When with others or alone, when far from

When with others or alone, when far from
or near the beloved object, one must
carefully, circumspectly, severely
guard, dignify, and keep the soul unstained--

for God's hands were clean, His face sculpted by
love: He wants us to mirror Him, as He
mirrors us--ah, do not let this world's filth
or your frail flesh mar His lovely figure.

Take away the baubles, remove them far,
scour, while there's still time, the soul, until
she shines with truth, honor God's humblest son.

When filled with love of God the soul hollows,
cleanses, and renews herself, the danger
then is we miss what in us is most vile.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V XXIII:183. See also B S1: 55:112; R XXVIII:453. Key

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