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SECTION V.—The Great Merit of Pure Faith.

By the state of abandonment and of pure faith the soul gains more merit than by the most eminent good works.

Whatever we find extraordinary in the lives of the saints, such as revelations, visions and interior locutions, is but a glimpse of that excellence of their state which is contained and hidden in the exercise of faith; because faith possesses all this by knowing how to see and hear God in that which happens from moment to moment. When these favours are manifested visibly it does not mean that by faith they have not been already possessed, but in order to make the excellence of faith visible for the purpose of attracting souls to the practice of it; just as the glory of Thabor, and the miracles of Jesus Christ were not from any increase of His intrinsic excellence, but from the light which from time to time escaped from the dark cloud of His humanity to make it an object of veneration and love to others.

That which is wonderful in the saints is the constancy of their faith under every circumstance; without this there would be no sanctity. In the loving faith which makes them rejoice in God for everything, their sanctity has no need of any extraordinary manifestation; this could only prove useful to others who might require the testimony of such signs; but the soul in this state, happy in its obscurity, does in no way rely on these brilliant manifestations; it allows them to show outwardly for the profit of others, but keeps for itself what all have in common, the will of God, and His good pleasure. Its faith is proved in hiding, and not in manifesting itself, and those who require more proof have less faith.

Those who live by faith receive proofs, not as such, but as favours from the hand of God, and in this sense things that are extraordinary are not in contradiction to the state of pure faith.

But there are many saints whom God sets up for the salvation of souls, and from whose faces He causes rays of glory to stream 42for the enlightenment of the most blind. Of such were the Prophets and the Apostles and all those saints chosen by God to be set in the candlestick of the Church. There will ever be such, as there ever have been.

There is also an infinity of others who, having been created to shine in the heavens give no light in this world, but live and die in profound obscurity.

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