Notes from “The Way Of Divine Love”
WQPH members recommend another very moving book, The Way of Divine Love by Sister Josefa Menendez, which documents a series of private revelations and apparitions of Jesus and Mary to Sr Josefa.
Disclaimer: Sister Josefa has not been canonized, her life’s revelations are not authenticated by the Vatican, so let the reader be aware of this.
We transcribed some of the quotes that we found most insightful. What is not captured are the sections about the Passion. Of the whole book those portions are arguably the most insightful.
The messages in the book talk at length about the divine worth of suffering, the state of souls that benefit from the sacrifices of others. They also talk about how unrepentant souls pain God and how one’s suffering go toward moving a soul from it’s state of rebellion.
Jesus makes a few very moving monologues in the book, describing how ready he is to forgive a soul, how well he understand’s their fallen nature.
The book is very a worthwhile read, we recommend it highly!
Note: unless attributed otherwise, the following quotes are comments from Jesus to Sister Josefa Menendez…
This life and the next
The world is but a divine passage for one who loves the Divine Master.St. John, Pg 301
Do not weary of suffering. Souls who suffer through love will see great things, I do not say here on earth, but in eternity.St. Madeline Sophie, Pg 307
I shall be your reward exceeding great and you will never regret any sacrifice you made for me during your life!Pg 359
The thirst for contentment and love can never be appeased by earthly and fleeting gains, which will always leave you hungry and unsatisfied. Perpetual conflict, sadness, anxiety, and affliction will still be your portion.
If you are poor and have to earn a living by work, the miseries of life will embitter you; you will be hostile to your employers, and may even wish them ill, that like yourselves they may experience the hard grind of daily toil.
Fatigue, disgust, even despair will weigh heavily on your spirits, for the way is rough and in the end comes death!….
O! how great are these calamities when views from a human standpoint. But I come to show you live under a different aspect.
All of you who love your homes and labor to support your families and provide them with comforts and happiness, do not forget that though death will sever every tie, this is only for a time…
You who serve a master, and owe him respect, love, care for his interests, hard work and fidelity, forget not that he is your master only for the short span of a lifetime. How soon this will pass away and give place to an eternity, where you will no longer be workers but reign as kings forever and ever.
Your souls, created by a loving Father who bears you a limitless and eternal affection, will find one day in the bliss of Heaven prepared for you a final answer to all your aspirations. There, every labor will be rewarded…
There you will find your family for whom you worked so hard on earth.
There you will live eternally, for earth is but a passing shadow, Heaven will never pass away.
There, you will be united to your God and Father….O! if you but knew how great is the beatitude that awaits you…
Have you no faith? Then how is it that you persecute me?…Why do you rebel against My laws, and war against those who love Me?…And since you desire freedom for yourselves why not grant it to others?
You say you do not believe in a future life?…Tell me, are you perfectly contented here and do you never feel a yearning for that which it is not possible to obtain here below?
If after seeking for enjoyment, you succeed in obtaining it, does it satisfy your cravings?…
If after pursuing riches, you at last possess them, have you ever enough?…If you feel the need of affection, and one day find it, are you not soon tired of it?…
None of these things is what you long for, and here below you will never obtain all that your heart desires. Your craving is peace, not the peace of this world, but that of the children of God; and how do you expect to find it in the midst of rebellion?Pg 468
Youth, wealth, wisdom, human glory, all that is nothing it will all end with this life; God only will endure forever.Pg 476
If only they know….they would never seek for anything on earth but God’s Will…no one can imagine what a joy it is…it is the only thing that gives peace.Josefa, Pg 560
How well one understands, when the end comes, how God is everything and all the rest nothing.Josefa, Pg 569
Mercy and Justice
I have two measures for every soul, one is of mercy, and the other is of justice.Pg 71
I will wait for that soul, but unless she wills herself to be forgiven, I cannot pardon her. She was created without her cooperation, but she is free to save or lose her soul.Pg 72
Never does my heart refuse to forgive a soul that humbles itself, especially when it asks with confidence.Pg 139
I have no greater desire, no greater joy, than when I can pardon a soul.Pg 142
Do not let your falls, however many, trouble you. It is trouble and worry that keep a soul from God.Pg 164
O! How many are lost, and how numerous are those who are waiting for the sacrifices and suffering that are to obtain for them the grace to forsake their evil ways…however, I still have many souls who love me and belong to me. A single one of them could purchase pardon for a great many others who are cold and ungrateful.Pg 171
Do not forget that the time of justice has not yet come, but now is the hour of mercy.Pg 247
My heart is not only an abyss of love, it is also an abyss of mercy.Pg 288
I pursue sinners as justice pursues criminals. But justice seeks them in order to punish; I, in order to forgive.Pg 315
I, the son of God, who hold the universe in the palm of my hand, willed that in men’s eyes I should appear as the last and most contemptible of all.
Far from flying from such humiliations, I willingly endured them to expiate man’s pride and draw souls to follow in my footsteps.Pg 369
I expiated by this painful crowning the pride of those who refuse to accept anything that lowers them in the eyes of the world.
I love those who after a first fall come to me for pardon…I love them still more when they beg pardon for their second sin, and should this happen again, I do not say a million times but a million million times, I still love them and pardon them, and I will wash in My blood their last as fully as their first sin.
Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for their return, and the greater their distress, the greater my welcome. Does not a father love a sick child with special affection? Are not his care and solicitude greater? So is the tenderness and compassion of My Heart more abundant for sinners than for the just.
This is what I wish all to know. I will teach sinners the mercy of My Heart is inexhaustible. Let the callous and indifferent know that My Heart is a fire which will enkindle them, because I love them. To devout and saintly souls I would be the Way, that making great strides in perfection, they may safely reach the harbor of eternal beatitude. Lastly, of consecrated souls, priests and religious, My elect and chosen ones, I ask, once more, all their love and that they should not doubt Mine, but above all that they should trust me and never doubt my mercy. It is so easy to trust completely in My heart!Pg 454
Expressions of Love
The only comfort I get is in incessantly telling him of my love, it detaches me from the things of the earth.Josefa, Pg 77
Always remember that if I love you it is because you are little, not because you are good.Pg 88
You must resemble me if you are to be my bride.Pg 91
Say it often [I love you], to make up for the forgetfulness of so many.Pg 97
Constantly giving me proofs of your love by acts; that is true love.Pg 97
The soul that loves wants to suffer, for suffering increases love. Love and suffering unite a soul closely to God and make her one with him.Pg 115
Love blots out everything.Pg 127
Often choose what costs you, but without loss of joy and gladness, for by serving me in peace and happiness you will give the most glory to my heart.Pg 164
A very little thing offered with great love consoles my heart so much, it inclines towards her, and forgets all her worthlessness.Pg 165
Love is proved by deeds. I have suffered because I love them; now it is their turn to suffer because they love me.Pg 253
I do not look at the act itself, I look to the intention, the smallest act, if done out of love, acquires such merit that it gives me immense consolation.Pg 261
When two people love one another, a very small lack of consideration in one of them is sufficient to wound the other. And so it is with my heart. That is why I want those who aspire to intimacy with me to train themselves we’ll so hat later on they refuse me nothing.Pg 273
I so much want souls to understand this! It is no the action itself that is of value; it is the intention with which it is done. When I swept and labored in the workshop of Nazareth, I gave as much glory to My Father as when I preached during my public life.Pg 285
Nothing great is required, the smallest acts suffice: a step taken, a straw picked up, a glance restrained, a service rendered, a cordial smile…all these offered to Love are in reality of great profit to souls and draw down floods of grace on them. No need to remind you of the fruits of prayer, of sacrifice of any act offered to expiate the sins of mankind….to obtain for them the grace of purification, that they too may become fitting sanctuaries for the indewelling of the blessed trinity.Pg 433
Nothing that is done in love is small.Pg 462
My way is one of suffering and crosses.Pg 272
Love and suffer, for love is inseparable from suffering.Pg 285
Whoever loves Me loves the Cross, and whoever loves the Cross loves Me. Only those who love the Cross and embrace it willingly for the love of Me, will possess eternal life.Pg 425
My Cross is the door of true life.Pg 425
Think of this: you have only today in which to suffer and love…eternity will be all joy.Mary, Pg 87
When I leave you alone in agony, accept my will, and abandon yourself to love. Pg 93Pg 93
Suffer because you love, work because you love, and above all abandon yourself to love. When I let you feel the anguish of my spirit and great loneliness, suffer in love. Pg 96Pg 96
Suffer in silence, but without this mental anguish. Love without introspection and without even knowing whether you love or not.Pg 103
Courage. I can give you no better gift than suffering. It is the selfsame road that I trod.Pg 108
Do not shrink from suffering, Josefa, you will never lack the strength you need, and when you can bear it no longer, I myself will give you courage and relief.Pg 152
Do not be afraid of suffering…I am powerful enough to take care of you.Pg 158
There is nothing of greater value than suffering, when united to my heart.Pg 158
Your soul must remain in peace, even in the midst of pain.Pg 189
I am the one joy of souls.Pg 160
I want you to always be abandoned and happy, because my heart cares for you tenderly.Pg 189
How happy I am when souls receive me with joy…for I come either to console them or to seek in them my consolation. But they do not always recognize my presence, especially, when it is accompanied by suffering.Pg 342
Humble yourself profoundly, but always joining confidence and love to your humility.Pg 149
A soul will profit even after the greatest sins, if she humbles herself. It is pride that provokes my father’s wrath, and it is loathed by him with infinite hatred. I am in search of those who will humble themselves to repair for this pride.Pg 154
Do not forget that without me a soul is nothing more than an abyss of wretchedness. I will raise up the humble, and make little of their frailties, and even their falls, provided they have humility and love.Pg 154
Love gives strength but the self must be forgotten. Pg 162Pg 162
He who never needs forgiveness is not the most happy, but rather he who has humbled himself many times.Pg 213
That soul May and will fall often again, but if she humbles herself, if she recognizes her nothingness, if she tries to repair her faults by little acts of generosity and love, if she confides and surrenders herself once more to my heart…she gives me more glory and can do more good to other souls, than if she had never fallen. Miseries and weaknesses are of no consequence, what I do ask of them is love.
[Addendum to the above quote] I am speaking only of faults of frailty and inadvertence, not of willed sin or infidelity.Pg 271
I do not love you for who you are…but who you are not, that is to say your wretchedness and nothingness, for this I have found a place for my greatness and bounty.Pg 279
Console him by your humility, for all is well where there is humility; but when it is absent, everything goes wrong.St Madeline Sophie, Pg 308
The humility your Holy Mother spoke to you about does not consist in words or exterior actions exactly, but in the fidelity with which a soul moved by grace follows its inspirations, without letting itself be carried away by self-love.Pg 312
A reproof accepted patiently and even with joy will obtain for a sinner blinded by pride the grace to let light penetrate his soul and the courage to beg pardon humbly.Pg 332
The basis of love is humility; for it is often necessary to submit and sacrifice our likes and dislikes, our comfort and our self-love if we wish to give proof of true love…and this act of submission is none other than one of humility for it is abnegation, self-denial, generosity and adoration in one. In fact, to prove this love in something that costs us very much we have to think in this way: ‘If it were not for Thee, O my God, I would not do it. But as it is for Thee, I cannot say no; I love Thee and I submit to Thy Will. It is my God who asks this of me, so I must obey. I do not know why He asks it, but He knows.’ And so because of love we humble ourselves, and with submission do what we do not understand and do not like, unless with a supernatural love and solely because it is the Will of God.Pg 450
Humble yourself to the very ground. Adore your God, to make reparation for the contempt and offences he receives from the greater part of mankind.Pg 460
Trust in the Lord
If I am with you, what does it matter if the whole world is against you?Pg 197
Be convinced: the greater your sufferings, and the more acute they are, the more comforting to me, and it is when you least think it that you are drawing the most souls to me.Pg 215
I have no need of your strength but I do need your surrender.Pg 215
When souls know my wishes, they will spare nothing, neither trouble, nor effort, nor suffering.Pg 249
It is in my heart that souls who know how to deny themselves find true peace.Pg 279
You must not give in to sadness, for my love takes care of you.Pg 288
If I should ask you for things that cost, know that at the same time I will give you all the grace and strength you need to conquer yourself.Pg 332
Do not faint under your burdens. Never count them as useless, even if you are unable to recon the result; submit your judgment and leave the divine will free to do with you whatsoever it wills.Pg 344
I shall be your reward exceeding great and you will never regret any sacrifice you made for me during your life!Pg 359
I saw them faithfully imitating me and learning from my heart not only to accept suffering and contempt with patience and serenity, but also to extend their love to those who would persecute them.Pg 360
Let yourself be convinced by faith and you will be great. Let yourself be ruled by faith, and you will be free; live by faith, and you will escape eternal death.Pg 477
Help from the Lord
It is when harrowed with pain that you too must call God your Father. Beg for His help, expose your woes…your fears, your longings…and let your cry of anguish remind Him that you are His child. Tell Him that your body is exhausted…your heart is sorrowful even unto death…that your soul is experiencing what seems a very sweat of blood. Pray with a child’s confidence and expect relief from your Father’s heart.Pg 343
Only in prayer can a soul obtain the strength needed in life’s difficulties. In prayer God will communicate Himself, will counsel and inspire, even if His actions be unfelt.Pg 340
If you are weak and afraid of yielding to human respect, have recourse to me for strength to conquer yourselves.Pg 351
Reparations for sins
Do not lose any chance of making reparations these days; offer up everything for souls…and suffer with great love.Mary, Pg 190
Souls run to perdition and my blood is lost for them. But souls that love me are sacrificing themselves as victims of reparation, and they draw down God’s mercy, and that is what saves the world.Pg 191
That is my intention…to repair the faults of some by the acts of others.Pg 237
There are some souls that suffer in order to obtain for others strength not to consent to evil. If those two souls had fallen into sin yesterday, they would have been eternally lost. The little acts you did obtained for them the courage to stand firm.
Yes, my heart gives divine worth to these little offerings, for what I want is love! I am in search of love. I love souls and I look for a response of love. What is so wounding to my heart is that often instead of love I meet with indifference. Give me love and give me souls…unite all your actions to my heart. Stay with me who am with you. I am love and desire only love. O! if souls only realized how I wait for them in mercy. I am the love of all loves, and it is my joy to forgive.Pg 265
How many are eternally lost…but how many, too, will regain life. You cannot conceive how great is the reparatory value of suffering…Pg 280
When as soon as they wake they unite themselves to me and offer their whole day with a burning desire that my heart may use it for the profit of souls…when with love they perform their duties, hour by hour and moment by moment…how great the treasure they amass in one day.Pg 285
When a soul prayers for a sinner with an intense desire for his conversion, his prayer generally obtains the sinner’s conversion, though sometimes only at the last moment, and the offense given to my heart is repaired. But in any case, prayer is never lost, for on the one hand, it consoles me for the pain sin has occasioned, and on the other, it efficacy and power are applied, if not to that sinner, then to others better disposed to profit by it. Pg 310
When my chosen ones are closely united to My Heart, they will realize how often I am offended…they will understand my feelings…then they will comfort me and repair for sinners, and full of trust in me, they will ask pardon and obtain grace for the world.Pg 556
Some souls unite themselves to me and comfort me, and so make up for those that go away from me.Pg 65
If you could but understand my sadness that my love meets with no return.Pg 95
If you but knew the value of a soul!Pg 106
Ah! If only they knew my heart…mankind is ignorant of its mercy and goodness: that is my greatest sorrow.Pg 129
My heart is steeped in woe…sinners despise me and trample me under their feet…there is nothing of less value in their eyes than their creator.Pg 191
Is there on earth any creature so insulted and despised as I am? Poor souls…it is I who gave them life, and they seek to deal out death to me. Not only are they oblivious of me, those souls that have cost me so dear, but they even make me an object of contempt and mockery.Pg 194
…Souls that once knew and loved me…but now they prefer their own enjoyment and pleasure to my heart… Pg 195
My heart is not so much wounded by sin, as torn by grief because they will not take refuge with me after it.Pg 255
Many are willing to entertain me when I visit them with consolation. Many receive me with joy in Holy Communion, but few welcome me when I visit them with my cross. When a soul is stretched on the cross, and is surrendered to my will that soul glorifies me…and consoles me, and is very close to me.Pg 262
After he had given me the traitor’s kiss, Judas left the Garden, and realizing the gravity of his crime, gave way to despair. Who can measure my sorrow at the sight of my apostle casting himself into hell!Pg 349
Can you fathom the pain of my loving heart when my own chosen ones deny me?Pg 351
My one longing is for souls to bring Me their miseries!Pg 445
Help me, Josefa, help me to let men know how I love them!Pg 459
It is not so much an actual sin that wounds me, but his obduracy.Pg 472
On the condition of souls
There are some Christian souls and even very pious ones that are held back from perfection by some attachment. But when another offers her actions united to my infinite merits, she obtains grace for them to free themselves and make a fresh start.
Many others live in indifference and even in sin, but when helped in the same way, recover grace, and will eventually be saved.
Others again, and these are very numerous are obstinate in wrongdoing and blinded by error. They would be damned if some faithful soul did not make supplication for them, thus obtaining grace to touch their hearts, but their weakness is so great that they run the risk of a relapse into their sinful life; these I take away into the next world without delay, and that is how I save them.Pg 130
In so far as I enter your soul, you will become less and less occupied with yourself. But this will come about gradually and take time.Pg 142
I would condone their falls, and I am not unmindful of their wretchedness, but what I want is that they should not remain deaf to my appeals and that they should not turn away from the arms outstretched to raise them up.Pg 161
The better you know what you are the better you will know what I am.Pg 163
Innumerable are the souls that are committed and enumerable are the souls that are damned…Pg 257
I live in the midst of sinners that I may be their life, their physician, and the remedy of the diseases bred by corrupt nature.Pg 328
Do you not know, Josefa, that on earth My heaven is in souls?Pg 442
I am your God and your Father, your Creator and your Savior. You are My creatures, My sons, bought at a the price of My life and Heart’s blood, which I shed to free you from slavery and the tyranny of sin.
You have souls great and immortal, destined for eternal happiness, wills capable of all good, hearts made both to give and receive affection…Pg 466
By my first fall I obtained for sinners rooted in evil, the grace of conversion…by my second fall, encouragement for those weak souls blinded by sadness and anxiety so that rising up they might make a fresh start in the way of virtue. My third fall will help souls to repent in the supreme hour of death.Pg 391
Wonder and marvel at my silence, patience, and resignation under such brutal treatment.Pg 392
May My Will triumph in you…Pg 393
May My love consume you…
May your misery glorify Me.
You will sometimes feel in your heart the anguish that is mine, and that is how you will allay my sorrow.Pg 79
Unite all you do to my actions, whether you work or whether you rest. Unite your breathing to the breathing of my heart. How many souls you would be able to save that way.Pg 130
During these days when I am so sinned against I want you to be my Cyrenean; yes, you will help me carry my cross.Pg 190
From time to time, I long to make a new appeal of love…Pg 248
Why am I so ungenerous and always afraid of pain?…I understand that I look too much at myself and not enough at him.Josefa, Pg 251
O my Jesus, what sorrow that I have responded so badly to thy love.Josefa, Pg 481
I have no merits of my own, but those of Jesus are mine.Josefa, Pg 499
Just as I sacrificed myself as a victim of love, so I want you to be a victim: love never refuses anything.Pg 64
Mary speaks to Josefa
On Calvary, Jesus gave me all men for my sons; come then, for you are my child.Mary, Pg 131
The heart of Jesus loves your mother infinitely more than you do.Mary, Pg 136
All those you prayed for have left purgatory and are safe in heaven for all eternity. There they will protect you.Mary, Pg 231
Suffer…suffer…Only at a high price can things of great value be bought.Mary, Pg 409
When you suffer, it is Jesus who reposes in you.Mary, Pg 486
Souls in purgatory speak to Josefa
The important thing is not entrance into religion, but entrance into the next world.Soul in Purgatory, Pg 207
If religious souls but realized the heavy price to be paid for concessions to the body…Soul in Purgatory, Pg 207
How great is the mercy of God, when he deigns to make use of the sufferings of other souls to repair our infidelities; what degree of glory I might have acquired had my life been different.Priest Soul in Purgatory, Pg 208
What are charges and offices in the sight of God? All he counts are the purity of our intention when exercising them. Even in the smallest acts.Nun Soul in Purgatory, Pg 208
The work of redemption can only be done by suffering.Soul in Purgatory, Pg 409
The Blessed Sacrament
Every day after Communion repeat with all the fervor of which you are capable: “Heart of Jesus, May the whole world be set on fire with thy love.”Pg 164
Do not allow yourselves to be involved in useless and incessant cares, but spare a few moments to visit and receive this Prisoner of love!Pg 328
Be on guard about these three points by which the enemy of souls will endeavor to make you fall.
First: never give in to your scruples which he suggests to you in order to make you give up Holy Communion.
Second: when my son asks anything of you–be it an act of humility or some other act, do it with great love, telling him all the time: “Lord, Thou seest how much it costs me…but thou first, and I afterwards.”
Third: pay no attention to the artifice of the devil who tries to persuade you that the confidence you have in your Mother subtracts something from your tenderness for Jesus. If he is able to master you in this matter, then he will have gained everything.Mary, Pg 148
When I want to keep strong hold of a soul, I have only to incite her to pride…and if I want to bring about her ruin, I have only to let her follow the instincts of her pride.
Pride is the source of my victories and I will not rest till the world is full of it. I myself was lost through pride, and I will not allow souls to save themselves through humility.
There is no doubt about it, all those who reach highest sanctity have sunk deepest in humility.Satan, Pg 308
Perils of the world
You know very well that in the company you find so attractive there will be conversations that wound me.Pg 345
What are passing pleasures…if not the thirty pieces of silver for which Judas sold me, and what did he gain? The loss of his soul.Pg 346
Faced by a temptation or a dangerous occasion of sin, they blind themselves and argue, until they gradually persuade themselves that there is no harm, no peril in it…they are wise enough to decide for themselves and have no need of advice…they are afraid of seeing ridiculous in the eyes of the world…Pg 361
You will not find the happiness you seek in this world; and God grant, that although you put yourself in grave danger, you may find it in the next.Pg 370
The world is full of hate, races are in perpetual conflict with one another, so are nations, and even individuals, and all of this is due to the decay of faith. Only let faith reign once more over the world and peace and charity will return to it.Pg 477
“It was Love”
It was love that hid me thirty years in complete obscurity and humble work.
It was love that made me choose solitude and silence…to live unknown and voluntarily to submit to the commands of My Mother and adopted Father. For love saw how in the course of ages many souls would follow my example and delight in conforming their lives to mine.
It was love that made me embrace all the miseries of human nature, for the love of my heart saw far ahead. I know how many imperiled souls would be helped by the acts and sacrifices of others and so would recover life.
It was love that made me suffer the most ignominious contempt and horrible tortures…and shed all my blood and die on the cross to save mankind and redeem the whole human race.
And love saw how, in the future, many souls would unite themselves to my torments and dye their sufferings and actions, even the most ordinary, with my blood in order to win many souls to me.Pg 283
It is this love that keeps Me a prisoner in the Tabernacle. For nearly twenty centuries I have dwelt there, night and day, veiled under the species of bread and concealed in the small white Host, bearing through love, neglect, solitude, contempt, blasphemies, outrages, sacrileges…
For love of souls, I instituted the sacrament of penance, that I might forgive them, not once or twice, but as often as they need to recover grace. There I wait for them, longing to wash away their sins, not in water, but in My blood.Pg 453
A father had an only son.
They were rich and powerful, served by devoted retainers, and surrounded by all that makes for honor, comfort and pleasure in life, and nothing, neither person nor thing, was wanting to their good fortune. The son was all in all to the father, and the father to the son, and each found in the other perfect contentment, though not so as to exclude the others, for such noble and generous hearts felt sympathy for anyone in distress, however slight it might be.
Now it came to pass that one of the servants of this good master fell ill, and as the danger increased, the only hope of saving his life lay in the application of powerful remedies and most careful nursing.
But this servant lay at his poor and lonely home. At which the master felt alarm, for if left deserted, the man would certainly die. What was to be done? True, a fellow servant could be sent to minister to him; but such service, done for gain rather than love, gave no assurance against possible neglect.
So moved with compassion, the master called his son and told him of his anxiety. He explained how near death the poor man was, and that the most unremitting care alone could save him.
Like father, like son! The offer to go himself to succor the dying man is made at once. He will spare neither trouble, fatigue nor night watches until the servant’s health is fully reestablished.
The father accepts his son’s offer, and willingly allows him to take on the likeness of a servant, that he may serve him who is his slave.
Many months go by, months of anxious watching by the sick-bed, till at length health is restored, for nothing has been spared that could not only cure his sickness, but also ensure his complete well-being. And what of the servant? With a heart overflowing with gratitude, he asks what he can do in return for such marvelous charity.
Go said the son, seek out my father and with restored health offer yourself to become his most faithful servant in return for his liberality.Pg 458
Overwhelmed by his obligations, the man stands in humble gratitude before his benefactor and proffers his services gratis, forever. What need has he of remuneration from such a master, who has treated him not as a servant, but as a son.
An appeal to sinners from a most loving God
Oh, all you who are steeped in sin, and who for a time more or less long have lived as wanderers and fugitives because of your crimes…if the offences of which you have been guilty have hardened and blinded your hearts…if to grant satisfaction to one or other of your passions you have sunk into evil ways…Ah! when the motives or accomplices of your sin have forsaken you, and you realize the state of your soul, oh then, do not yield to despair! For as long as a breath of life remains a man may have recourse to mercy and ask for pardon.
If you are still young, if already the scandals of your life have lowered you in the eyes of the world, do not be afraid…Even if there is reason to treat you as a criminal, to insult and cast you off…your God has no wish to see you fall into the flames of hell…On the contrary He ardently desires you to come to Him so that He may forgive you. If you dare not speak to Him, at least look at Him and let the sighs of your heart reach Him, and at once you will find His kind and fatherly hand stretched out to lead you to the springs of pardon and life.
Should it happen that you have spent the greater part of your life in impiety and indifference, and that the sudden approach of the hour of death fills you with blinding despair…Oh! do not let yourself be deceived, for there is still time for pardon. If only one second of life remains to you, in that one second you can buy back eternal life!
If your whole life has been spent in ignorance and error…if you have been a cause of great evil to other men, to society at large, or to religion, and if through some set of circumstances you have come to realize that you have been deceived…do not allow yourself to be crushed by the weight of your sins and of the evil of which you have been the instrument; but with a soul penetrated with deep contrition throw yourself into an abyss of confidence, and hasten to Him who awaits your return only to pardon you.
The case is the same for a soul that has been faithful to the observance of My law from childhood, but who has gradually cooled off into the tepid and unspiritual ways of an easy life. She has so to say forgotten her soul and its higher aspirations. God was asking of her greater efforts, but blinded by habitual failings, she has fallen into tepidity worse than actual sin, for her deaf and drowsy conscience neither feels remorse nor hears the voice of God.
Then, perhaps, that soul awakens with a shock of realization: life appears to have been a failure, empty and useless for her salvation…She has lost innumerable graces, and the evil one, loath to lose her, makes the most of her distress, plunges her into discouragement, sadness and dejection…and finally casts her into fear and despair.
Oh soul whom I love, pay no heed to this ruthless enemy…but as soon as possible have recourse to Me, and filled with deepest contrition implore My mercy and have no fear. I will forgive you. Take up again your life of fervor, and you will have back your lost merits, and My grace will never fail you.
Finally, shall I speak to My chosen souls? Supposing that one has spent long years in the constant practice of the Rule and of her religious duties…a soul that I have favored with My grace and instructed by My counsels…a soul long faithful to My voice and to the inspirations of grace
…and now this soul has cooled in her fervor on account of some petty passion …occasions of faults not avoided…some yielding to the claims of nature and a general relaxation of effort…and in consequence has fallen to a lower level…to a commonplace kind of life…then lastly, to give it its true name, tepidity.
If, for one cause or another, you awake from this torpid state, the devil will instantly attack you in every way, jealous of a soul he hopes to claim. He will try to persuade you that it is too late, and that my effort is useless, he will accentuate your repugnance to make an avowal of your state of soul…he will, so to speak, throttle you to prevent you from speaking and accepting the light he will do his best to stifle trust and confidence in your soul.
But listen rather to My voice, and let Me tell you how to act:
As soon as your soul is touched by grace, and before the struggle has even begun, hasten to My Heart; beg of Me to let a drop of My Blood fall on your soul…Ah! hasten to My Heart…and be without fear for the past; all has been swallowed up in the abyss of My mercy, and My love is preparing new graces for you. The memory of your lapses will be an incentive to humility and a source of merit, and you cannot give Me a greater proof of affection than to count on My full pardon and to believe that your sins will never be as great as My mercy, which is infinite.Pg 375