Look At Me Gasping For Breath  
"Look at Me gasping for breath upon the Cross; behold my Royalty."
Jesus to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity
 
Commentary
This meditation on Jesus words to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity reminds us that to be fully in love with Jesus we need to understand Him. Since no one can love what he does not know, so our love of God cannot be separated from our knowledge of God. But it is no less important to realize that we cannot really know what we do not love, so to know Jesus, we also need to love Him. Those who separate understanding and love, who think that understanding is the most important aspect of the life of faith, or those who think that love is all that’s needed are both in fundamental error. Separating love from knowledge or knowledge from love in both cases is seriously detrimental to the life of faith. You can’t have one without the other. But we are told most importantly that it is never the case that we need to first understand Jesus in order to go to Him and love Him. No! We go to Jesus, we give ourselves to Him to get this understanding, to get our knowledge of Him, of His Love for us, knowledge that will deepen out union with Him, knowledge of Him and His Sacrifice that will move us to love Him ever more deeply. We go to Jesus as we are where we are, and then, if only we have the right disposition of faith, He takes care of the rest, giving us growth in wisdom and love by the Power of His Love for us.
 
-1-  Why Do We Not Believe We Are Loved?
My Royalty gasping for breath! Think! Why have I submitted to this? Do you not see that My purpose was to convince you of my Love! And if I go to such lengths to convince you that I love you, do you not see that there must be something in you that is proportionately hard to convince? And even now you are still unconvinced!  I gasp for breath to show you My Love, and, if you look into yourself, you will see that you are hardly touched by My agony. Why do you think are you so little moved by a manifestation of Love so great that you could not conceive of one greater?
I do not want you to blame and chastise yourself for not feeling greater compassion. No, that is not My purpose, and it is not the way My Love operates. I did not come to rebuke and accuse, but to save. Yet, in order to be saved by My Passion, to be sanctified by It, you must understand It, and you must always seek to understand It more and more. That seeking is at once the reality of understanding Me, and the proof that you have understood.
 
-2- Understanding Apart From Love Is As Nothing
Do you see why? If you have understood Me, you will know that what you have understood is as nothing. If you had understood Me, you would be moved to be united with Me, Jesus, in Me, in Love, not in your paltry understanding of Me. Can you see that it is your realization that your understanding of Me is as nothing that literally impels you into My very Heart? For if you had truly understood Me, not only would you know that what you have understood is as nothing — you know that whatever you could understand would still be as nothing — and therefore you would not seek to be united with Me by a knowledge which would only come between Us. The very knowledge that you cannot be united with Me by knowledge causes you to unite yourself with Me in Love.
"If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he has not
yet known as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God,
the same (God) is known by him." (I Cor. 8:2)
 
-3- The Idolatry of Understanding Separated From Love
Yes, if you can rest in a created likeness of Me, in ideas about Me, that is proof that you do not know Me —  you have confused me with a mere creature, you have confused Me with your created understanding of Me. You can see in this why I am praised out of the mouths of infants and sucklings.  They do not think that they possess Me in their knowledge, and therefore they praise Me in the love which moves them to speak my Holy Name, and their love which seeks to be united with what they do not possess is true praise of Me. But the proud philosophers and theologians really think in their hearts that they possess Me in the created likeness of Me which is their understanding, and which is infinitely unworthy of Me.  And therefore they neither see Me in love, not do they really know Me. In truth they are idolaters worshipping a creature as God, the graven image of their understanding!  They are blind leaders of the blind, pretending to bring My children to Me, but only drawing them to themselves, and to their own errors?
 
-4- The Idolatry of Love Separated From Understanding
But just as there is an idolatry of the understanding — by which one loves one’s understanding of God in place of God Himself, and which shows itself by the absence of true love —  so there is likewise an idolatry of love, which is far more common, and especially among women. And in this idolatry the soul substitutes what it thinks is true love (but what in reality is false love of self) for true charity, which always loves God Himself and not one’s affection for God.  And thus in the guise of seeking to love God these souls are really, if secretly even from themselves, seeking to enjoy their own affections, to enjoy a love and complacency in themselves and in their own feelings. This latter idolatry shows itself by the absence of thought, by the neglect to seek for an ever deeper understanding of the Beloved. Without realizing it, such souls degrade Me to the level of their own feeling, just as the others confuse me with their own ideas.
And each of these types of souls despises the other. Those who adore their understanding despise the other for their "sentimental piety." And these in turn despise the thinkers for their "pride of intellect."  Yet each has a truth. Those who make an end of their own loving are right in their conviction that they cannot be united with Me by their ideas, while those who idolize their ideas of Me are right in seeing that I am an Intelligible Being infinitely beyond human feeling.  
You can see here, too, that the two idolatries are one in principle, like all idolatry, for in both what is loved for itself is not God. What is loved is what conforms to the particular person, which for some will tend to be in the affections and for others in knowledge, in each case according to the disposition of the individual. A love that does not seek to understand the Beloved more and more, and that does not seek to be assimilated to Him as He is, is a false love, seeking to rest in itself, in the delight of its own feeling. And a knowledge which is not transformed into love as it reflects on its own poverty is a false knowledge. And both are idolatrous, both make what conforms to self the measure. And both deform the soul, causing it to seek to have everything conform to itself, instead of seeking to conform itself to God.
 
-5- The Union of True Knowledge and True Love
And now you can see that, as in Us, so proportionately in you, your knowledge, when it is true, is one thing with true love, and likewise true love is one with true knowledge — and where there is not true love, neither is there true knowledge, and where there is not true knowledge, neither is there true love.  For in Us, in the Life of the Blessed Trinity, the Wisdom of the Son is one Identical Substance with the Love of the Holy Spirit through the Son, even as your act of knowledge of Me proceeds from your memory of revealed truth about Me and My Love, and your love of Me from proceeds from that same knowledge. And therefore, whenever your knowledge of Me is separated from love of Me, or your love of Me is separated from knowledge of Me, it is as if in practice you were denying our Trinity.
 And since in that state of practical denial you are not conformed to Us, neither will your knowledge alone nor your love alone bring you to Us. For, as I have told you always, what I offer you requires you to think in order to become more conformed to Me. And when you do not use your mind, and that mindless state lasts for a long time (as it most often does because you do nothing to change it), you will say you are having a "trial," or that you are going through a period of great "dryness."  And then you will look upon yourself more or less as a victim of My caprice, whereas the simple truth is that you are resisting the grace I am offering you. How so? Because you do not understand that you have to exercise your intelligence in order to become conformed to Me.
And when you neglect to use your intelligence, you expect Me to conform Myself to your feeling. That is what I meant by the "idolatry of love."  Do you recognize any of this in yourself? Do you begin to recognize how much you have resisted grace without recognizing it — because you did not understand the importance of using your intelligence in order both to understand and to love Me as I desire to be understood and loved.
 
-6- What We Need To Understand About Christ’s Gasping For Breath
Now, therefore, try to reflect with Me as I teach you to contemplate My suffering in a way that will open both your heart and your mind to My Love. As you see Me before you in agony on the Cross, gasping for breath, think how great must be your need to be convinced that I love you if I, wisdom, take such extreme measures to persuade you of My Love. Do not try to love Me first — do not try to force a love you do not feel, to convince yourself of a love for Me you do not have! Only try to understand, to acknowledge the fact that your love for Me is so little that you are scarcely moved to see Me, God, your God, dying on the Cross for you, that even this extreme measure, this stratagem of My Love, fails to move you. And now ask yourself why. Why are you so unmoved by all that I do to show My Love for you?  It must be, must it not, that either you do not care whether I love you or not — or else you must be in a state in which nothing could convince you that I love you.
It is not true, I know, that you are indifferent to My Loving you. No, that is not true. But what is true is that nothing I can do will convince you that I love you — and it is likewise true that IT IS  IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO LOVE ME UNTIL YOU ARE CONVINCED THAT I LOVE YOU.
That is why it is so important for you to understand what I am telling you here about how to remove this obstacle to My Love.
 
Ask yourself.  Why is it impossible for Me to convince you that I love you? The reason is simple: I cannot convince you that I love you because you think it is impossible for Me to love you. And now think with Me! For you are quite right — it is altogether impossible for Me to love you as long as you have that conviction that it is impossible — it is impossible even for Me who am God. But now realize this too, that if it is impossible for God Himself to love you, impossible for Me, the reason cannot be in any limitation of My Power — that is inconceivable! The reason then must be totally in yourself.
Listen to Me! Do you see that the only thing I am unable to do is what in itself is incapable of being done, because the very notion of it is self-contradictory, just as I could not make a ‘square circle,‘ not because My Power is limited in any way, but because a square circle just could not exist.
If, then, I cannot convince you that I love you, the reason must be that you are convinced that you cannot be loved.  I cannot convince you that I love you because you persist in the conviction that it is impossible to love you, impossible even for Me. Most important of all, this means that so long as you are in this state, you do not actually want Me to love you. It is true, you would want Me to love you, that would be your wish, but you are convinced that it is impossible. And since you cannot rationally want what you are convinced is impossible, the necessary conclusion is that YOU DO NOT ACTUALLY WANT ME TO LOVE YOU. AND THAT IS WHY IT IS IN FACT INPOSSIBLE
FOR ME TO LOVE YOU!  This is so because if I were loving you as I want, the very effect of My loving you would be to move you to love Me, and to want to be loved by Me, and therefore to believe that it was possible. You cannot rationally will a thing which you are rationally convinced is impossible. So then it is impossible is for Me to love you effectively as long as you keep thinking you can’t be loved, because you cannot want what you think is impossible, and I cannot love you effectively as long as you do not will to be loved by Me, as long as you are so closed to Me.
 
And what you have to change, therefore, is your understanding of what is possible for Me. This is where you err. You are not wrong in understanding that I cannot love you, not when you are so convinced that you cannot be loved. But what you do not understand is the Power of My love, that the very effect of My loving you will be to change your disposition. And therefore IT IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE FOR ME TO LOVE YOU, NO MATTER HOW CORRUPTAND UNLOVING YOU, ARE IF ONLY YOU LET ME.  THIS IS SO BECAUSE THE EFFECTOF MY LOVING YOU WILL BE TO MAKE YOU BOTH LOVING AND LOVABLE.

-7- The Meaning of Lazarus
That is the mystical meaning of My calling Lazarus from the tomb. It is altogether impossible for a dead man to be alive at the same time that he is dead. But what is not impossible is for a dead man to be brought back to life, to make what was dead alive. And so, as you see Me dying for you, realize, as you contemplate your own spiritual death in the absence of any love for Me, that My dying before you is intended to convince you of just that, that I am waiting to perform that miracle for you, to change the death of your hardened heart into the living softness of Love for Me. And now, My beloved, do you see what is the Power of My Love when you contemplate It in the Light of my Truth? And now that you are convinced that I love you, let Me love you more and more! Do not be satisfied with what you understand of Me, lest it be turned into stone. "He who eats of Me will yet hunger, he who drinks of Me will yet thirst."