"Whenever you find yourself inclined to diffidence, lift up your heart lovingly to God, and be assured that your defects are, in the sight of His infinite goodness, but as a few threads of tow cast into a sea of fire. Figure to yourself a burning surface, as vast as the hemisphere we inhabit; if a piece of tow were thrown into it, would---it not be so absorbed in the fire as instantly to disappear? "Our God is a consuming fire," and our imperfections, compared with His goodness, are what a piece of tow is to the furnace. When, therefore, we have fallen, let us humble ourselves sorrowfully in His presence, and then, with an act of unbounded confidence, let us throw ourselves into the ocean of His goodness, where every failing will be canceled, and anxiety will be turned into love."
- St. Paul of the Cross