From the Franciscan Minims
Mexico • Vergel ----March • April 2002 ---- No. 3-4
-- Play or stop background music
"Cease to complain, considering My Passion,
and the sufferings of the saints."
"Cease to complain, considering My Passion,
Our Cover: Imitation,Book 3, Ch. 19
Bearing Injuries, and who is Proved to be Truly Patient
WHAT is it thou sayst, My son? Cease to complain, considering My passion, and the sufferings of the saints. Thou hast not yet resisted unto blood. (Heb. 12, 4).
What thou sufferest is but little in comparison to them who have suffered so much; who have been strongly tempted, so grievously afflicted, so many ways tried and exercised. (Heb. 11, 33)
Thou must then call to mind the heavy sufferings of others, that thou may the more easily bear the little things thou sufferest. And if to thee they seem not little, take heed lest this also proceed from thy impatience. But whether they be little or great, strive to bear them with patience.
The better thou disposest thyself for suffering, the more wisely dost thou act, and the more dost thou merit: and thou wilt bear it more easily, thy mind being well prepared for it and accustomed to it.
Say not: I cannot take these things from such a man, and things of this kind are not to be suffered by me, for he has done me a great injury, and he upbraids me with things I never thought of; but I will suffer willingly from another, and as far as I shall judge fitting for me to suffer.
Such a thought is foolish, which considers not the virtue of patience, nor by whom it shall be crowned, but rather weighs the persons and the offences committed. He is not truly a patient man who will suffer no more than he thinks good and from whom it pleases him. The truly patient man minds not by whom it is he is exercised, whether by his superior, or by one of his equals, or by an inferior; whether by a good and holy man, or by one that is perverse and unworthy. (Continued on p. 6).
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A Mystic for Our Times
• Wisdom reneweth all things and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls. She maketh the friends of God and prophets. -- Wis. 7, 27
JULIAN lived as a recluse in the anchoress-house attached to the old church of St. Julian, in Norwich, England, and had even in her lifetime a reputation for great sanctity. She survived to an advanced age, having two maids to wait upon her when she was old, but the actual date of her death is unknown, as is also her parentage.
The book that she eventually produced, Revelations of Divine Love, remains perhaps the most beautiful and certainly the tenderest exposition of divine love that has ever been written in the English language. At the beginning of her book she states that she had desired three gifts from God-that He would grant her a greater realization of Christ's sufferings, that He would send her a severe illness which would bring her to death's door and detach her from earthly things, and that He would give her the three wounds of "very contrition," of "kind compassion," and of "wilful longing towards God."
When she was 30 years old she actually did contract a malady so serious that her life was despaired of. On the fourth day she received the last sacraments, and on the seventh she seemed to be sinking. All she had strength to do was to keep her eyes fixed on the crucifix. Then, quite suddenly, all her pains left her, and between four and nine o'clock in the morning of May 8, 1373, she had a succession of 15 distinct visions or shewings, concluded by a 16th, during the night after the following day. These visions for the most part presented different aspects of our Lord's passion, which, while producing in her the compunction she had desired, brought her wonderful peace and joy. Their full significance did not unfold itself until long afterwards. Elsewhere she speaks of being inwardly instructed for the space of 20 years. At the time when the visions came she was, according to her own account, "a simple creature that could no letters," in other words, illiterate, but in the years that elapsed before she wrote her book she must have acquired a considerable knowledge of the Christian mystics, for she sometimes uses their terminology.
Perhaps the most famous of her visions is the thirteenth revelation or shewing: "After this the Lord brought to my mind the longing that I had to him before. And I saw that nothing prevented me but sin. And so I beheld, generally, in us all, and methought: If sin had not been, we should all have been clean and like to our Lord, as he made us.
"But Jesus, who in this Vision informed me of all that me neeedeth, answered by this word and said: 'It behooved that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
"In this naked word sin, our Lord brought to my mind, generally, all that is not good, and the shameful despite and the utter naughtng that he bore for us in this life, and his dying; and all the pains and passions of all his creatures, ghostly and bodily; (for we be all partly naughted, and we shall be naughted following our Master, Jesus, till we be full purged, that is to say, till we be fully naughted of our deadly flesh and of all our inward affections which be not very good;) and the beholding of this, with all pains that ever were or ever shall be,-and with all these I understand the Passion of Christ for most pain, and overpassing. And this pain, it is something, as to my sight, for a time; for it purgeth, and maketh us to know ourselves and to ask mercy. For the Passion of our Lord is comfort to us against all this, and so is his blessed will. And for the tender love that our good Lord hath to all that shall be saved, he comforteth readily and sweetly, meaning thus: "It is sooth (truth) that sin is cause of all this pain; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
"And in these words I saw a marvellous high privity hid in God, which privity he shall openly make known to us in heaven: in which knowing we shall verily see the cause why he suffered sin to come. In which sight we shall endlessly joy in our Lord God."
Several years after she received the 16 revelations, Our Lord gave her additional understanding about the thirteenth shewing: "One time our good Lord said: 'All thing shall be well,' and another time he said: 'Thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well,' and in these two sayings the soul took sundry understandings.
"One was that he willeth we know that not only he taketh heed to noble things and to great, but also to little and to small, to low and to simple, to one and to other. And so meaneth he in that he saith: 'All manner of thing shall be well.' For he willeth we know that the least thing shall not be forgotten.
"Another understanding is this, that there be deeds evil done in our sight and so great harms taken, that it seemeth to us that it were impossible that ever it should come to good end. And upon this we look, sorrowing and mourning therefor, so that we cannot resign us unto the blissful beholding of God as we should do. And the cause of this is that the use of our reason is now so blind, so low, and so simple, that we cannot know that high marvelous Wisdom, the Might and the Goodness of the blissful Trinity. And thus meaneth he when he saith: 'Thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well.' As if he said: 'Take now heed faithfully and trustingly, and at the last end thou shalt verily see it in fulness of joy.'
If people repent of their sins, there will be happiness. If they do not repent, and continue in grave sin, there will be misery and unhappiness, in time and in eternity. There may be a few conversions here and there, but in general, people are not repenting and are continuing in their sins. This obstinacy is the reason why so many sinister prophecies will be fulfilled, including the prophecy made by Mary at Fatima in 1917, that various nations will be annihilated, and the grave prophecies she made at La Salette, France, in 1846. That is why we are living in times in which we may see "deeds evil done in our sight and so great harms taken, that it seems it were impossible that ever it should come to good end." The events of September 11 have made many people reflect, and come to the conclusion that we are indeed living in grave times.
It should be made clear that God does not want to punish: he would rather show his mercy and kindness. But there are certain basic conditions for him to do so: people have to be willing to repent of their sins and observe his commandments. The punishments of the flood and Sodom and Gomorra happened, not because God wanted to punish men, but because the people of those times provoked the punishments by their horrible obstinacy and sins. We are living in similar times: if people are so obstinate, stubborn, and unwilling to keep even the basic commandments, what else can they expect but the inevitable effect of Divine Justice? "God is not mocked." (Gal. 6, 7).
When the grave events begin to happen, and the sinister prophecies begin to be fulfilled, it will be our consolation to know that, even if the situation seems hopeless from a human point of view, "to them that love God, all things work together unto good." (Rom. 8, 28) "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and thou shalt see thyself, that all manner of thing shall be well." That is why Julian of Norwich and her revelations are such a consolation and encouragement for these times. If the reprobate see the fulfillment of the horrible prophecies, the elect will also see the fulfillment of the beautiful prophecies: "Take now heed faithfully and trustingly, and at the last end thou shalt verily see it in fulness of joy."
May it be for the glory of God
The Vergel of the Immaculate Virgin of Guadalupe
Feb. 10, 2002 • Quinquagesima Sunday
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Revelations of Divine Love, by Julian of Norwich, is available in e-book format (free) at: http://www.ccel.org/j/julian
Imitation of Christ(continued).
But how much soever and how often soever any adversity happens to him from anything created, he takes it all with equality of mind, as from the hand of God, with thanksgiving and esteems it a great gain. For nothing, how little soever, that is suffered for God's sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God.
Be thou, therefore, prepared to fight, if thou desirest to gain the victory. Without fighting thou canst not obtain the crown of patience.
If thou wilt not suffer, thou refusest to be crowned; but if thou desirest to be crowned, fight manfully and endure patiently. (2 Tim. 2, 5).
Without labor there is no coming to rest, nor without fighting can the victory be obtained.
May thy grace, O Lord, make that possible to me which seems impossible to me by nature. (Lk. 18, 27) Thou knowest that I can bear but little, and that I am quickly cast down by a small adversity. Let all exercises of tribulation become amiable and agreeable to me, for Thy name's sake; for to suffer and to be afflicted for Thee is very healthful to my soul.
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Perhaps the Bermuda Triangle is Quiet Now
By Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.
ONE does not hear much about the Bermuda Triangle anymore. The Bermuda Triangle is that mysterious region of the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico where, over the years, a number of ships and airplanes unexplainably vanished.
Historically, that area of the Atlantic was part of the slave trade route from Africa that began in 1619, and that continued until its prohibition 20 years after the United States Constitution was ratified. As the slave traders sailed close to land, they would inspect the condition of their "freight"-all the human beings whom they had abducted and exploited to enslave.
If any of the people were sick, dying, or dead, the slave traders would heartlessly throw them overboard at the locality that has come to be known as the Bermuda Triangle. They did this in order to collect the insurance money on their lost "cargo." Thousands of brutalized men and women tragically lost their lives in the Bermuda Triangle.
The Phenomenon Disappeared
In 1977, a priest boarded a ship and headed out to the center of the Bermuda Triangle. There he set up an altar and offered the holy Eucharist for the repose of the countless souls who perished on that spot. In particular, he offered the Holy Sacrifice for those who had died filled with hatred toward their merciless murderers. And from that moment on, the mysterious phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle has itself disappeared.
What Does It All Mean?
Whether or not one puts any stock in the anomaly of the Bermuda Triangle, no one can question the enormous force of enmity and unforgiveness to cause terrible absence in our lives. That priest was convinced that the only thing that could end the mystifying disappearances was the Sacrifice of the Eucharist. Real absence is dispelled by Real Presence.
Every day we deal with the torment of real absence in our lives-the absence of meaning, happiness, peace, and fulfillment. We know how much of that absence is caused by our own selfishness, our truthlessness, our sinful ambition. We lapse into these attitudes and actions when we cave in to the corruption of the world.
Worldly injustice can overwhelm us to the point of making us feel helpless, victimized, and enslaved. We begin to think that we actually have a right to the anger and rancor that obsess us. Yet, such sentiments are more deadly than death itself.
Jesus Christ understands well the powerlessness that oppresses us. In response, as Saint Thomas Aquinas writes, the Lord does not simply provide us with His power. Rather, Jesus gives us His own Body in order to make clear just how united He wants to be with us in our struggles and distress through His Real Presence.
Sometimes we need the experience of real absence in our life in order to appreciate Christ's Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament and in the world. Consider for a moment those in the Gospel who are most adept at recognizing the Real Presence of Divinity in Jesus: the blind man who cries out to Jesus for a cure, the Syro-Phoenician mother who begs Jesus for a crumb of compassion, the woman caught in adultery who stays with Jesus, the woman with a hemorrhage who hopes for wholeness by touching Jesus' clothes, and the centurion who pleads for Jesus to heal his servant with a word.
What united all of these people is their personal experience of profound absence-an experience that quickens their resolve and that compels them to reach out in faith to God, whom they recognize in Jesus Christ. That trust makes their troubles vanish.
In the same way, the real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist makes our hatred, resentment, vengefulness, and every other evil disappear. At the same time, the mercy of the Eucharist keeps the things that really matter in life from fading away.
Saint Paul writes: "The Lord Jesus annihilates the secret force of lawlessness at work by manifesting his own presence" (2 Thess. 2:7-8). He does so by giving us a blessed Companion-a word that derives from the Latin cum, "with," and panis, "bread." United with the Bread of Life, the companionship of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist annihilates all that threatens to annihilate us.
(Reprinted from The 101 Times, 101 Foundation, P.O. Box 151,
Asbury, NJ 08802-0151.)
Revelations of Divine Loveby Julian of Norwich used to be available at TAN Books, P.O. Box 424, Rockford, IL 61105. Tel: 1-800-437-5876 See their current catalog for latest information. www.tanbooks.com
Consult your librarian or local bookstore for more information.
The Glory of Israel
SO the two kings ardently planned a Temple that would be the most impressive monumental structure ever to be set up by the Israelites, and one of the loveliest ever made by man's hands. Soon the great undertaking was started.
Two hundred thousand men of Israel and Phoenicia were set to work in the forests, and in the labor of transportation, road building, and excavation. The muscles of man and beast were called on in endless strain, sweating in the torrid winds from off the desert. Other workmen burrowed underground to lift chisel and ax in dark caverns, in vast echoing caves of marble under a hill near Jerusalem. Here the rough ashlars were shaped into squared blocks of marble and then carried to the high flat plateau where the Temple was to rise. That was why it was said, as if it were a litany, that no sound of hammer and ax was heard in quarrying the stones.
Of Mount Moriah, the Temple was to be the beautiful crown, with other noble structures, walls, and landscaping leading up to it-palaces, gardens, pools, rare trees, and flowers. It was to be a spot worthy of heaven.
More than seven years the Temple was building; it was not finished until about 970 B.C. Into it went hewn stones of great size for foundation and retaining walls, and choicest woods of cedar and olive. Meanwhile artists were at work on the details-exquisite and elaborate hand carvings for every nook and cranny of roof, pillars, and walls, and a lavish overlay of gold wherever the eye rested, from floor to ceiling, from altar to cherubims over the mercy seat. The cherub, one of the most ancient images and symbols, consisted of a combination of lion, ox, man, and eagle, and in the beginning served to symbolize things secret and mysterious, sacred and unapproachable. Later it came to represent the sustainer of the glory of God and guardian of the mysteries of the law.
When all at last was finished, and the final piece of golden fretwork fastened in place, the last monolithic pilaster set squarely in the wall, and when the two kings had surveyed their handiwork and pronounced it good, the scaffolding was torn down, the tattered coverings torn away, and all Israel and with her the world came out to see the wonder.
And that was what they saw it to be, at first glance-a wonderful gem among the buildings of earth.
This House was God's, and Israel, with the princes of the tribes, and the heads of the families of Israel, gathered together with King Solomon that they might carry the ark of the covenant out of the City of David into its new resting place.
The Song of Solomon
Solomon was a man of God, but he always had an eye to himself and his own glory.
By his lights he was as worshipful a man as ever lived, but he also considered that he was a very great king indeed, and it did not seem to him now that the palace of King David, his father, really measured up to the dignity of a monarch such as himself; not after he had commanded world admiration for the Temple of Jerusalem. He wanted a new palace for himself and he wanted King Hiram to build it for him.
The amiable Hiram saw to it that Solomon's nearby palace, so lightly and so beautifully built, over against the wall from the Temple and other companionable buildings in the general design were no less impressive and dazzling. All were finished after a labor of thirteen years, during which period, if the truth must be told, many serfs-"state slaves"-Hebrews as well as other nationals, were put into the labor gangs.
Actually Solomon's own palace was more grandiose in size, style, and ornament than the Temple itself, but there was no disharmony. His own assembly hall, known as "the house of the forest of Lebanon," was one hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and about forty-five feet high, and of massive cedar boles.
Entire supervision of design and erection of Temple and palace had been left to the skill of the Phoenicians, at an annual payment of 220,000 bushels of wheat and 1800 gallons of finest olive oil. And the twelve appointed deputies under Solomon managed between them to raise that heavy sum, as well as keeping well supplied the huge royal household-by now seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, all of whom had to eat three times a day, to say nothing of the armies of servants.
In these intricate works Solomon proved himself a brilliant organizer and executive. For financial support, outside the revenues of his realm, he built up an extensive trade, developed a merchant fleet on the Red Sea, levied high tariffs on merchandise passing through his domain, and bought and sold horses and chariots on a big scale, developing this business with Egypt and other adjacent countries. His income was said to be 666 gold talents a year, or about $20,000,000, which in the values of that day was vast.
Thus under Solomon the Israelites had rapidly become a cosmopolitan people for the first time in their history. They were already feeling their new position when the time came for them, humbly and fittingly, to dedicate the Temple. And while the Temple itself was to pass away after four centuries, the words of the dedication have become immortal.
On the day of the ceremony the elders, the heads of the tribes, and the chief fathers in Israel, arrayed in gorgeous ritualistic robes of purple and silver, were assembled on Mount Zion. Led by priests carrying the ark of the covenant, they marched in solemn chanting processional to the glitter-ing marble sanctuary of Mount Moriah, amid the smoke of many sacrifices on the way and the shouts of hundreds of thousands of spectators.
When the ark was placed under the golden spread of the cherubim wings, and the two tables of stone which Moses had received at Sinai became the heart and core of the new Temple, a cloud of silvery fog filled the inner Temple, and the people cried that this must be the glory of the Lord-a fog so tangible and dense that the priests could not see their way about the altar until the cloud had passed away.
With awe and joy Solomon watched this phenomenon. Rising in shining robes, he watched the passing away of the silvery cloud and then addressed the worshipers:
"The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built You a house to dwell in, a settled place for You to abide for ever.
"Lord God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven above or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with your servants that walk before You with all their heart:
"Who have kept with your servant David my father that You promised him, saying, There shall not fail you a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel, so that your children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as you have walked before me.
"And now, O God of Israel, let Your work, I pray you, be verified, which You spoke unto Your servant, David my father.
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain You; how much less this house I have built?"
Arising from his knees, the fervent king blessed his people again, while sacrifices such as were never known before were offered up-of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, in one vast slaughter and burning, the ceremonials so multiplied and pressing that a place in the middle of the court before the Temple had to be hollowed for the burnt offerings.
For several days Israel feasted to music and when, at the week's end, weary but uplifted in spirit, the people dispersed, everyone departing to his own abode, they knew that no one would ever forget those seven days of ecstasy; they were to be told about from generation to generation.
And like a fathering climax, rich in hope, God came again to Solomon. After the dedication and festivities were over, the Voice, in its second visit to the builder-king, declared:
"I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which you have built, to put My name there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually."
But even while making that covenant, the Lord did not fail to warn Solomon. He must guard himself, this Temple builder, against any breaking of His laws and commandments. As in Eden and in a thousand subsequent derelictions, punishment would follow violation; evil upon him and his house. Turn from the Lord God to other gods, and Israel would, as of old, suffer for its folly.
Solomon was right: there is, as he said, no new thing under the sun, no new wickedness or infidelity to think up. Behind him are a thousand years and more of experimentation with evil, since the garden and the fruit of the tree, and man's first disobedience. God the Father has had His line of heroes since the gates of Eden closed, and he, wise Solomon, was standing in that line from Adam to David and on-and a long way yet to go before redemption reaches the earth. Now Solomon was being schooled by the Voice, the whisper from heaven that heroes hear; their old sins were clear before Solomon's memory: greed and lust and hatred and love of power and cruelty and blasphemy and the worship of false gods-nothing new, Solomon, and the penance certain, the punishment sure, now as well as then. Be careful, Solomon, the wise; you are with your people at the uttermost peak of glory. Where will you lead them now?
There is no question that on the day he heard the Voice, twice speaking to him, and with the smell of burnt flesh and incense filling his nostrils, Solomon was resolved to walk in the way that he should go. He had asked for wisdom, and God had given it to him; surely he could live in that wisdom, by it and for it. The nations everywhere had heard of his talents, not only of his songs, their harmony and melody and the beauty of their lyrics, but also of his wise sayings, his epigrams, his proverbs. A collection of three thousands of them was gathered together, and a complete scroll of those sayings was regarded as a public treasure. It became so that any wise remark, even though it was hundreds of years old, was attributed to Solomon; the folk wisdom of his own people and of other races and nations, all were added to the hoard of proverbs, with Solomon getting the credit for them. So his three thousand gems, gathered into an anthology and a part of the Holy Bible, were really not all Solomon's. Generally the compilation which we know as the Book of Proverbs is a collection of terse, instructive, practical sayings; most of the apothegms and proverbs are as true for today as for Solomon's own far yesterday.
These proverbs are good medicine for everyday life. They expound the right rules by which men can get along together in moral integrity and good manners. But spirituality, the vision of the dreamer, the aspirations in which man surpasses himself and draws a little closer to God-these qualities are often absent from Solomon's writings, as they were almost invariably present in the psalms of his father. (To be continued)
Following His Footsteps
by Anselmo del Álamo
Chapter 6. The Interior Life, the Kingdom of God, Temple of the Holy Spirit
29. Those who in this way can enclose themselves in this little heaven of our soul, wherein dwells him who made heaven and earth, and who become used to not distracting the senses, let them believe that they are on an excellent path, and that they will indeed drink the water of the fountain, for they travel much in a short time. They are like one who travels in a ship, who with favorable weather, arrives at the end of his journey. St. Teresa of Jesus
30. The shortest path of perfect love is to always remain in the presence of God, for this presence excludes all sins and does not allow time to think of other things, nor to complain nor to murmur. Sooner or later, the presence of God leads to perfection. Fr. Pergmay
31. Wherever you may be, recollect yourself. You have no need of a hidden place. You yourself are this place. Even when you are in bed, your bed is a temple. Disciple of St. Bernard
32. Faith tells us that our heart is a large sanctuary, by reason if its being a temple of God and the residence of the most holy Trinity. Visit this sanctuary frequently: see if you have lighted the lamps, that is, of faith, hope and charity. Often revive your faith when you study, when you work, when you eat, when you lie down and rise up, and lift up toward God loving affections. St. Paul of the Cross
33. Would you like to possess an anticipated paradise upon earth and a secure company to quickly attain to perfection? Live in interior recollection, and walk in the holy presence of God. St. Leonard of Port Maurice
34. It is true that love produces the remembrance of the loved object; but it is also true that this remembrance frequently contributes to increase the love. A soul that is faithful in remembering God often, will soon become inflamed with love, and in the measure that it increases in love of God, its remembrance will become so continuous, that it will not even know how to forget it. D'Argentan
35. To believe that a being, who is called love, dwells among us at every instant of the day and of the night, and who asks us to live in society with him: behold, I confess to you what has made of my life an anticipated heaven. Sister Elizabeth of the Holy Trinity
A Future Saint
in New Orleans?
By Rosalie A. Turton
I HAVE always admired, and yes even loved this woman whom so few people know. And she is so spectacular! Her faith, her devotion, her virtues, and her influence on our country ought one day to make her one of our greatest saints. But for her prayers and influence with God and Our Lady, our great country might not know the freedoms that we experience today.
Frankly, what I find most bewildering is that she is not already canonized! She was the patron of Eucharistic Adoration, all-night vigils, and an intense confidence in Our Lady's speedy and powerful intercession. Her life demonstrated these characteristics, and she was a great example to us. She was a woman after my own heart!
The name of this remarkable woman is Agathe Françoise Gensoul, and as an Ursuline in religion, Mother St. Michel Gensoul. Her patron was St. Michael. No wonder she was so fearless and courageous!
Troubles in the Convent in New Orleans
The Ursuline Convent of New Orleans was founded under the auspices of Louis XV, King of France, by a band of French Ursulines, who, on February 22, 1727, set sail on the Gironde from Lorient, a port of Brittany, and reached the Crescent City, New Orleans, on the morning of August 7 of the same year.
Almost immediately after their arrival, the nuns began to teach the children of the colonists, to instruct the Indians and the Blacks, and to nurse the sick in the hospital placed under their care. The Ursuline Sisters established what is now the oldest convent in the United States and the first Catholic school in New Orleans.
As the years passed, more Ursuline Sisters came from France to replace those who died. When, in 1763, Louisiana became a Spanish possession, the Ursuline Community had to recruit its members from Spain.
In 1800, Louisiana was retroceded to France, and the Spanish Sisters feared a repetition in the Louisiana colony of the recent horrors of the French Revolution. Because of this, on October 24, 1802, the prioress of the community, Mother St. Amonica Ramos, a native of Havana, addressed a petition to Charles IV, King of Spain, requesting the favor to return with her community to her native city. Without waiting for the royal answer, she and 15 other sisters left the convent in New Orleans on May 29, 1803.
Only seven Ursulines now remained; yet, full of confidence and zeal, they successfully maintained their boarding school, day school, and orphanage, as well as their courses of instruction for Black girls and women.
It was at this time that Mother St. André Madier felt inspired to appeal to a cousin of hers, an Ursuline in France who had been driven from her convent during the Reign of Terror. Agathe Gensoul, in religion Mother St. Michel, was not only a person of culture and refinement, but was also highly talented and remarkably pious.
Although expelled from her Convent of Pont-Saint-Esprit and compelled to conceal even her title of religious, she continued to cherish and foster the spirit of her holy vocation; and at the first indication of religious toleration, she hastened to resume her apostolic labors with renewed ardor, endeavoring to repair the havoc wrought by the French Revolution.
The task was not an easy one, as the guillotine, exile, and untold privations had severed the earthly ties of nearly all her former Sisters in religion, and to try to reunite the few that remained was utterly impossible. Yet, remembering that as an Ursuline she was in duty bound to devote her life to the instruction of youth, she determined to open in Montpelier, conjointly with Miss Sophie Ricard, another Ursuline, a boarding-school for young girls.
This flourishing academy was fully realizing all the hopes which the bishop of the diocese had placed in it, when Mother St. Michel Gensoul received, from Mother St. André Madier, her cousin in Louisiana, the letter stating the shortage of subjects in the New Orleans convent. This impelled her to abandon her own works of zeal to go to the relief of her Sisters across the Atlantic.
Many Obstacles Overcome By Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Numerous and almost insuperable obstacles stood in the way to prevent Mother St. Michel from responding to her cousin's appeal; but these difficulties merely served to show forth more conclusively the miraculous intervention of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, as the following account reveals.
France was just emerging from the Revolution; ruins lay on all sides. As there had been neither priests nor nuns to teach the young, the rising generation was encompassed by the appalling gloom of religious ignorance, devastated monasteries, profaned churches, and desecrated altars.
A woman like Mother St. Michel was a treasure for her country, for she was a person of no ordinary ability; and as her work as a teacher had already been crowned with wonderful success, her bishop would not even think of dispensing with her services.
The Pope Alone!
When her spiritual director was consulted on the subject of her leaving for Louisiana, he would give no answer; and when Mother St. Michel applied directly to Bishop Fournier, the prelate gave expression to his surprise, grief, and firm opposition in these forceful words: "The Pope alone can give this authorization" ... "The Pope alone!"
These words were equivalent to a determined refusal, for the Pope was in Rome. The distance was great; means of communication then were not what they are today; and, moreover, Pius VII was a real captive at Rome, held in custody by Napoleon and waiting to be taken by force to Fontainebleau.
The jailers of the Pope had received distinct injunctions to prevent all communication, even by letter, with the Vicar of Christ; consequently, writing to the Pope and expecting an answer from him were, seemingly, acts of folly.
Nevertheless, on December 15, 1808, Mother St. Michel wrote to the Sovereign Pontiff. Having set forth her motives for wishing to go to New Orleans, she concluded thus: "Most Holy Father, I appeal to your apostolic tribunal. I am ready to submit to your decision. Speak. Faith teaches me that you are the voice of the Lord. I await your orders. 'GO' or 'STAY,' from Your Holiness, will be the same to me."
No Opportunity To Send Letter
The letter had been written three months and no opportunity for sending it had yet presented itself when, one day, as Mother St. Michel was praying before a statue of Mary, she felt inspired to address the Queen of Heaven in these words: "O Most Holy Virgin Mary, if you obtain a prompt and favorable answer to my letter, I promise to have you honored in New Orleans under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor."
As an undeniable proof that Mother St. Michel's trustful prayer was pleasing to Her, and that She really wished to be honored in New Orleans under this title, Mary quickly performed the two miracles laid down as conditions by Mother St. Michel; for the letter left Montpelier on March 19, 1809, and the answer is dated Rome, April 28, 1809-a speed unheard of, even in the best of those times!
The first condition of a "prompt" reply is all the more miraculous owing to the above given account of the captivity of the Pope. The second condition is no less marvelous, for we must bear in mind that Pius VII knew the state of affairs in France and the need of apostles like Mother St. Michel to regenerate it; and yet he did not hesitate to approve of her leaving for the New World, as the following extract from Cardinal Di Pietro's letter shows:
"Madame, I am charged by our Holy Father, Pope Pius VII, to answer in his name. His Holiness cannot do otherwise than approve of the esteem and attachment you have fostered for the religious state, and the spirit of the Institute of St. Ursula you have maintained.
"The Holy Father experienced the greatest consolation on learning that a monastery of so useful an Order as that of the Ursulines, and which has rendered such signal services to the Church, is established in Louisiana, and that piety, peace, and the most exact regularity reign therein.
"His Holiness approves of your placing yourself at the head of your religious aspirants, to serve as their guide during the long and difficult voyage you are about to undertake..."
Conditions Fulfilled By Our Lady
The two conditions of a "prompt" and a "favorable" reply had been fulfilled by Mary. Bishop Fornier was so surprised at this truly miraculous issue that he acknowledged himself vanquished, and requested the privilege of blessing the statue of Our Lady which Mother St. Michel had ordered to be carved, according to her promise, and which was to be the protection of the pious missionaries on their voyage across the Atlantic.
On their arrival in New Orleans, December 30, 1810, this precious statue was solemnly installed in the Convent Chapel, and from that time the homage and veneration offered to Mary under the title of "Our Lady of Prompt Succor" has been constantly growing in that city and state and spreading far and wide all over the United States.
Two of Many Great Miracles
It does not come within the sphere of this brief sketch to relate all the many favors, both spiritual and temporal, wrought through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor during the past almost 200 years.
The Chronicles of the Ursuline Convent sum up these graces by saying: "Under this title, the Most Blessed Virgin has so often manifested her power and goodness, that the religious have unbounded confidence in her."
Two historical facts are especially worthy of notice here: the fire in 1812, and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
Devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor was only beginning to be known in New Orleans when, in 1812, a terrible fire ravaged the city. The wind rapidly drove the flames toward the convent, and the danger being imminent, an order was given to leave the convent.
Just then, Sr. Anthony placed a small statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on a window sill facing the fire, and Mother St. Michael prayed aloud: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, we are lost, unless You hasten to our help."
Instantaneously, the howling wind changed directions, the convent and environs were out of danger, and the flames extinguished. Witnesses of this inexplicable incident cried out unanimously: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor has saved us!"
The Victory That Saved America
General Andrew Jackson's glorious victory over the British in the battle of New Orleans, fought on the plains of Chalmette, January 8, 1815, is another signal favor rightly attributed to the all-powerful intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. (I almost did not believe this, so I wrote to the Washington DC to have the historical archives checked, and the following details are true! Truth is stranger than fiction.)
Never Was a City So Defenseless!
During the battle of New Orleans, England's army and navy, consisting of 20,000 of their most experienced men, a fleet of 50 ships and a thousand well-placed guns, attacked General Andrew Jackson's 6000 poorly trained and sparsely armed militia. One historian said, "Never was a city so defenseless, so exposed, so weak, so prostrate as New Orleans in the fall of 1814."
The British were so sure of final victory that their ships carried a full staff of civil officials ready to administer the province of Louisiana, and thus control the westward expansion of the United States.
The terrified people of New Orleans filled the churches. The Ursuline Sisters promised Our Lady of Prompt Succor that if America was saved, a solemn high Mass would be offered in her honor every year on January 8.
Before the combat, in order to obtain God's blessing upon the American forces, the weeping terror-stricken wives, mothers, children, sisters, nuns, and old folks of the valiant city spent the night of January 7 in prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the Ursuline chapel.
On the morning of January 8th, very Rev. William Dubourg, Vicar General and later, Bishop of New Orleans, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the main alter, above which the statue had been placed.
At the moment of communion, a courier rushed into the chapel, announcing the glad tidings of the enemy's defeat. After Mass, Father Dubourg intoned the Te Deum, which was sung enthusiastically and with heartfelt gratitude.
In just 25 minutes, the battle was won by the Americans who suffered few casualties, while the British suffered such tremendous causalities, they withdrew and made no further attempt to capture the city.
No one could reasonably doubt the miraculous intervention of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Jackson himself, not a Roman Catholic, did not hesitate to admit of a Divine interposition in his favor, and came in person to the convent, accompanied by his staff, to thank the nuns for their prayers on his behalf. General Jackson acknowledged that this victory could only have taken place with God's help. (God later rewarded his humility by making him a President of the United States.)
The vow made by the Ursulines has thereafter been faithfully kept throughout these long years. Rome has officially approved the devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor. The Mass is still said every year on January 8. On September 27, 1851, His Holiness, Pius IX, graciously authorized the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and the singing of the yearly Mass of Thanksgiving on January 8.
In accordance with a decree by Pope Leo XIII, issued in November of 1895, the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor was solemnly crowned, and Archbishop Janssens canonically erected in the Ursuline Chapel of New Orleans on January 8, 1895, the Confraternity of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.
By a new Prescript of the Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII in 1897, the Confraternity of Our Lady of Prompt Succor was raised to the rank of an Archconfraternity. Since that time, many thousands of Our Lady's faithful clients have been permanently enrolled as members of the Archcon-fraternity.
We pray that devotion to Mary under the hope-inspiring title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor may spread far and wide! To invoke Our Lady under this title is to tell her that our needs are great and pressing, and that we hope for and expect much from her. Her power equals her love; therefore, our confidence should know no bounds.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us! At least once, I completed the nine-day novena to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and true to Our Lady's great power, I received an immediate and favorable response regarding an important issue.
I wish everyone would know of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and of Mother St. Michel Gensoul of New Orleans as well as the infamous Mardi Gras there. Tell your friends about this amazing and powerful devotion, so particular to our own beloved nation.
A Manual of Devotions, as well as statues, medals and pictures of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, may be obtained by contacting the National Votive Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Ursuline Convent, 2635 State Street, New Orleans, LA 70118. Tel. 504-866-1472.
One free picture/prayer card is available upon request from:
The 101 Foundation, P.O. Box 151, Asbury, NJ 08802-0151.
Quotations of G. K. Chesterton
Religion and Faith
"One of the chief uses of religion is that it makes us remember our coming from darkness, the simple fact that we are created." - The Boston Sunday Post, 1/16/21
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." - ILN, 7/16/10
"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922
"There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions." - ILN, 1/13/06
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." - Chapter 5, What's Wrong With The World, 1910
"The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man." - Introduction to the Book of Job, 1907
"It has been often said, very truely, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary." - Charles Dickens
"Theology is only thought applied to religion." - The New Jerusalem
"The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden." - ILN 1-3-20
"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." - ILN 8-11-28
"Puritanism was an honourable mood; it was a noble fad. In other words, it was a highly creditable mistake." - Blake
"What life and death may be to a turkey is not my business; but the soul of Scrooge and the body of Cratchit are my business." - "Christmas," All Things Considered
"If a man called Christmas Day a mere hypocritical excuse for drunkeness and gluttony, that would be false, but it would have a fact hidden in it somewhere. But when Bernard Shaw says that Christmas Day is only a conspiracy kept up by Poulterers and wine merchants from strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startling and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewellers who wanted to sell wedding rings." - George Bernard Shaw, Ch. 6
"Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate." - The New Jerusalem, Ch. 5
"The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings." - Christendom in Dublin, Ch.3
"The great majority of people will go on observing forms that cannot be explained; they will keep Christmas Day with Christmas gifts and Christmas benedictions; they will continue to do it; and some day suddenly wake up and discover why." - "On Christmas," Generally Speaking
Morality and Truth
"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." - ILN, 10/23/09
"It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them." - ILN, 3/14/08
"There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth." - ILN, 7/18/08
"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - ILN, 6/11/10
ILN: Illustrated London News CW: Collected Works
The Sinner's Guide
By Venerable Louis of Granada
This is probably the most famous book of the favorite writer of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Vincent de Paul, etc. St. Teresa of Avila credited this book with having converted over a million people in her time. This is the most persuasive book we know to encourage people to abandon sin and embrace repentance and virtue. The logic is relentless and effective. For mastery of subject, command of Scripture and total impact on the reader, no book surpasses The Sinner's Guide.
The Third Motive which obliges us to serve God:(continued)
Gratitude for our Preservation and for the Government of His Providence
But a time will come when God's outraged patience shall be avenged. You have conspired against God. It is just that He should arm the universe against you, that all creatures should rise up against you to avenge their Creator. They who closed their eyes to the sweet light of His mercy while it still shone upon them and allured them by so many benefits will justly behold it when, too late for amendment, they shall be groaning under the severity of His justice.
Consider in addition to this benefit the rich and delightful banquet of nature prepared for you by your Creator. Everything in this world is for man's use, directly or indirectly. Insects serve as food for birds, which in their turn serve as food for man. In like manner the grass of the fields supports the animals destined also for man's service. Cast your eye upon this vast world, and behold the abundance of your possessions, the magnificence of your inheritance. All that move upon the earth, or swim in the water, or fly in the air, or live under the sun are made for you.
Every creature is a benefit of God, the work of His Providence, a ray of His beauty, a token of His mercy, a spark of His love, a voice which proclaims His magnificence. These are the eloquent messengers of God continually reminding you of your obligations to Him. "Everything," says St. Augustine, "in Heaven and on earth calls upon me to love Thee, O Lord! And the universe unceasingly exhorts all men to love Thee, that none may exempt themselves from this sweet law."
Oh! That you had ears to hear the voice of creatures appealing to you to love God. Their expressive silence tells you that they were created to serve you, while yours is the sweet duty of praising your common Lord not only in your own name but in theirs also. I flood your days with light, the heavens declare, and your nights I illumine with the soft radiance of my stars. By my different influences all nature bears fruit in season for your necessities.
I sustain your breath, the air tells you; with gentle breezes I refresh you and temper your bodily heat. I maintain an almost infinite variety of birds to delight you with their beauty, to ravish you with their songs, and to feed you; with their flesh. I maintain for your nourishment innumerable fishes, the water exclaims. I water your lands, that they may give you their fruit in due season. I afford you an easy passage to distant countries; that you may add their riches to those of your own.
But what says the earth, this common mother of all things, this vast storehouse of the treasures of nature? Surely she may tell you: Like a good mother I bear you in my arms; I prepare food for all your necessities; I procure the concurrence of the heavens and all the elements for your welfare. Never do I abandon you, for after supporting you during life, I receive you in death and in my own bosom give you a final resting place.
Thus can the whole universe with one voice cry out: Behold how my Master and Creator has loved you. He has created me for your happiness, that I might serve you, and that you in your turn might love and serve Him; for I have been made for you, and you have been made for God.
This is the voice of all creatures. Will you be deaf to it? Will you be insensible to so many benefits? You have been loaded with favors. Do not forget the debt you thence contract. Beware of the crime of ingratitude. Every creature, says Richard of St. Victor, addresses these three words to man: Receive, give, beware. Receive the benefit; give thanks for it; and beware of the punishment of ingratitude.
Epictetus, a pagan philosopher, fully appreciated this truth. He teaches us to behold the Creator in all His creatures, and to refer to Him all the blessings we receive from them. "When you are warned," he says, "of a change in the atmosphere by the redoubled cries of the crow, it is not the crow, but God who warns you. And if the voice of men gives you wise counsel and useful knowledge, it is also God who speaks. For He has given them this wisdom and knowledge, and, therefore, you must recognize His power in the instruments He wills to employ. But when He wishes to acquaint you with matters of greater moment He chooses more noble and worthy messengers."
The same philosopher adds, "When you will have finished reading my counsels, say to yourself: It is not Epictetus the philosopher who tells me all these things; it is God. For whence in fact has he received the power to give these counsels but from God? Is it not God Himself, therefore, who speaks to me through him?" Such are the sentiments of Epictetus. Should not a Christian blush to be less enlightened than a pagan philosopher? Surely it is shameful that they who are illumined by faith should not see what was so clear to them who had no other guide than the light of simple reason.
Since, then, every creature is a benefit from God, how can we live surrounded by these proofs of His love, and yet never think of Him? If, wearied and hungry, you seated yourself at the foot of a tower, and a beneficent creature from above sent you food and refreshment, could you forbear raising your eyes to your kind benefactor? Yet God continually sends down upon you blessings of every kind.
Find me, I pray you, but one thing which does not come from God, which does not happen by His special Providence. Why is it, then, that you never raise your eyes to this indefatigable and generous Benefactor? Ah! We have divested ourselves of our own nature, so to speak, and have fallen into worse than brute insensibility. I blush, in truth, to say what we resemble in this particular, but it is good for man to hear it. We are like a herd of swine feeding under an oak. While their keeper is showering down acorns, they greedily devour them, grunting and quarrelling with one another, yet never raising their eyes to the master who is feeding them. Oh! Brutelike ingratitude of the children of Adam! We have received the light of reason, and an upright form. Our head is directed to Heaven, not to earth, which ought to teach us to raise the eyes of our soul to the abode of our Benefactor.
Would that irrational creatures did not excel us in this duty! But the law of gratitude, so dear to God, is so deeply impressed on all creatures that we find this noble sentiment even in the most savage beasts. What nature is more savage than that of a lion? Yet Appian, a Greek author, tells us that a certain man took refuge in a cave, where he extracted a thorn from the foot of a lion. Grateful for the kindness, the noble animal ever after shared his prey with his benefactor while he remained in the cave. Some years later this man, having been charged with a crime, was condemned to be exposed to wild beasts in the amphitheater. When the time of execution arrived, a lion which had been lately captured was let loose on the prisoner. Instead of tearing his victim to pieces he gazed at him intently, and, recognizing his former benefactor, he gave evident signs of joy, leaping and fawning upon him as a dog would upon his master. Moved by this spectacle, the judges, on hearing his story, released both man and lion. Forgetful of his former wildness, the lion, until his death, continued to follow his master through the streets of Rome without offering the slightest injury to anyone.
A like instance of gratitude is related of another lion that was strangling in the coils of a serpent when a gentleman riding by came to his rescue and killed the serpent. The grateful animal, to show his devotion, took up his abode with his deliverer and followed him wherever he went, like a faithful dog. One day the gentleman set sail, leaving the lion behind him on the shore. Impatient to be with his master, the faithful animal plunged into the sea, and, being unable to reach the vessel, was drowned.
What instances could we not relate of the fidelity and gratitude of the horse! Pliny, in his Natural History (8,40), tells us that horses have been seen to shed tears at the death of their masters, and even to starve themselves to death for the same reason. Nor are the gratitude and fidelity of dogs less surprising. Of these the same author relates most marvelous things. He gives, among other examples, an instance which occurred in his own time at Rome. A man condemned to death was allowed in prison the companionship of his dog. The faithful animal never left him, and even after death remained by the lifeless body to testify to his grief. If food were given to him he immediately brought it to his master and laid it on his lifeless lips. Finally, when the remains were thrown into the Tiber, he plunged into the river, and, having placed himself beneath the body, struggled till the last to keep it from sinking. Could there be gratitude greater than this?
Now, if beasts, with no other guide than natural instinct, thus show their love and gratitude for their masters, how can man, possessing the superior guidance of reason, live in such forgetfulness of his Benefactor? Will he suffer the brute creation to give him lessons in fidelity, gratitude, and kindness? Moreover, will he forget that the benefits he receives from God are incomparably superior to those which animals receive from men? Will he forget that his Benefactor is so infinite in His excellence, so disinterested in His love, overwhelming His creatures with blessings which can in no way benefit Himself? This must ever be a subject of wonder and astonishment, and evidently proves that there are evil spirits who darken our understanding, weaken our memory, and harden our heart, in order to make us forget so bountiful a Benefactor.
If it be so great a crime to forget this Lord, what must it be to insult Him, and to convert His benefits into the instruments of our offences against Him? "The first degree of ingratitude," says Seneca, "is to neglect to repay the benefits we have received; the second is to forget them; the third is to requite the benefactor with evil." But what shall we say of that excess of ingratitude which goes so far as to outrage the benefactor with his own benefits? I doubt whether one man ever treated another as we dare to treat God. What man, having received a large sum of money from his sovereign, would be so ungrateful as immediately to employ it in raising an army against him? Yet you, unhappy creatures, never cease to make war upon God with the very benefits you have received from Him.
How infamous would be the conduct of a married woman who, having received a rich present from her husband, would bestow it upon the object of her unlawful love in order to secure his affections! The world would regard it as base, unparalleled treason; yet the offence is only between equals. But what proportions the crime assumes when the affront is from a creature to God! Yet is not this the crime of men who consume their health, and who waste, in the pursuit of vice, the means that God has given them? They pervert their strength to the gratification of their pride; their beauty but feeds their flesh, to traffic in innocence, bargaining, even as the Jews did with Judas, for the Blood of Christ! What shall I say of their abuse of other benefits?
The sea serves but to satisfy their gluttony and their ambition; the beauty of creatures excites their gross sensuality; earthly possessions but feed their avarice; and talents, whether natural or acquired, only tend to increase their vanity and pride. Prosperity inflates them with folly, and adversity reduces them to despair. They choose the darkness of the night to hide their thefts, and the light of day to lay their snares, as we read in Job. In a word, they pervert all that God has created for His glory to the gratification of their inordinate passions. (To be continued)
The Sinner's Guide is available free, in e-book format, at http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/GRANADA.HTM
It is also available at: TAN Books, P.O. Box 424, Rockford, IL 61105. Tel: 1-800-437-5876 www.tanbooks.com
Messages to the Portavoz
I want to relate to you some brief words that Our Lord deigned to say to His Portavoz a day after the death of His Holiness John Paul I, and because they are so brief they were left unpublished. The Portavoz asked Our Lord to relate to us what was happening at that time, since we did not know what to think of the very sudden death of that Pontiff; then at the time when Our Lord gave her Holy Communion in her cell, He said to her: "All is well... all is well." And in fact, brothers and sisters of my soul, it is because everything that God does is well, although we humans may not comprehend its meaning. Let us give Him thanks then, and hope in His word with humble submission. -- Vol. 7, p. 46.
Message of August 28, 1978
"To love, to suffer and to be silent, are the three indispensable things for a victim soul. For if this is so in a general sense, how much more so in vic-tims of Divine Justice? Let each one meditate on this in his own conscience and you will find that in these three conditions all perfection is enclosed, for the victims to Divine justice are obliged to give it heroic virtues. This is logically manifest: to give to God what the world denies him. Only thus do sinful souls pay the debts. And this, this, my spouse, is urgent.
"Offer, then, your physical afflictions, your moral sufferings and your own longings to win souls, and thus there will be optimal fruit that: soon will be seen. Invite thus the legion that now exists, and may it increase each day. Unite yourselves to me in the Eucharist, where I am a voluntary prisoner. I want souls, victim souls that will let themselves be done with as I will, that seek nothing else except to let their God do whatever He wills with them. Soon the final day of sorrows ill come, and then, Heaven and earth, all will be Paradise. - V. 7, p. 40.