Committed! How much I like that word! We children of God freely put ourselves under an obligation to live a life of dedication to God, striving that He may have complete and absolute sovereignty over our lives.

Whenever sanctity is genuine, it overflows from its vessel to fill other hearts, other souls, with its superabundance.

We, the children of God, sanctify ourselves by sanctifying others. Is Christian life growing around you? Consider this every day.

The Kingdom of Jesus Christ: that is our task! So, my child, be generous: don’t be anxious to know any of the many reasons he has to want to reign in you.

If you look at him, it will be enough for you to consider how much he loves you… You will feel a hunger to correspond to his love, crying aloud that you really love him here and now; and you will understand that if you don’t leave him, he won’t leave you.

The first step towards bringing others to the ways of Christ is for them to see you happy and serene, sure in your advance towards God.

A Catholic man or woman can never forget this key idea: we have to imitate Jesus Christ in every sphere of society, without rejecting anyone.

Our Lord Jesus wants it: we have to follow him closely. There is no other way.

This is the task of the Holy Spirit in each soul, in yours too. You have to be docile, so as not to put obstacles in the way of your God.

A clear sign that you are seeking holiness is — allow me to use the expression — ‘the healthy psychological prejudice’ of thinking habitually about others, while forgetting yourself, so as to bring them closer to God.

It should be engraved deeply on your soul that God doesn’t need you. His calling is a most loving mercy of his Heart.

Treat those who are in error with loving kindness, with Christian charity. But do not compromise with anything that goes against our holy Faith.

Have recourse to the sweet Lady, Mary, Mother of God and our Mother also, entrusting to her care the cleanliness of soul and body of all mankind.

Tell her that you want to call upon her, and want others to call upon her continually. And that you want to conquer always, in the bad moments — or the good, and very good moments — of your struggle against those who are hostile to our being children of God.

He came on earth because omnes homines vult salvos fieri, he wants to redeem the whole world.

—While you are at your work, shoulder to shoulder with so many others, never forget that there is no soul that does not matter to Christ!

“Lord!,” you were telling him, “I like to say thank you. I want to be grateful to everyone, always.”

—Well, look: you aren’t a stone… or a speechless tree… or a mule. You are not one of those created things whose life is completed here on this earth. This is because God chose to make you a man or woman, a child of his. And he loves you in caritate perpetua, with an eternal love.

—So you like to be grateful? And are you going to make an exception of your Lord? Make sure that your thanksgiving comes pouring out from your heart every day.

Understanding is real charity. When you really achieve it, you will have a great heart which is open to all without discrimination. Even with those who have treated you badly you will put into living practice that advice of Jesus: “Come to me all you that… are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Be loving towards those who are ignorant of the things of God. And with all the more reason treat in that same way those who know him. If not, you cannot do the former either.

If you really loved God with all your heart, then that love for your neighbour, which you sometimes find so hard to have, would come as a necessary consequence of your Great Love. You would never feel hostility towards anyone, nor would you discriminate between people.

Have you that urge, that divine madness, to bring souls to know the Love of God? In your ordinary life, then, offer up mortifications, pray, do your duty, and conquer yourself in all kinds of tiny details.

Tell him slowly: Good Jesus, if I am to be an apostle, and an apostle of apostles, you have to make me very humble.

May I know myself. May I know myself and know you.

—Then I will never lose sight of my nothingness.

Per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum: through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. That is the way you should do things: through and for Jesus Christ!

—It’s good that you have a human heart. But if you act merely because it’s a particular person, that’s bad. You should certainly also do it for that brother of yours, for that friend of yours: but above all do it for Jesus Christ!

The Church, the souls, of all continents, of all times present and to come, expect a lot from you… But you should have it very firmly fixed in your head and in your heart that you will be fruitless if you are not a saint or, let me put it better, if you don’t struggle to be a saint.

Let yourself be formed by the rough or gentle strokes of grace. Strive to be an instrument rather than an obstacle. And, if you are willing, your most Holy Mother will help you; and you will be a channel for the waters of God, rather than a boulder which diverts their flow.

Lord, help me to be faithful and docile towards you, sicut lutum in manu figuli, like clay in the potter’s hands. In this way it will not be I that live, but you, my Love, who will live and work in me.

Jesus will enable you to have a great affection for everybody you meet, without taking away any of the affection you have for him. On the contrary, the more you love Jesus, the more room there will be for other people in your heart.

The closer a creature comes to God, the more universal it feels. Its heart expands, making room for everything and everybody in its single great desire to place the whole universe at the feet of Jesus.

When Jesus died on the Cross he was only thirty-three years old. Youthfulness can be no excuse!

Anyway, with each day that passes you are ceasing to be young… though with Him you will possess his eternal youth.

You must reject that form of nationalism which hinders understanding and harmony. In many moments of history it has been one of the most evil of barriers.

You must reject it yet more strongly, since it would be all the more harmful, when it tries to set foot within the Body of the Church, where the unity of everyone and everything in the love of Jesus Christ ought to shine out most clearly.

Child of God, what have you done up to now to help the souls around you?

—You cannot be content with that passiveness, with that idleness of yours. He wants to reach others through your example, through your words, through your friendship, through your service…

Sacrifice yourself, give yourself, and work at souls one by one, as the jeweller works on precious stones: one by one.

—Indeed you should exercise even more care, because you are dealing with something of incomparable value. The purpose of that spiritual attention you give is to prepare good instruments for the service of God: and they, each one of them, have cost Christ all of his Blood.

To be a Christian, and in particular to be a priest —bearing in mind, too, that all of us who are baptized share in Christ’s priesthood — is to be at all times on the Cross.

If you were consistent, now that you have seen his light you would want to be as great a saint as you were once a sinner: and you would struggle to make those desires a reality.

It is not pride, but fortitude, when you make your authority felt, cutting out what needs to be cut out, when the fulfilment of the Holy Will of God demands it.

Hands must sometimes be tied, with respect and with temperateness, without insult or discourtesy. Not out of revenge, but as a remedy; not as a punishment, but as a medicine.

You looked at me very seriously… But at last you understood, when I told you: “I want to reproduce the life of Christ in the children of God, by getting them to meditate on it, so that they may act like him and speak only of him.”

Jesus has remained within the Eucharist for love… of you.

—He remained, knowing how men would receive him… and how you would receive him.

—He has remained so that you could eat him, so that you could visit him and tell him about your things; and so that you could talk to him as you pray beside the Tabernacle, and as you receive the Sacrament ; and so that you could fall in love more and more each day, and make other souls, many souls, follow the same path.

You tell me that you want to practise holy poverty, you want to be detached from the things you use. Ask yourself this question: do I have the same affections and the same feelings as Jesus Christ has, with regard to riches and poverty?

I told you: as well as resting in the arms of your Father-God, with all the confident abandonment of one who is his child, you should fix your eyes particularly on this virtue to love it as Jesus does. Then, instead of seeing it as a cross to bear, you will see it as a sign of God’s special love for you.

At times, in their behaviour, some Christians don’t give the commandment of charity the full scope and value it has. In that last wonderful discourse of his, we find Christ surrounded by his chosen ones and leaving them these words as a form of testament: Mandatum novum do vobis, ut diligatis invicem — a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.

Then he went further: In hoc cognoscent omnes quia discipuli mei estis — by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

—If only we would make up our minds to live as he wants!

If piety is lacking — the bond which ties us close to God and, for his sake, to others because we see Christ in them — disunity is inevitable, with the loss of all Christian spirit.

Be grateful to God from the bottom of your heart for those wonderful and awesome faculties he chose to give you when he made you — your intellect and your will. They are wonderful, because they make you like him; and awesome because there are human beings who turn their faculties against their Creator.

It seems to me we could sum up the thankfulness that we owe as children of God by saying to this Father of ours, now and always, serviam!: I will serve you!

Without interior life, and without formation, there is no true apostolate and no work that is fruitful. Whatever work is done will be fragile, fictitious even.

—How great, then, is our responsibility as children of God! We have to hunger and thirst for him and for his doctrine.

Someone told that good friend of ours, seeking to humiliate him, that his was a second- or third-rate soul.

As he was convinced of his nothingness, he was not upset. Instead he reasoned this way: “Each man has just one soul. I have mine, just the one. So for each one his own soul is first-rate. I’m not going to lower my sights. So, my soul is of the very very best: and with God’s help, I want to purify it and whiten it and set it on fire, to please my Beloved.”

—You must not forget this: you cannot “lower your sights” either, despite the fact that you see yourself full of wretchedness.

You complain that you are alone, and that your surroundings militate against you. Think of this, then: Jesus, the Good Sower, takes each of us, his children, and holds us tight in his wounded hand, like wheat. He soaks us in his Blood. He purifies and cleanses us. He fills us with his “wine”! And then he scatters us generously throughout the world, one by one, for wheat is not sown by the sackful, but grain by grain.

I insist: ask God to grant us, his children, the “gift of tongues”, the gift of making ourselves understood by all.

You can find the reason why I want this “gift of tongues” in the pages of the Gospel, which abound in parables, in examples which materialise the doctrine and illustrate spiritual truths, without debasing or degrading the word of God.

All of us, both the learned and the less learned, find it easier to reflect on and understand God’s message through these human images.

At this time — and always! — when the Lord wants his seed to spread in a divine diffusion among the different surroundings, he also wants the extension not to lessen in intensity.

And you have the clear and supernatural mission of helping to ensure that this intensity is not lost.

Yes, you’re right: the depth of your wretchedness! By your own efforts, where would you be now, where would you have got to?

You admitted: “Only a Love that was full of mercy could keep on loving me.”

—Cheer up. He will not deny you his Love or his Mercy, if you seek him.

Your aim should be that there be many souls in the midst of the world who love God with all their heart.

—It’s time to do your sums: how many souls have you helped to discover that Love?

The children of God are present and give witness in the

world to draw others, not to be drawn by them. They should spread their own atmosphere, the atmosphere of Christ, not let themselves be won over by a different atmosphere.

You have a duty to reach those around you, to shake them out of their drowsiness, to open wide new horizons for their selfish, comfortable lives, to “complicate” their lives in a holy way, to make them forget about themselves and show understanding for the problems of others.

If you do not, you are not a good brother to your brothers in the human race, who need that gaudium cum pace, that joy and that peace, which maybe they do not know or have forgotten.

No son or daughter of Holy Church can lead a quiet life, without concern for the anonymous masses — a mob, a herd, a flock, as I once wrote. How many noble passions they have within their apparent listlessness! How much potential!

We must serve all, laying our hands on each and every one, as Jesus did, singulis manus imponens, to bring them back to life, to enlighten their minds and strengthen their wills: so that they can become useful!

I didn’t think God would get hold of me the way he did, either. But, let me tell you once again, God doesn’t ask our permission to “complicate” our lives. He just gets in: and that’s that!

Lord, I will trust in you alone. Help me to be faithful to you. I know that I can look forward to everything as a result of being faithful in your service, abandoning all my cares and worries into your hands.

Let us thank God deeply and often for the wonderful calling we have had from him. May our gratitude be deep and genuine, closely joined to humility.

The privilege of being numbered among the children of God is the greatest happiness; it is always undeserved.

That cry of the Son of God, lamenting that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, is always relevant. How it tears at our heartstrings.

—That cry came from Christ’s mouth for you to hear too. How have you responded to it up to now? Do you pray at least daily for that intention ?

To follow Our Lord you need to give yourself once and for all, stoutheartedly and without holding anything back — to burn your boats once and for all, so that there is no chance of going back.

Don’t be scared when Jesus asks you for more, even the happiness of your own family. You must be convinced that from the supernatural point of view he has the right to override all those close to you, for the sake of his Glory.

You say that you want to be an apostle of Christ.

—I’m very glad to hear it. I pray that God may give you perseverance. Remember that from our mouths, from our thoughts, from our hearts, should issue only divine motives, of hunger for souls, of themes that lead us one way or another to God — or at least, that do not take us away from him.

The Church needs priests, and always will. Ask the Blessed Trinity for them each day, through Holy Mary.

—And pray that they may be cheerful, hard-working, effective; that they may be well trained: and that they may sacrifice themselves joyfully for their brothers, without feeling that they are victims.

Turn constantly to the most Holy Virgin, the Mother of God and Mother of the human race; and she, with a Mother’s gentleness, will draw down the love of God on the souls you deal with, so that they may make up their minds to be witnesses for Jesus Christ, in their profession, in their ordinary work.

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