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Benedict
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« on: March 21, 2022, 07:39:28 PM »

Three Divine Virtues, infused as gifts, make the supernatural life in Christ possible. Faith, which can be lost through doubt; Hope which can be lost through despair; Love which can be lost through hatred.
Furthermore divine love is extinguished in the soul by every mortal sin.
These three divine virtues are infused through Sanctifying Grace and operate within the soul with a supernatural energy that constitutes the Divine Life.

On Faith
143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, "the obedience of faith".3

144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God." For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "works through charity."

1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it. But "faith apart from works is dead": when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.

1816 The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks."82 Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."

Hope

1817 Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." "The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life."

1818 The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

1819 Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin and model in the hope of Abraham, who was blessed abundantly by the promises of God fulfilled in Isaac, and who was purified by the test of the sacrifice. "Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became the father of many nations."

1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes. The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint." Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . . where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf." Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: "Let us . . . put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation." It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation." Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire.

1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.92 In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end" and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved." She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.

Charity

Charity

1822 Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

1823 Jesus makes charity the new commandment. By loving his own "to the end," he makes manifest the Father's love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love." And again: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

1824 Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love."

1825 Christ died out of love for us, while we were still "enemies." The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.

The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
1826 "If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing." Charity is superior to all the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity."

1827 The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which "binds everything together in perfect harmony"; it is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love.

1828 The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved us":

If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children.
1829 The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2022, 06:32:54 PM »

Council of Trent Session 6
On Justification

CHAPTER VII
IN WHAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER CONSISTS, AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES

This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting. Titus 3:7

The causes of this justification are:
the final cause is the glory of God and of Christ and life everlasting; the efficient cause is the merciful God who washes and sanctifies 1 Cor 6:11 gratuitously, signing and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, Eph. 1:13f the meritorious cause is His most beloved only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies,Rom. 5:10 for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us,Eph 2:4 merited for us justification by His most holy passion on the wood of the cross and made satisfaction for us to God the Father, the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which no man was ever justified finally, the single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, that, namely, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind, Eph 4:23 and not only are we reputed but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to everyone as He wills, 1 Cor 12:11 and according to each one's disposition and cooperation.

For though no one can be just except he to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, yet this takes place in that justification of the sinner, when by the merit of the most holy passion, the charity of God is poured forth by the Holy Ghost in the hearts Rom 5:5 of those who are justified and inheres in them; whence man through Jesus Christ, in whom he is ingrafted, receives in that justification, together with the remission of sins, all these infused at the same time, namely, faith, hope and charity.

For faith, unless hope and charity be added to it, neither unites man perfectly with Christ nor makes him a living member of His body.

For which reason it is most truly said that faith without works is dead James 2:17,20 and of no profit, and in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by charity. Gal 5:6, 6:15

This faith, conformably to Apostolic tradition, catechumens ask of the Church before the sacrament of baptism, when they ask for the faith that gives eternal life, which without hope and charity faith cannot give.

Whence also they hear immediately the word of Christ:
If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matt. 19:17

Wherefore, when receiving true and Christian justice, they are commanded, immediately on being born again, to preserve it pure and spotless, as the first robe Luke 15:22 given them through Christ Jesus in place of that which Adam by his disobedience lost for himself and for us, so that they may bear it before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ and may have life eternal.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2022, 07:09:15 PM »

Catholic Doctrine of Grace by G.H Joyce. S.J
Excerpts from Chapter 4 the Supernatural Virtues
"It is easy to see what is the part played by faith, hope and charity respectively in the new life which we have received.
It is through them that the soul directs its course to the supernatural end proposed to it, which is none other than God Himself as the object of our immediate knowledge and most intimate love.
By faith we believe God's message regarding the world to come, and accept those unseen verities as the guiding principles of life.
Hope gives us that confidence of attainment, which must support us in every step of the long struggle, and without which we should be incapable even of beginning it.
By charity we love God with the love due to Him from those
whom He has made His children. And charity unites us to God, our last end; for love is the principle of union.
The soul that possesses the beatific vision, is through charity linked to God forever in the embrace of love :
and even in this life, charity has the power to unite the soul to God, in the measure which is possible for those who do not behold Him face to face."

"In the gift of faith the soul receives what we term a permanent bent, inclining it to adhere to the truths of the Christian Revelation. When these gave once been accepted as God's own ord on the authority of the Church, the mind forthwith holds them with a certitude which excludes all hesitation or doubt of any kind. Faith causes the mind to cleave to the revealed truths instinctively."

"If one who has received the gift of faith should come to disbelieve, it will almost invariably be found that doubt has been freely, not to say forcibly, introduced into the mind and that the gift of faith has been more or less deliberately thrown away."

"As faith protects us from losing sight of the goal before us, so does hope give to us an enduring desire of reaching it, and a confidence of eventual success. Every act of hope is necessarily composite, containing these two elements of desire and confidence. And the supernatural endowment which God bestows implants in the soul a permanent longing to possess Him, and the assurance that through His assistance we shall attain our end. Both these parts of hope call for our consideration.
We have spoken of hope as being the desire of God. It is sometimes described as the desire of eternal life. The two expressions are equivalent: for to the Christian eternal life consists in the possession of God. If it signified no more than a continuance of our personal existence under conditions in which sorrow and suffering had no part, no supernatural endowment would be needed. Even the unbeliever would wish for this. But it is otherwise when the end proposed to us is God Himself."

"it is this gift of hope which imparts to us the assurance of success. God has pledged Himself to assist us in the struggle. And hope is the reliance of the soul on God's omnipotence
employed in its behalf. It thus becomes a spring of new vitality within us, enabling us to make efforts otherwise beyond us.

Without a special endowment animating the soul with
this confidence, we should soon lose sight of God's promises, and cease to rely upon His assistance. The recollection of previous falls, our repeated failure to carry out what we
purpose, the apparent absence of any sign of spiritual progress--all these things tend to make success seem beyond our reach.
Without hope we would be tempted to despair and give up the struggle as useless, and desist from further effort.

Yet not withstanding the fact that the possession of God is so far beyond the natural faculties of man, the soul which
enjoys hope is buoyed up in its efforts after beatitude by a confidence far stronger than that which it could have felt regarding the attainment of its last end in the natural order. There is a close parallelism between faith and hope.

The virtue of faith gives to the intellect a certainty as to revealed truth, not less than that which it has as to first principles
of natural reason.

Hope confers on the will a confidence of attaining salvation comparable to that which a man of courage possesses as
regards the successful achievement of those enterprises which he recognizes to be within the competence of his natural powers.

Faith and hope, however, are surpassed in dignity by charity, the virtue 'by which we love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves for God's sake.'"
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2022, 04:14:35 PM »

Faith is said by the Apostle
Hebrews 11:1
Douay-Rheims Bible
Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.

Good News Translation
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.

Manual of Catholic Theology
Book 1 Part 2 Faith paragraph 42
by Reverend Doctor Matthias Joseph Scheeben
 Faith and Grace
"I. It is not absolutely impossible for man unaided by grace to elicit an act of faith of some kind. Man is naturally able to perceive revealed truth when brought under his notice, and also the authority of God and the motives of credibility. His moral nature, too, prompts him to reverence and honour God. An act of faith of some kind is, therefore, naturally possible. But the act of Faith intended and commanded by God transcends our natural faculties, and is supernatural in two ways: supernatural in its very substance or essence (secundurn substantiam sive essentiam), inasmuch as it is the beginning, the root and foundation of man's salvation; and also supernatural in its mode (secundum modum or secundum quid) by reason of the great difficulty which the natural man finds in embracing the Faith and accepting its consequences. The first-named supernatural character is given by Elevating Grace—that is, by grace which raises nature to the supernatural order; the other comes from Medicinal Grace—that is, grace which makes up for the shortcomings of nature. The Vatican Council teaches that Faith is a "supernatural virtue whereby we believe with the help of God's grace;" and it repeats the words of the Seventh Canon of the Second Council of Orange: "No man can assent to the gospel preaching, in the manner requisite for salvation (sicut oportet ad salutem consequendam), without the light and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Who giveth to every man sweetness in assenting to and believing in the truth." A complete explanation and proof of these various points must be deferred till we come to the treatise on Grace. For our present purpose the following will be sufficient.

II. The definition just quoted teaches directly that Faith is supernatural in its cause and in its object. But the supernatural cause must communicate to the very act of Faith the worth which enables that act to attain a supernatural object. Hence the act itself must be supernatural; it must be substantially different from every merely natural act, and must be capable of attaining an object transcending the natural order. Speaking generally, the supernatural essence of the act of Faith consists in our accepting revealed truths in a manner befitting our dignity of adopted sons of God, destined to the Beatific Vision; and in a manner befitting the paternal condescension of God, Who has deigned to speak to us as His children, and to call and raise us to the most intimate union with Himself. But more particularly it consists in the transformation of our sense of Faith (pius credulitatis affectus) into a filial piety towards God, and into a striving after its supernatural object in a manner commensurate with the excellence of that object; and also in the union and assimilation of our knowledge with the Divine knowledge, so that Faith becomes as it were a participation of God's own Life and Knowledge, and an anticipation and foretaste of the supernatural knowledge in store for us in the Beatific Vision. The supernatural essence of Divine Faith thus contains two elements, one moral, the other intellectual, intimately interwoven but still distinct.

III. Faith is Divine, not only because its certitude is based upon God's authority, but also because God Himself is the efficient cause acting upon the mind of the believer and producing in him subjective certainty. God is the author of Faith as no one else can be. Holy Scripture teaches that Christian Faith requires an internal illumination in addition to the external revelation (Matt. xvi. 17), and, besides the hearing of the external word, the hearing of an internal one, and the learning from an internal teacher (John vi. 45): the external revelation is attributed to the visible Son, the internal to the invisible Father. It follows that Faith cannot be produced by purely external influences, nor can the mind of man produce it by his own natural exertions. Faith must be infused into the soul by Divine light, and must be received from the hand of God."

IV. The acts of the mind preceding the infusion of the light of Faith have merely the character of preparatory dispositions or of cooperation enabling the light of Faith to exert its own power. But even these acts are supernatural from their very outset, and must therefore be the result of the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Hence the illumination which gives the soul the immediate inclination and power to elicit a supernatural act of Faith is not the only one to be taken into account. The practical judgment "that we can and ought to believe" which precedes the "pius affectus" must itself be the result of a supernatural illumination, otherwise it could not produce a supernatural act of the will. The illumination has also the character of an internal word or call of God, at least so far as it repeats and animates internally the command to believe given to us by external revelation. Nevertheless a natural knowledge of this same practical judgment must be presupposed in order that the supernatural illumination may itself take place. The best way to explain this is to consider the natural judgment as merely speculative until the action of the Holy Ghost transforms it into an effective practical judgment determining the act of Faith.

V. The secondary and relatively supernatural character of Faith, although less important, is nevertheless more apparent. Faith is beset with difficulties arising partly from the intellectual and moral conditions of our nature and partly from the obligations which Faith imposes upon the intellect and will of the believer. Without the help of God's grace man could not surmount these difficulties, and consequently the act of Faith would be, even in this respect, morally impossible. All men, however, have not the same difficulty in believing. Hence the necessity for God's assisting grace is not absolute but relative, varying with the moral and intellectual dispositions of the persons to whom Revelation is proposed."
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2022, 12:53:38 PM »

Faith is the necessary means of union with God for through faith we receive the love of God and are united to Him in the sweetness of that Divine Love.

Saint John of the Cross The Mystical Doctor
The Ascent of Mount Carmel
Book 2 Chapter 1
Wherein is treated the proximate means of ascending to union with God, which is faith; and wherein therefore is described the second part of this night, which, as we said, belongs to the spirit, and is contained in the second stanza, which is as follows.
STANZA THE SECOND
In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised — oh, happy chance! —
In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

"In this second stanza the soul sings of the happy chance which it experienced in stripping the spirit of all spiritual imperfections and desires for the possession of spiritual things.
This was a much greater happiness to, by reason of the greater difficulty that there is in putting to rest this house of the spiritual part, and of being able to enter this interior darkness, which is spiritual detachment from all things, whether sensual or spiritual, and leaning on pure faith alone and an ascent thereby to God.
The soul here calls this a ‘ladder,' and 'secret,' because all the rungs and parts of it are secret and hidden from all sense and understanding.
And thus the soul has remained in darkness as to all light of sense and understanding, going forth beyond all limits of nature and reason in order to ascend by this Divine ladder of faith, which attains and penetrates even to the heights of God.
The soul says that it was travelling ‘disguised,' because the garments and vesture which it wears and its natural condition are changed into the Divine, as it ascends by faith.
And it was because of this disguise that it was not recognized or impeded, either by time or by reason or by the devil; for none of these things can harm one that journeys in faith.
And not only so, but the soul travels in such wise concealed and hidden and is so far from all the deceits of the devil that in truth it journeys (as it also says here) ‘in darkness and in concealment' — that is to say, hidden from the devil, to whom the light of faith is more than darkness."

Book 2 Chapter 6
Wherein is described how it is the three theological virtues that perfect the three faculties of the soul, and how the said virtues produce emptiness and darkness within them.
Having now to endeavour to show how the three faculties of the soul — understanding, memory and will — are brought into this spiritual night, which is the means to Divine union, it is necessary first of all to explain in this chapter how the three theological virtues —
faith, hope and charity — which have respect to the three faculties aforesaid as their proper supernatural objects, and by means whereof the soul is united with God according to its faculties, produce the same emptiness and darkness, each one in its own faculty.
Faith, in the understanding; hope, in the memory; and charity, in the will.
And afterwards we shall go on to describe how the understanding is perfected in the darkness of faith; and the memory in the emptiness of hope; and likewise how the will must be buried by withdrawing and detaching every affection so that the soul may journey to God.
This done, it will be clearly seen how necessary it is for the soul, if it is to walk securely on this spiritual road, to travel through this dark night, leaning upon these three virtues, which empty it of all things and make it dark with respect to them.
For, as we have said, the soul is not united with God in this life through understanding, nor through enjoyment, nor through the imagination, nor through any sense whatsoever; but only through faith, according to the understanding; and through hope, according to the memory; and through love, according to the will.

2. These three virtues, as we have said, all cause emptiness in the faculties:
faith, in the understanding, causes an emptiness and darkness with respect to understanding;
hope, in the memory, causes emptiness of all possessions;
and charity causes emptiness in the will and detachment from all affection and from rejoicing in all that is not God.
For, as we see, faith tells us what cannot be understood with the understanding.
Wherefore Saint Paul spoke of it ad Hebraeos after this manner: Fides est sperandarum substantia rerum, argumentum non apparentium.(Hebrews 11:1).
This we interpret as meaning that faith is the substance of things hoped for; and, although the understanding may be firmly and certainly consenting to them, they are not things that are revealed to the understanding, since, if they were revealed to it, there would be no faith.
So faith, although it brings certainty to the understanding, brings it not clearness, but obscurity.

3. Then, as to hope, there is no doubt but that it renders the memory empty and dark with respect both to things below and to things above.
For hope always relates to that which is not possessed; for, if it were possessed, there would be no more hope.
 Wherefore Saint Paul says ad Romanos: Spes, quae videtur, non est spes: nam quod videt quis, quid sperat?(Romans 8:24).
That is to say: Hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth — that is, what a man possesseth — how doth he hope for it?
This virtue, then, also produces emptiness, for it has to do with that which is not possessed and not with that which is possessed.

4. Similarity, charity causes emptiness in the will with respect to all things, since it obliges us to love God above them all; which cannot be unless we withdraw our affection from them in order to set it wholly upon God.
Wherefore Christ says, through Saint Luke: Qui non renuntiat omnibus quae possidet, non potest meus esse discipulus.(Luke 14:33).
Which signifies: He that renounces not all that he possesses with the will cannot be My disciple.
And thus all these three virtues set the soul in obscurity and emptiness with respect to all things.

5. And here we must consider that parable which our Redeemer related in the eleventh chapter of Saint Luke, wherein He said that a friend had to go out at midnight in order to ask his friend for three loaves;(Luke 11:5) the which loaves signify these three virtues.
And he said that he asked for them at midnight in order to signify that the soul that is in darkness as to all things must acquire these three virtues according to its faculties and must perfect itself in them in this night.
In the sixth chapter of Isaias we read that the two seraphim whom this Prophet saw on either side of God had each six wings;
with two they covered their feet, which signified the blinding and quenching of the affections of the will with respect to all things for the sake of God;
and with two they covered their face, which signified the darkness of the understanding in the presence of God; and with the other two they flew (Isaiah 6:2).
This is to signify the flight of hope to the things that are not possessed, when it is raised above all that it can possess, whether below or above, apart from God.

6. To these three virtues, then, we have to lead the three faculties of the soul, informing each faculty by each one of them, and stripping it and setting it in darkness concerning all things save only these three virtues.
And this is the spiritual night which just now we called active; for the soul does that which in it lies in order to enter therein.
And even as, in the night of sense, we described a method of voiding the faculties of sense of their sensible objects, with regard to the desire, so that the soul might go forth from the beginning of its course to the mean, which is faith;
even so, in this spiritual night, with the favour of God, we shall describe a method whereby the spiritual faculties are voided and purified of all that is not God, and are set in darkness concerning these three virtues, which, as we have said, are the means and preparation for the union of the soul with God.

7. In this method is found all security against the crafts of the devil and against the efficacy of self-love and its ramifications, which is wont most subtly to deceive and hinder spiritual persons on their road, when they know not how to become detached and to govern themselves according to these three virtues; and thus they are never able to reach the substance and purity of spiritual good, nor do they journey by so straight and short a road as they might.

8. And it must be noted that I am now speaking particularly to those who have begun to enter the state of contemplation, because as far as this concerns beginners it must be described somewhat more amply, as we shall note in the second book, God willing, when we treat of the properties of these beginners.
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Alleluia!
Glory to Th
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