'There are many examples of sinners who, having embraced a life of self-denial,
St. Augustine, St. Camillus, St. Mary Magdalen,
St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Mary of Egypt and many others
have raised themselves from the depths of vice to the summit of love.
It is good for us to witness these sublime victories of grace.
Nothing is more consoling nor illustrates more clearly
the marvelous effects of correspondence with the grace of God.
The Holy Spirit acts progressively.
He gives first a glimmering
and asks in return some small act of virtue.
Fidelity to these first inspirations strengthens us to receive greater light
and gives us a more powerful impetus.
Grace then becomes not only more and more exacting,
but also more powerful.'
(from Fervorinos From the Lips of the Master, compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1940, pp.144-145)
Painting: Simon Vouet, Magdalene