Third Notebook – Paragraphs 1101-1110
April 23, 1937. I have begun a three-day retreat today. (note190)
1101. In the evening, I heard these words in my soul: My daughter, know that I shall speak to you in a special way through this priest [Father Plaza (note191)] so that you may not yield to doubt concerning My wishes. Already in the first meditation my soul was struck by the following words of the priest: I must not oppose God’s will and God’s designs, whatever they might be; and as soon as I am convinced of the certitude and the authenticity of the will of God, I have the duty of carrying it out. No one can release me from this. Whatever the will of God may be, once I have come to know it, I ought to carry it out. This is just a very short summary, but the whole meditation imprinted itself on my soul, and I have no doubts about anything. I know what God wants of me, and what I ought to do.
1102. There are, in my life, times and moments of spiritual insight; that is, divine illuminations, when the soul receives inward instruction about things it has not read in any book and has not been taught by any person. These are times of great inner knowledge which God himself imparts to the soul. These are great mysteries I often receive light and the knowledge of the interior life of God and of God’s intimate disposition, and this fills me with unutterable trust and a joy that I cannot contain within myself; I desire to dissolve completely in Him.
1103. + The essence of love is sacrifice and suffering. Truth wears a crown of thorns. Prayer involves the intellect, the will, and the emotions.
1104. Today there was a beautiful teaching [by Father Plaza] on the goodness and mercy of God. During this conference my soul experienced the flames of God’s love, and I understood that God’s word is a living word.
1105. My particular exam is still the same; namely, union with the merciful Christ, and silence. The flower which I lay at the feet of the Mother of God for May is my practice of silence.
1106. + Virtue without prudence is not virtue at all. We should often pray to the Holy Spirit for this grace of prudence. Prudence consists in discretion, rational reflection and courageous resolution. The final decision is always up to us. We must decide; we can and we ought to seek advice and light …
1107. Today during meditation, God gave me inner light and the understanding as to what sanctity is and of what it consists. Although I have heard these things many times in conferences, the soul understands them in a different way when it comes to know of them through the light of God which illumines it.
Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God. God never violates our free will. It is up to us whether we want to receive God’s grace or not. It is up to us whether we will cooperate with it or waste it.
1108. In the last evening conference, which was a preparation for the renewal of vows, Father was speaking about the happiness that flows from the three vows, and about the reward that comes from observing them faithfully. Suddenly, my soul was thrown into great interior darkness. My soul was filled with bitterness instead of joy, and my heart was pierced with a sharp pain. I felt so miserable and unworthy of this grace and, conscious of my misery and unworthiness, I would not have dared to so much as approach the feet of the youngest postulant to kiss them. I saw the postulants, in spirit, beautiful and pleasing to the Lord; and myself, an abyss of misery. After the conference, I flung myself at the feet of the hidden God, midst tears and pain. I threw myself into the sea of God’s infinite mercy, and only there did I experience relief and feel that all of His omnipotent mercy was enveloping me.
1109. + 30. This is the day for the renewal of vows
Immediately upon my awakening, God’s presence enveloped me, and I felt I was a child of God. Divine love was poured into my soul, and God gave me to see how everything depended on His will. He spoke these words to me: I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. Then he said to me, My daughter, fear nothing. I am always with you, even if it seems to you that I am not. Your humility draws Me down from My lofty throne, and I unite Myself closely with you.
1110. 29 [April 1937], The Lord gave me to know about the disputes (note192) that were going on in the Vatican concerning this Feast. The dignitary Pacelli did much work on this.