First Notebook – Paragraphs 351-360
351. O my God, how sweet it is to suffer for You, suffer in the most secret recesses of the heart, in the greatest hiddenness, to burn like a sacrifice noticed by no one, pure as crystal, with no consolation or compassion. My spirit burns in active love. I waste no time in dreaming. I take every moment singly as it comes, for this is within my power. The past does not belong to me; the future is not mine; with all my soul I try to make use of the present moment.
352. At the chapter, Mother [Borgia] stressed a life of faith and fidelity in small things. Half way through the chapter, I heard these words: I desire that you would all have more faith at the present time. How great is My joy at the faithfulness of My spouse in the smallest things. Then I looked at the crucifix and saw that Jesus’ head was turned towards the refectory, and His lips were moving.
When I told Mother Superior about it, she answered, “You see, Sister, how Jesus demands that our life be a life of faith.”
353. When Mother left for the chapel and I stayed to set the room in order, I heard these words: Tell all the sisters that I demand that they live in the spirit of faith towards the superiors at this present time. I begged my confessor to release me from this duty.
354. As I was talking to a certain person (note84) who was to paint the image but, for certain reasons, was not painting it, I heard this voice in my soul: I want her to be more obedient. I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience; I am speaking about a religious soul. O God, how easy it is to know Your will in the convent! We religious have God’s will set clearly before our eyes from morning till night, and in moments of uncertainty we have our superiors through whom God speaks.
355. 1934-1935. New Year’s Eve.
I was given permission not to go to sleep, but rather pray in the chapel. One of the sisters had asked me to offer an hour of adoration for her. I said yes, and prayed for her for an hour. During the hour, God gave me to understand how very pleasing this soul was to Him.
I offered the second hour of adoration for the conversion of sinners, and I tried especially to offer expiation to God for the insults that were being committed against Him at this present moment. How greatly God is being offended!
I offered the third hour for my spiritual director. I fervently prayed for a light for him in a particular matter.
Finally, the clock struck twelve, the last hour of the year. I finished it in the name of the Holy Trinity, and I also started the first hour of the New Year in the Name of the Holy Trinity. I asked each of the Three Persons to bless me and, with great confidence, looked toward the New Year which certainly would not be sparing of suffering.
356. O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the testament of God’s mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus as proof of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained life eternal and of infinite mercy, dispensed in abundance to us and especially to poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the mercy of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit toward us, and especially toward poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the infinite price of mercy which will compensate for all our debts, and especially those of poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fountain of living water which springs from infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fire of purest love which blazes forth from the bosom of the Eternal Father, as from an abyss of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
Blessed Host, in whom is contained the medicine for all our infirmities, flowing from infinite mercy, as from a fount, for us and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the union between God and us through His infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom are contained all the sentiments of the most sweet Heart of Jesus toward us, and especially poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in all the sufferings and adversities of life.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of darkness and of storms within and without.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in life and at the hour of our death.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of adversities and floods of despair.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of falsehood and treason.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of the darkness and godlessness which inundate the earth.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the longing and pain in which no one will understand us.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the toil and monotony of everyday life.
O Blessed Host, our only hope amid the ruin of our hopes and endeavors.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of the ravages of the enemy and the efforts of hell.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when the burdens are beyond my strength and I find my efforts are fruitless.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when storms toss my heart about and my fearful spirit tends to despair.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my heart is about to tremble and mortal sweat moistens my brow.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when everything conspires against me and black despair creeps into my soul.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my eyes will begin to grow dim to all temporal things and, for the first time, my spirit will behold the unknown worlds.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my tasks will be beyond my strength and adversity will become my daily lot.
O Blessed Host I trust in You when the practice of virtue will appear difficult for me and my nature will grow rebellious.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when hostile blows will be aimed against me.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my toils and efforts will be misjudged by others.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when Your judgments will resound over me; it is then that I will trust in the sea of Your mercy.
357. + Most Holy Trinity, I trust in Your infinite mercy. God is my Father and so I, His child, have every claim to His divine Heart; and the greater the darkness, the more complete our trust should be.
358. I do not understand how it is possible not to trust in Him who can do all things. With Him, everyhing; without Him, nothing. He is Lord. He will not allow those who have placed all their trust in Him to be put to shame.
359. January 10, 1935. + Thursday. In the evening during benediction, (note85) such thoughts as these began to distress me: Is not perhaps all this that I am saying about God’s great mercy just a lie or an illusion? And I wanted to think about this for a while, when I heard a strong and clear inner voice saying, Everything that you say about My goodness is true; language has no adequate expression to extol My goodness. These words were so filled with power and so clear that I would give my life in declaring they came from god. I can tell this by the profound peace that accompanied them at that time and that still remains with me. This peace gives me such great strength and power that all difficulties, adversities, sufferings, and death itself are as nothing. This light gave me a glimpse of the truth that all my efforts to bring souls to know the mercy of the Lord are very pleasing to God. And from this springs such great joy in my soul that I do not know whether it could be any grater in heaven. Oh, if souls would only be willing to listen, at least a little, to the voice of conscience and the voice – that is, the inspirations – of the Holy Spirit! I say “at least a little,” because once we open ourselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit, He Himself will fulfill what is lacking in us.
+New Year 1935
360. Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details of our life, and He often fulfills secret wishes of mine that I sometimes hide from Him, although I know that from Him nothing can be hidden.
There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year’s Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn’t read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: I am your patron. Read. I looked at once at the inscription and read, “Patron for the Year 1935 – the Most Blessed Eucharist.” My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be, at that moment, together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.