The purpose of prayer is nothing other than to manifest God and self. And this manifestation of God and self leads to a state of perfect and true humility. For this humility is attained when the soul sees God and self. It is in this profound state of humility, and from it, that divine grace deepens and grows in the soul. The more divine grace deepens humility in the soul, the more divine grace can grow in this depth of humility. The more divine grace grows, the deeper the soul is grounded, and the more it is settled in a state of true humility. Through perseverance in true prayer, divine light and grace increase, and these always make the soul grow deep in humility as it reads, as has been said, the life of Jesus Christ, God and man. I cannot conceive anything greater than the manifestation of God and self. But this discovery, that is, this manifestation of God and self, is the lot only of those legitimate sons and daughters of God who have devoted themselves to true prayer.
(Instructions, from Complete Works, Paul Lachance, O.F.M., Classics of Western Spirituality, Paulist Press, 1993, 236.)
** Bl. Angela was a married woman who dedicated her life, after the death of her husband and children, to following Christ and making known the God-man, Jesus Christ.
ST AUGUSTINE: Putting Up with All That is Annoying
Now, what does "Let him take up his cross mean"? Put up with all that is annoying: that is how they must follow me. To tell the truth, when they follow me, imitating my conduct and keeping my commandments, they will have many who will try to oppose them, forbid them, dissuade them, and this will be done by those same people who appear to be followers of Christ.
-- Sermon 96, 4
Prayer. O Lord, my God, what is the kernel of your deep mystery? How far from it have I been led by the consequences of my sins!
-- Confessions 11, 31
ST FRANCIS DE SALES:
Keep this maxim well in mind: God is our Father, because if He were not, Jesus would not have commanded us to say, "Our Father...." What have you to fear if you are children of such a Father without whose Providence not even one hair of our head would fall? Is it not extraordinary that, being children of such a Father, we have or could have any other preoccupation than that of loving Him and serving Him?
(Letters 1420; O. XVIII, p. 210)
EXECUTION OF CHARLES I
THE face of the King's servants grew greater than the King.
He tricked them and they trapped him and drew round him in a ring;
The new grave lords closed round him that had eaten the abbey's fruits,
And the men of the new religion with their Bibles in their boots,
We saw their shoulders moving to menace and discuss.
And some were pure and some were vile, but none took heed of us
We saw the King when they killed him, and his face was proud and pale,
And a few men talked of freedom while England talked of ale.
('The Silent People')