Offer Your Indulgences for the Poor Souls in Purgatory!

The Poor Souls in Purgatory suffer intensely, and they desperately need our help! One could quote many a Saint, Doctor of the Church, private revelation, and so on, confirming this fact; but the following consideration will suffice:

St. Teresa of Avila, while yet a pilgrim on earth, was overcome with such an intense longing for God that this constituted for her a veritable torture. Our Lord told her that this thirst for Himself – a manifestation of His intimate union with a soul – would be her Purgatory on earth, comparing her suffering and purification to gold in the furnace! (Perhaps you have read about the very “Purgatorial” sufferings of St. Catherine of Genoa?)

While it is true that Purgatory has varying types and degrees of punishments, the truth remains that there are many souls there who are literally burning with desire to see God face to Face, but who can do nothing to ease their pain. This is up to us. It is such an easy way to practice a very high form of charity! Also, the dividends are enormous… but that is secondary.

If Bl. John Massias released 1.2 million souls from Purgatory, we can at least hope to release a few souls! If St. John Vianney said that an aspiration (i.e. a short prayer, such as “My Jesus, mercy!”) often *saved* a soul, surely our prayers for the poor souls will not be in vain.

As you may know, the Church possesses the Keys to an Infinite Treasury of graces. Consider the Sacred Heart; consider the nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. “I am the Door,” said Jesus; yes, and He gave St. Peter (and, by extension, the Church) the Keys.

Indulgences, put simply, are the application of Christ’s merits to a soul; they are a means of repairing the damage done by sin; they remit some or all of the temporal punishment that one is owing to God. Indulgences can be partial or plenary. It is definitely worth doing some more reading on the subject if you are not too familiar with it.

Since praying more seriously for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, my life has changed for the better. If you want to please Christ; if you want to console His aching members; if you want to amass a treasury of merits for Heaven; if you want many holy souls (and Heavenly friends) praying for you, then say many indulgenced prayers, and offer them all to Our Lady. As the Queen of Purgatory, she will distribute our indulgences in the best way possible.

“Father Faber, in his beautiful book “All for Jesus,” enumerates six advantages which accrue to us, from our giving over our Indulgences to the
holy souls in Purgatory.

1. First, it considerably increases our merit, and consequently our claim to glory.
2. Next, it lays the soul that we release under a particular obligation to us, both because of the singular benefit it receives from entering all the sooner into glory, and also because of the tremendous sufferings from which it is delivered.
3. Moreover, it gives us the consolation to think that those, whom we have released from Purgatory, are doing for us in heaven the great work of loving, praising, and glorifying God on our behalf.
4. Again, it adds fresh joy to the Church triumphant, from the fact that to the heavenly hierarchy a new citizen is added who can sin no more, whilst to the Church militant it brings comfort from the gain she has made of a new advocate.
5. Besides, it secures a prompt application of our Indulgences, which, in the possible case that we were in no want of them for ourselves, might remain for many years buried in the treasury of the Church.
6. And last of all, it entitles us to a speedy discharge of our own debt in Purgatory; for, if temporal alms are satisfactory above most other good works, much more will spiritual alms be so. And if he who gives up anything for God receives a hundredfold, we may have a security that, to recompense us for our generosity, He will so deal with us, that we shall need little Purgatory, or He will inspire devout souls to
pray for us.”
(Taken from ‘Indulgences: Their Origin, Nature and Development’ by Alexius M. Lepicier)

“To become a saint it is sufficient to gain all the indulgences possible.”
– St. Alphonsus

The Fruit of Good Intentions: A Vision Given to St. Mechtilde

‘A lady once consecrated her child to God, even before it was born, and desired that, if it proved to be a girl, she should be promised to God (in religion); but the child died at the age of two. Her soul appeared to St. Mechtilde as a most beautiful virgin, and said to her:

“All the gifts that I would have received from the Lord, if I had really taken the religious habit, have been given to me now by Him by an act of His great munificence, and I have in addition a special reward for having been consecrated to God from my mother’s womb.”

As this greatly surprised Mechtilde, the Lord said to her:

“Why be astonished? Are not baptised children saved through the faith of others? I accepted the very definite will of the mother for the deed, and in her child I reward all the good things she had desired for her.”
“But why, O Beloved,” asked the saint, “did You take that child so soon?”
“She was so attractive,” replied the Lord, “that it was inexpedient for her to remain on earth. Her father would, later on, when her elder sister died, have broken her mother’s vow, and would have kept her for the world.”
– ‘Divine Communications,’ Vol. I, p. 56 (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

St. Mechtilde, along with St. Gertrude, may well be called the Saint of desires. It was the near-constant practice of these two mystics to unite their prayers, their desires, their intentions, their works – in a word, everything that they did – to something greater than themselves; to something far greater than their own “little” hearts could offer. And God Himself took great delight in this; He encouraged it, and He often explicitly made known that He took the intention or desire for the act! What generosity! It is as if a peasant wished to honour his king, but, having nothing of his own to give, told the king that, if he were rich, he would make over his riches to the king.

To give one example: St. Mechtilde would unite her intentions before receiving the Adorable Eucharist, to all the loving intentions with which Our Lord has ever been received; for example, by Our Lady and the Saints. Likewise, we may unite our praise of Mary to the praise given her by the Archangel Gabriel, St. Elizabeth, and the Blessed in Heaven. There is great joy in “inventing” such ways to perfect our prayers, to honour God, and to grow in confidence.

God’s generosity is immeasurable; we should particularly take advantage of God’s goodness – so to speak – at Holy Mass. Fr. Garrigou Lagrange, O.P., reminds us that the bounty of God is infinite; we may ask of Him 5 things or 500 things. Be bold in your prayers; it is better to ask too much than too little. Don’t be too calculating; even God Himself does not know arithemtic, as Little Therese says.

Have no worries at all that you will be damned; if you fall, kiss the Adorable Face of your Divine Friend, renew your good resolutions, and move on. This was the practice of St. Therese. “There,” she would say; “all is forgiven.” Better still, imitate St. Mechtilde and thank God *here and how* for saving you; He cannot fail to reward such confidence (provided that we sincerely make an effort to love Him). Read St. Mechtilde and St. Gertrude if you doubt this.

‘Once when Mechtilde was praying for a certain person, she saw that person’s soul as [if] it were a little child within the Divine Heart. And Our Lord said:

“Let her come to Me thus in all her troubles, let her cling to My Divine Heart and seek comfort there, and I will never abandon her.”
– ‘Divine Communications,’ Vol. I, p. 125

Little St. Therese, pray for us.
St. Gertrude, pray for us.
St. Mechtilde, pray for us.
Sr. Gertrude Mary, pray for us.
Sr. Benigna Consolata, pray for us.

[The computer I am currently using has forced me to use a different format for posts… hopefully I will resolve this soon, so I can include pictures etc.]

If there were no Misery, there would be no Mercy

“The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy…”
– Psalm 119:64

The following words of consolation are taken from ‘Divine Communications,’ Vol. 1, by Rev. Auguste Saudreau, the master of mysticism:

‘Once,’ relates Mother Mary of the Divine Heart, ‘having committed some sins of impatience, I asked Our Lord to forgive me, and I said to him: “Why do you still let me have these faults, seeing that I do nothing but offend You by them?” He answered that when I fell into these faults and asked His pardon with humility and contrition, this act of humiliation glorified Him more than the faults offended Him, as they were committed more out of human frailty than deliberately, and they gave Him an opportunity to show His mercy and to wash the soul in His Precious Blood, and that thereby His precious Blood became daily more fruitful.’

Another time, in order to reassure her, Our Lord made this comparison: “Suppose a wife was carrying a precious vase that belonged to her husband, and let it drop out of weakness or inattention, would not the husband feel more compassion when he thought of his wife’s weakness and the distress she would feel at her carelessness, than irritation at the loss of the vase?”

But in order that our contrition may make up for our negligences to this extent, it must be inspired by pure love; if we are only grieved at our own continual wretchedness, this too human sorrow will not have the same effect. (p. 113)

[Unfortunately I was too busy to post last Sunday; but henceforth I will post every Sunday, unless unforeseen circumstances prevent me from doing so… On another note, I am enjoying myself in the monastery! The Risen Lord is literally under the same roof… Lastly, for those who have contacted me by e-mail, I apologise for not replying; I am having problems accessing my account from another country. It could take a few weeks to sort out.]

All prayers are appreciated! I gratefully offer daily Mass for every reader of ‘Littlest Souls.’

Pax Christi!

My Last Post… for now…

“All for God, all for His glory, and all through pure love.”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

Dear readers,

Tomorrow I will be embarking on a journey to (somewhere in) Europe, where I will be entering a Benedictine monastery! I will offer Mass every day for all the readers of Littlest Souls – past, present, and future.

Please pray for me, too! And if you would be so kind, please also pray that Sr. Benigna Consolata may be declared a “Venerable” in 2016, which marks the 100th anniversary of her entrance into eternal life, and the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy! This, I believe, is no coincidence.

I have been given permission to continue with my blog, so I will contribute to Littlest Souls once a week, most likely.

All the best, dear friend!

“Thou wilt be consumed by Love. Yes, My little spouse, I accept thy sacrifice with all the expansion of My love. I will immolate thee, but it will be always with the sword of Love. I will enchain thee, but with the bonds of love. I will consume thee, but in the fire of My Love.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

The Life and Revelations of Sister Jeanne Bénigne Gojos

jeanne-benigne

Her Birth

Servant of God (S.G.) Sr. Jeanne Bénigne was born on July 20, 1615, in Viuz, Veronay, a small French village situated in the diocese of Geneva. Her father and mother were both from respectable Catholic families, who took care to observe the Commandments, and practice works of mercy.

Her Baptism

On July 22, the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (and the birth of St. Margaret Mary*), little Jeanne received the grace of Baptism. Her mother chose this name because her birth was a cause of joy for all her family.

[*In the year 1657, Sr. Jeanne Benigne prophesied about a Sister Margaret Mary, who would teach a profitable devotion in the Church i.e. devotion to the Sacred Heart.]

Her Childhood

Shortly after her baptism, she was entrusted to the care of her grandfather, Anthelme Perjure. He was a very wealthy and respected man, renowned for his great charity towards the poor. We can only estimate the extent of his influence on Jeanne, whose first words were,I want to be a saint.” Whenever the question was repeated to her, she always gave the same response: “I want to be a saint. Yes, yes, Jeanne wants nothing else but holiness.” Our Lord was already acting impressively upon the soul of his beloved child, who, like St. John the Baptist, was to be a child of grace.

At the age of 4, Jeanne was afflicted by smallpox, which left her features disfigured. Her illness was so severe that her parents feared for her life. On another occasion, Jeanne fell into a fire, but was fortunate enough to escape with nothing worse than a sore hand. Later, little Jeanne faced yet another grave danger when a man who was carrying her on horseback nearly drowned in the river.

When she reached a fitting age, Jeanne was taught how to read, write, sing and dance. She was particularly fond of singing and dancing; but these things could never satisfy her heart; she thirsted for the All, the Alpha and the Omega.

Inevitably – as happens in the lives of all servants of the Divine Master – Jeanne became the victim of the world’s assaults; vanity, attachment to creatures, and frivolous pastimes knocked at the door of her heart – but in vain. These attacks only induced Jeanne to seek the safety of the cloister with greater ardour.

Spiritual Formation

At the age of 11, Jeanne made her first Communion with great devotion. She would often spend long periods before the Blessed Sacrament, where she occasionally tasted great spiritual sweetness. “It seemed to me,” she wrote “that when that time was past I was a poor orphan, no longer having my Divine Saviour before my eyes.”

To sustain her in the spiritual life, she read the writings of St. Francis de Sales, and the holy Gospels. The latter in particular inspired her with great lights, unction, reverence and love for Almighty God, Who penetrated her heart with an intense hatred of the least fault. Later in life she could say in truth:

“I would rather die a thousand times than offend Him. I have a mortal hatred of the very least defects.”

An EverIncreasing Flame

Jeanne’s ardent love of God, and her hatred of sin – two sides of the same coin – would continue to grow throughout her life, even to an heroic degree. The Divine Gardener would continue to graft Himself every more intimately to the soul of His loving daughter, in whom He had planted the seed of a desire for the religious life; it was only time before this seed bore fruit. Since a young age, God had been drawing her irresistibly to the cloister, to sacrifice, to silence, to self–abnegation. ‘Therefore, behold I will allure her, and will lead her into the wilderness: and I will speak to her heart’ (Hosea 2:14).

One day, at Holy Communion, Our Lord clearly manifested His Will to Jeanne; she was to retire from the world and give herself without reserve to God. At first, her confessor strongly dissuaded her from doing so – but he cited only earthly reasons. In her affliction, Jeanne addressed her ardent sights to the Blessed Mother, asking her to fulfil her resolution to give herself entirely to God within only a few months. Her prayer was answered. “During this time,” she writes, “by a sort of miracle, I found means, through one of our out–sisters of Annecy [of the Order of the Visitation], of asking to be received there without anyone knowing it… At the end of the limit I had given to Mary, my powerful Advocate, the out–sister, together with the chaplain of our first Monastery at Annecy, arrived at our house, saying quite frankly that they had come to take me away to that holy place, and that our Mothers had granted me admission into their house. I had made this choice the better to accomplish my desire of being a saint, for I had heard of the sublime perfection of the life that was led there. I had also in view to go to a distance from my relations and my country, in order that God might more readily make known to me His Will.”

Her Entrance into Religion

Despite her good intentions, Jeanne’s parents gently reproached her for acting so secretively. Her father was particularly reluctant to let go of his dear child, but the mother persuaded him to accept with docility the sacrifice that God was asking of them. After receiving her parents’ blessing, Jeanne left on the eve of the Feast of St. John for the Visitation of Holy Mary in Annecy, France, where she would arrive on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. This day also marked the 13th anniversary of the death of [Saint] Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva. Jeanne knelt before his tomb that very day when “… she began to feel a grace which may have had some little resemblance to that which the great St. Paul received at the moment of his conversion; for she felt herself not only blind to all worldly objects, but dead to all worldly feelings.”

The religious life was, for Sr. Jeanne Benigne, a source of innumerable blessings from Heaven. Almighty God bestowed upon her the gift of infused prayer, a great purity of heart, and He occupied her affections to such an extent that “… He became thenceforward the Sovereign Master of her whole being by a continual perception and adoration of His divine Will in all things.”

The morning after entering the religious life, Sr. Jeanne changed put on the clothes of a servant–maid and began her new life within the walls of the Visitation. Writing later in life, she tells us that, since entering the religious house, not once did she lose sight of God, Who often manifested Himself to her in the most profound ways. Her life was truly extraordinary; she was often the recipient of visions, locutions, and other mystical graces. She learnt many valuable and inspiring lessons from the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, from the Blessed Mother, and even from St. Francis de Sales.

Her Extraordinary Sanctity

It was evident to those around her, that Sr. Jeanne Benigne was a privileged child of God; she was a model religious, who sought nothing but Christ and His good–pleasure. Although she tried to conceal her gifts, it was of no use; it was noted by the sisters, for example, that when Sr. Jeanne tried to make the Sign of the Cross without anyone perceiving it, this often resulted in remarkable cures, including the prolongation of life, and deliverance from temptations and distress. “God also promised her that during the course of her life He would preserve this country [France] from pestilence and famine, and from the dangerous consequences of the siege, as well as from other causes of public affliction; and this protection was in reality experienced, although we were often threatened with those scourges; and the secret favours she obtained for the whole state, and for us in particular, were innumerable.”

“And I say that Benigna is she by whom I go about cleansing the world from sins and heresy, often granting to her real conversions from both, such as the conversions of pagans and Turks.”

– Jesus to Sr. Jeanne Benigne (p. 192, ‘Divine Communications’ by Rev. Auguste Saudreau, Vol. 1)

No less of an authority than Mother de Chantal [St. Jane Frances de Chantal] “… judged favourably of the ways by which this soul was led, and said that the designs of God upon her were great; that love and grace would do admirable things in her favour.” This holy soul, a friend of St. Francis de Sales, ensured that Sr. Jeanne Benigne’s virtue was tried. This proved to be an occasion of countless graces for Sr. Jeanne Benigne and for the whole community at Annecy, who were greatly edified by her sublime virtue.

On the 31st of May, 1637, Sr. Jeanne Benigne received the habit from the hands of Mother de Chantal. “She redoubled her efforts to attain to the state of pure love; and her virtue gained her the esteem and affection of all the sisters, who found great consolation in conversing with her.”

Throughout her religious life, Sr. Jeanne Benigne was ever faithful in observing the Rule, which Our Lord gave her a profound respect for her, drawing her attention to particular words to meditate upon and put into practice. Such condescension on the part of Love Incarnate served to inflame the heart of Sr. Jeanne Benigne; she was always inventing new ways to mortify herself, so that Christ may reign in her soul. She sought to eradicate even the least shadow of a fault by means of continual mortifications of the senses, and of her own will. ‘Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.’ (Eccles. 18:30)

In addition to her self–imposed sacrifices, she also suffered from strange maladies, which she bore with her usual patience and even with delight. Like the Sacred Heart of her Beloved Saviour, the heart of Benigne was a blazing furnace; the more she loaded it with the wood of the Cross, the more ardently it burned for God and for souls. “No, no,” she would exclaim; “O sovereign clemency, Heart of Jesus, pardon all the world and punish only Benigne; let her bear the chastisements that are due to it.”

She confessed on at least one occasion that sufferings were no longer a burden for her; rather, they were a delight, for they were opportunities to prove her love for her Heavenly Spouse.

For the sake of brevity, we pass over the greater part of Sr. Jeanne’s religious life. Suffice it to say that we are speaking here of a truly privileged soul, who was called to an unusual sanctity. “Ah!” said Our Lord to Sr. Jeanne one day, “what is wanting to the grace I bestow on thee in showing Myself to thee, except duration, to be able to call thyself blessed.” On another occasion the Three Divine Persons addressed these words to her:

“Benigne must do everything in the spirit of Jesus, and must follow Him in all things, to glorify us in Him and by Him.”

How admirably did Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos appear to put this sublime lesson into effect!

Her Holy Death

“It was on Wednesday, the 5th of November, 1692, at eight o’clock in the evening, that we witnessed the end of the holy life of this venerable sister, at the age of seventy–seven years, five months, and fifteen days, of which she had passed fifty–seven years in religion, as a humble lay-sister, which was no doubt a privilege granted by God to her humility, notwithstanding the frequent intentions that had been formed of giving her the black veil.

As she had often foretold, her death took place in the twenty–third week after Pentecost, on the Sunday of which the Gospel relates the story of that woman who only wished to touch the hem of the Saviour’s garment that she might be healed, and who won that praise from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom, Fides tua te salvam fecit, with an encouragement to confide in His goodness.”

Her Influence Today

S.G. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos is a powerful intercessor, whose influence can still be experienced today. After her death, many holy and learned priests and religious gave written evidence attesting to her sanctity.

On November 5, 1908, Maria Consolata – another privileged nun of the Visitation Order – received the white habit with the name Sr. Benigna Consolata. This was no coincidence. These two privileged souls shared much in common. Our Lord even referred to the Revelations of Sr. Jeanne Benigne in a locution to Sr. Benigna Consolata.

Our Lord Desires to Make Himself Known Through Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

“One day,” writes Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, “I asked my pure Love in what manner I could exalt that glory, and I received from Him this instruction:

“By being obedient to My graces, and by writing them down also by obedience; yes, My Benigne, submission attracts My glory to the soul, and that enables it to gain victories, as thy holy Founder teaches you all, and attracts Me to the earth of your heart, which thus remains full and penetrated by Me. My daughter, I am much glorified by all those who know how to conquer themselves, and who for love of Me do violence to their passions, to bring them under the empire of holy love, and under the loving law of My Will.”

On another occasion, “… Our Lord confirmed the command to write, and there took place a kind of dialogue between Him and His Benigne. “Alas!” she said, “what wilt Thou gain by these writings, O Lord ?”

“My glory will be exalted by them.”

“O God! Nothingness exalt the All! How can that be?”

“By showing how I love this nothing,” Jesus replied.

“But to what purpose should they learn what Thou hast done for me?”

“They will be excited to love me by reading it.”

“Ah! Lord, my little virtue will not correspond to Thy bounties, they will never believe them!”

“He who will not believe shall not taste them.”

“Ah! my God, who will be able to collect Thy divine favours out of my rough copies? What person will take so much trouble?”

“I will find her, Benigne, trust to my care, and I will reward those who shall read the recital of the graces which I have been pleased to heap upon thy soul.”

She said again to her Jesus: “Faith does not oblige anyone to believe these divine favours.” But He taught her that the heart which loves perfectly hopes strongly, believes its Lover easily, and will possess even in this life all it can desire from His bounty.”

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SOME REVELATIONS GIVEN TO SR. JEANNE BENIGNE GOJOS

Source: ‘Life of Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, lay–sister of the Visitation of Holy Mary, who died in the odour of sanctity in the Monastery of Turin, in 1692’ by Mother Marie Geltrude E. Provane De Leyni

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Our Misery Attracts Divine Mercy

“… remember that I love thee, that where misery and poverty abound, there I pour out My mercy, and the riches of My grace, and that as I cannot abase myself to the unworthiness of thy soul, I raise it up to Myself, freeing it from its dross and imperfection by means of my preventing love…”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 51)

Obedience Gives Value to the Least of our Actions

“My Spouse tells me that nothing but obedience and love give a high value to our good actions, and that obedience confers merit even on indifferent ones. That all we do with little love is painful, and if the merit of it is not quite lost, it is at least much diminished.”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (p. 56)

Obedience Attracts the Divine Assistance

“… submission attracts My glory to the soul, and that enables it to gain victories, as thy holy Founder teaches you all, and attracts Me to the earth of your heart, which thus remains full and penetrated by Me. My daughter, I am much glorified by all those who know how to conquer themselves, and who for love of me do violence to their passions, to bring them under the empire of holy love, and under the loving law of My Will.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 61)

God Desires Love Alone

“Benigne, I love those who love me, and I desire only the love of my creature.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 62)

Humility Attracts Divine Grace

“I have learnt that the sincere avowal of my powerlessness for good is a wonderful secret of love to please God, to draw Him to me and to restore me to my place near Him…”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (p. 63)

Jesus Does Not Abandon the Suffering Soul

“I am with him who suffers for love of me.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 65)

The Fruits of Good–will

“He who keeps my law will abound in benignity, happiness, and long life.”

– Words of the Eternal Father (p. 66)

Love, Hope, Sacrifice, Abandonment

“In short, I will that my Benigne should never cease to love God, to hope in Him, to suffer with her Spouse, and to abandon herself to love. These are the four laws which Divine Love gives her.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 67)

Prayer for Sinners

“Benigne, oh, tell Me to pacify these kings, and to cease to punish them by means of themselves.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 79)

Jesus Loves to See us do Battle

“I shall then conceal from thee the pleasure I take in seeing thee fight against my enemy; yes, Benigne, I shall be in thee in a singular manner.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 85)

God is our Protector and Guide

“Fear nothing; love guides thy steps; I tell thee again that My eyes are upon thee.”

– Words of God (p. 85)

The Importance of Work and Manual Labour

“… my holy Angels help me to do my work, and make me think highly of manual labour.”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne (p. 103)

Death to Self

“I have learnt that God loves nothing so much as a heart dead to self, and that nothing gives Him more glory than such a heart when it no longer exists but in His divine Will.”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (p. 147)

Purity of Intention

“I was taught that the soul that gives heed to this [purity of intention] gains much in a short time, as I have said elsewhere; but here I add that my Master taught me that by this purity of intention the soul sees accomplished in her the words of the apostle, ‘He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him [1 Cor. 1:17],’ and that it thus receives a blessed capacity of willing all that God wills, or rather a kind of impossibility of willing, desiring or loving anything but what God wills that it should desire, or will, or love, or do.”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (p. 218)

The Treasure of Divine Grace

“I have placed my treasure in thee – keep it sedulously.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 239)

Union with God: A Work of Divine Love

“… My loving-kindness unites Me to thee, and my grace unites thee to Me…”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 294)

Jesus Loves Each Soul with an Infinite Love

“… I feel for thee the same tenderness which I felt for thy soul in particular upon the Cross…”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 294)

Jesus is our Strength

“I will be thy sole Support.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 319)

Mary is Our Mother and Protector

“Jesus, Saviour of souls, wills that Benigne should be protected by His Holy Mother, even in her death.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 319)

Examine your Conscience

“Know thyself.”

– Words of the Divine Spirit (p. 321)

Union with God in Paradise

“God renders the blessed like Himself; yes, Benigne, My elect by seeing Me are in such wise transformed in Me that they have no other will than Mine; their love springs from My love.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 341)

The Tender Love of our Heavenly Father

“My daughter, what can afflict thee? What do I not do for thee? I keep thee in My Bosom, thou hast been brought there with My Son, thou art My friend, I stoop down to thee, I fill thee with My graces, I give thee no reason to think that I omit to confer a single one upon thee.”

– Words of the Eternal Father (p. 345)

What Pleases God Most

“… submission to My divine good pleasure is what is most pleasing in My sight…”

– Words of the Eternal Father (p. 346)

God Protects Those Abandoned to Him

“… if thou entirely givest up thy own foresight, I will take care of thee; I take pleasure in working miracles for the hearts that belong to Me.”

– Words of the Eternal Father (p. 348)

Faith Glorifies God

“… if thou wouldst glorify the Father and the Son, believe My words; the loss is theirs who do not believe in Me…”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 350)

Docility

“… let Me act as I please…”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 357)

Involuntary Imperfections

“Benigne must not be surprised to see some faults in herself after receiving so many mercies, and even to feel imperfect emotions, provided she does not dwell on them.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 358)

He who Possesses God, Lacks Nothing

“God will be with thee as long as He is God, by an infinite mercy. What canst thou desire from us that thou hast not received?”

– The Three Persons in their Unity (p. 359)

An Echo of Our Lord’s Words to St. Margaret Mary

“If I had not already made this divine Eucharistic institution of love, I would make it this very moment for thee, Benigne of Jesus – that is thy new surname.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 367)

Jesus Inspires us to Ask Him for Graces

“When wilt thou come with an open heart; it is I who incite thee to ask; ask, and I can refuse thee nothing.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 367)

Jesus is “the Way”

“Come, Benigne, unite thyself to Me Who have united the Godhead to the Manhood, two contraries not to be reconciled by any but Me.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 373)

Cast your Cares upon Him

“Confide in the God of thy heart, who loves thee.”

– Words of Our Lord (p. 407)

Purgatory

“Souls which not being pure enough to fly at once to Heaven are destined to Purgatory, go thither to undergo their pains so lovingly and with a grace of such divine satisfaction that they find their punishment sweet in the justice of the Will of God. Oh! how extreme is their happiness in being assured of the love of their Creator!”

– Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (p. 417)

Every Movement Towards God is an Effect of Divine Love

“My daughter Benigne, when thou shalt be quite convinced of thine own nothingness and misery, thou wilt learn to magnify My name. I am the Almighty, raising to Myself what is but dust; My mercy is infinite, and I take pleasure in strikingly displaying it in the sanctification of the chosen souls who abandon themselves with tender confidence to My Providence.”

– The Heavenly Father (p. 347)

Why You Should Love St. Joseph

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“I wish that every day you offer special prayers to My mother and St. Joseph, My most sweet guardian.”

– Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

If we exclude Our Lord, it can hardly be disputed that Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the greatest Saint in Paradise.

After Our Lady, we have St. Joseph. [This, at least, is the contention of many holy and learned individuals.]

“I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint,” said St. Teresa of Avila, “for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God.” She goes on to say that she has never known anyone who was devoted to this humble Saint, who did not advance noticeably in virtue. Ask for his intercession and he will help you! His love and protection for the Mystical Body of Christ is immense!

Some Revelations About St. Joseph

“Benigne wishes to know the excellences of St. Joseph; let her know, then, that he is seated in Heaven near his Spouse, my blessed Mother, in one of the highest places; that the whole Trinity regards him, treats him, and glorifies him as the foster father of My Sacred Humanity, and that we readily grant all that is asked of us in his name and by his intercession.”

– Jesus to S.G. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos

“The whole human race has much undervalued the privileges and prerogatives conceded to my blessed spouse and they know not what his intercession with God is able to do. I assure thee, my dearest, that he is one of the greatly favored personages in the divine presence and has immense power to stay the arms of divine vengeance.”

– Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda

“In an ecstasy, a saint has seen the body of St. Joseph preserved intact in a tomb, the site of which is yet unknown. The more the glorious Spouse of the most Blessed Virgin is honored, the sooner will the finding of his body take place, which will be a day of great joy for the Church.”

– S.G. Fr. Paul of Moll

“What you request shall be granted.”

– Almighty God to St. Joseph*

[*According to Maria Cecilia Baij, O.S.B., these words were addressed to St. Joseph in response to his many requests for the conversion of a hardened sinner, while he was on earth]

“You must see to it that you continually increase your love and devotion to this great Saint. In all your necessities, you must avail yourself of his protection, under all circumstances you must encourage as many people as possible toward this devotion . . . for indeed, whatever my devoted spouse requests in Heaven, the Almighty God will grant on Earth.”

– Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda

“… at the name of St. Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mother, all the saints made a profound inclination to him, testifying, by the serenity and sweetness of their looks, that they rejoiced with him for his exalted dignity.”

– A Vision Granted to St. Gertrude

Some Prayers of St. Joseph

The following prayers are taken from ‘The Life of Saint Joseph as manifested by Our Lord, Jesus Christ to Maraia Cecilia Baij, O.S.B.’

According to this privileged soul, St. Joseph addressed these prayers to Almighty God while he was on earth:

“See, oh my God, I am all Yours! There is nothing that can separate me from You. I have nothing but You. You are my entire inheritance, my only support. You are my consolation, my entire good. From you alone do I expect help and strength. I desire nothing besides You. I reject all that the world has to offer me. Gladly do I choose poverty, humiliation, suffering, for by them I will please You, Who are my Lord and my God, and therefore, possess complete dominion over me.” (p. 52)

“My God, afflict me with tribulations and chastisements; I am prepared to suffer anything, if only You shall no longer be offended or displeased!” (p. 67)

“May Your almighty arm uphold me! I place myself entirely into Your loving, Fatherly arms.”

– St. Joseph (p. 47)

The Eucharist and a Conversation Between Christ and a Demon

In the Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden we find many illuminating – and often fascinating – revelations on a range of topics. In Book 4, Chapter 63 of her Revelations, we encounter some words that are particularly pertinent to our times. This chapter details a conversation between Our Lord and a demon who had previously attempted to deceive St. Bridget in order to nullify her faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Below is a sample of this conversation.

A demon with an enormous belly appeared to the bride [St. Bridget] and said: “… Do you not see with your eyes and hear with the ears of your body the sound of the breaking of the material bread of the host? … Even if it is possible for God to be in the mouth of the righteous, how can he stoop to come to the unrighteous whose greed is without limit or measure?”

… The Lord said [to the demon]: “… Did I not say that he who eats My flesh shall have eternal life? And you say that it is a lie and that no one eats My flesh. Hence, my people are [according to the demon] more idolatrous than those who worship stones and trees… Was my body that Thomas touched after my resurrection a spiritual or corporeal body? If it was corporeal, how did it pass through the locked doors? But, if it was spiritual, how was it visible to corporeal eyes?”

The devil answered: “… I state that you were both corporeal and spiritual after rising from the dead. It is because of the eternal power of your Divinity and because of a special privilege of your glorified Flesh that you can enter anywhere and be present everywhere.”

The Lord said further: “Tell Me, when Moses’ staff was turned into a serpent, was it only the image of a serpent or was it completely a serpent both inside and outside? And tell Me again, the leftover bread in those baskets, was it really and wholly bread or just the image of bread?”

The devil answered: “The entire staff became a serpent, what was in the baskets was entirely bread, and it was entirely done by Your power and might.”

The Lord said: “Is it more difficult or more miraculous for Me to perform a similar miracle now than it was then, if I please? Or, if My glorified Flesh could pass through the locked doors then, why can It not be in the hands of the priests now? Does it, perhaps, entail an effort for My Divinity to unite that which is least with that which is heavenly, the earthly with the most sublime? Certainly not. But, father of lies, just as you excel in wickedness, so too my love is and always shall be upon all creatures… I create something out of nothing and a visible thing out of an invisible one. I can reveal something through a visible sign and shape that, however, truly is one thing in what is signified, yet is seen as something else.”

… Then the Son of God spoke once more: “… If you believe that I am in the hands of the priest, even if the priest doubts it, then I am truly in his hands due to the faith of the believers and those present, as well as due to the words that I myself established and uttered. Everyone who receives Me receives both My Divine and Human natures as well as the form [appearance, accidents] of bread.

… What is My humanity if not an active body, the conjunction of God and man, the Head of all Christians?

Therefore, those who believe in God and receive His Body receive the Divine nature as well, for they receive life. They also receive the human nature by which God and man are joined. Again, they receive the form of bread, because the One who is hidden as to his own form is received beneath a different form as a test of faith. Likewise, wicked persons also receive the same divinity but as a stern judge rather than an affectionate friend. They receive his human nature as well, though less easily appeased. They also receive the form of bread, for they receive the truth hidden beneath the visible form, but it is not sweet to them.”

If You Want to Save Souls…

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Pictured: Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

+++

“I have need of them [priests] to do My work.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret (p. 168)

+++

The Influence of Holy Priests

If a priest is holy, he has the power to effect much good in the world (as do all of us). If you doubt this, read a biography on St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis Xavier, St. Padre Pio or St. John Vianney, to whom the Devil said: “If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined.”

Much could be said about the dignity and duties of the priest, but let this one quote from St. John Vianney suffice for now:

“Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we would not have the Lord. Who put Him there in that tabernacle? The priest. Who welcomed your soul at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest. And if this soul should happen to die [i.e. the spiritual death of sin], who will raise it up, who will restore its calm and peace? Again, the priest… After God, the priest is everything!”

The Responsibility of Priests

“Priesthood entails the greatest responsibility. Everyone raised to this holy estate is required to give a strict account, not only of the administration of My holy mysteries and of his personal holiness too, but also of the souls that were entrusted to his charge. Woe to those who ill-perform their task in My Church! I require of them again the immortal souls that I redeemed to dearly with My Blood.”

– Our Lord to Marie Dominica Clara Moes (p. 194)

Wounded Priests

Unfortunately, many priests neither know nor love the Church; it seems that many priests have been mortally wounded by sin, and are in desperate need of help. Even in St. Bridget of Sweden’s time, Our Lord often spoke to her about the wickedness of priests.

Nowadays, it is all too common to hear of some scandal or another. Alas, many priests do not know how sublime their vocation is, nor do they appreciate the fact that they have been ordained for God’s glory, for the salvation of immortal souls!

‘In the multitude of people is the dignity of the king.’

– Prov. 14:28

What can we do about this sad state of affairs? Should we wallow in sadness and despair? Should we complain about priests and the obvious crisis in the Church? No!

Victims of Divine Love and Mercy

What can we do, then? We can be Eucharistic souls! Like St. Therese, we can offer ourselves to God to be victims of His Love and Mercy! How?

“It should be made in the form of a sacrifice; you should offer yourselves as holocausts to be consumed in the fire of love, in order that this love may be diffused throughout the world and inflame souls.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret

Victims for Priests

In these troubled times, God is particularly calling souls to offer themselves for the sanctification of priests; He wishes to raise up more generous souls, like Sr. Gertrude Mary, Ven. Louise Margaret, and Mother Marie Dominica Clara Moes, who will spend themselves in the service of priests. A life spent in the service of priests is a life well spent!

“Very well, IF YOU WANT TO SAVE SOULS, there is only one and powerful means: holy priests.

– Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

 

The Priest Fights for the Kingdom of Love

+ “I will make from My dear priests a little army that will fight for good and make My Love reign.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret (p. 173)

+ “I shall reform Holy Church by giving her good and holy pastors; it will not be through war and the sword and cruelty, but by peace and calm and the tears and sweat of My friends.”

– The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena (p. 190)

“Nineteen centuries ago, twelve men changed the world; they were not merely men, they were priests. Now once more twelve priests could change the world.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret (p. 167)

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References:

– ‘The Love and Service of God, Infinite Love’ by TAN Books

– ‘Divine Communications,’ by Rev. Auguste Saudreau, vol. 2

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“Give yourself entirely to priests and I will give Myself entirely to you.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret

14 Rules for Christian Living

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Dom Maurus Wolter, O.S.B.

“My omnipotence is great, and grace will enable you to give Me what I ask of you.”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata (p. 117, ‘Jesus Appeals to the World’)

Only Divine Love can transform the ruins of this fallen world. More than anything, the world needs saints! “Oh,” said Our Lord to St. Gemma Galgani, “that I could make all understand how incensed My Heavenly Father is by the impious world! There is nothing to stay His Hand, and He is now preparing a great chastisement for all the world.” (p. 175–176, ‘Life of St. Gemma Galgani’)

Trust in God, and He will see to your sanctification. What a sublime calling! What a great duty!

“I cannot bear tepid and cowardly souls.” (cf. Rev. 3:16)

– Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

‘And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto Him who died for them, and rose again.’ (2 Cor. 5:15) And how can we live unto Him, Who is Charity (1 Jn. 4:16), except by Charity?  “Let your whole life,” said Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani, “be one continual act of charity. I desire you in charity.” 

“Fill yourself with this Love and diffuse it over the world.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret de la Touche

Take heed of the following advice, dear reader – not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those dear to you, and for all those who have been redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ.

(The following quotes have been taken from ‘The Principles of Monasticism’ by Dom Maurus Wolter).

Work Diligently

“The Lord couples sloth with wickedness, saying: Wicked and slothful servant.” (cf. Mt. 25:26)

– St. Basil the Great (p. 498)

Avoid Excessive Chatter

“Avoid excessive speaking for it extinguishes all reasonable thoughts and those which come to the heart from Heaven.”

– St. Dorotheus (p. 66)

Pray Frequently

“He who desires to pray frequently will find the mercy of Christ more abundantly.”

– St. Macarius (p. 139)

Join Prayer to Meditation

“Meditation and prayer are the two wings of charity.”

– Hugh of St. Cher (p. 214)

Love Silent Contemplation

“Arsenius, flee [men, the world], keep silence, and lead a life of silent contemplation, for these are the principles of salvation which prevent a man from committing sin.”

– Our Lord to St. Arsenius (p. 68)

Rid Yourself of Earthly Attachments

“Free yourself of the burden of this world’s goods, and I will personally fill you with those which are heavenly unto your soul’s supreme consolation.”

– Jesus to Ven. Juan de Jesus Maria (p. 280)

Seek God Alone

“And who can be more fortunate than he whose Creator becomes his wealth?”

– Julianus Pomerius (p. 293)

Bear with Humiliations

“If you long for the virtue of humility, you must not flee from the way of humiliation.”

– St. Bernard (p. 298)

Deny Yourself

“Unless a person renounces himself he cannot draw night to that which is above him.”

– St. Gregory the Great (p. 390)

Love Chastity

“O chastity, which begets spiritual joy and banishes sadness!”

– St. Ephraem (p. 374)

Avoid Gluttony

“We must take food not to the point of eating extravagantly or to the state of being glutted, but only so that the body can be properly sustained.”

– St. Isidore of Seville (p. 411–412)

Flee Idleness

“There is no thought so foul, so abominable, so evil and execrable to which idleness, which is so detestable, will not lead. For the heart of a man given to idleness is like a mill which, having no good grain to grind, but being nevertheless in continual motion, grinds on and wears itself out, even unto total destruction, unless such ruin is prevented by someone’s diligence. And it chops up dirty insects flying about just as readily as choice kernels of grain.”

– John Gerson (p. 505)

Admonish the Sinner

“If punishment lies in store for him who has the money and does not help with the same, shall there not be a greater punishment for him who has the opportunity to exhort and does not do so? In the former case the body is nourished, and in the latter, the soul; there you prevent temporal death, here, that which is eternal.”

– St. John Chrysostom (p. 629)

Know your Faith

“THE MAN WHO IS LACKING IN DOCTRINE WILL EVERYWHERE SUFFER DARKNESS.”

– St. Bede (p. 513)

Aspirations: An Easy Way to Attain Holiness and Joy

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“There is nothing better than the practice of aspirations, steadily growing in number.”

– Fr. William Doyle

Fr. Faber, in his fantastic work, ‘All for Jesus,’ writes that ejaculatory prayer “… was the chief practice of the Fathers of the Desert, by which they raised themselves to such heights of sanctity.” This can hardly be disputed; for prayer elevates the heart to God – and union with God is the essence of sanctity.

Ejaculations (or aspirations) are simply short prayers, “short, ardent movements of the heart,” which can be recited with one’s lips or prayed in one’s heart. St. Francis de Sales says that “the great fabric of devotion leans upon this exercise.” “No one,” he says, “can be excused from making this practice because it can be made while coming and going about one’s business.”

The Saints and Aspirations

Many of the Saints made frequent use of aspirations; this fact should be sufficient to incline us towards this pious exercise. Among the Saints who made frequent use of aspirations, we may include the following: St. Paul of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Alphonsa, St. Therese, St. Gertrude, St. Leonard of Port Maurice and St. Bartholomew. We may also add Bl. Mariam, Sr. Benigna Consolata, Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, Fr. William Doyle, Sr. Consolata Betrone and many others to this list!

The Necessity of Aspirations

“Without this exercise,” writes St. Francis de Sales, “we cannot properly lead the contemplative life, and we can but poorly lead the active life.” It is principally in prayer – especially in silent contemplation, which is “mother of the wisest thoughts” (St. Diadochus) – that the heart and mind are elevated to God.

“Elevate thy heart to God by continual acts of love.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata (d. 1916)

Without frequent prayer, the mind wanders and the heart follows suit. Conversely, if we make a habit of addressing frequent aspirations to God, the consuming fire of His Love will descend into our poor hearts and minds, enlighten and inflame them, and divinize the least of our actions, giving them incomparable value. By means of frequent aspirations, God will unite Himself to us ever more intimately!

“I would like them to know how much I desire their perfection, and that it consists in doing their ordinary actions in intimate union with Me. If they once grasped this, they could divinize their life and all their activities by this close union with My Heart… When a soul is burnt up with desire to love, nothing is a burden to her, but if she feels cold and spiritless everything becomes hard and difficult.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

“It was only by constant practice,” says St. Robert Bellarmine, “that the saints obtained the spirit of prayer.” St. Gertrude, for example, repeated the prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” three hundred and sixty-five times a day.

If we wish to save our souls, we should make a firm resolution to pray at least 100 or so aspirations every day. What could be easier? What better way to follow Our Lord’s injunction to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess. 5:17)! “Without any constraint we may make scores of them in a day; and each one is more to God than a battle gained, or a scientific discovery, or a crystal palace, or a change of ministry, or a political revolution.” (Fr. Faber)

“The great work of our perfection,” writes St. Francis de Sales, “is born, grows, and maintains its life by means of two small but precious exercises – aspirations and spiritual retirement. An aspiration is a certain springing of the soul towards God, and the more simple it is, the more valuable. It consists in simply beholding what He is, and what He has done and is doing for us; and it should excite the heart, as a consequence, to acts of humility, love, resignation or abandonment, according to circumstances. Now, these two exercises have an incredible power to keep us in our duty, to support us in temptation, to lift us up promptly after falls and to unite us closely to God. Besides, they can be made at any time or place, and with all possible ease; therefore, they ought to be as familiar to us as the inspiration and expiration of air from our lungs.”

Seven Fruits of Aspirations

“Many of these ejaculations are indulgenced, and thus the same little brief sentence will:

  1. Gain merit
  2. Impetrate grace
  3. Satisfy for sin
  4. Glorify God
  5. Honour Jesus and His Mother
  6. Convert sinners
  7. Soothe with substantial indulgence the Holy souls in Purgatory.

Can we do nothing more for Jesus in this respect than we have done hitherto?” (Fr. Faber)

Our Lord said to Sr. Consolata Betrone that if she would focus her attention on loving Him, He would take care of everything in her life; He would guide her, keep her from grave sin, inspire her with the right words… everything! The same promise was given by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary, who, after having made a complex vow of perfection, was assured by Our Lord that if she directed her attention to loving Him, He would see to it that she satisfies her vows. “[Y]ou will satisfy all by loving Me without reserve,” He said.

“I want you,” writes Fr. William Doyle, “to stick to two things: the aspirations and the tiny acts of self -conquest… Two wings by which we can fly to God and become saints: the habit of little tiny acts of self-denial and the habit of making a definite fixed number of aspirations every day… As regards counting the aspirations, if you really find that it is a strain on your tired head, give up the practice.”

Some Aspirations of the Saints

“My beloved and despised Redeemer, how sweet it is to suffer for You.” – St. Alphonsus

“Do with me, O Lord, as you will and know to be best.” – St. Philip Neri

“O my Lord! O Divine Goodness! when wilt Thou give me the grace to be entirely Thine, and to love only Thee?” – St. Vincent de Paul

“Have mercy on me. O Jesus, have mercy on me!” – St. Leonard of Port Maurice

“My Jesus, mercy!” – St. Leonard, St. Gemma Galgani, Bl. Mariam etc.

“My God and my all!”  – St. Francis of Assisi

Some Aspirations from Heaven

Our Lord revealed the following aspirations to Berthe Petit, St. Faustina, Sr. Consolata Betrone, and Yvonne-Aimee, respectively.

“Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!”

“Jesus, I trust in You!”

“Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save souls!”

“O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in Thy loving mercy!”

“The act of love also has value

because it eliminates from the spiritual life so many Marthas,

their being ‘turbaris erga plurima’ (troubled about many things).” (Lk. 10:41)

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone