(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 121

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121. Many believe that man is purified from evils by merely believing what the Church teaches; some, that man is purified by doing good; others, that it is by knowing, speaking and teaching such things as pertain to the Church; others, by reading the Word and books of piety; others, by attending churches, listening to sermons, and especially by approaching the Holy Supper; others, by renouncing the world and devoting oneself to piety; and others, by confessing oneself guilty of sins of all kinds; and so on. Nevertheless, man is in no wise purified by all these works unless he examines himself, recognises his sins, acknowledges them, condemns himself for them and does the work of repentance by desisting from them; and unless he does all these things as of himself but still in acknowledgment from the heart that he does them from the Lord.
[2] Until he does these things, the actions just mentioned avail nothing, for they are merit-seeking or hypocritical; and those who do them appear in heaven in the sight of angels like beautiful courtesans giving forth the offensive odour of their defilement; or like ill-favoured women made to appear handsome by the application of paint; or like clowns and actors wearing masks on the stage; or like apes in human clothing. When, however, men have removed their evils then the actions mentioned above are acts of their love, and they appear as beautiful men in heaven in the sight of angels and as their associates and companions.


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