First Notebook – Paragraphs 181-190
181. Today I was cleaning the room of one of the sisters. Although I was trying to clean it with utmost care, she kept following me all the time and saying, “You’ve left a speck of dust here and a spot on the floor there.” At each of her remarks I did each place over a dozen times just to satisfy her. It is not work that makes me tired, but all this talking and excessive demands. My whole day’s martyrdom was not enough for her, so she went to the Directress and complained, “Mother, who is this careless sister who doesn’t know how to work quickly?” The next day, I went again to do the same job, without trying to explain myself. When she started driving me, I thought, “Jesus, one can be a silent martyr; it is not the work that wears you out, but this kind of martyrdom.”
182. I learned that certain people have a special gift for vexing others. They try you as best they can. The poor soul that falls into their hands can do nothing right; her best efforts are maliciously criticized.
+ Christmas Eve
Today I was closely united with the Mother of God. I relived her interior sentiments. In the evening, before the ceremony of the breaking of the wafer (note60a), I went into the chapel to break the wafer, in spirit, with my loved ones, and I asked the Mother of God for graces for them. My spirit was totally steeped in God. During the Midnight Mass [“Pasterka” or Shepherds’ Mass], I saw the Child Jesus in the Host, and my spirit was immersed in Him. Although He was a tiny Child, His majesty penetrated my soul. I was permeated to the depths of my being by this mystery, this great abasement on the part of God, this inconceivable emptying of Himself. These sentiments remained vividly alive in my soul all through the festive season. Oh, we shall never comprehend this great self-abasement on the part of God; the more I think of it, [unfinished thought].
183. One morning after Holy Communion, I heard this voice, I desire that you accompany Me when I go to the sick. I answered that I was quite willing, but after a moment of reflection I started wondering how I was going to do so; the sisters of the second choir (note61) do not accompany the Blessed Sacrament. It is always the sister-directresses who go. I thought to myself: Jesus will find a way. Shortly afterwards, Mother Raphael sent for me and said, “Sister, you will accompany the Lord Jesus when the priest goes to visit the sick.” And all through the time of my probation I carried the light, accompanying the Lord and, as a knight of Jesus, I always tried to gird myself with an iron belt, (note62) for it would not be proper to accompany the King in everyday dress. And I offered this mortification for the sick.
184. + Holy Hour. During this hour, I tried to meditate on the Lord’s Passion. But my soul was filled with joy, and suddenly I saw the Child Jesus. But His majesty penetrated me to such an extent that I said, “Jesus, You are so little, and yet I know that You are my Creator and Lord.” And Jesus answered me, I am, and I keep company with you as a child to teach you humility and simplicity.
I gathered all my sufferings and difficulties into a bouquet for Jesus for the day of our perpetual betrothal. Nothing was difficult for me, when I remembered it was for my Betrothed as proof of my love for Him.
185. + My silence for Jesus. I strove after great silence for Jesus. Amidst the greatest noise, Jesus always found silence in my heart, although it sometimes cost me a lot. But what can be too great for Jesus, for Him whom I love with all the strength of my heart?
186. + Today Jesus said to me, I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer:
187. “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.”
188. During the last days of the carnival, when I was making a Holy hour, I saw how the Lord Jesus suffered as He was being scourged. Oh, such an inconceivable agony! How terribly Jesus suffered during the scourging! O poor sinners, on the day of judgment how will you face the Jesus whom you are now torturing so cruelly: His blood flowed to the ground, and in some places His flesh started to fall off. I saw a few bare bones on His back. The meek Jesus moaned softly and sighed.
189. On one occasion, Jesus gave me to know how pleasing to Him is the soul that faithfully keeps the rule. A soul will receive a greater reward for observing the rule than for penances and great mortifications. The latter will be rewarded also if they are undertaken over and above the rule, but they will not surpass the rule.
190. Once during an adoration, the Lord demanded that I give myself up to Him as an offering, by bearing a certain suffering in atonement, not only for the sins of the world in general, but specifically for transgressions committed in this house. Immediately I said, “Very good; I am ready.” But Jesus gave me to see what I was going to suffer, and in one moment the whole passion unfolded itself before my eyes. Firstly, my intentions will not be recognized; there will be all kinds of suspicion and distrust as well as various kinds of humiliations and adversities. I will not mention everything here. All these things stood before my soul’s eye like a dark storm from which lightning was ready to strike at any moment, waiting only for my consent. For a moment, my nature was frightened. Then suddenly the dinner bell rang. I left the chapel, trembling and undecided. But the sacrifice was ever present before me, for I had neither decided to accept it, nor had I refused the Lord. I wanted to place myself completely in His will. If the Lord Jesus Himself were to impose it on me, I was ready. But Jesus gave me to know that I myself was to give my free consent and accept it with full consciousness, or else it would be meaningless. Its whole power was contained in my free act before God. But at the same time, Jesus gave me to understand that the decision was completely within my power. I could do it or not do it. And so I then answered immediately, “Jesus, I accept everything that You wish to send me; I trust in Your goodness.” At that moment, I felt that by this act I glorified God greatly. But I armed myself with patience. As soon as I left the chapel, I had an encounter with reality. I do not want to describe the details, but there was as much of it as I was able to bear. I would not have been able to bear even one drop more.