St. Catherine of Genoa, lay woman
How impossible it was for vain-glory to enter the mind of this holy creature. Of the light which hatred of self gave her, and of the value of our own actions.
Vain-glory could never enter her mind, for she had seen the truth, and distrusting herself, placed her whole confidence in God, saying always: "Oh Lord! do with me what thou wilt." She had so little esteem of herself that it was pleasing to her to be reproved for any inclination she might have, nor did she ever excuse herself. So clear was the interior vision of that illuminated mind, and such deep things did she say concerning perfection that she could hardly be understood except by the most profound intellects. Among other things she said: "I would not wish to see one meritorious act attributed to myself, even if it were the means of insuring my salvation; for I should be worse than a demon, to wish to rob God of his own. Yet it is needful that we ourselves act, for the divine grace neither vivifies nor aids that which does not work itself, and grace will not save us without our cooperation. I repeat it; all works, without the help of grace are dead, being produced by the creature only; but grace aids all works performed by those who are not in mortal sin, and makes them worthy of heaven; not those which are ours solely, but those in which grace cooperates." So jealous was she for the glory of God, that she was wont to say: "If I could find any good in any creature, (which, however, is impossible) I would tear it from her, and restore it all to God." - Life, Chapter X
"O Love, who shall prevent me from loving thee? not only in the world as I am" (meaning the married state), "but even if I should find myself in a camp of soldiers, I could not be prevented from loving thee. If the world, or if the husband could impede love, what would such love be but a thing of feeble virtue and mean capacity? As for me I know by what I have experienced that divine love can be conquered or impeded by nothing. It conquers all things." - St. Catherine, Chapter XIX: Of her earnest answer to a Friar Preacher who told her how much better he was prepared than herself for the divine love.
For Love is strong as Death,
longing is fierce as Sheol.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor rivers sweep it away. -Songs 8