First Notebook – Paragraphs 141-150
141. + But my torments are coming to an end. The Lord is giving me the promised help. I can see it in two priests; namely, Father Andrasz and Father Sopocko. During the retreat before my perpetual voews, (note44) 1 was set completely at peace for the first time [by Father Andrasz (note45)], and afterwards I was led in the same direction by Father Sopocko. This was the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise.
142. When I was set at peace and taught how to follow God’s paths, my spirit rejoiced in the lord, and it seemed to me that I was running, not walking. My wings were spread for flight; I soared into the very heat of the sun, and I will not descend until I rest in Him, in whom my soul has lost itself forever. And I subjected myself totally to the action of grace. God stoops very low to my soul. I do not draw back, nor do I resist Him, but I lose myself in Him as my only treasure. I am one with the Lord. It is as if the gulf between us, Creator and creature, disappears. For a few days, my soul was in a state of continuous ecstasy. God’s presence did not leave me for a single moment. And my soul remained in a continuous loving union with the Lord. But this in no way interfered with the performance of my duties. I felt I was transformed into love; I was all afire, but without being burned up, I lost myself in God unceasingly; God drew me to Himself so strongly and powerfully that sometimes I was not aware of being on earth. I had impeded and feared God’s grace for so long, and now God Himself, through Father Andrasz, has removed all difficulties. My spirit has been turned towards the Sun and has blossomed in His rays for Him alone; I understand no more [The sentence breaks off here and begins a completely new thought in the next line.]
143. + I have wasted many of God’s graces because I was always afraid of being deluded. God drew me to Himself so powerfully that often it was not in my power to resist His grace when I was suddenly immersed in Him. At these moments, Jesus filled me with such great peace that, later on, even when I tried to become uneasy, I could not do so. And the, I heard these words in my soul: In order that you may be assured that it is I who am demanding all these things of you, I will give you such profound peace that even if you wanted to feel troubled and frightened, it would not be in your power to do so today, but love will flood your soul to the point of self-oblivion.
144. Later Jesus gave me another priest [Father Sopocko], before whom He ordered me to reveal my soul. At first I did so with a bit of hesitation, but a severe reprimand from Jesus brought about a deep humility within my soul. Linder his direction, my soul made quick progress in the love of God, and many wishes of the Lord were carried out externally. (note46) Many a time have I been astounded at his courage and his profound humility.
145. Oh, how wretched my soul is for having wasted so many graces! I was running away from God, and he pursued me with His graces. I most often experienced God’s graces when I least expected them. From the moment He gave me a spiritual director, I have been more faithful to grace. Thanks to the director and his watchfulness over my soul, I have learned what guidance means and how Jesus looks at it. Jesus warned me of the least fault and stressed that He Himself judges the matter that I present to my confessor; and [He told me] that…. any transgressions against the confessor touch Me Myself.
When, under his direction, my soul began to experience deep recollection and peace, I often heard these words in my soul: Strengthen yourself for combat – repeated over and over at various times.
+ Jesus often makes known to me what He does not like in my soul, and He has more than once rebuked me for what seemed to be trifles, but which were, in fact, things of great importance. He has warned me and tried me like a Master. For many years, He Himself educated me, until the moment when He gave me a spiritual director. Previously, He Himself had made clear to me what I did not understand; but now, He tells me to ask my confessor about everything and often says, I will answer you through his mouth. Be at peace. It has never happened to me that I have received an answer which was contrary to what the Lord wanted of me, when I presented it to the spiritual director [Father Sopocko]. It sometimes happens that Jesus first asks certain things of me, about which no one knows anything, and then, when I kneel at the confessional, my confessor gives me the same order – however, this is infrequent.
+ When, over a long period of time, a soul has received much light and many inspirations, and when the confessors have confirmed the source of these inspirations and set the soul at peace; if its love is great, Jesus now makes it known that it is time to put into action what it has received. The soul recognizes that God is counting on it, and this knowledge fortifies it. It knows that to be faithful it will often have to face various difficulties, but it trusts in God and, thanks to this trust, it reaches that point to which God is calling it. Difficulties do not terrify it; they are its daily bread, as it were. They do not frighten or terrify the soul, just as a warrior who is constantly in battle is not terrified by the roar of the cannon. Far from being frightened, it listens to determine from which side the enemy is launching his attack, in order to defeat him. It does nothing blindly, but examines and ponders everything deeply and, not counting on itself, it prays fervently and asks advice of other warriors who are experienced and wise. When the soul acts in this way, it nearly always wins.
These are attacks when a soul has no time to think or seek advice; then it must enter into a life-or-death struggle. Sometimes it is good to flee for cover in the wound of the Heart of Jesus, without answering a single word. By this very act the enemy is already defeated.
In time of peace, as well, the soul continues making efforts, just as in time of battle. It must exercise itself, and do so with energy; otherwise it has no chance of attaining victory. I regard the time of peace as a time of preparation for victory. The soul must be ever watchful; watchfulness and again, watchfulness. The soul that reflects receives much light. A distracted soul runs the risk of a fall, and let it not be surprised when it does fall. O Spirit of God, Director of the soul, wise is he whom You have trained! But for the Spirit of God to act in the soul, peace and recollection are needed.
146. Prayer. – A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.
147. I recall that I have received most light during adoration which I made lying prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour every day throughout Lent. During that time I came to know myself and god more profoundly. And yet, even though I had the superiors’ permission to do so, I encountered many obstacles to praying in such a way. Let the soul be aware that, in order to pray and persevere in prayer, one must arm oneself with patience and cope bravely with exterior and interior difficulties. The interior difficulties are discouragement, dryness, heaviness of spirit and temptations. The exterior difficulties are human respect and time; one must observe the time set apart for prayer. This has been my personal experience because, when I did not pray at the time assigned for prayer, later on I could not do it because of my duties; or if I did manage to do so, this was only with great difficulty, because my thoughts kept wandering off to my duties. I also experienced this difficulty: when a soul has prayed well and left prayer in a state of profound interior recollection, others resist its recollection; and so, the soul must be patient to persevere in prayer. It often happened to me that when my soul was more deeply immersed in God, and I had derived greater fruit from prayer, and God’s presence accompanied me during the day, and at work there was more recollection and greater precision and effort at my duty, this was precisely when I received the most rebukes for being negligent in my duty and indifferent to everything; because less recollected souls want others to be like them, for they are a constant remorse to them.
148. + A noble and delicate soul, even the most simple, but one of delicate sensibilities, sees God in everything, finds Him everywhere, and knows how to find Him in even the most hidden things. It finds all things important, it highly appreciates all things, it thanks God for all things, it draws profit for the soul from all things, and it gives all glory to God. It places its trust in God and is not confused when the time of ordeals comes. It knows that God is always the best of Fathers and makes little of human opinion. It follows faithfully the faintest breath of the Holy Spirit; it rejoices in this Spiritual Guest and Holds onto Him like a child to its mother. Where other souls come to a standstill and fear, this soul passes on without fear or difficulty.
149. When the Lord himself wants to be close to a soul and to lead it, He will remove everything that is external. When I fell ill and was taken to the infirmary, I suffered much unpleasantness because of this. There were two of us sick in the infirmary. Sisters would come to see Sister N., but no one came to visit me. It is true that there was only one infirmary, but each one had her own cell. The winter nights were long, and Sister N. had the light and the radio headphones, while I could not even prepare my meditation for lack of a light.
When nearly two weeks had passed in this way, I complained to the Lord one evening that I was suffering so much and that I could not even prepare my meditation because there was no light. And the Lord said that He would come every evening and give me the points for the next day’s meditation. These points always concerned His sorrowful Passion. He would say, Consider My sufferings before Pilate. And thus, point by point, I meditated upon His sorrowful Passion for one week. From that moment, a great joy entered my soul, and I no longer wanted either the visitors or the light; Jesus sufficed me for everything. The superiors were indeed very solicitous for the sick, but the Lord ordained that I should feel forsaken. This best of masters withdraws every created thing in order that He Himself might act. Many a time, I have experienced such sufferings and persecutions that Mother M. [probably Mother Margaret] herself said to me, “Sister, along your path, sufferings just spring up out of the ground, I look upon you, Sister, as one crucified. But I can see that Jesus has a hand in this. Be faithful to the Lord.”
150. + I want to write down a dream that I had about Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I was still a novice at the time and was going through some difficulties which I did not know how to overcome. They were interior difficulties connected with exterior ones. I made novenas to various saints, but the situation grew more and more difficult. The sufferings it caused me were so great that I did not know how to go on living, but suddenly the thought occurred to me that I should pray to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I started a novena to this Saint, because before entering the convent I had had a great devotion to her.
Lately, I had somewhat neglected this devotion, but in my need I began again to pray with great fervor. On the fifth day of the novena, I dreamed of Saint Therese, but it was as if she were still living on earth. She hid from me the fact that she was a saint and began to comfort me, saying that I should not be worried about this matter, but should trust more in God. She said, “I suffered greatly, too, but I did not quite believe her and said, “It seems to me that you have not suffered at all.” But Saint Therese answered me in a convincing manner that she had suffered very much indeed and said to me, “Sister, know that in three days the difficulty will come to a happy conclusion.” When I was not very willing to believe her, she revealed to me that she was a saint. At that moment, a great joy filled my soul, and I said to her, “You are a saint?” “Yes,” she answered, “I am a saint. Trust that this matter will be resolved in three days.” And I said, “Dear sweet Therese, tell me, shall I go to heaven?” And she answered, “Yes, you will go to heaven, Sister.” “And will I be a saint?” “But, little Therese, shall I be a saint as you are, raised to the altar?” And she answered, “Yes, you will be a saint just as I am, but you must trust in the Lord Jesus.” I then asked her if my mother and father would go to heaven, will [unfinished sentence] And she replied that they would. I further asked, “And will my brothers and sisters go to haven?” She told me to pray hard for them, but gave me no definite answer. I understood that they were in need of much prayer.
This was a dream. And as the proverb goes, dreams are phantoms; God is faith. Nevertheless, three days later the difficulty was solved very easily, just as she had said. And everything in this affair turned out exactly as she said it would. It was a dream, but it had its significance.