Humility Feeds Love…

One day, someone told St. Francis de Sales that they desired to become humble so that they could grow in love. The Saint replied that he preferred to aim at love in order to become humble. Who is correct? Why does this matter?

The answer to the first question, I believe, can be found in the writings of Ven. Louise Margaret, a daughter of St. Francis de Sales (i.e. a Visitandine). Our Lord told her that love and humility grow together; they mutually nourish one another (so, in a sense, both St. Francis de Sales and his interlocutor were correct). Consequently, there can be no true charity without humility, and no true humility without charity. “The more you love Me,” said Our Lord to Madeline Vigneron, “the humbler you are.”

One can verify this doctrine with ease; simply consider that God is Charity and Truth. This, then, is the litmus test of holiness or union with God: charity and humility. A soul might appear charitable and virtuous in the eyes of the world; but if they lack humility, their works are to that extent lacking in supernatural value. It is quite possible to donate generously to charity, serve the homeless, pray for souls, go to Mass, and read spiritual books, when, all the while, one is spiritually dead in mortal sin. Purity of intention is necessary. We will avoid delusion (to a great extent) if we offer our prayers, words and deeds to God, asking that He will act in and through us. He cannot fail to hear and answer such a prayer.

A good sign that we are progressing in the spiritual life is that we often think of God with pleasure. But even more indicative of a great love for God, is a docile will that – feelings aside – says with Our Lady: “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”

We should always end our prayer with these words: “Thy Will be done.” I purposely capitalised the word “Will,” because God’s Will is not distinct from Himself, and therefore deserves to be adored (bearing in mind that God is the First Cause of all good, and merely permits evil).

Humiliations Help to Uproot Self-Love

It is very easy for self-love to creep into our actions. We think that we are serving God, but the moment something doesn’t go according to plan, we get irritated, or we throw in the towel. Really, we should accept failure as we would success, and suffering as we would joy; both are fruitful, so long as our will is directed towards God, Who works all things to our good.

If we are humble, we won’t be so surprised at our falls, nor will be so inclined to judge others, or to distrust, or to any other evil, all of which stem from the same root: pride.

Because God loves us so much, and wants to lavish His graces on us, He often sends or permits humiliations of various sorts. Remember that sharp word someone addressed to you? God wanted it to be a means of sanctifying you. Remember that time you fell into impatience, despite your best efforts? God wanted you to humble yourself and rely more on Him. Remember that time you couldn’t focus during prayer? God wanted to let you know what you are without Him, and to reward your perseverance and patience.

‘Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. [2] Humble thy heart, and endure: incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding: and make not haste in the time of clouds. [3] Wait on God with patience: join thyself to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end. [4] Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience. [5] For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.’
– Eccles. 2:1-5

In all difficulties, we must remember that God wants us to be humble. Without humility, there is no union with God, no peace, no happiness, no salvation. By bearing humiliations we give God a precious gift; by acknowledging our misery, rather than rebelling against it, we draw God to us. He seeks only to give.

“My child, the more humble you are, the more love will increase in you.”
– Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani (August 23, 1715)

“Nothing is more pleasing to Me than to find a soul seeking the humility and meekness of My Heart.
– Jesus to Mother Marie-Dominique Claire Moes (1832-1895)

+PAX+

 

 

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My “Dear Sister” and 17 Lessons/Revelations on How to Love

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“I shall make use of thee to communicate Myself to My creatures, and to make known to them My Will.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero

“My dear Sister,” Servant of God Sr. Benigna Consolata (d. Sept 1, 1916)

When I first came across Sr. Benigna Consolata, I was suffering terribly from scruples; my spiritual life could best be described as a vacillation between a tiresome attempt at perfection, and backsliding into mortal sin. At one point – and this is after I discovered Sr. Benigna Consolata – I abandoned the spiritual life entirely for close to a year, choosing to live in unrepentant mortal sin, rather than serve my God and Father. My ingratitude and malice grew daily; I abstained from the Sacraments, from prayer, from spiritual reading, and largely from good works; I lived only for myself. I was miserable.

Now, you might think that I am exaggerating. On the contrary.

Why, though, am I sharing these words with you? It is for this reason: to make known the love and mercy of God! His infinite love and mercy towards me is primarily what inspired me to make this blog; I wanted – and I still want – to share the joy of being forgiven; of loving God; of feeling His embrace. We were made for God; nothing else and no one else can satisfy our hearts.

Do you, perhaps, doubt that God loves you? Well, doubt no more! “But what I wish particularly to say to thee, My Benigna,” said Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata, “is that the soul ought never to be afraid of God, because God is all-merciful; the greatest pleasure of the Sacred Heart of thy Jesus is to lead to His Father numerous sinners; they are My glory and My jewels. I love poor sinners so much!”

I know these words are true.

If you have even the slightest inclination to seek God, it is because He loves you. We cannot seek God without His grace; that is a theological and philosophical fact. Fear not, then, that God might reject you; fear not that you will be damned. Rather, give yourself to God like a little child; renew your confidence and love in Him at every moment; let His love be the Source of your actions; with Sr. Benigna, say to Him: “My Jesus, my most sweet Jesus, I believe in Thy love; though Thou shouldst slay me, I would believe in it still. Yes, my Jesus, if I saw myself hanging by a thread above hell, and this thread were held by Thy divine hand, I would in no wise fear; even though it should break, I would not be afraid, because Thou couldst tie it together again.”

My Benedictine Vocation

It is with great joy that I announce to you my decision to become a Benedictine monk as of late-March, 2016! I will be entering a traditional Benedictine monastery somewhere in Europe.

Is it a coincidence, perhaps, that I, the greatest of sinners, am entering the monastery during the Jubilee of Mercy? Is it a coincidence that 2016 is also the 100th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Sr. Benigna Consolata? I cannot say. But what I can say is this:

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor. 1:3)

Thank you, dear Lord, for your infinite mercy! Thank you, dear Sister Benigna, for your prayers, for your obedience in recording the revelations you received from Almighty God, and for your witness! And thank you, dear reader, for stopping by! If you have ever said a prayer for me or for the Littlest Souls blog, thank you, and may God bless you!

Please pray for my perseverance!

Deo gratias!

How to Love God (How to be Holy)

*The following revelations are taken from incredible biography of Sr. Benigna Consolata:

https://archive.org/details/sisterbenignacon00como

[Please pray that Sr. Benigna Consolata may be declared a “Venerable” in 2016, the 100th anniversary of her entrance into Eternal Life! Please pray that she will be raised to the Altars! If you make this an intention for your next Mass, God will remember even if you do not. Thank you, dear friend!]

Look at Jesus

  1. “Keep thy eye fixed on God.”

Imitate Jesus

  1. “Now, in what does sanctity consist ? In becoming as far as possible the living image of thy Spouse. Copy Me, copy Me constantly, and therefore have the eyes of thy soul ever fixed upon thy Jesus.”

God’s Word

  1. “They should live of the Gospel, as they live on the air, on light, on food…”

Docility

  1. “I know what is good for thee; let Me act.”

Abandonment

  1. “Thou art walking in obscurity, it is true; but thou art not alone, I am with thee; abandon everything to me then, like a poor blind person who trusts in the guide with perfect confidence.”

Confidence in God

  1. “Confidence in thy Jesus, who loves thee so much, a loving confidence, a boundless confidence.”

Recollection

  1. “Have an affection for recollection, silence and solitude; every beginning is difficult, especially when there is question of practicing virtue; but do not be afraid; thou shalt become strong through My grace, provided thou bury thy littleness in My Mercy.”

Charity in Words

  1. “Let thy words be a perfume of sweetness.”

Perseverance

  1. “One Ave Maria said without sensible fervor, but with a pure will in time of aridity, has much more value in My eyes, than an entire Rosary recited in the midst of consolations. Write this for the comfort of souls.”

The Cross

  1. “The most precious gift I can make to My friends is that of the Cross. I send to the soul what costs it most, what it dreads most; this is the best means of making it advance.”

Annihilation

  1. “My Benigna, I am going to explain this great word, annihilation. Annihilation means death. A thought comes which pleases thee ; banish it, forget it, and it is the death of that thought; sacrifice a desire, and it is the death of that desire; when thou hast a will to do something and renouncest it, it is the death of that will; every act of death is an act of life, because the moment thou diest to nature thou livest to God.”

Humility

  1. “Humility will lead thee never to judge anyone; humility will lead thee to regard thyself as the servant of all; humility will lead thee ever to accuse thyself. When a soul has been introduced by Love into this profound abyss of humility, she walks securely and makes progress, for nothing can stop her.”

Repentance

  1. “My Benigna, thou knowest a little thorn may make a great rent, but if one is careful to take it out immediately, it leaves scarcely a trace. When thou art afraid of having displeased me, say at once; My Jesus, if I have offended thee in anything, grant me the grace to repair it; and deign to enlighten me that another time I may better accomplish thy will.”

Praise

  1. “Praise God always for all the benefits I have bestowed upon thee.”

Love

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

Purity

  1. “Intention most pure of pleasing God in all thou doest, in all thou sayest, in all thou thinkest, in all thou desirest.”

Sacrifice

  1. (On June 13, 1915, the Feast of the Sacred Heart) Sr. Benigna Consolata writes: ‘He said to me in a sweet, sad tone: “My Benigna, give me souls!” The plaintive words of my Adorable Master moved me profoundly. — How shall I give Thee souls, my Jesus? — “By sacrifices,” He responded.’

Anniversary of an Extraordinary Soul: Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus

Yvonne-Aimee

February 3, 2016, marks the 65th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus. This privileged spouse of Jesus was the recipient of countless graces, including many extraordinary charismata. She bilocated, she prophesied, she had the stigmata. She was tormented by the devil. She let nothing shake her childlike trust in Jesus, King of Love. She was full of love for God and His Church. She sacrificed herself for others, especially priests.

“Only those who were very close to her [Mother Yvonne-Aimée] know to what point she suffered, in a great spirit of Redemption, most especially for priests.”

– Abbé Courtois

Let us ask for her powerful intercession; that we may give ourselves anew to God each moment, and that we may profit from the light that Our Lord imparted to her.

 

Three Revelations to Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus (from Jesus)

+ The value of small things (a confirmation of the little way):  

“I may not give you anything very much to do… but whatever it is, I want you to do it really well, and do it purely for love of Me.”

+ A lesson on humility:

“Realize that, left to yourself, you are nothing, because this will make you more wholly dependent upon your Lord Whom you love above all else. Try to be like the dust. Dust is not concerned about the good opinion of those who trample on it.”

+ The Malice of a Backbiting:

“A vicious tongue is more cruel than the lance which pierced My Heart. When it wounds another, it wounds a part of My Body – indeed, it wounds My Living Body, whereas the lance only pierced My dead Body. It causes Me more pain than the thorns caused My Head, or the nails My Feet and Hands. I love whoever it is whom that vicious tongue has attacked – I gave My own life for them.”

(Taken from ‘No Need for Surprise: Life of Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus’)

——-

If you would like to read some more of her revelations, here are a few:

https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/merciful-revelations-to-sr-yvonne-aimee-d-1951/

——-

 

Pax!

Words from the Saints and Mystics on Humility

Words from the Saints and Mystics on Humility

“Humility is Truth.” (St. Padre Pio). The humble soul lives in the infused light of truth; she realises that “everything is grace” (St. Therese); she is necessarily joyful because she is well acquainted with Our Lord, Who is Truth and … Continue reading

“Be like a child with Me,” says Jesus.

The following words were revealed by Our Lord to Sr. Gertrude Mary, a holy nun of the community of St. Charles in Angers, France, who was born in 1870 and died on May 22, 1905:

“… you must be like a child with Me. There is in you too strong a feeling of fear and I wish you to exchange it for a feeling of filial love

Your joy must be greater than your fear. Excessive fear is not the feeling of a loving daughter. And in so far as your soul is not dilated with joy, trust and abandonment, there will be obstacles

The thing that checks Divine effusion in your soul is your want of simplicity and abandonment with your heavenly Father. I desire to be lavish with your soul, and you prevent My doing what I wish with you.”

Simplicity and abandonment. This is the key to happiness and holiness. Sr. Gertrude Mary writes: ‘We say: “God loves me dearly; God is very good” and we are not convinced of its truth; and this is what prevents our perfect correspondence with God’s plan for us – it is Our Lord who says so.’

 “Whosoever is a little one, let him come to Me.” (Proverbs 9:4). “To him that is little, mercy is granted.” (Wisdom 6:4).

“Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in thee.” (Psalm 33:22) 

“Trusting souls are the robbers of My graces. Write that the pleasure I take in the trusting soul is inexpressible.” (Jesus said to Sr. Benigna Consolata) 

“Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is my desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)

Sr. Benigna Consolata: Friend of “little souls”

Dear reader, I have written an article about Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero, the great spouse of Jesus. Please find the article at the following address:

http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2013/10/sister-benigna-consolata-ferrero.html

Sr. Benigna Consolata is a Heavenly advocate and friend worth having!

Here is a brief sample:

Here are but a few examples of the similarities between Sr. Benigna Consolata’s writings and those of the aforementioned saints and mystics:

1. + “Thou art the Apostle of My Love.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Apostle of My mercy.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)
+ “Apostle of Love.” (Jesus to Bl. Dina Belanger)
+ “Apostle of My love.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
 
2. + “Thou shalt make thy Purgatory in the flames of My pure love-” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna, July 14, 1903)
+ “… the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of Purgatory.” (St. Therese)
 
3. + “Even the single little prayer,‘I trust in Thee’, ravishes My Heart, because Faith, Love and Humility are comprised in this short prayer.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Words repeated throughout Sr. Consolata Betrone’s diary)
+ “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Prayer dictated by Our Lord to St. Faustina)
+ “How easy it is to please Jesus, to ravish His Heart. We have merely to love Him, while, at the same time, forgetting ourselves.” (St. Therese)

Jesus Is Most Deserving Of Compassion!

“My Child, do not believe that my agony has been only three hours, no; actually I will be in agony till the end of the world because of the souls I love.”

– Jesus to St. Padre Pio

Similar words were spoken to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida:

“I only remained on the Cross of Calvary for three hours, but on the interior Cross of My Heart, my whole life. The monasteries (Oasis) will venerate both of them but especially my Interior Cross which symbolizes these pains and these inner sufferings, so incomprehensible, which constantly oppress my soul. These sufferings remained hidden during My life. I smiled, I labored. Only My Mother was aware of this martyrdom which crushed My loving Heart. My external Passion lasted but a few hours. It was like a gentle dew, a comfort for the other Passion, terribly cruel, which tortured ceaselessly My soul!” (Diary, Sept. 25, 1894).

How worthy is Jesus of our compassion! Recognising my own sinfulness and past obstinacy, I repeat the words of Bl. Alexandrina:

“Do not offend our dear Lord any more. Convert yourselves. Do not lose Jesus for all eternity. He is so good. Enough of sin! LOVE HIM! LOVE HIM!”

The following words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde should fill us with a holy fear, but also with profound humility, love and gratitude:

“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.”

However sinful our past, God offers us a fresh start. Salvation is our greatest good, and sanctity is our means of salvation; therefore, let us pray daily for the grace to become a saint! This is the most noble, joyful and meaningful end that any human can aspire to! Fortunate are they who strive earnestly for holiness! Here are some book suggestions to help you progress in the spiritual life:

‘The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life’ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (112 pages)

‘The Ways of Mental Prayer’ by Dom Vital Lehodey (408 pages) (Recommended by Garrigou-Lagrange and St. Pope Pius X, who was reffered to by St. Padre Pio as “the greatest Pope since St. Peter”!)

‘Christian Perfection and Contemplation’ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (470 pages)

The first recommendation will be of great profit to all- Protestant or Catholic- and it is very affordable: http://www.bookdepository.com/Three-Conversions-Spiritual-Life-R-Gamigou-Lagrange/9780895557391

God bless!