We are children of God. —Bearers of the only flame that can light up the paths of the earth for souls, of the only brightness which can never be darkened, dimmed or overshadowed.

—The Lord uses us as torches, to make that light shine out… It depends on us that many should not remain in darkness, but walk instead along paths that lead to eternal life.

—God is my Father! If you meditate on it, you will never let go of this consoling consideration.

—Jesus is my intimate Friend (another re-discovery) who loves me with all the divine madness of his Heart.

—The Holy Spirit is my Consoler, who guides my every step along the road.

Consider this often: you are God’s… and God is yours.

My Father — talk to him like that, confidently — who art in heaven, look upon me with compassionate Love, and make me respond to thy love.

—Melt and enkindle my heart of bronze, burn and purify my unmortified flesh, fill my mind with supernatural light, make my tongue proclaim the Love and Glory of Christ.

Christ, who went up to the Cross with his arms wide open, with the gesture of the Eternal Priest, wants to count on us — who are nothing! — to bring to all men the fruits of his Redemption.

Lord, we are glad to find ourselves in your wounded palm. Grasp us tight, squeeze us hard, make us lose all our earthly wretchedness, purify us, set us on fire, make us feel drenched in your Blood.

—And then, cast us far, far away, hungry for the harvest, to sow the seed more fruitfully each day, for Love of you.

Do not be afraid. Do not be alarmed or surprised. Do not allow yourself to be overcome by false prudence.

The call to fulfil God’s will — this goes for vocation too — is sudden, as it was for the Apostles: a meeting with Christ and his call is followed…

—None of them doubted. Meeting Christ and following him was all one.

A day of salvation, of eternity, has come for us. Once again the call of the Divine Shepherd can be heard, those affectionate words: Vocavi te nomine tuo — I have called you by your name.

Just like our mother, he calls us by our name, even by the name we were affectionately called at home. —There, in the depths of our soul, he calls us and we just have to answer: Ecce ego quia vocasti me —here I am, for you have called me, and this time I’m determined not to let time flow by like water over rounded stones, leaving no trace behind.

Live close to Christ! You should be another character in the Gospel, side by side with Peter, and John, and Andrew. For Christ is also living now: Iesus Christus, heri et hodie, ipse et in saecula! — Jesus Christ lives! Today, as yesterday, he is the same, for ever and ever.

Lord, may your children be like very well lit embers, showing no flames that would make the fire be seen from afar. Let them be embers that will set alight each heart they come into contact with.

—You will make that first spark turn into a big fire, because your Angels are very skilled at blowing on embers in hearts… I know, I have seen it. And a heart cleared of dead ashes cannot but be yours.

Think about what the Holy Spirit says, and let yourself be filled with awe and gratitude: Elegit nos ante mundi constitutionem — he chose us before the foundation of the world, ut essemus sancti in conspectu eius! — that we might be holy in his presence.

—To be holy isn’t easy, but it isn’t difficult either. To be holy is to be a good Christian, to resemble Christ. The more closely a person resembles Christ, the more Christian he is, the more he belongs to Christ, the holier he is.

—And what means do we have? The same means the early faithful had, when they saw Jesus directly or caught a glimpse of him in the accounts the Apostles and Evangelists gave of him.

You owe such a great debt to your Father-God! He has given you life, intelligence, will… He has given you his grace: the Holy Spirit; Jesus, in the Sacred Host; divine sonship; the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God and our Mother. He has given you the possibility of taking part in the Holy Mass; and he grants you forgiveness for your sins. He forgives you so many times! He has given you countless gifts, some of them quite extraordinary…

Tell me, my son: how have you corresponded so far to this generosity? How are you corresponding now?

I do not know how it strikes you…, but I feel I must tell you how moved I am whenever I read the words of the prophet Isaiah: Ego vocavi te nomine tuo, meus es tu! — I have called you, I have brought you into my Church, you are mine! God himself telling me I am his! It is enough to make one go mad with Love!

Just think, there are so many men and women on earth, and the Master does not fail to call every single one.

He calls them to a Christian life, to a life of holiness, to a chosen life, to life eternal.

Christ suffered in your place and for your benefit, to tear you away from the slavery of sin and imperfection.

In these times of violence and brutal, savage sexuality, we have to be rebels: we refuse point blank to go with the tide, and become beasts.

We want to behave like children of God, like men and women who are on intimate terms with their Father, who is in Heaven and who wants to be very close to — inside! — each one of us.

Meditate on this frequently: I am a Catholic, a child of Christ’s Church. He brought me to birth in a home that is his, without my doing anything to deserve it.

—My God, how much I owe you.

Remind everyone (and especially all those fathers and mothers, who call themselves Christians) that a vocation, a call from God, is a grace from the Lord, a choice made by the divine goodness, a reason for holy pride, a call to serve all joyously for the love of Jesus Christ.

Please echo these words for me: it is no “sacrifice” for parents when God asks them for their children. Neither, for those he calls, is it a sacrifice to follow him.

It is, on the contrary, an immense honour, a reason for a great and holy pride, a mark of predilection, a very special affection that God has shown at a particular time, but which has been in his mind from all eternity.

Be grateful to your parents for bringing you into this world, thus enabling you to become a child of God. And be all the more grateful if it was they who placed in your soul the first seeds of faith and piety, of your Christian way, or of your vocation.

There are many people around you, and you have no right to be an obstacle to their spiritual good, to their eternal happiness.

—You are under an obligation to be a saint. You must not let God down for having chosen you. Neither must you let those around you down: they expect so much from your Christian life.

The commandment to love our parents belongs to both natural law and to divine positive law, and I have always called it a “most sweet precept”.

—Do not neglect your obligation to love your parents more each day, to mortify yourself for them, to pray for them and to be grateful to them for all the good you owe them.

Following the Master’s wishes, you are to be salt and light while being fully immersed in this world we were made to live in, sharing in all human activities. Light which illuminates the hearts and minds of men. Salt which gives flavour and preserves from corruption.

That is why if you lack apostolic zeal you will become insipid and useless. You will be letting other people down and your life will be absurd.

A red and blue wave of filth and corruption has set out to overcome the world, throwing its vile spittle over the Cross of the Redeemer.

Now He wants another wave to issue out from our souls — a wave that’s white and powerful, like the Lord’s right hand — to overcome with its purity all the rottenness of materialism and undo the corruption that has flooded the world. It is for this, and more, that the children of God have come.

Many people ask with an air of self-justification: Why should I get involved in the lives of others?

—Because it is your Christian duty to get involved in their lives, in order to serve them!

—Because Christ has got involved in your life and in mine!

If you are another Christ, if you behave as a son of God, wherever you are you will set others alight. Christ burns with love, he does not leave hearts indifferent.

It is painful to see that after two thousand years there are so few people in the world who call themselves Christians and that of those who do call themselves Christians, so few practise the true teaching of Jesus Christ.

It is worth while putting our whole life at stake!: working and suffering for Love, to accomplish God’s plans and co-redeem.

I look at your Cross, my Jesus, and I rejoice in your grace, because your Calvary has won for us the reward of the Holy Spirit. And you give yourself to me, each day, lovingly, madly, in the Sacred Host. And you have made me a son of God, and have given me your Mother to be mine.

I can’t be satisfied with just giving thanks. My thoughts take flight: Lord, Lord, there are so many souls who are so far from you!

Foster those yearnings for apostolate in your life, that many may get to know him…, and love him…, and come to feel loved by him!

Sometimes we hear love described (you’ll have heard me mention this more than once) as if it were a movement towards self-satisfaction, or merely a means of selfishly fulfilling one’s own personality.

—And I have always told you that it isn’t so. True love demands getting out of oneself, giving oneself. Genuine love brings joy in its wake, a joy that has its roots in the shape of the Cross.

My God, how is it that I do not cry out in sorrow and love whenever I see a Crucifix?

Marvel at God’s magnanimity: he has become Man to redeem us, so that you and I — who are absolutely worthless, admit it! — may come to know him and trust him.

O Jesus…, strengthen our souls, open out the way for us, and, above all, intoxicate us with your Love! Make us into blazing fires to kindle the earth with the heavenly fire you brought us.

Coming closer to God means being ready to be converted anew, to change direction again, to listen attentively to his inspirations — those holy desires he places in our souls — and to put them into practice.

What are you so proud of? — Every impulse that moves you comes from Him. Act accordingly.

What respect, veneration and affection we should feel for every single soul when we realise that God loves it as his very own!

An aspiration: May we spend the days the Lord grants us only in pleasing him!

I would like you to behave as Peter and John did — speaking to Jesus about the needs of your friends, colleagues… as you pray. And then with your example you will be able to say to them: Respice in nos! — look at me!

When you love somebody very much, you want to know everything about him.

—Meditate on this: Do you feel a hunger to know Christ? Because… that is the measure of your love for him.

People who say that we priests are lonely are either lying or have got it all wrong. We are far less lonely than anyone else, for we can count on the constant company of the Lord, with whom we should be conversing without interruption.

—We are in love with Love, with the Author of Love!

I see myself like a poor little bird, accustomed only to making short flights from tree to tree, or, at most, up to a third floor balcony… One day in its life it succeeded in reaching the roof of a modest building, that you could hardly call a skyscraper.

But suddenly our little bird is snatched up by an eagle, who mistakes the bird for one of its own brood. In its powerful talons the bird is borne higher and higher, above the mountains of the earth and the snow-capped peaks, above the white, blue and rose-pink clouds, and higher and higher until it can look right into the sun. And then the eagle lets go of the little bird and says: Off you go. Fly!

—Lord, may I never flutter again close to the ground. May I always be enlightened by the rays of the divine sun — Christ — in the Eucharist. May my flight never be interrupted until I find repose in your Heart.

That friend of ours would finish his prayer in this way: “I love the Will of my God and that is why, abandoning myself completely into his hands, I pray that he may lead me however and wherever he likes.”

Ask the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and your Mother, to make you know yourself and weep for all those foul things that have passed through you, and which, alas, have left such dregs behind… — And at the same time, without wishing to stop considering all that, say to him: Jesus, give me a Love that will act like a purifying fire in which my miserable flesh, my miserable heart, my miserable soul, my miserable body may be consumed and cleansed of all earthly wretchedness. And when I have been completely emptied of myself, fill me with yourself. May I never become attached to anything here below. May Love always sustain me.

Desire nothing for yourself, either good or bad. For yourself, want only what God wants.

Whatever it may be, if it comes from his hand, from God, however bad it may appear in the eyes of men, with God’s help it will appear good, yes very good!, to you. And with an ever-increasing conviction you will say: Et in tribulatione mea dilatasti meet calix tuus inebrians, quam praeclarus est! — I have rejoiced in tribulation…, how marvellous is your chalice. It inebriates my whole being!

We should offer the Lord the sacrifice of Abel. A sacrifice of young unblemished flesh, the best of the flock; of healthy and holy flesh; a sacrifice of hearts that have one love alone — you, my God. A sacrifice of minds, which have been shaped through deep study and will surrender to your Wisdom; of childlike souls who will think only of pleasing you.

—Lord, receive even now this sweet and fragrant sacrifice.

We have to learn how to give ourselves, to burn before God like the lamp placed on a lampstand to give light to those who walk in darkness; like the sanctuary lamps that burn by the altar, giving off light till they are consumed.

The Lord, the teacher of Love, is a jealous lover who asks for all we possess, for all our love. He expects us to offer him whatever we have, and to follow the path he has marked out for each one of us.

My God, I see I shall never accept you as my Saviour unless I acknowledge you as my Model at the same time.

—Since you yourself chose to be poor, make me love holy poverty. I resolve, with your grace, to live and die in poverty, even though I may have millions at my disposal.

You became very thoughtful when I told you: “The way I see it, everything seems too little when it is for Our Lord.”

It would be good if it could be said of you that the distinguishing feature of your life was “loving God’s Will”.

Any job, no matter how hidden, no matter how insignificant, when offered to the Lord, is charged with the strength of God’s life!

Feel the responsibility of your mission: the whole of Heaven is looking down on you.

God awaits you! — So, wherever you are, you must commit yourself to imitating him and uniting yourself to him, cheerfully, lovingly, keenly, though circumstances might require you — even permanently — to go against the grain.

God awaits you!… and needs you to be faithful!

You wrote: “My King, I hear you proclaiming in a loud voice that still resounds: Ignem veni mittere in terram, et quid volo nisi ut accendatur? — I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled!”

Then you added: “Lord, it is me — all of me — who answers with all my senses and faculties: Ecce ego quia vocasti me! — here I am because you have called me.”

—May this answer of yours be a daily reality.

You should show the moderation, fortitude and sense of responsibility that many people acquire after many long years, in their old age. You will achieve all this, while you are still young, if you do not — I beg you — lose the supernatural outlook of a son of God. For he will give you, more than to the old, those qualities you need for your apostle’s work.

You enjoy an interior happiness and peace that you would not exchange for anything in the world. God is here. There is no better way than telling him our woes for them to cease being such.

Is it possible, you asked me, that Christ should have spent so many years — twenty centuries — acting on earth, and the world should be now what it is? Is it possible, you went on, that there should still be people who do not know Our Lord?

—And I answered you with conviction: It is our fault. For we have been called to be co-redeemers, and at times, perhaps often!, we do not follow the Will of God.

How humble Jesus is. What a shame, in contrast, that I who am nothing but dust from a dung-heap should so often have disguised my pride under the cloak of dignity, or justice. — And as a result, how many opportunities to follow the Master I have missed or wasted, by failing to supernaturalise them.

Sweet Mother…, lead us to that madness that will make others fall madly in love with our Christ.

Sweet Lady Mary, may Love not be in us a flash in the pan, or a will-o’-the-wisp, such as decomposing corpses sometimes produce. May it be a true devouring fire, which sets alight and burns everything it touches.

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