A Beautiful Soul

Virgin in Prayer by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato

Venerable Joseph Frassinetti admires the beauty of a soul in a state of grace: “How beautiful is that holiness which consists in the mere possession of sanctifying grace! So great is its beauty, that it not only attracts the love of the saints and angels in Heaven, but of God Himself. So great is its beauty, that the soul which possesses it is in name and in reality the friend of God and daughter of God, notwithstanding many defects and venial sins. Yes, indeed, a soul may be stained by a million venial sins; yet, if it has sanctifying grace, it will nevertheless be resplendent with such beauty as will attract the love of Almighty God, and will be regarded by Him as His most dear friend and daughter.”

“What, then, shall we say about the beauty of a soul that keeps itself pure from the stain of even venial sin, and will not consciously allow its splendour to be dimmed by even the smallest disobedience, but studies in all things how most to please God, to the best of its power, to the best of its knowledge, desiring nothing but what God wills? Ah, the beauty of such a soul quite surpasses all human understanding! God regards it with a complacency so great, that in the sacred Canticles He thus allows the expression of His love, as it were, to burst forth: ‘Thou art all fair, O My love, and there is not a spot in thee. . . . How beautiful art thou, My love.'”

“This beauty, which attracts even the love of God so much—will it not suffice to attract ours? Shall we not take every possible means to acquire it? How often those beautiful things which we greatly desire and seek after are fraught with peril! O, how much more ought we to prize and seek after that ineffable beauty which insures all that is good for us in the sight of God!”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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