penance, and mysterious contemplation, is a guarantee of the inexhaustibleness of those works of supererogation which the Church possesses. In these cloisters young maidens, who have consecrated themselves to Christ after a spiritual embrace for which the most intense impulses of their nature have been suppressed, yearn away their lives. Here in prayer and toil the pious recluse spends his days and nights. Those men also who, going forth barefooted, covered with coarse mantles, and wearing ropes about their waists, devote themselves like the apostles to poverty and the preaching of the gospel, who receive charity at the door of the layman, giving him in exchange the food of the word of God,--these all issue from the same cloisters.
Thus is the Church a mole against the tide of Sin. The Christian has some reason to exclaim: "O hell, where is thy victory?" for although the place of torment is continually filled with lost spirits, there are thousands upon thousands of ransomed souls that wing their flight