A Great Promise Revealed to St. Gertrude

“On the Sunday Omnis terra, St. Gertrude prepared herself, by a spritual confession, to behold the Sacred Face of the Lord, as the faithful do on this day in Rome; and she represented this Face to herself as all dsifigured by her sins, and cast herself at the Feet of the Lord, to ask pardon for all her transgressions. Then He lifted up His Venerable Hand, and blessed her thus: “I grant you, by the bowels of My mercy, the pardon and remission of all your sins; and that you may truly ammend your life, I enjoin you this satisfaction- that each day during this year you will perform some action in union with, and in memory of, the mercy by which I grant you this indulgence.” The saint accepted the satisfaction with great thanksgiving; but fearing her frailty, she said: “But what shall I do, O Lord, if I shall fail in this through my negligence?” “Why should you fail in so easy a matter?” He replied; “for I will accept the least thing you do with this intention, if it be only to lift a pebble or a straw from the ground, to utter a single word, to show kindness to anyone, to say the Requiem aeternam for the faithful departed, or to pray for sinners or the just.”

The saint was exceedingly consoled by this, and began to pray for her particular friends, beseeching Our Lord to grant them the same favour. He granted her petition, and said: “All who wish to share with you in the satisfaction which I have imposed on you, will also receive a similar indulgence and remission of their sins.” And then extending His Sacred Hand, He gave her His benediction a second time. After this He said: “Oh, what abundant benedictions I will pour forth on him who returns to Me at the end of this year with works of charity exceeding the number of his sins!”  But the saint exclaimed distrustfully: “How can this be, since the heart of man is so prone to evil, that scarcely an hour passes in which he does not sin in many ways?” Our Lord replied: “Why should you think this so difficult, when there are many things that please Me, and there is nothing, however difficult, which My grace cannot accomplish.” “Lord,” inquired Gertrude: “what will You give to him who accomplishes this in Thy strength?” “I can give you no better answer than this” He replied, “That I will give ‘What eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive” (1 Cor. ii. 9). How happy will he be who has practiced this devotion for a year, or even for a single month, since he may expect the same reward from the liberality of his God!”

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