This is why such a soul experiences excessive sadness and despair soon as signs of its own lack of integrity show up, with the consequence that it immediately feels unacceptable to God.  That’s why a sick soul is always hiding the truth from itself, the mechanism for which is endless self-justification. And why the correction of such a soul is always taken as rejection.
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On Helping Souls That Are Being Tried
Do not lose your serenity on account of those who are being tried.  Pray for them; offer the sufferings of My Passion and some acts of self-denial, some self-imposed sufferings for them.”
Jesus to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity
 
When souls are being tried, what they need from you is deeper love of Me—so that, through you, I may give them the grace they need.  So you see, you need your serenity even more at such times.  Do not try to buy peace for souls by losing your own!  Offer up your act of self-denial at such times, so that the soul who is suffering may get the grace to accept in joy what she cannot change—through your free offering of love.  You will see more and more how you are all instruments in the communication of My Love, for one another as for yourselves.  The more you will understand that, the more you will love one another.
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On Feeling Unloved
Only the realization that I love you now, I, Jesus, who know all your misery, all your sins, the failure of your whole life, only the knowledge that I Who know how underserving you are of anyone‘s love, yet love you nevertheless with the Love of God Himself, can take away the pain and anxiety of feeling unloved by so many persons, and not undeservedly.
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 The Age of St. Bernard’s is not like Ours.
St. Bernard, commenting on the Canticle (Song of Songs)

"Or perhaps, drawn away and seduced by his own concupiscence, he is still being dangerously tempted. Such a soul as this does not need a Bridegroom but a Physician, and for this reason receives, not kisses or caresses, surely, but only remedies for wounds in oil and ointments."

Yes, Bernard, in your time this was true — for the time had not yet come to force men willy-nilly from the highways and byways to the wedding feast. Men were still strong and able to overcome concupiscence with a help of the Physician less than the Kiss of His Mouth, less than the embrace of His intimacy. But now we are as children, impatient as we are weak, and needing, therefore, to be fondled and kissed by the Mother and her spouse, by Mary and Jesus.  0 Bernard, those of your age, who could help yourselves, needed the Physician only to supply the ointments of which you speak. But we need the Kiss of this Bridegroom who condescends to the weakness of little ones, like this little one who is too weak to help himself and therefore cries out:
"Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth, for thy breasts are better than wine.  For my justification now is not that I am healed by the ointments of the Physician, but that I am in the arms of His Mother, that it is her purity that makes me worthy of His embrace, not my virtue."
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If Something Is Painful
It seems I always assume that if something is painful, it is evil and to be avoided. Then, when I am suffering, I begin to think, and I do not rest until I have discovered some truth which I hope will remove the pain. But I do not think I do this only because I want to avoid suffering: it is rather that I look upon suffering as a sign that I am wrong somehow, that God is displeased with me, and therefore something in me must be changed.
    

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Posting Fourteen


   
   
Preparing  for Lent

The following passage has been excerpted from Our Lord’s Call to Consecrated Souls, a book of most remarkable locutions to a French nun in the years just before WWII.  This book was especially dear to the heart of the author of this website’s meditations, and we post Our Lord’s words here now to help us prepare for Lent (along with the subsequent postings preparatory to Good Friday). + Francis Micallef, OCD, Emeritus Bishop of Kuwait, wrote of Our Lord’s communication to this contemplative French nun:  “I must say that while reading and after I finished reading this book I felt overwhelmed by Our Lord’s appeal.  I highly recommend this book to consecrated souls and to the lay faithful in general.  TOLLE ET LEGE. Take it and read!” 
 
Jesus Martyrdom, in Mary and in Consecrated Souls
 
Now, what was the reason for my Life as Incarnate Word and its climb to Calvary if not to give evidence of my Love for the Father and for men, children of the Father.

There is no greater sign of love than to lay down your life for those you love (Jn 15:15).

The life that I gave up as soon as it was given to Me, each breath of which was given in suffering, was a testimony to love at its purest and strongest; life, each breath of which was taken under the sign of the redemptive Cross, was true martyrdom in the most profound sense of the word.

And how would this martyrdom not have had its intimate, deep, martyr-making repercussions in the most tender, the most delicate, the most sensitive Heart of Mary, the Mother of Mothers? Everything that touched my Heart had repercussions in her breast with such vividness that She was truly pierced and martyred by it. She had to endure all the sorrows of Calvary.  For it was only then, from the height of my Cross, that I let fall the words consecrating Her under this title for all eternity, conferring upon Her and confiding to Her the universal Maternity of souls.

Behold thy Mother . . . Behold thy son (Jn 19:26-27)

Thus each Christian soul can say: “I was born of Mary’s martyrdom! — of Mary’s freely offered martyrdom!” 
And each child of God — child of Mary’s martyrdom — being thus a brother of Jesus, another Jesus, “a continuator of Jesus,” the repetition of my Life, each child is therefore still Me, Jesus, Who was true martyrdom for Mary, the Mother of the children of God.

Jesus, to be born and grow in souls.
Jesus, to defend and elevate them when exposed to contradiction.
Jesus Savior, to save and exalt them!

Ought not this also be the martyrdom of my spouses?  Jesus, their crucified Spouse, is He not to be their Martyrdom also? A tormenting Martyrdom borne of the most acute convergence of sufferings; but also a Martyrdom relieving to the heart, as it was for Mary, consoled by her ability to soften a little, by her compassion, the Martyrdom of her Son!
 
I leave it to your heart, consecrated souls, to draw love’s conclusions from this:  gratitude, trust. 

You understand that your calling as “privileged children of Mary’s martyrdom” entails yet another calling: to be “fervent associates and helpers of this co-redemptive martyrdom.”
 For you must not forget the signal honor that I conferred upon you to be my Mother’s continuators, prolongers therefore of her maternal mission: apostles, mothers, martyrs like Her!

The great heart of my apostle Paul understood this well:  "I suffer," he said to his followers, "I suffer on your behalf the pains of childbirth until Christ be formed in you” (Gal 4:19).

Souls live by the martyrdom of the apostle:  martyrdom by the absolute gift of suffering (holocauste) in witness to love — blood shed in all its ways to the last drop (self-denial, patience, humiliation, mortification).

Just as it was with Mary, it is Jesus in souls who brings about the apostle’s martyrdom, martyrdom lovingly agonized by a great maternal thirst to give birth and growth to Christ so as to enlarge more and more the circle of the great, divine, adopted family, to the eternal glory of Infinite Goodness!
 
    
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