'A severe winter kills and destroys all the plants and flowers in the country...
Sin, that sad and terrible winter of the soul, destroys all the holy works it finds there...
'But when sin is driven out, and the grace of Divine Love returns to the soul,
not only the new affections which the return of this holy springtime produces
bud forth into rich merits and blessings,
but the works faded
and withered under the harshness
of the bygone winter of sin -
as if freed from their mortal enemy -
resume their strength and vigour
and, as if raised from death,
flourish anew and are fruitful
in merits for eternal life.'
St. Francis de Sales