First Notebook – Paragraphs 381-390
381. When meditating once on obedience, I heard these words: In this meditation, the priest (note90) is speaking particularly for you. Know that I am borrowing his lips. I tried to listen most attentively to everything and to apply everything to my own heart, as in every meditation. When the priest said that an obedient soul was filled with the power of God Yes, when you are obedient I take away your weakness and replace it with My strength. I am very surprised that souls do not want to make that exchange with Me. I said to the Lord, “Jesus, enlighten my heart, or else I, too, will not understand much from these words.”
382. I know that I live, not for myself, but for a great number of souls. I know that graces granted me are not for me alone, but for souls. O Jesus, the abyss of Your mercy has been poured into my soul, which is an abyss of misery itself. Thank You, Jesus, for the graces and the pieces of the cross which You give me at each moment of my life.
383. At the beginning of the retreat, I saw, on the ceiling of the chapel, Jesus nailed to the Cross. He was looking at the sisters with great love, but not at all of them. There were three sisters at whom Jesus looked severely, for what reasons I do not know. I only know what a terrible thing it is to meet with such a look, which is the look of a severe Judge. That look was not directed at me, and yet I was paralyzed with terror. I still tremble as I write these words. I did not dare to say so much as a single word to Jesus. My physical strength failed me, and I thought I would not live to the end of the conference. The next day, I saw the same thing again, just as I had seen it the first time, and this time I dared to speak these words: “Jesus, how great is Your mercy!”
On the third day, that gaze of great kindness upon all the sisters, except the three, was again repeated. I gathered up my courage, which drew its force from love of neighbor, and I said to the Lord, “You, who are Mercy Itself, as You Yourself told me, I beg You by the power of Your mercy, to look then with kindness at these three sisters as well. And if this is not in accord with Your wisdom, I ask You for an exchange: turn to them the kind look meant for my soul, and let Your severe gaze at their souls be turned on me.” Jesus then said to me these words: My daughter, for the sake of your sincere and generous love, I grant them many graces although they are not asking Me for them. But I am doing so because of the promise I have made to you. And at that moment, He turned a merciful look towards those three sisters as well. My heart leapt with joy to see the goodness of God.
384. When I stayed for adoration from nine to ten o’clock, four other sisters stayed, too. When I approached the altar and began to meditate on the Passion of the Lord Jesus, a terrible pain immediately filled my soul because of the ingratitude of so many souls living in the world; but particularly painful was the ingratitude of souls especially chosen by God. There is no notion or comparison [which can describe it]. At the sight of this blackest ungratefulness I felt as though my heart were torn open; my strength failed me completely, and I fell on my face, not attempting to hide my loud cries. Each time I thought of God’s great mercy and of the ingratitude of souls, pain stabbed at my heart, and I understood how painfully it wounded the sweetest Heart of Jesus. With a burning heart, I renewed my act of self-oblation on behalf of sinners.
385. With joy and longing, I have pressed my lips to the bitterness of the cup which I receive each day at Holy Mass. It is the share which Jesus has allotted to me for each moment, and I will not relinquish it to anyone. I will comfort the most sweet Eucharistic Heart continuously and will play harmonious melodies on the strings of my heart. Suffering is the most harmonious melody of all. I will assiduously search out that which will make Your Heart rejoice today!
The days of my life are not monotonous. When dark clouds cover the sun, like the eagle I will try to brave the billows and make known to others that the sun is not dying out.
386. I feel that God will let me draw aside the veils [of heaven] so that the earth will not doubt His goodness. God is not subject to eclipse or change. He is forever one and the same; nothing can contradict His will. I feel within myself a power greater than human. I feel courage and strength thanks to the grace that dwells in me. I understand souls who are suffering against hope, for I have gone through that fire myself. But God will not give [us anything] beyond our strength. Often have I lived hoping against hope, and have advanced my hope to complete trust in God. Let that which He has ordained from all ages happen to me.
A general principle
387. It would be a very ugly thing for a religious to seek relief from suffering.
388. See what grace and reflection made out of the greatest criminal. He who is dying has much love: “Remember me when You are in paradise.” Heartfelt repentance immediately transforms the soul. The spiritual life is to be lived earnestly and sincerely.
389. Love must be reciprocal. If Jesus tasted the fullness of bitterness for me, then I, His bride, will accept all bitterness as proof of my love for Him.
390. He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart.