The life of St. Gemma Galgani is extremely inspiring and illuminating. It will be sure to touch even the hardest heart.
Our Lord said the following to St. Gemma: “My child, thou complainest because I will to keep thee in the dark; but remember that after darkness comes light, and then thou shalt have light indeed. I put thee to this test for My greater glory, to give joy to the Angels, for thy greater gain and also for example to others. If thou dost really love Me, thou oughtest to love Me even in the midst of darkness. I delight in and play with souls. I thus play through love. Be not afflicted if I begin to abandon thee. Do not think it chastisement. It is truly My own Will in order to detach thee from creatures and unite thee to Myself. When I appear to be far away then I am near at hand. Take courage, for after the battle comes peace. Fidelity and love must be thy necessary weapons. For the present, therefore, be patient if I leave thee alone. Suffer, be resigned and be consoled. I am leading thee by rough and sorrowful ways, and thou shouldst consider thyself honoured when I treat thee thus and when by a daily and hidden martyrdom I allow thy soul to be tried and purified. Think only for the present of how thou art to practice great virtue. Make haste in the ways of divine love, humble thyself, and rest assured that if I keep thee on the Cross, I love thee. Be not like some who, being attached to consolations and spiritual satisfactions, care but little for the Cross. Finding themselves in desolation of spirit, they shorten by degrees the time of prayer because they no longer find in it the consolations they had before experienced.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani
We would also do well to ponder the words of St. Gemma: “Imagine that you see a light of immense splendour, that penetrates everything, surrounds everything, enlightens everything, and at the same time gives life and animation to all, so that whatever exists has its beginning from this light and in it lives. Thus I see my God and creatures in Him. Imagine a fiery furnace, great as the universe, nay, infinitely greater, that burns everything without consuming anything, and burning, illumines and strengthens, and those who are most penetrated by its flames are happiest, and desire more ardently to be consumed. Thus I see our souls in God.”
“Let us recall, my dear sister, that we are disciples of this Jesus who suffered so much. It is not enough to look at the cross, or to wear it; we must carry it in the depths of our heart. Together, let us visit Jesus crucified. Let us look at him; he is lifted up on the cross. If Jesus is nailed there, let us not complain if we must stand at his feet.”
“He asked me if I loved Him. I wept, for you know, Father, whom I have loved more than Jesus. I have loved myself, and often times creatures and pleasures. What could I answer to Jesus? I wept for a long time, and that was my reply. It is Jesus alone whom I should love, and I have never loved Him as I should.” And her love was great, indeed!
So as to console, rather than afflict, the tender Heart of Our Saviour, let us follow the advice of St. Padre Pio: “Implore the Lord to increase two things in us: love and fear. As long as you are afraid to fall, you will not sin. You should be afraid when you are not afraid anymore.” Every humble soul possesses this holy fear, which is the beginning of wisdom. Let us bear in mind the words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde, concerning sin and repentance: “As long as a sinner remains in sin, he keeps Me stretched and fastened to the Cross, but as soon as he is converted and repentant he detaches Me, and as if I really had been detached from the Cross I fall, with all My weight on him, as formerly on Joseph of Arimathea, with My grace and mercy; I give Myself into his hands, that he may do with Me as he will.”
“My daughter, behold these wounds. They have all been opened for your sins. But now, be consoled, for they have all been closed by your sorrow. Do not offend Me any more. Love Me as I have always loved you. Love Me.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani