Thy grace makes me know further, by frequent revelations, that the soul, dwelling in the body of frail humanity, is darkened in the same manner as a person who stands in a narrow space, and is surrounded on all sides by a vapor exhaling from a cooking vessel. And when the body is afflicted by any evil, the part which suffers is to the soul as a beam from the sun which enlightens the air, and from which it receives marvelous clearness; therefore, the heavier one’s sufferings are, the purer is the light the soul receives. But affliction and trials of the heart in humility, patience and other virtues impart the greatest luster to the soul, as they touch it more keenly, efficaciously and intimately; works of charity, above all, give it an admirable serenity and brightness.
-St. Gertrude the Great
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for He has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.