With God’s grace, you have to tackle and carry out the impossible… because anybody can do what is possible.
Reject your pessimism and don’t allow those around you to be pessimistic. — God should be served with cheerfulness and abandonment.
Get rid of that human prudence which makes you so very cautious, so — sorry to be so blunt! — cowardly.
—Let us not be narrow-minded. Let us not be infantile men or women, who are nearsighted and lack a supernatural breadth of vision…! Could we be working for ourselves? Of course not!
Well then, let us say quite fearlessly: Dearest Jesus, we are working for you, and… are you going to deny us the material means we need? You know full well how worthless we are; still, I would not treat a servant working for me in that way…
Therefore, we hope and are sure you will give us all we need to be able to serve you.
An act of faith: Nothing can prevail against God! Nothing can prevail against God’s people!
—Don’t forget it.
Don’t lose heart. Carry on! Carry on with that holy stubbornness which in spiritual terms is called perseverance.
My Lord, you always come to meet our real needs.
You are not getting worse. — It is just that now you have more light to see yourself as you really are. You must avoid even the slightest hint of discouragement.
Along the way to personal sanctity we can at times get the impression that we are going backwards instead of forwards, that we are getting worse instead of better.
As long as there is interior struggle this pessimistic thought is only an illusion, a deception to be rejected as false.
—Persevere and don’t worry. If you fight with tenacity you are making progress and are growing in sanctity.
Interior dryness is not lukewarmness. When a person is lukewarm the waters of grace slide over him without being soaked in. In contrast, there are dry lands which seem arid but which, with a few drops of rain at the right time, yield abundant flowers and delicious fruit.
That is why I ask: When are we going to be convinced? How important it is to be docile to the divine calls which come at each moment of the day, because it is precisely there that God is awaiting us!
Be clever, spiritually clever. Don’t wait for the Lord to send you setbacks; go out to meet them with a spirit of voluntary atonement. — Then you’ll receive them not so much with resignation (an old-sounding word) as with Love — a word which is forever young.
Today, for the first time, you had the feeling that things were getting simpler, that everything was “sorting itself out”. At last you see an end to the problems that were worrying you. And you understand that they are more thoroughly and better resolved the more you abandon yourself into the arms of your Father God.
What are you waiting for to start behaving always as a son of God? This should be the driving force in your life.
Turn to Our Lady — the Mother, Daughter and Spouse of God, and our Mother — and ask her to obtain more graces for you from the Blessed Trinity: the grace of faith, of hope, of love and of contrition. So that when it seems that a harsh dry wind is blowing in your life, threatening to wither those flowers of your soul, they will not wither… and neither will those of your brothers.
Be filled with faith and rest assured! The Lord tells us this through the prophet Jeremiah: orabitis me, et ego exaudiam vos — whenever you call upon me, whenever you pray!, I will listen to you.
I refer everything to you, my God. Without you — who are my Father — what would become of me?
Allow me to give you the advice of an experienced soul: your prayer — and your whole life should be to pray always — ought to be as trusting as “a child’s prayer”.
A sick man is brought to Jesus, who looks at him. — Contemplate the scene closely and meditate on his words: confide, fili — take heart, my son.
This is what Our Lord says to you when you feel the weight of your errors. Have faith! In the first place: faith. And then allow yourself to be carried like the paralytic did: with interior and submissive obedience!
My son, you can do nothing on the supernatural level through your own strength; whereas when you become God’s instrument you can do everything. Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat! — I can do all things in him who strengthens me. For in his goodness he wishes to use inadequate instruments, like you and like me.
Whenever you pray, make the effort to have the kind of faith of those sick people we read about in the Gospel. You can be sure Jesus is listening to you.
My Mother! Mothers on earth look with greater love on the weakest of their children, the one with the worst health, or who is least intelligent, or is a poor cripple…
—Sweet Lady! I know that you are more of a Mother than all other mothers put together. — And, since I am your son… And, since I am weak, and ill… and crippled… and ugly…
We lack faith. The day we practise this virtue, trusting in God and in his Mother, we will be courageous and loyal. God, who is the same God as ever, will work miracles through our hands.
—Grant me, dear Jesus, the faith I truly desire! My Mother, sweet Lady, Mary most holy, make me believe!
A firm resolution: to abandon myself in Jesus Christ with all my wretchedness. Whatever he may want, at any moment, Fiat — let it be done!
Never lose heart, for Our Lord is always ready to give you the necessary grace for the new conversion you need, for that ascent in the supernatural field.
“Blessed be God!” you said to yourself after having finished your sacramental Confession. And you thought: it is as if I had just been born again.
You then continued calmly: “Domine, quid me vis facere? — Lord, what would you have me do?”
—And you yourself came up with the reply: “With the help of your grace I will let nothing and no one come between me and the fulfilment of your most Holy Will: Serviam — I will serve you unconditionally!”
We read in the Gospel that the Magi, videntes stellam — when they saw the star — were filled with great joy.
—They rejoiced, my son, they were immensely glad, because they had done what they were supposed to do; and they rejoiced because they knew for certain they would reach the King, who never abandons those who seek him.
When you really come to love God’s Will you will never, even in the worst state of agitation, lose sight of the fact that our Father in Heaven is always close to you, very close, right next to you, with his everlasting Love and with his unbounded affection.
If the outlook in your interior life, in your soul, is darkened, allow yourself to be led along by the hand, as a blind man would do.
—In time the Lord will reward this humble surrendering of your own judgement by giving you clarity of mind.
To be afraid of anything or anybody, but especially of the person who directs our soul, is unworthy of a son of God.
Are you not moved to hear some affectionate word addressed to your mother?
—Well, the same thing happens to Our Lord. We cannot separate Jesus from his Mother.
When you find yourself tired and exhausted, approach Our Lord confidently, as that good friend of ours did, and say: “Jesus, see what you can do about it. Even before I begin to fight, I am already tired.”
—He will give you his strength.
A task which presents no difficulties lacks human appeal — and supernatural appeal too. If you find no resistance when hammering a nail into a wall, what can you expect to hang on it?
It seems incredible that a man like you — who say you know you’re nothing — should dare to place obstacles in the way of God’s grace.
Yet this is what you’re doing with your false humility, your “objectivity”, your pessimism.
Lord, grant me the grace to give up everything that has to do with myself. I should have no other concern than your Glory… in other words, your Love. — Everything for Love!
“When Herod heard this,” (that the King had come to this earth), “he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
This is an everyday occurrence! We see the same thing happening now. In the face of God’s greatness, which shows itself in a thousand ways, there are always some people — sometimes even in positions of authority — who are troubled. It’s because they do not love God; because they have no real wish to meet him; because they don’t want to follow his inspirations, and so they become obstacles in God’s path.
—Be forewarned; carry on working, don’t worry, seek the Lord, pray… and he will triumph.
You are not alone. — Neither you nor I can ever find ourselves alone. And even less if we go to Jesus through Mary, for she is a Mother who will never abandon us.
When it feels as if the Lord has given up on you, don’t give way to sadness. Seek him with greater determination! He who is Love does not leave you on your own.
—Be convinced that “he has left you on your own” out of Love, so that you may see clearly in your life what is his and what is yours.
You said to me: “I seem not only unable to go ahead along my way, but also unable to be saved without a miracle of grace. Oh, my poor soul! I remain cold and, what is worse, almost indifferent. It’s as if I were an outsider looking at ‘a case’ (mine) which had nothing to do with him. Will these days turn out to be completely futile?
And nevertheless, my Mother is my Mother and Jesus is — dare I say it? — my Jesus. And there are good and saintly souls, at this very moment, praying for me.”
—Go on walking hand in hand with your Mother, I replied, and “dare” to say to Jesus that he is yours. In his goodness he will bring clear light to your soul.
Grant me, Jesus, the Cross with no Simon of Cyrene to help me. No, that’s not right; I need your grace, I need your help here as in everything. You must be my Simon of Cyrene. With you, my God, no trial can daunt me…
—But what if my Cross should consist in boredom or sadness? — In that case I say to you, Lord, with You I would gladly be sad.
As long as I don’t lose You, no sorrow will be a sorrow at all.
Jesus will refuse a word to no one, and his words bring healing, they console, they bring light.
—This is what you and I have to remember at all times, especially when we find ourselves tired and weighed down by work or opposition.
Don’t expect people’s applause for your work.
—What is more, sometimes you mustn’t even expect other people and institutions, who like you are working for Christ, to understand you.
—Seek only the glory of God and, while loving everyone, don’t worry if there are some who don’t understand you.
If there are mountains in the way, obstacles, misunderstandings and backbiting, which Satan seeks and God allows, you must have faith, faith with deeds, faith with sacrifice, faith with humility.
Faced by apparent sterility in your apostolate you begin to detect the first waves of discouragement, which your faith rejects quite firmly. — But you realise that you need a more humble, lively and operative faith.
As someone who longs to bring health to souls, you should cry out like the father of that sick boy possessed by the devil: Domine, adiuva incredulitatem meam! — Lord, help my unbelief!
Have no doubt: the miracle will be performed again.
What a beautiful prayer for you to say frequently, that one of our good friend praying for a priest whom hatred for religion imprisoned: “My God, comfort him, since it is for you he suffers persecution. How many suffer, because they serve you!”
—What a source of joy the Communion of Saints is!
The measures taken by some governments to ensure that the faith in their countries dies out reminds me of the seals set upon the tomb of Jesus by the Sanhedrin.
—He was not subject to anybody or anything, and despite those seals, he rose again!
The solution is to love. Saint John the Apostle wrote some words which really move me: qui autem timet, non est perfectus in caritate. I like to translate them as follows, almost word for word — the fearful man doesn’t know how to love.
—You, therefore, who do love and know how to show it, you mustn’t be afraid of anything. So, on you go!
God is with you. The Blessed Trinity dwells in your soul in grace.
—That is why, in spite of your wretchedness, you can and should keep up a continuous conversation with the Lord.
You should pray at all times, always.
—You should feel the need to go to God after every success and after every failure in your interior life.
May your prayer always be a real and sincere act of adoration of God.
When the Lord brought you into the Church he put an indelible mark upon your soul through Baptism: you are a son of God. — Don’t forget it.
Give thanks often to Jesus, for through him, with him and in him you are able to call yourself a son of God.
If we feel we are beloved sons of our Heavenly Father, as indeed we are!, how can we fail to be happy all the time? — Think about it.
As he was giving out Holy Communion that priest felt like shouting out: this is Happiness I am giving to you!
Build up a gigantic faith in the Holy Eucharist. — Be filled with wonder before this ineffable reality! We have God with us; we can receive him every day and, if we want to, we can speak intimately with him, just as we talk with a friend, as we talk with a brother, as we talk with a father, as we talk with Love itself.
How beautiful our Christian vocation is — to be sons of God! It brings joy and peace on earth which the world cannot give!
Lord, grant me the love with which you want me to love you.
That morning, to remove the dark shadow of pessimism which hung over you, you also insisted as you do every day… but you were more “aggressive” with your Angel. You sang his praises and you asked him to teach you to love Jesus at least, at least as much as he loves Him… And with that you recovered your calm.
Ask your Mother Mary, ask Saint Joseph and your Guardian Angel to speak to the Lord and tell him the things you can’t manage to put into words because you are so dull.
Fill yourself with confidence. The Mother we have is the Mother of God, the Most Blessed Virgin, the Queen of Heaven and the World.
Jesus was born in a cave in Bethlehem because, Sacred Scripture tells us, “there was no room for them in the inn.”
—I am not departing from theological truth when I say that Jesus is still looking for shelter in your heart.
Our Lord is on the Cross saying, I am suffering so that men, who are my brothers, may be happy, not only in Heaven, but also — as far as possible — on earth, if they really embrace the most Holy Will of my heavenly Father.
It is true that your contribution is nil and that it is God who does everything in your soul.
—However, let not this be the case as far as your correspondence to his grace is concerned.
Practise the virtue of hope and, with God as your motive, even when you find it hard, persevere at your work and try to finish it well, convinced that those efforts of yours are not useless in the Lord’s sight.
When in your daily struggle, normally made up of many little things, there is the desire and the reality of pleasing God continually, I assure you: nothing is ever lost!
You would be right in thinking: how good the Lord is, who has sought me and has made known to me this holy path where I can be effective and where I can love all men, bringing them peace and happiness.
—This thought has then to be turned into resolutions.
You know that you will never lack God’s grace, because he has chosen you from all eternity. And if this is what he has done for you, he will grant you all the help you need to be faithful to him as his son.
—Go forward, then, with assurance and try to respond at every moment.
I ask the Mother of God to smile upon us if she wishes, if she can… She will indeed do so.
Moreover, she will reward our generosity a thousandfold here on earth. A thousandfold, that’s what I am asking her for!
Practise a cheerful charity which is at once kindly and firm; human and supernatural. An affectionate charity, knowing how to welcome everyone with a sincere and habitual smile, and how to understand the ideas and the feelings of others.
—In this way, gently and vigorously, and without concessions in matters of personal morals or in doctrine, the charity of Christ — when it is being well lived — will give you a spirit of conquest. Each day you will be more eager to work for souls.
My son, I said with assurance, in spreading our “madness” to other apostles I am not unaware of the “obstacles” we will find. Some of them may appear insurmountable… But inter medium montium pertransibunt aquae — the waters will pass through the midst of the mountains. Our supernatural spirit and the drive of our zeal will cut through the mountains and we shall overcome those obstacles.
“My God, my God! All of them were equally loved, through you, in you and with you, and now they are all scattered.” Thus you complained when you saw yourself once again all alone and lacking in human resources.
—But Our Lord immediately made you feel sure in your soul that He would sort it out. And you said to him: “You will fix everything.”
—And so he did. God solved everything sooner, more fully and better than you expected.
It is indeed just that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit should crown the Blessed Virgin as Queen and Lady of all created things.
—You have to make use of her power! With the daring of a child join in this celebration in Heaven. — For myself, I crown the Mother of God and my Mother with my purified failings, since I have no precious stones or virtues.