The Book of Divine Consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno by Mary Steegman

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Mary Steegman
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The Book of Divine Consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno

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Book review

Angela of Foligno was an influential medieval Catholic woman and this looks at some of her most important works. From the first treatise: "As I walked (said the Blessed Angela) by the way of penitence, I did take eighteen spiritual steps before I came to know the imperfection of my life. The first step was that I did begin to reflect upon my sins, the knowledge of which did fill my soul with so great a dread that, fearing to be condemned unto hell, I wept bitterly. The second was, that I did begin to be so exceeding ashamed of those my sins that for shame I could not fully confess them; wherefore many times did I communicate whilst yet unconfessed and with all my sins did I receive the Body of our Lord. Being day and night reproached by my conscience because of this thing, I did pray the Blessed Francis that he would grant me to discover a confessor meet for my needs, who should be well acquainted with my sins and unto whom I could fully confess myself. In that same night did the Blessed Francis appear unto me and say: “Sister, if thou had prayed unto me sooner thy prayer would have been sooner granted; that which thou hast asked hath been done.” Upon the next morn ing, therefore, I went into the church of Saint Francis and found there a friar preaching in Saint Feliciano, which friar was chaplain unto the bishop and did hold his authority; and to him I did determine to make my confession immediately that the sermon should be ended. Where fore I did confess myself most fully and was absolved of all my sins. And in this confession I did feel no love, but only bitterness, shame, and pain. The third step was that I did consequently persevere in the performance of the penance imposed upon me, and as yet I was filled with pain and misery without any other consolation."

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