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 47
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Every soul has a secret desire to be not only loved,
but adored, loved without measure.
Have you not observed this need in yourself? You can see how true it is in popular expressions — when a person would express the depth of his love for his beloved, he says "I adore you!"
Viewed in the light of natural reason and morality,
this seems perverse — a creature should not want
to be loved as though it were God. Yet I, by my Love, have converted this very disorder into a virtue. For that is My commandment, that you love one another, not only that, but that you love one another as I have loved you. And I have loved you as I love Myself. That was why I could say "Inasmuch as you did it to the least of My little ones, you did it to Me" — even as Saul was persecuting Me in persecuting My children.
Do you understand truly? Do you see that
mystically, mystically but really, you and I are One,
that We are One Mystical Body? And so your naturally disordered craving to be adored has its fulfillment only in Me, with Me, as you love one another in Mary.  And since it is Myself that you are to love in one another, My commandment is that you adoren one another in Me.
But outside of Me, outside of My Mother, this
desire is perverse and contrary to nature — and
therefore it can only produce the results you
observe everywhere in the world, where love is
continually turning into hatred and even murder — in heart if not in deed.
And why is this? How could it be otherwise if each lover wants to be adored as God? Only in Jesus, only in Me, can this be fulfilled. But when men and women seek love outside of Me, whether they know it or not, what each seeks is to subject the other as a slave.
And so in the end there are only two choices, to love one another in Me, to be one in Me as I am one with the Father, to adore one another because I Who am God have made Myself One with each one of you, —  or to hate one another because each would be a God enslaving the other.
Yes, you must understand yourself, your need which you cannot deny, to be not only loved, but adored. I alone am the fulfillment of that need. Outside of Me all 'love' is more truly hatred than love - and that is how it shows itself sooner or later —then each feels the victim of the other — and that
is just how it is.
 
You see, it is impossible to satisfy your nature
outside of Me — the demands it makes in its fallen
state are ordered to only one thing — to My
redemptive Love. I allowed man to fall with only
that purpose. And so if your nature is not fulfilled
in Me, it will not be fulfilled at all. Modern
society is filled with all kinds of false fulfillments —
the most powerful being "human love", the love between man and woman, or "romantic love" as they call it. Thus driven by this craving to be adored, and by the devil himself, men and women seek outside of Me that fulfillment which they can find only in Me.
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I cannot be happy unless I feel that Jesus is pleased
with me at every moment. This, I am convinced, is
at the very root of St. Theresa’s "little way." Great souls strive to achieve virtue in order to please God.
They are good, very good souls. It is not a matter
of criticizing them. How could they be criticized
when they seek their whole lives to conform themselves to the Jesus they love?
But their way is not our little way. Because if I, when I was aware of a defect in myself, should say to myself: "Now I will work on overcoming
this defect in order to make myself pleasing to Jesus," I would immediately feel that I was not pleasing Him now, because I had that defect. And then I would be disturbed and distressed, and in no time my chief preoccupation would be, not with Jesus, but with myself. I would, without realizing it, be trying to "buy grace" by my virtue.
But in the little way, the moment I am aware of a defect, whether it be an habitual vice, or an actual sin just committed, or sins of the past, or apprehension about the future because of my weakness, I must go to Jesus at once. I feel I need Him all the more, now that I feel my own weakness the more acutely. I feel that I will never succeed in pleasing Him by what I can accomplish by "self-discipline.” No, what I need is to be loved more now — because now I see more what I am in myself.
And in this way there arises within me, almost
without my realizing it, an interior discipline,
moved by the fear of offending Him Who loves me so much and on Whom I depend for everything, for everything I need in order to please Him. And then my peace is not in any thing that I will achieve, but only in this very act of giving myself to my Beloved,
with all my miseries and defects, just as I am,
now.
This is the only discipline I know, the discipline of the little way, faithful in little things because each little thing is a giving of myself to Jesus - "My Beloved to me, and I to my Beloved,
who feedth among the lilies" - Yes, the lilies
which neither toil nor spin, which receive all their
beauty from God Who rejoices to see His work in them.
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0 My beloved little child! if only you knew the
power of your contentedness, especially when your
little heart is breaking with sorrow! If you could
but see the graces that I am pouring into your soul
now! If you could see the souls you are bringing to Me now — because you trust in the Love which they
have rejected. My beloved little child, give Me at
each moment this contentedness of your broken heart in Mine! That is your unceasing act of love, that is the way I want you always, with your little head on My breast!
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As soon as you give up your act of love, you are
drawn back into yourself — concupiscence begins to assert itself, your fears begin to dominate you,
and you want, then, to trust your own reason instead of Me. And now you can see that there is hardly a choice left to you any more — I have illumined your understanding to the point where, if you did not stay with Me in your unceasing act of love, you would abandon yourself to sin. It is as though you were walking along a steep precipice holding My Hand: if you were to let go, you would fall, inevitably, but I will never let you go — because
you are Mine.
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My beloved little child, do not try to give me
anything — only let Me love you. Do not try to buy
My Love with your works, with your thoughts. Only let Me love you. Ah, if you knew how much I
desire to see Myself in you! That is how you will
be consumed by My Love, when you let Me tell you
how much I love you, how much I see Myself in you,
how much I desire to rejoice in you.
Yes, your heart will be dilated when you truly believe that I am pleased with you. Nothing else will fill you with My Love. But you yourself will never believe that I am pleased with you for what you have done or accomplished. And therefore you must let Me show you My Love as a loving mother fondles her baby — that is how I desire to love you! Only come to me with nothing, and let Me overwhelm you with My Love!
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Yes, you need to mortify your imagination very much. But you must mortify it by love, only by love -
because your imagination is itself always moved by
the desire for love. Yes, it is true that you desire
My Love above everything else. But this is what
happens: You seek My Love, and without realizing
it you identify My loving you with a certain
sensible pleasure and contentment. Not, primarily,
because you are dominated by your concupiscence, but you are very much subject to fear, the fear of being rejected by Me because of your sins. And thus you seek to be reassured that I love you, that I am not rejecting you, by the pleasure you take in My company. But I, just because I love you so much, frequently withdraw myself sensibly, so that you may learn how to be united with Me, not sensibly, but in the living reality of faith, knowing that I am with you and loving you because I have told you that I am with you always. But because you do not live by faith, you are moved to seek this pleasure, moved by the fear that I do not love you, that there is something wrong, because you do not feel My Love.
It is in this way that your imagination is stirred
up, by the desire to find pleasure — and when it is
frustrated in its search for it in Me, it begins
to seek it in the creature — which is the beginning
of grave sin — and which I at times permit only in
order to teach you this lesson.
But what is the remedy for this sickness? It is very
simple, it is to love Me, to give yourself to Me
at all times so that I may love you. You must not
only believe in My Love for you in a general way, but
you must believe in My Love for you as I manifest it at each moment. This means that you must discipline yourself to want, at this moment, only what My Love brings to you at this moment. This is infallible, and that is just what you want, the infallible certitude that you are loved.
Yes, My Love infallibly and efficaciously gives you exactly what you need at this moment — that is My Kiss of Love, and it is in receiving it that you will be perfectly happy. But in order to receive it, you must stop making your sensible pleasure the measure — because the necessary effect of My Love is to conform you to Myself as It disconforms you to yourself -— and your pleasure is in what conforms to yourself. But, as you quietly trust in My Love, receiving My embrace in darkness, you will feel rising within you a new kind of pleasure, a pleasure which will grow little by little until it dominates your whole life, a pleasure not in yourself and in what conforms to yourself, but pleasure only in Me, in My Will for you from one moment to the next.
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