she could not consent to, nor commit any, even the smallest, sin. For having the greatest horror of sin, and having attained, through the sight of her own misery, to the greatest simplicity, she did not perceive it in others, and could not comprehend how men could consent to it, particularly to mortal sin; and if perchance she saw with her own eyes some inexcusable sin, still she could not understand that there could be in man the malice of sin, believing that others honored God as she honored him.

Secondly, and this, although obscure to the imperfect intellect, was clear to her, she could not unite with the will of God in suffering so cruel a passion, and she would rather have endured all the pains of all the souls in hell, than that her Love should suffer such punishment.

The third thing, and it was this that she could not refrain from desiring, was holy communion; for the holy communion is nothing but God himself. And in this she testified the great reverence and honor in which she held priests, namely, by affirming that if the priest had not been willing to give her communion, she would have taken it patiently, and not persisted; but wishing to receive communion, she could not say that she did not wish it.

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