First Notebook – Paragraphs 131-140
131. But I will simply mention here that these various sufferings had come to a peak, and I resolved to put an end to these doubts of mine before my perpetual vows. Throughout my probation, I prayed for light for the priest to whom I was to open up my soul to its depths. I asked God that He Himself would help me and grant me the grace to be able to express even the most secret things that exist between me and Him and to be so disposed that, whatever the priest would decide, I would accept as coming from Jesus Himself. No matter what judgment he would pass on me, all I wanted was the truth and a decisive answer to certain questions. I put myself completely in god’s hands, and [all] my soul desired was the truth. I could not go on living in doubt any longer although, in the depths of my soul, I was so very sure that these things came from God, that I would lay down my life for this. However, I placed the confessor’s opinion above all, and I made up my mind to do as he thought best and to act according to the advice that he would give me. I looked forward to that moment which would decide the course of my actions for the rest of my life. I knew that everything would depend on this. It mattered little whether what he would say to me would be in accord with my inspirations or quite the contrary; this no longer mattered to me. I wanted to know the truth and follow it.
Jesus, You can help me! From this moment, I have begun anew. I conceal all the graces within my soul and await whosoever the Lord will send me. With no doubt in my heart, I asked the Lord himself to deign to help me during these moments, and a courage of sorts entered my soul.
132. I must again mention that there are some confessors who seem to be true spiritual fathers, but only as long as things go well. When the soul finds itself in greater need, they become perplexed, and either cannot or will not understand the soul. They try to get rid of the person as soon as possible. But if the soul is humble, it will always profit in some little way or other. God Himself will sometimes cast a shaft of light into the depths of the soul, because of its humility and faith. The confessor will sometimes say something he had never intended to say, without even realizing it himself. Oh, let the soul believe that such words are the words of the Lord Himself! Though indeed we ought to believe that every word spoken in the confessional is God’s, what I have referred to above is something that comes directly from God. And the soul perceives that the priest is not master of himself, that he is saying things that he would rather not say. This is how God rewards faith.
I have experienced this many times myself. A certain very learned and respected priest [probably Father Wilkowski, the sisters’ confessor at Plock], to whom I sometimes happened to go to confession, was always severe and opposed to these matters [which I brought up to him]. But on one occasion he replied to me, “Bear in mind, Sister, that if God is asking this of you, you should not oppose Him. God sometimes wants to be praised in just this way. Be at peace; what God has started, He will finish. But I say this to you: faithfulness to God and humility. And once again: humility. Bear well in mind what I have told you today.” I was delighted, and I thought that perhaps this priest had understood me. But it so turned out that I never went to confession to him again.
133. + Once, one of the older Mothers [probably Mother Jane (note43)] summoned me, and it was as if fiery bolts from the blue were coming down upon me head, so much so that I could not even discover what it was all about. But after a while I understood that it was about a matter over which I had no control whatsoever. She said to me, “Get it out of your head, Sister, that the Lord Jesus might be communing in such an intimate way with such a miserable bundle of imperfections as you! Bear in mind that it is only with holy souls that the Lord Jesus communes in this way!” I acknowledged that she was right, because I am indeed a wretched person, but still I trust in God’s mercy. When I met the Lord I humbled myself and said, “Jesus, it seems that You do not associate intimately with such wretched people as I.” Be at peace, My daughter, it is precisely through such misery that I want to show the power of My mercy. I understood that this Mother had merely wanted to subject me to a [salutary] humiliation.
134. + O my Jesus, You have tested me so many times in this short life of mine! I have come to understand so many things, and even such that now amaze me. Oh, how good it is to abandon oneself totally to God and to give Him full freedom to act in one’s soul!
135. During the third probation, the Lord gave me to understand that I should offer myself to him so that He could do with me as He pleased. I was to remain standing before Him as a victim offering. At first, I was quite frightened, as I felt myself to be so utterly miserable and knew very well that this was the case. I answered the Lord once again, “I am misery itself; how can I be a hostage [for others]?” You do not understand this today. Tomorrow, during your adoration, I will make it known to you. My heart trembled, as did my soul, so deeply did these words sink into my soul. The word of God is living.
When I came to the adoration, I felt within my soul that I had entered the Temple of the living God, whose majesty is great and incomprehensible. And he made known to me what even the purest spirits are in His sight. Although I saw nothing externally, God’s presence pervaded me. At that very moment, my intellect was strangely illumined. A vision passed before the eyes of my soul; it was like the vision Jesus had in the Garden of Olives. First, the physical sufferings and all the circumstances that would increase them; [then] the full scope of the spiritual sufferings and those that no one would know about. Everything entered into the vision: false suspicions, loss of good name. I’ve summarized it here, but this knowledge was already so clear that what I went through later on was in no way different from what I had known at that moment. My name is to be: “sacrifice.”
When the vision ended, a cold sweat bathed my forehead. Jesus made it known to me that, even if I did not give my consent to this, I could still be saved; and He would not lessen His graces, but would still continue to have the same intimate relationship with me, so that even if I did not consent to make this sacrifice, God’s generosity would not lessen thereby.
136. And the Lord gave me to know that the whole mystery depended on me, on my free consent to the sacrifice given with full use of my faculties. In this free and conscious act lies the whole power and value before His Majesty. Even if none of these things for which I offered myself would ever happen to me, before the Lord everything was as though it had already been consummated. At that moment, I realized I was entering into communion with the incomprehensible Majesty. I felt that God was waiting for my word, for my consent. Then my spirit immersed itself in the Lord, and I said, “Do with me as You please. I subject myself to Your will. As of today, Your holy will shall be my nourishment, and I will be faithful to Your commands with the help of Your grace. Do with me as You please. I beg You, O Lord, be with me at every moment of my life.”
137. Suddenly, when I had consented to the sacrifice with all my heart and all my will, God’s presence pervaded me. My soul became immersed in God and was inundated with such happiness that I cannot put in writing even the smallest part of it. I felt that His Majesty was enveloping me. I was extraordinarily fused with God. I saw that God was well pleased with me and, reciprocally, my spirit drowned itself in Him. Aware of this union with God, I felt I was especially loved and, in turn, I loved with all my soul. A great mystery took place during that adoration, a mystery between the Lord and myself. It seemed to me that I would die of love [at the sight of] His glance. I spoke much with the Lord, without uttering a single word. And the Lord said to me, You are the delight of My Heart; from today on, every one of your acts, even the very smallest, will be a delight to My eyes, whatever you do. At that moment I felt transconsecrated. My earthly body was the same, but my soul was different; God was now living in it with the totality of His delight. This is not a feeling, but a conscious reality that nothing can obscure.
138. A great mystery has been accomplished between God and me. Courage and strength have remained in my soul. When the time of adoration came to an end, I came out and calmly faced everything I had feared so much before. When I came out into the corridor, a great suffering and humiliation, at the hands of a certain person, was awaiting me. I accepted it with submission to a higher will and snuggled closely to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, letting Him know that I was ready for that for which I had offered myself.
Suffering seemed to spring out of the ground. Even Mother Margaret herself was surprised. For others, many things passed unnoticed, for indeed it wasn’t worth paying any attention to them; but in my case, nothing passed unnoticed; each word was analyzed, each step watched. One sister said to me, “Get ready, Sister, to receive a small cross, at the hands of Mother Superior. I feel sorry for you.” But as for me, I rejoiced at this in the depths of my soul and had been ready for it for a long time. When she saw my courage, she was surprised. I see now that a soul cannot do much of itself, but with God it can do all things. Behold what God’s grace can do. Few are the souls that are always watchful for divine graces, and even fewer of such souls who follow those inspirations faithfully.
139. Still, a soul which is faithful to God cannot confirm its own inspirations; it must submit them to the control of a very wise and learned priest; and until it is quite certain, it should remain distrustful. It should not, on its own initiative alone, put its trust in these inspirations and all other higher graces, because it can thus expose itself to great losses.
Even though a soul may immediately distinguish between false inspirations and those of God, it should nevertheless be careful, because many things are uncertain. God is pleased and rejoices when a soul distrusts Him for His own sake; because it loves Him, it is prudent and itself asks and searches for help to make certain that it is really God who is acting within it. And once a well-instructed confessor has confirmed this, the soul should be at peace and give itself up to God, according to His directions; that is, according to the directions of the confessor.
140. Pure love is capable of great deeds, and it is not broken by difficulty or adversity. As it remains strong in the midst of great difficulties, so too it perseveres in the toilsome and drab life of each day. It knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love – love, and always love. Pure love never errs. Its light is strangely plentiful. It will not do anything that might displease God. It is ingenious at doing what is more pleasing to God, and no one will equal it. It is happy when it can empty itself and burn like a pure offering. The more it gives of itself, the happier it is. But also, no one can sense dangers from afar as can love; it knows how to unmask and also knows with whom it has to deal.