Legion of Victim Souls
By María Concepcion Zuniga Lopez
IMPRIMATUR: Fidel de Santa María Cortez Perez, bishop of Chilapa --We extend a blessing to the souls who present themselves as victims, by offering their works and sufferings to Divine Justice, in reparation for the sins of mankind. --July 3, 1966
NIHIL OBSTAT: Pbro. Carlos Guevara (Censor): Judgment of the Censor: "The doctrine of victimhood is sound, through its quotations from the Psalms and the New Testament. The souls with vocations will find in this pamphlet sound reasons for agreeing to be victims." --Iguala, Gro., March 27, 1966
IMPRIMI POTEST: Sac. F.J. Gaudze, M.F., Superior and Founder. Dec. 8, 1973
Victimhood is an Apostolate
What is Victimhood to Divine Justice?
Offering to Divine Justice
Explanation: I. -- II. -- III. -- IV. -- V. -- VI.
The Mass of Victims. Abandonment to the Will of God. Union with Mary. The Nature of Atonement. The Need for Humility. Suffering in Silence. Atoning until the End of Time. The Fruit of Victimhood. Victimhood--the Hidden Life.
Victimhood is an Apostolate
We will say a word about what victimhood is in the ranks of the Church, so it may be noted that it is not only for contemplatives, but that the offering of oneself as victim is perhaps even more for those who follow the active life or aspire to the apostolate, for the welfare of many and for the greater glory of God.
In general all religious victimhood is an apostolate and a perfect apostolate, since when a soul offers itself as a victim, a profoundly apostolic spirit inspires it. Its purpose is the good of others; its stimulus, zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. A feeling of heroic generosity urges it to devote itself to seeking souls even at the expense of its own life, and Jesus has said: "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (Jn. XV:13)
Such are the dispositions of the soul of the apostle, and those of the victim soul are identical; dispositions which, as St. Paul says, make the Apostle "not seek that which is profitable to itself, but many, that they may be saved." (1 Cor. X:33)
In a wonderful manner, the victim soul concentrates the zeal of an apostle in its Offering. This multiphasic spirit of holy zeal blazes in the Apostle of the Gentiles when he says: "I became to the Jews a Jew; to them that were without the law, as if I were without the law; to the weak, I became weak," and finally, "I became all things to all men, that I might save all." (1 Cor. IX:20-22)
The victim soul, feeling burn within itself that divine flame of the fire that Christ came to bring to the earth (Lk. XII:49), on desiring to run over all the paths of God to rescue souls and to extend His Kingdom and on finding itself incapable of satiating its burning desire with finite works, resolves upon the happy idea of victimhood, making it consist of a complete and true apostolate.
The model of this apostolic spirit, concentrated in victimhood and bearing the fruits of a true apostolate, may be found in St. Therese of the Infant Jesus, as she herself tells us when she began the victimhood to the Merciful Love, under divine inspiration, while meditating on the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians and, wanting to embrace all vocations, that of apostle and martyr, she found in LOVE the key to her vocation, offering herself to it as a victim in holocaust. And she exclaims, delirious with joy: "So I shall be everything in the Mystical Body of the Holy church and so my dreams will be fulfilled."
In this way, by means of her hidden victimhood, the holy contemplative, the Carmelite virgin has come to be a unique type of apostle in the ranks of the Church. Because victimhood exercises a supernatural apostolate, whose fruit is extraordinary.
The development of this apostolate is effected secretly between God and the soul, without the souls itself being able to conceive of the copious fruit of its noble mission.
But the real element in the apostolate of victims is perfected, it can be said, by means of the essential lives of the souls themselves, once accepted by God, Who with wise providence will dispose of them in conformance with His designs, to which they have, beforehand, offered themselves, setting aside their own will, in such a way that not everything in victimhood is reduced to the mystical. If it happens that their labor does not consist in exterior works, nevertheless, it consists certainly in effective and real works, which is the life of constant immolation that the victim must bear and offer to God with a propitiatory intention. The victim "sows in tears, but surely reaps in joy." (Ps. CXXV:5)
Because the victim has the guarantee of the One who has said: "Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." (Jn. XVI:20) Because the joy of the victim and of the apostle is in the harvest, in the fruit of his labor; but, while the apostle, on sowing the seed of the divine word, loses part of the harvest, because the birds steal the seed or because it falls on bad soil (Mt. XIII:3-8) or because the fruit of his labor is mixed with the cockle (Mt. XIII:27), the victim knows that its treasure is safe, guarded in heavenly coffers, where it "does not grow old, where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth." (Lk. XII:33)
Because the One Who has said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away," (Lk. XXI:33) has promised to all those who work for His Kingdom, in the secret of their hearts, without ostentatious works which receive the applause of man: that they will be rewarded by His Heavenly Father "Who seeth in secret" (Mt. VI:4) and Who heeds the heart more than the works.
From what has been explained we will come to the conclusion that victimhood must not be considered of less value than an apostolate, since in itself it is a perfect and complete apostolate, since it joins to the works the interior life, this being the pre-eminent part, without which every apostolate would be in vain and fruitless.
Jesus says: "Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name and cast out devils in Thy Name and done many miracles in Thy Name? And then will I profess unto them I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity." (Mt. VII:22-23)
Because, if an apostolate is excellent, victimhood is even more excellent, because if Jesus is the Master and Guide of both paths by His life and examples, He shows us that, before being the Apostle, He is the Victim; that is, Jesus made the greater part of His life consist of victimhood, from which it follows that every apostle must begin by offering himself as a victim, in order to be a true disciple resembling his Master to make his apostolate fruitful.
Because Jesus says: "The disciple is not above his Master: but everyone shall be perfect, if he be as his master." (Lk. VI:40)
Jesus says at another time: ". . .I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given Me may be with Me." (Jn. XVII:24) Thus the apostle of Christ who longs to be subject to the Gospel, saving souls, must guard before everything else, his union with Christ. Because he has said: "I am the vine; you are the branches: he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing." (Jn. XV:5)
The fruit of every apostolate is related to this divine promise, not to the efforts and exterior works of the apostle, but in relation to his spiritual condition: his charity, his zeal, his virtue, his immolation: in a word, his union with Christ.
The Book of Psalms says that "unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." (Ps. CXXVI:1) St Paul says to the Corinthians: "Therefore, neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." (1 Cor. III:7)
And the same Apostle in his Epistles, repeatedly protests that the fruit of his apostolate was not so much in his preaching, but rather in the grace acquired from God through the means of the sacrifice of his life, through the means of prayer. To sum it up: his apostolate was fruitful because of his victimhood. He confesses this openly to the Ephesians, when he exhorts them not to be wanting in faith on seeing him persecuted and in tribulation, because, he tells them "Wherefore I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which is your glory." (Eph. III:13) For this was the "hidden mystery" of the fruit that he gathered among them by his preaching. The same apostle says to the Philippians: "Now, brethren, I desire you should know that the things which have happened to me, have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel." (Phil. I:12) And the Apostle rejoices at being immolated and a victim for their faith (Ibid. II:7) And he says the same sort of thing again when he writes to the Thessalonians: "For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost. . ." (1 Thess. I:5) Because, in the second chapter of that same letter, the Apostle insists that his preaching among them was not in vain, because of his first having suffered and been mistreated. (Ibid. II:1-2)
And he speaks, too, to the Corinthians of glorying in his sufferings, because in them is his power. (2 Cor. XII:10) The great apostle demonstrating clearly how the fruit of his apostolate depends on his victimhood, in union with Christ, the Divine Victim. "Always," he says, "bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies." (2 Cor. IV:10) And, he continues: "So then death worketh in us, but life in you." (Ibid. 12) "For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God." (Ibid. 15) "For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal; but the thing which are not seen, are eternal." (Ibid. 17-18)
That victimhood is an apostolate is evident because it bears the fruit of an apostolate and "by the fruit," Jesus says, "the tree is known." (Mt. XII:33)
So much more exalted is the apostolate of victims over the apostolate of preaching that when the 72 disciples of Jesus returned to Him from the mission on which He Himself had sent them, He says to them, that they should not rejoice in the exterior works they had achieved through preaching, nor even in the miracles they had performed in His name, but, He says, "rejoice in this, that your names are written in Heaven." (Lk. X:20) By which He wanted them to understand that they had borne fruit because their souls were pleasing to God.
"For the Kingdom of God is not in speech, but in power." (1 Cor. IV:20)
Thus, the work of victimhood must be valued more highly than any other work that we can offer to God and in which we can serve Him fully. Because just as Christ exclaimed, as the hour of the crucifixion approached: "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified," (Jn. XII:23) so also is it true that to give copious fruits of an apostolate in the ranks of the Church, it is fitting, before anything else, to concentrate all the zeal of our souls and to immolate ourselves as victims. Because the Word of God says: "Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (Jn XII:24-25)
What is Victimhood to Divine Justice?