holy quotations for purification of the soul
for reflection and meditation
'A Christian who is pure is upon earth like a bird that is kept fastened down by a string. Poor little bird! it only waits for the moment when the string is cut to fly away.
Good Christians are like those birds that have large wings and small feet, and which never light upon the ground, because they could not rise again and would be caught. They make their nests, too, upon the points of rocks, on the roofs of houses, in high places. So the Christian ought to be always on the heights. As soon as we lower our thoughts towards the earth, we are taken captive.'
St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars
'When a sparrow tied by the leg tries to fly, it is held back by the string and pulled down to the earth. Similarly, when the intellect that has not yet attained dispassion flies up towards heavenly knowledge, it is held back by the passions and pulled down to the earth.'
St. Maximos the Confessor
'The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it will not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.'
St. John of the Cross
'Our soul hath passed through a torrent: perhaps our soul had passed through an intolerable water. Blessed be our Lord which hath not given us, for a prey to their teeth. Our soul as a sparrow is delivered from the snare of the fowlers: The snare is broken, and we are delivered.'
'How beloved are thy tabernacles O Lord of hosts! my soul coveteth, and fainteth unto the courts of our Lord. My heart, and my flesh have rejoiced toward the living God. For the sparrow also hath found her an house: and the turtledove a nest for her self, where she may lay her young ones. Thine altars O Lord of hosts: my King, and my God.
Blessed are they, that dwell in thy house O Lord: forever and ever they shall praise thee.'