Longer Reflections

-I- 
Look At Me Gasping For Breath 
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-II-
 (Misunderstandings that Need Correcting)
(see text below)

-III- 
Our Lady of Guadalupe
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(Misunderstandings that Need Correcting)
Commentary
The following can be understood as an effort to make explicit what is implicit in our having been created in the Image of God.  Jesus is that Image, the Image of the Father  ["He who has seen Me has seen the Father"].   We , being made in God's Image, are therefore meant to be other Christs, one with Christ Himself in whose Image we originally participated.  We were separated from that Image of C hrist in us by the Fall, when we gave ourselves to false, sinful images.  In accord with the Father's intention,  the Image of God came down from heaven to live among us so that His  Image in us might be restored . Jesus tells us this Himself in John 17:21: “That they may all be one, as thou, Father, in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us . . . ”)  The following discussion lays bare the implications of this profound calling, both for us and for Jesus Christ Himself, to Whom we are to be united as to another Himself. We are told that the suffering of separation is how that lost Image is to be recovered.  Just as Christ suffered separation from His Father on the Cross on our behalf, to satisfy His justice and correct the separation we caused by the Fall and thus to fulfill the Father’s purpose in Creation, so too must we be separated from the sinful images we have given ourselves to, a journey which will entail a cross, ours, and a suffering which is our joy to suffer as well.
 
1. Regarding Joy and Sorrow
Joy and sorrow! You cannot love Me without joy, and you cannot love Me without sorrow! That is the understanding you need, how to be joyful in your sorrow. For want of this understanding you apply a false measure to your experience, and then you fail to understand what I would teach you by your experience. And then you go from one extreme to the other, at one time making joy without suffering your measure — and that quickly becomes dissipation; and then, swinging to the other extreme, you are tempted to cultivate suffering without joy. And that, in a way, is even worse.
What I want you to understand first, therefore, is that you do not understand your own experience. I want you to understand that you do not understand what it is I am asking of you. When you see that you do not understand a thing, that is the beginning of understanding it. Then you ask, and when you ask, you receive.
 
What you do not understand, then, is how you are to unite joy with suffering. Consider with Me therefore, first, what joy is. Joy is the experience you have when you are united with the object of your desire.  I am that Object. But joy is something more than union with what you desire. If one is to be joyful, it is not enough to be united with the person or thing he loves — he must know that he is united with what he loves. Thus, when I said to My Mother, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know I was about My Father's business?“ it was to insinuate just this point — as though I had said: "Why were you sad? Did you not know that you were united with Me in the Father?"
Do you see, then, that to be joyful you must not only be united with the person you love, you must know  that you are united with him! And this is the key to the problem we have posed, how to suffer in joy.  For do you not see that the effect of suffering is precisely to feel separated from the object you love? And therefore, as soon as you begin to suffer there is a natural tendency to feel yourself unloved — like a child who feels its mother doesn't love it when it is not fed. Yet, the suffering is necessary. (We will assume that here and explain it in another place, below.) So then, do you see where the difficulty lies? It is precisely here: You conclude that you are not loved when I permit you to suffer. More than that, since you know that I am Good and that I want to love you, you conclude that I am not loving you precisely because you are bad, because you are sinful. That was the conclusion of Judas, and it has been the conclusion and practical teaching of many persons who think they are teaching in My Name.
 
Do you see, now, how almost the whole of your spiritual life is based on a false premise, the premise that if I loved you, you would not be suffering, you would not feel separated from Me? That premise is not only false: It is the very contrary of the truth.  It is precisely because I do love you that I permit you to suffer this sense of separation.  (But I will explain that to you later.) Right now what I want you to see and understand is this about yourself, that when you feel separated from Me you cease to believe that I love you. And you are also very quick to provide a false explanation for that conviction — a false explanation of something which is itself false (that you really are separated from Me!). Do you see, now, what underlies your difficulty? You are so profoundly convinced that you do not deserve to be loved that you jump to the conclusion that, as soon as I send you a little suffering, I do not in fact love you — and all this time, ironically, the suffering I send you is at once the expression of My Love, and the means by which I would make it possible to love you more!
 
2. Regarding My Justice and My Love
Now you can see that the root of your whole difficulty is the misconception you have of My justice. You must understand this!  You must realize, first, that you do not understand My justice. Do you see that? Do you see that your misconception of My justice has the practical effect of making you mistrust My Love: and that if your conception of My justice does that, it must be wrong?  See that it is wrong even before you can understand why it is wrong.  So now ponder this first, with Me, the fact that you have a radically false conception of justice, of justice to Me, a conception which is so false that, where it should move you to trust in My Love, it causes you instead to mistrust It.
Ponder that now. Then We will go on to explain just how it is wrong. All I want you to see now is this, that you are very quick to interpret suffering, to interpret any adverse happening, as a sign that I do not love you, and that behind this is the conviction that I do not love you because you are convinced you do not deserve to be loved, as a matter of justice.  And indeed the truth is that you do not deserve to be loved —what you deserve, a thousand times over, is to burn eternally for all the outrages you have committed against my Father and Myself.   Yet the simple truth is that I love you. Not only do I love you, I love you in a way and to a degree that would utterly destroy you if I showed its depths to you.
 
Listen now, carefully, as I tell you a very little about My Love for you! The philosophers teach that true love is to love a person for himself, not as a means to something else, not as a means to your own self-love.  True love is to love the very good of your beloved, your friend, as an end in itself.  This means that you love your beloved as you love yourself, so that your friend, the object of your love, is "another yourself."
When you love truly, therefore, the distinction between yourself and you beloved is dissolved by your love. That is why I commanded you to love your neighbor as you love yourself — because in Me you are all friends, each of the other.
But that is not all. What I want you to understand here is not about yourself, about your love, but about Mine. I want you to understand that this is the way I love you, as another Myself. Yes, I love you as I love Myself. And now remember, I am not just a man! In fact I am not even a human person, although I have a human nature. I am God. Yes, I am a Divine Person — and what is more personal than love! And therefore what you must understand, if you are to understand My Love for you, is this, that not only do I love you but I love you as you are, as you are to Me, God Himself.   
 
3. Regarding God’s Love For Himself
Now pray hard to understand what I am about to explain!  What I want to explain is something about God's Love, His Love for Himself —  Which is all His Love. Yes, you must understand that it is quite impossible for God to love anything outside Himself. Does that mean that I do not love you, then?  No!  What it means is that I cannot love you outside of Myself. It means that My Love for you is absolutely One and the same Thing as My Love of Myself!  When you say that God loves one person more than another, therefore, as I am said to love My Mother more than anyone else, the meaning of this is not that I am different in relation to My Mother, but that she is different in relation to Me, that she receives and accepts more of My Love. The real difference in those I love more, therefore, is not in Me, but in them. The reality of My loving someone more is that he loves Me more. I am God! I am Immutable! Even in the very Incarnation I remain unchanged. When the Word was made flesh, it is important for you to understand that man became God, more than that God became man!
And yet, although it is true that My Love always remains One and the Same Thing as It is in Myself, it is not correct to say that I love all things equally — that is, with respect to what I communicate to the creature. You can see this even in the natural order. For I, remaining One and the Same in Myself, communicate a certain share of My Being to non-1iving things, a greater share to plants, more to animals, still more to men, My rational creature, and most, in the natural order of things, to My Angels. And it is evident, likewise, that there is a hierarchy of perfection in My Saints, My Mother being the Queen of the very Angels, for she is in an order of grace infinitely beyond their capacity. (Not that My Mother is equal to Me, but because her order of grace is beyond that of the Angels.)  So you see, I, remaining One and the Same, Being One and the Same Love, communicate My Love in varying degrees to the creature, according to My Good Pleasure.
 
4. Regarding God’s Love of Us
And now you will be able to understand the great truth about Myself which I want you to know: My Love for you is the love for an equal. I not only love you — I love you wanting to be One with you as I am One with Myself, as I am One with My Father. Think! I am God! And therefore not only do I love Myself — every being loves itself in one way or another — but I love Myself in such a way that it is impossible for Me not to love Myself. For Me, God, to love is to Be. To Be is to Love. And now think how great is My Love for you!  I love you as I love Myself!  I love you as I see Myself, God, in you!
And now, O My beloved child, can you see what you do to Me when you do not believe in My Love for you? Can you see that you are making it impossible, mystically, for Me, God, to love Himself, God who is Love, whose very Being is to Love? Only think!  All suffering is a separation from that which is natural to the one who suffers, a separation from that to which he is disposed to be united by his very nature.  And therefore the more intimate the natural union with an object, the more painful is the suffering in being separated from that object. And now think, once again!  I am God, Whose Love of Myself is one Identical Thing with My very Being. For Me, to Be is to Love. And as I love Myself, so I love you.  I love you just as I love Myself.
Do you see, really, what this means? It means that My need to love you, mystically, “mystically” but really, is My need to love Myself. Can you understand, now, what you do to Me when you do not let Me love you? Do you see that then you are refusing to permit Me, God, to be Myself? Can you see a little more now into the depth of My Love for you, the agony of My Love, rejected by you, by so very many? Can you feel a little more now My desolation in being separated from My very Father, from God? I who am God? Can you understand a little what My words expressed when I cried out to My Father, "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"
 
My beloved child, that is the Love, the Love I have for you as another Self, which you doubt! Do not crucify Me any more, I beg you, by doubting My Love for you. And now understand what justice is, My Justice, understand that justice is My justification of you, My making you just with the justice of God, My making you just by being Myself separated from Justice, separated from Myself, from God!  I, God, separated from God, so that you could become God.  I, God, unable to love Myself, so that I might love you!

0 My beloved child, see how foolish you are when you doubt My Love for you! Remove that monstrous misunderstanding from your mind and from your heart, that misconception of what is justice to Me —  which is so cruelly unjust to Me. No! Justice to Me means only one thing — to permit Me to love you!  My beloved child, do let Me love you! now! all! As I said to my daughter, Sister Mary of the Trinity:  “As you need to feel yourselves loved so that you may blossom and open out to life, so do I need to feel Myself loved by you so that I may send you My gifts."
Yes, you think that because I am God I am different from you.  But I am not different in this respect: just as you freeze up when you feel yourself unloved, and unable to give yourself, so I am paralyzed by your indifference and unresponsiveness to Me. I do everything I can to convince you of My Love for you, to show how disposed I am to give Myself to you — but it is impossible for Me to give Myself unless you want Me. And yet the truth is that you do want My Love!
 
5. Regarding Our Deepest Misunderstanding
Do you see then how profoundly you misunderstand Me? You really believe that I do not want to give Myself to you! That is why you are so withdrawn from Me, isn‘t it? Because I know you would want My Love. What you do not understand is that you are asking, not for My Love, but for something impossible. It is as though the water should say to the fire: "I am cold. Now it is up to you to make me warm — while I remain cold." Try very hard to understand this: it is so important for you to understand it — how important you will realize only after you have understood it. What you do not understand is this, that the very effect of My Love, for which you are asking, is to change you, that if you were not already loving Me, if you were not trusting My Love of you, you would not be asking Me to love you! So that your very asking of Me to love you presupposes that I have loved you: It was My Love for you that was moving you to ask Me to love you. It is not as though I were to do something first to change your disposition from not loving to loving, and only then love you. I can do that too — I do it when I bring a soul back to grace, but that is not My ordinary action in souls, that is not what I am asking of My friends.  And it is not the way I act in a soul that is in the state of grace. And even when I bring a soul back to grace I do not first act in that soul, as a result of which the soul later begins to love Me. No, the very effect of My action in the soul, as I am acting in it, is that the soul is loving Me as I am loving it. As soon as your disposition is to love Me, then I am loving you — as the water is becoming hot just as the fire is heating it. But you expect Me to do something first —  and then, as a result of what I have done, you think you will begin to love Me, of yourself. That is impossible! And even though I am God, I cannot do the impossible — not because I am limited, but because the impossible is something that just can't be done.
Do you see, then, that as soon as I am loving you, you are loving Me. When you are loving Me, I am loving you.  When you ask Me to love you, you are already loving Me. If you were not loving me, by My Love, you would not be asking Me to love you. That is what I mean when I say to you "I need to feel Myself loved by you so that I may send you my gifts." I can only love you as you are already loving Me — even though it is true that your loving Me is the effect of My loving you.
 
That, too, is why I beg for your confidence. It is your confidence that enables you to be moved by My Love before you can see that you are being moved by It.  And that is the condition for My loving you more. Now do you understand? If you understand what I am saying here, you will see why it made Me so sad in the Gospel that persons were always asking for signs and miracles. Without realizing it they were asking Me to prove to them that I loved them in a way which would be impossible. They wanted a proof of My Love that would operate without moving them to love Me, which is impossible.
And now that I have explained this to you, do you see how wrong it is for you to be asking for signs, to be asking for miracles to change your hearts when I have given you faith? Ponder my words: "A wicked generation shall ask for a sign — but it shall be given no sign except the sign of Jonas,” the sign of My death and Resurrection, the rational motive of your faith. 
Ponder this very much, and learn how Good I am, and how hard and faithless you are. Ponder very much that your very desire that I love you is the sign that I am loving you, and that this Love I have for you has satisfied the Justice of God on your behalf.
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