Fifth Notebook – Paragraphs 1481-1490
1481. Today (note231) during Holy Mass, I saw the Infant Jesus near my kneeler. He appeared to be about one year old, and He asked me to take Him in my arms. When I did take Him in my arms, He cuddled up close to my bosom and said, It is good for Me to be close to your heart. “Although You are so little, I know that You are God. Why do You take the appearance of such a little baby to commune with me?”
Because I want to teach you spiritual childhood. I want you to be very little, because when you are little, I carry you close to My Heart, just as you are holding Me close to your heart right now. And with that, I was again alone, but no one can conceive the emotions of my soul, I was so fully plunged in God, like a sponge thrown into the sea.
1482. + O my Jesus, You know that I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble for speaking out the truth. O truth, so often oppressed, you nearly always wear a crown of thorns! O Eternal Truth, support me that I may have the courage to speak the truth even if it would come about that I would pay for it with my life. O Jesus, how hard it is to believe in this, when one sees one thing taught and something else lived.
1483. This is why, during the retreat, after a long observation of life, I resolved to fix my eyes firmly on You, Jesus, the most perfect of models. O eternity, which will uncover many secrets and make manifest the truth …
1484. O Living Host, support me in this exile, that I may be empowered to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the Savior. I do not ask, Lord, that You take me down from the cross, but I implore You to give me the strength to remain steadfast upon it. I want to be stretched out upon the cross as You were, Jesus. I want all the tortures and pains that You suffered. I want to drink the cup of bitterness to the dregs.
The Goodness of God
1485. The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: Come to Me, all of you.
A dialoge between The Merciful God and the sinful soul
Jesus: Be not afraid of your Savior; O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.
Soul: Lord, I hear your voice calling me to turn back from the path of sin, but I have neither the strength nor the courage to do so.
Jesus: I am your strength, I will help you in the struggle.
Soul: Lord, I recognize your holiness, and I fear You.
Jesus: My child, do you fear the God of mercy? My holiness does not prevent Me from being merciful. Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth – the tabernacle – and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue or guards. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace.
Soul: Lord, I doubt that You will pardon my numerous sins; my misery fills me with fright.
Jesus: My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.
Soul: You have conquered, O Lord, my stony heart with Your goodness. In trust and humility I approach the tribunal of Your mercy, where You Yourself absolve me by the hand of your representative. O Lord, I feel Your grace and Your peace filling my poor soul. I feel overwhelmed by Your mercy, O lord. You forgive me, which is more than I dared to hope for or could imagine. Your goodness surpasses all my desires. And now, filled with gratitude for so many graces, I invite You to my heart. I wandered, like a prodigal child gone astray; but you did not cease to be my Father. Increase Your mercy toward me, for You see how weak I am.
Jesus: Child, speak no more of your misery; it is already forgotten. Listen, My child, to what I desire to tell you. Come close to My wounds and draw from the Fountain of Life whatever your heart desires. Drink copiously from the Fountain of Life and you will not weary on your journey. Look at the splendors of My Mercy and do not fear the enemies of your salvation. Glorify My mercy.
Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul
1486. Jesus: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.
— But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness. Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.
— In the soul arises this reply: “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near God.
Jesus calls to the soul a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self-chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.
My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace.
Jesus: What joy fills My Heart when you return to me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.
Soul (as if awaking, asks fearfully): Is it possible that there yet is mercy for me?
Jesus: There is, My child. You have a special claim on My mercy. Let it act in your poor soul; let the rays of grace enter your soul; they bring with them light, warmth, and life.
Soul: But fear fills me at the thought of my sins, and this terrible fear moves me to doubt Your goodness.
Jesus: My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does – that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.
Soul: O Lord, save me Yourself, for I perish. Be my Savior. O Lord, I am unable to say anything more; my pitiful heart is torn asunder; but You, O Lord Jesus does not let the soul finish but, raising it from the ground, from the depths of its misery, he leads it into the recesses of His Heart where all its sins disappear instantly, consumed by the flames of love.
Jesus: Here, soul, are all the treasures of My Heart. Take everything you need from it.
Soul: O Lord, I am inundated with Your grace. I sense that a new life has entered into me and, above all, I feel Your love in my heart. That is enough for me. O Lord, I will glorify the omnipotence of Your mercy for all eternity. Encouraged by Your goodness, I will confide to You all the sorrows of my heart.
Jesus: Tell me all, My child, hide nothing from Me, because My loving Heart, the Heart of your Best Friend, is listening to you.
Soul: O Lord, now I see all my ingratitude and Your goodness. You were pursuing me with Your grace, while I was frustrating Your benevolence. I see that I deserve the depths of hell for spurning Your graces.
Jesus (interrupting): Do not be absorbed in your misery – you are still too weak to speak of it – but, rather; gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. Strive for meekness and humility; be merciful to others, as I am to you; and, when you feel your strength failing, if you come to the fountain of mercy to fortify your soul, you will not grow weary on your journey.
Soul: Now I understand Your mercy, which protects me, and like a brilliant star, leads me into the home of my Father, protecting me from the horrors of hell that I have deserved, not once, but a thousand times. O Lord, eternity will hardly suffice for me to give due praise to Your unfathomable mercy and Your compassion for me.
+ Conversation of the Merciful God with a Suffering Soul
1487. Jesus: Poor soul, I see that you suffer much and that you do not have even the strength to converse with me. So I will speak to you. Even though your sufferings were very great, do not lose heart or give in to despondency. But tell Me, my child, who has dared to wound your heart? Tell me about everything, be sincere in dealing with Me, reveal all the wounds of your heart. I will heal them, and your suffering will become a source of your sanctification.
Soul: Lord, my sufferings are so great and numerous and have lasted so long that I become discouraged.
Jesus: My child, do not be discouraged. I know your boundless trust in Me; I know you are aware of My goodness and mercy. Let us talk in detail about everything that weighs so heavily upon your heart.
Soul: There are so many different things that I do not know what to speak about first, nor how to express it.
Jesus: Talk to Me simply, as a friend to a friend. Tell Me now, My child, what hinders you from advancing in holiness?
Soul: Poor health detains me on the way to holiness. I cannot fulfill my duties. I am as useless as an extra wheel on a wagon. I cannot mortify myself or fast to any extent, as the saints did. Furthermore, nobody believes I am sick, so that mental pain is added to those of the body, and I am often humiliated. Jesus, how can anyone become holy in such circumstances?
Jesus: True, my child, all that is painful. But there is no way to heaven except the way of the cross. I followed it first. You must learn that it is the shortest and surest way.
Soul: Lord, there is another obstacle on the road to holiness. Because I am faithful to You, I am persecuted and suffer much.
Jesus: It is because you are not of this world that the world hates you. First it persecuted Me. Persecution is a sign that you are following in My footsteps faithfully.
Soul: My Lord, I am also discouraged because neither my superiors nor my confessor understand my interior trials. A darkness clouds my mind. How can I advance? All this discourages me from striving for the heights of sanctity.
Jesus: Well, My child, this time you have told Me a good deal. I realize how painful it is not to be understood, and especially by those whom one loves and with whom one has been very open. But suffice it to know that I understand all your troubles and misery. I am pleased by the deep faith you have, despite everything, in My representatives. Learn from this that no one will understand a soul entirely – that is beyond human ability. Therefore, I have remained on earth to comfort your aching heart and to fortify your soul, so that you will not falter on the way. You say that a dense darkness is obscuring your mind. But why, at such times, do you not come to Me, the light who can in an instant pour into your soul more understanding about holiness than can be found in any books? No confessor is capable of teaching and enlightening a soul in this way.
Know, too, that the darkness about which you complain I first endured in the Garden of Olives when My Soul was crushed in mortal anguish. I am giving you a share in those sufferings because of My special love for you and in view of the high degree of holiness I am intending for you in heaven. A suffering soul is closest to My Heart.
Soul: One more thing, Lord. What should I do when I am ignored and rejected by people, especially by those on whom I had a right to count in times of greatest need?
Jesus: My child, make the resolution never to rely on people. Entrust yourself completely to My will saying, “Not as I want, but according to Your will, O God, let it be done unto me.” These words, spoken from the depths of one’s heart, can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity in a short time. In such a soul I delight. Such a soul gives Me glory. Such a soul fills heaven with the fragrance of her virtue. But understand that the strength by which you bear sufferings comes from frequent Communions. So approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need.
Soul: Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness in remaining with us in this exile as the God of mercy and blessing us with the radiance of Your compassion and goodness. It is through the light of Your mercy that I have come to understand how much You love me.
1488. Conversation of the Merciful God with a Soul Striving after Perfection
Jesus: I am pleased with your efforts, O soul aspiring for perfection, but why do I see you so often sad and depressed? Tell Me, My child, what is the meaning of this sadness, and what is its cause?
Soul: Lord, the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions, I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evenings I see how much I have departed from them.
Jesus: You see, My child, what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons.
Soul: Yes, I know all that, but great temptations assail me, and various doubts awaken within me and, moreover, everything irritates and discourages me.
Jesus: My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self-love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.
Soul: I understand what is the better thing to do, what pleases You more, but I encounter great obstacles in acting on this understanding.
Jesus: My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for My kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life – for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness.
Soul: O Lord, I feel my heart being filled with Your love and the rays of Your mercy and love piercing my soul. I go, Lord, at Your command. I go to conquer souls. Sustained by Your grace, I am ready to follow You, Lord, not only to Tabor, but also to Calvary. I desire to lead souls to the fount of Your mercy so that the splendor of Your mercy may be reflected in all souls, and the home of our Father be filled to overflowing. And when the enemy begins to attach me, I shall take refuge behind the shield of Your mercy.
1489. Conversation of the Merciful God with a Perfect Soul
Soul: My Lord and Master, I desire to converse with You.
Jesus: Speak, My beloved child, for I am always listening. I wait for you. What do you desire to say?
Soul: Lord, first let me pour out my heart at Your feet in a fragrant anointing of gratitude for the many blessings which You lavish upon me; even if I wanted to, I could not count them. I only recall that there has never been a moment in my life in which I have not experienced Your protection and goodness.
Jesus: Your words please Me, and your thanksgiving opens up new treasures of graces. But, My child, we should talk in more detail about the things that lie in your heart. Let us talk confidentially and frankly, as two hearts that love one another do.
Soul: O my merciful Lord, there are secrets in my heart which no one knows or will ever know except You because, even if I wanted to reveal them, no one would understand me. Your minister knows some because I confess to him, but he knows only the bit of these mysteries that I am capable of revealing; the rest remains between us for eternity, O My Lord! You have covered me with the cloak of Your mercy, pardoning my sins. Not once did You refuse Your pardon; You always had pity on me, giving me a new life of grace. To prevent doubts, You have entrusted me to the loving care of Your Church, that tender mother, who in Your Name assures me of the truths of faith and watches lest I wander. Especially in the tribunal of Your mercy does my soul meet an ocean of favors, though You did not give the Fallen Angels time to repent or prolong their time of mercy. O my Lord, you have provided saintly priests to show me the sure way.
Jesus, there is one more secret in my life, the deepest and dearest to my heart: it is You Yourself when You come to my heart under the appearance of bread. Herein lies the whole secret of my sanctity. Here my heart is so united with Yours as to be but one. There are no more secrets, because all that is Yours is mine, and all that is mine is Yours. Such is the omnipotence and the miracle of Your mercy. All the tongues of men and of angels united could not find words adequate to this mystery of Your love and mercy.
When I contemplate this mystery, my heart falls into a new ecstasy. In silence I tell You everything, Lord, because the language of love is without words; not a single stirring of my heart escapes You. O Lord, the extent of Your great condescension has awakened in my soul an even greater love for You, the sole object of my love. The life of union manifests itself in perfect purity, deep humility, gentle silence, and great zeal for the salvation of souls.
O my sweetest Lord, You watch over me each moment and inspire me as to how I should act in a precise situation, when my heart wavers between two things. You Yourself frequently intervened in the resolution of a difficulty. Countless times, by means of a sudden enlightenment, You have given me to know what is the more pleasing to you.
Oh, how numerous are the instances of forgiveness about which no one knows! How often You have poured into my soul courage and perseverance to go forward. It is You Youseif who removed obstacles from my road, intervening directly in the actions of people. O Jesus, everything I have said to You is but a pale shadow of what is taking place in my hart. O my Jesus, how ardently I desire the conversion of sinners! You know what I am doing for them to win them for You. Every offense against You wounds me deeply. I spare neither strength, nor health, nor life itself in defense of Your kingdom. Although my efforts may remain invisible on earth, they are no less valuable in Your eyes.
O Jesus, I want to bring souls to the fount of Your mercy to draw the reviving water of life with the vessel of trust. The soul desirous of more of God’s mercy should approach God with greater trust; and if the trust in God is unlimited, then the mercy of God toward it will be likewise limitless. O my God, You know every beat of my heart. You know how eagerly I desire that all hearts would beat for You alone, that every soul glorify the greatness of Your mercy.
Jesus: My beloved child, delight of My Heart, your words are dearer and more pleasing to me than the angelic chorus. All the treasures of My Heart are open to you. Take from this Heart all that you need for yourself and for the whole world. For the sake of your love, I withhold the just chastisements, which mankind has deserved. A single act of pure love pleases Me more than a thousand imperfect prayers. One of your sighs of love atones for many offenses with which the Godless overwhelm Me. The smallest act of virtue has unlimited value in My eyes because of your great love for Me. In a soul that lives on My love alone, I reign as in heaven. I watch over it day and night. In it I find My happiness; My ear is attentive to each request of its heart; often I anticipate its requests. O child, especially beloved by Me, apple of My eye, rest a moment near My Heart and taste of the love in which you will delight for all eternity.
But child, you are not yet in your homeland; so go, fortified by My grace, and fight for My kingdom in human souls; fight as a king’s child would; and remember that the days of your exile will pass quickly, and with them the possibility of earning merit for heaven. I expect from you, My child, a great number of souls who will glorify My mercy for all eternity. My child, that you may answer My call worthily, receive Me daily in Holy Communion. It will give you strength …
Jesus, do not leave me alone in suffering. You know, Lord, how weak I am. I am an abyss of wretchedness, I am nothingness itself; so what will be so strange if You leave me alone and I fall? I am an infant, Lord, so I cannot get along my myself. However, beyond all abandonment I trust, and in spite of my own feeling I trust, and I am being completely transformed into trust – often in spite of what I feel. Do not lessen any of my sufferings, only give me strength to bear them. Do with me as You please, Lord, only give me the grace to be able to love You in every event and circumstance, Lord, do not lessen my cup of bitterness, only give me strength that I may be able to drink it all.
O Lord, sometimes You lift me up to the brightness of visions, and then again You plunge me into the darkness of night and the abyss of my nothingness, and my soul feels as if it were alone in the wilderness. Yet, above all things, I trust in You, Jesus, for You are unchangeable. My moods change, but You are always the same, full of mercy.
1490. + Jesus, source of life, sanctify me. O my strength, fortify me. My Commander, fight for me. Only light of my soul, enlighten me. My Master, guide me. I entrust myself to You as a little child does to its mother’s love. Even if all things were to conspire against me, and even if the ground were to give way under my feet, I would be at peace close to Your Heart. You are always a most tender mother to me, and You surpass all mothers. I will sing of my pain to You by my silence, and You will understand me beyond any utterance …