Second Notebook – Paragraphs 561-570
561. All at once, I saw the image in some small chapel and at that moment I saw that chapel became an enormous and beautiful temple. And in this temple I saw the Mother of God with the Infant in Her arms. And a moment later, the infant Jesus disappeared from the arms of His Mother, and I saw the living image of Jesus Crucified. The Mother of God told me to do what She had done, that, even when joyful, I should always keep my eyes fixed on the cross, and She told me that the graces God was granting me were not for me alone, but for other souls as well.
562. When I see the Infant Jesus during Holy Mass, it is not always the same: sometimes He is very joyous, and sometimes He is not even looking at the chapel. At present, He is often very joyful when our confessor [Father Sopocko] offers Holy Mass. I was greatly surprised that the Infant Jesus loves him so much. Sometimes I see Him dressed in a colorful pinafore. (note116)
563. Before I came to Vilnius and met this confessor, I once saw a rather small church and near it, this congregation. (note117) The convent had twelve cells: each nun was to live separately. I saw the priest [Father Sopocko] who was helping me to prepare the convent and whom I was to meet some years later, but whom I already knew from the vision. I saw how he was arranging everything in the convent with great care, assisted by another priest [probably Father Wantuchowski (note118)] whom I have not yet met. I saw the iron grating, covered with a dark curtain, and the sisters did not go out to the church.
564. On the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, during Holy Mass, I heard the rustling of garments and saw the most holy Mother of God in a most beautiful radiance. Her white garment was girdled with a blue sash. She said to me, You give Me great joy when you adore The Holy Trinity for the graces and privileges which were accorded Me. And She immediately disappeared.
Penances and Mortification.
565. Interior mortifications take the first place, but besides this, we must practice exterior mortifications, strictly determined, so that all can practice them. These are: on three days a week, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, there will be a strict fast; each Friday, all the sisters – each one in her own cell – will take the discipline (note119) for the length of the recitation of Psalm 50, and all will do this at the same time; namely, three o’clock; and this will be offered for dying sinners. During the two great fasts, (note120) ember days (note121) and vigils, (note122) the food will consist of a piece of bread and some water, once a day.
Let each sister try to observe these mortifications which are prescribed for all. But if anyone desires to do something more, she should ask the superior for permission. One more general mortification: no sister is allowed to enter the cell of another without special permission from the Superior, but the Superior should sometimes unexpectedly enter the cells of the sisters, not in order to spy, but in the spirit of love and the responsibility which she has before God. None of the sisters will lock anything; the rule will be the general key for all.
566. One day, after Holy Communion, I suddenly saw the Infant Jesus standing by my kneeler and holding on to it with His two little hands. Although He was but a little Child, my soul was filled with awe and fear, for I see in Him my Judge, my Lord, and my Creator, before whose holiness the Angeles tremble. At the same time, my soul was flooded with such unspeakable love that I thought I would die under its influence. I now see that Jesus first strengthens my soul and makes it capable of abiding with Him, for otherwise I would not be able to bear what I experience at such a moment.
Relationship of Sisters with the Superior
567. All the sisters should respect the Superior as the Lord Jesus himself, as I mentioned when speaking about the vow of obedience. They should behave toward her with childlike trust, and should never murmur or find fault with her commands, as this is very displeasing to God. Let each be guided by a spirit of faith in her relationship to superiors; let her ask with simplicity for all that she needs. God forbid that it ever happen or be repeated that any of the sisters would be a cause of sorrow or tears to the Superior. Let each one know that as the fourth commandment obliges a child to honor its parents, in like manner is the religious bound to respect her Superior. Only a bad religious would take the liberty of judging her Superior. Let the sisters be sincere with the Superior, telling her about everything and about their needs with childlike simplicity.
The sisters will address the Superior thus: “With your leave, Sister Superior.” They shall never kiss her hand, but whenever they meet her in the corridor or enter her cell, they should say, “Praised be Jesus Christ,” bowing their heads slightly.
They shall address each other as “Sister,” adding the proper name. Their relationship toward the Superior should be marked by a spirit of faith and not by sentimentality or flattery, as these are unworthy of a religious and would degrade her very much. A religious should be as free as a queen, and will be such only when she lives in the spirit of faith. We should obey and respect the Superior, not because she is good, holy or prudent, but solely because she represents God, and by obeying her we are obeying God Himself.
Relationship of the Superior to the Sisters
568. The Superior should be distinguished by humility and love toward each sister without exception. She must not let herself be led by likes and dislikes, but by the spirit of Christ alone. Let her be aware that God will demand of her an account for each sister. She should not moralize to the sisters, but rather set them an example of profound humility and self-denial; this will be the most efficacious lesson she can give her subjects. She should be firm, but never harsh. She should be patient when bothered with the same questions. Even if she has to give the same answer a hundred times over, she should do so with equanimity. Let her strive to anticipate the sisters’ needs rather than wait till they ask for this or that, for people vary in disposition.
If the Superior notices that a sister is sad or is suffering, she should try her very best to help and comfort her. She should pray much and ask for light in order to know how to deal with each sister, for each soul is a world of its own. God has various ways of communicating with souls, ways that are often beyond our comprehension and notice. Therefore, the Superior should be careful not to hinder God’s action in a soul. She should never reprimand a sister when irritated; rather, reprimands should always be seasoned with encouragement. The person is to be helped to recognize and acknowledge her error, but she should not be crushed.
The Superior should be outstanding for a love for her sisters which shows itself in actions. She should take upon herself all burdens so as to ease the burdens of the sisters. She should not demand any services from them, but should respect them as brides of Jesus and be always ready to serve them, day and night. Let her ask rather than order. Her heart should be open to the sufferings of the sisters, and she herself should look closely at, and learn from, the open book; namely, Jesus Crucified. Let her pray fervently for light, especially when she has some important dealing with a sister. She should be on her guard lest she interfere with the sisters’ consciences, for only a priest has this grace. But it may happen that a sister may feel the necessity to pour out her soul to the Superior, in which case the Superior may listen to this outpouring, but she is bound to secrecy, as nothing hurts a person so much as to have something she has said in confidence or in secret talked about with others. Women usually have weak heads in this respect; it is rarely that one finds a woman with a man’s mind. The Superior should strive for deep union with God, and God will govern through her. The most holy Mother will be the Superior (note123) of the convent, and we shall be Her faithful daughters.
569. December 15, 1935. From early morning, today, a strange power has been pushing me to action, not giving me a moment’s peace. A strange ardor has been lit in my heart, urging me to action, and I cannot stop it. This is a secret martyrdom known only to God, but let Him do with me as He pleases; my heart is ready for anything. O Jesus, my dearest Master, do not abandon me, not even for a moment. Jesus, You know well how weak I am of myself; that is why I know that it is my weakness that forces You to be with me constantly.
570. On one occasion, I saw Jesus in a bright garment; this was in the greenhouse. [He said to me,] Write what I say to you. My delight is to be united with you. With great desire, I wait and long for the time when I shall take up My residence sacramentally in your convent. My spirit will rest in that convent and I will bless its neighborhood in a special way. Out of love for you all, I will avert any punishments which are rightly meted out by My Father’s justice. My daughter, I have inclined My heart to your requests. Your assignment and duty here on earth is to beg for mercy for the whole world. No soul will be justified until it turns with confidence to My mercy, and this is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy. On that day, priests are to tell everyone about My great and unfathomable mercy. I am making you the administrator of My mercy. Tell the confessor that the Image is to be on view in the church and not within the enclosure in that convent. By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so, let every soul have access to it.