Monday, March 17, 2014

Ah! the little kindness, the delicate attentions . . .

My daughter, that which gives redemptive power to penance is not so much intensity of suffering of which it is the occasion as it is the quality of love with which it is done or accepted.

If you could see the world as I see it and the power which is yours while you are on earth, to help souls who struggle to escape misery, there is no sacrifice you would not be willing to accept to help such souls.

The saints in heaven have only one retreat: it is that they were not generous enough on earth, while they were in a state to gain merit for themselves and for humanity.

Never let your penance be a burden for those who live with you.  Remember My recommendations concerning fasting, and My reproaches to the Pharisees who, on that occasion, looked very gloomy . . . . Be hard on yourself, but gentle and compassionate with others.

I need your sufferings to apply the fruits of My Redemption to many sons and daughters according to the spirit.  These sons and daughters you bear spiritually within you, very like a mother who carries her child in her womb and nourishes it while she nourishes herself.  Nothing that you do or suffer through love, in union with Me, is useless, and doubtless  you make great progress.

It would be easier for you to make sacrifices if, in faith, you had a keener and more faithful perception of My presence and of My desires; if, in hope, you had a more ardent thirst for My reign in souls; if, in charity, you were more careful to live for others with Me and in Me.

If you but knew how sensitive I am to little things.  When one loves, one attaches more importance on details.  I do not normally ask of you great mortifications, but rather those little things which, costing little to those who love, are of great value in the eyes of the loved one.  Ah! the little kindnesses, the delicate attentions . . . By them you can repair thousands of blasphemies.  If a wicked little pin prick by a friend is more painful to the heart than a gross injury on the part of an unknown passerby, so the least mark of affection on the part of a loved one to whom one has given all his confidence brings more joy than the commonplace compliments of an indifferent crowd.

I have done so much to save all of you, but out of respect for human dignity, I can make the oblation of My sufferings effective for you only in proportion to your free and generous contribution.

It is allowable for you, as long as you are on earth, to supply for the insufficiency of the expiation of your human brothers, provided they do not put an obstacle in the way.  Profit by that.  Later it will be too late.  What regret will be yours later when you realize what you might have done and what, through laxity or thoughtlessness, you will have neglected!

Every sacrifice which is not ultimately rooted in charity is incomplete and fruitless.  All mortifications, little or great, help you to become gentler and more compassionate to those around you.  You should become lovable and kind even beyond your want.  Otherwise there will be many efforts with little effect, and you will live in illusion.

Effective charity is the touchstone of true penance, just as self-forgetfulness in favor of others is the criterion of genuine love.

Even if, as is quite normal, you do not feel My presence I am in you more than you are in yourself.  It is My Spirit which silently but patiently incites you to be generous.  With what humble anxiety I await your reply!  And when it is positive, it is I who suffer in you to give all the value of your suffering to My Father.

The world does not suspect all the obscure work done in souls, where, in truth, the destinies of the world are worked out.

What an error to think that the more hidden life is an evasion or a failure to help in the great problems which agonize humanity!

You are in the vanguard.  But, remember, I need virile souls.  Nothing is more contrary to the spirit than discouragement and cowardly falling back on account of petty personal problems.  The kingdom of God is conquered by a hard struggle.  They who bring back victory are energetic and valiant souls, in their coredemptive union with Me.

I am the eternal Conqueror.  Have confidence.  I will have the last word.  "I have overcome the world."  But I associate you with My triumphal joys in proportion as you have been willing  to be a part of the vicissitudes, often painful and sometimes sad, of the struggles of life.

"An Hour with Jesus"
Abbe Gaston Courtois