Words of Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez on His Passion
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A Simple Introduction to Sr. Josefa Menendez
Taken from here.

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Sister Josefa Menendez was born on February 4, 1890 in Madrid, Spain. Being of Spanish descent, she initially sought to enter the religious life in Spain, but God’s Providence lead her elsewhere and eventually, after many trials, she entered a French Convent and became a Coadjutrix Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1920 at age 29. As far as external appearances go, nothing signalized that Josefa was in any way fitted for so high a mission as to bring forth a Message of Jesus to the world. She was a religious Sister for only 4 years before her death and prior to this she repeatedly delayed entering into the religious life. Then if we take in consideration her humble rank in the Community, her status as a mere novice, her reserved natures and great love of retirement, and the very real obstacle of her ignorance of the language of the country (French), -all these hindrances combined would at first sight appear insurmountable to the proclamation of a Message to the world.

In reality however they were signs of God's choice. Though she was but a simple novice, often reserved and quite meek, she would show later an unconquerable strength of will. In the blinding light of divine revelations, she only crept deeper into her littleness, and the closer God drew to her the more she humbled herself. In spite of the evidence of God's action, she was ever fearful of being deceived herself, and of deceiving her Superiors. In reality her Superiors had rarely met with a more obedient and docile subject, or one more deferential, more eager to submit to their authority, more ready to sacrifice herself.

In her devotions, as in everything else, there was no exaggeration; she was sincere, straightforward and simple. She was mentally healthy and had a well-developed spirituality and devotion. The supernatural graces and gifts, whose weight was often crushing, purified her to the depths, though her spiritual equilibrium was at times shaken by the extraordinary visions and communications, which at times required an almost superhuman endurance. All this was in reality the best guarantee to Superiors that her communications were divine in origin.

Her daily life within the Convent was very ordinary as she carried out her humble tasks and chores with grace and humility. Her fellow Sisters did not know of the extraordinary graces and lights that God was bestowing upon His humble servant, nor did they know of the inner struggle Josefa was undergoing as the devil tempted her to doubt God's voice and her Religious calling, but through it all Josefa maintained a strong prayer life, which aided her in resisting the deceitful voice of the evil one.

It was because of her simplicity, humility and ordinary life that our Lord said to Sister Josefa: "You yourself shall be My sign." And elsewhere our Lord said to her: I will reveal to you the burning secrets of My Heart and many souls will profit by them. I want you to write down and keep all I tell you. It will be read when you are in Heaven. Do not think that I make use of you because of your merits, but I want souls to realize how My Power makes use of poor and miserable instruments."

Sister Josefa Menéndez, died a holy death at age 33 on December 29, 1923, at the Convent of Les Feuillants, Poitiers, France. She lived as a sister in the Society of the Sacred Heart only four years, and in so hidden a way that the world ought never to have heard of her, and even in her own community she should have soon been forgotten. It was not until after her death that her fellow religious Sisters heard of all the extraordinary graces that God had bestowed upon her.

On November 13, 1923 shortly before her death, our Lord had said to Sister Josefa:
Quote:"My words will be light and life for an incalculable number of souls, and I will grant them special graces of conversion and enlightenment."

These words have been verified, for as soon as the first volume of Sister Josefa’s writings appeared, it was eagerly read and promulgated, and was quickly reprinted several times, while letters from all parts of the world gave testimony to the profound impression it created and to the signal graces that followed on the delivery of the Message.

Within a few months the book had been translated from the original Spanish into French, then into Portuguese, Italian, English, Chinese, and Hungarian, thus helping to fulfill our Lord's wish that His call to the way of love and devotion to His Sacred Heart should be known everywhere.


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Words of Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez on His Passion and Sufferings
Adapted from here.

PART 1

Mankind must know me, I want men to know my love. Do they know what I have done for them? With this am I come, that they may know that they will never find true happiness except in Me.

My appeal is addressed to all: to those consecrated in religion and those living in the world, to the good and to sinners, to the learned and to the illiterate, to those in authority and to those who obey. To each of them I come to say: if you seek happiness you will find it in Me. If riches, I am infinite Wealth. If you desire peace, in Me alone is peace to be found. I am mercy and love!

I desire that my love should be the sun to enlighten and heat to reanimate souls. That is why my words must reach them. I want all the world to recognize in Me a God of mercy and love. I wish that everywhere my desire to forgive and save souls should be read, and that not even the most wretched be kept back by fear! Nor the most guilty fly from me….Let them all come. I await them with open arms like the most affectionate of fathers order to impart life and true happiness to them……

God created man out of pure love. He placed him on the earth in circumstances that ensured his happiness until the day of eternal bliss should dawn for him. But to have a right to such felicity he is bound to keep the sweet and wise laws laid down by His Maker.

Man, unfaithful to this law, fell grievously sick; sin was committed by our first parents, and all mankind, their descendants, contracted this guilt and lost their right to the perfect beatitude promised them by God; and pain, suffering and death became henceforth their lot.

Now God, in perfect bliss, has no need of man or of his services. He is sufficient unto himself. Infinite is His glory and nothing can diminish it.

Infinite in power, He is also infinite in goodness; hence He will not allow man, created out of love, to perish; instead, He met the grave evil of sin with a remedy infinite in price: one of the divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity, assuming human nature, will repair in a Godlike manner the evil of the Fall.

The Father gives His Son, the Son sacrifices His glory. He comes to earth not as an all-powerful Lord and Master, but in poverty as a servant and as a child. The life He led on earth is known to you all.

You know how from the first moment of the Incarnation I submitted to all human afflictions. In My childhood I endured cold, hunger, poverty and persecution. In My life of labor, how often humiliation and contempt were meted out to the carpenter’s son. How often after a hard day’s work we, My foster–father and I, found that we had earned hardly sufficient to support us… And this I continued for 30 long years.

Then, foregoing the sweet company of My Mother, I devoted Myself to the task of making My heavenly Father known. I went about teaching men that God is Love.

I went about doing good to bodies as well as to souls: to the sick I gave back their health; the dead I raised to life; and to souls? Ah! to souls I restored liberty… that liberty which they had lost through sin, and I opened to them the gates of their everlasting home, Heaven.

Then came the hour when to win salvation for them the Son of God willed to surrender life itself. And how did He die? Was He surrounded by friends? Acclaimed as a benefactor? Beloved ones, you know that the Son of God did not will to die thus. He who had preached nothing but love was the victim of hatred. He who had brought peace to the world was treated most cruelly. He who came to bring men freedom was imprisoned, bound, ill used, calumniated, and finally died on a cross between two thieves, condemned, abandoned, abject and despoiled of everything.

It was thus that He surrendered Himself for man’s salvation. It was thus He accomplished the work for which He had voluntarily left His Father’s glory. Man was sick and wounded, and the Son of God came down to him. He not only restored fallen man to life, but earned for him both strength and power to acquire in this life the treasures of eternal beatitude.

Dearly loved son, I am Jesus, which name signifies Savior. Why else are My hands transfixed with nails which fasten them to a cross? On it, for love of you, I died. My feet are wounded, My Heart wide open, riven by the lance after death.

Thus do I stand before you that you may know who I am and what My law is. But do not fear, My law is one of love. And in knowing Me you will find peace and joy. It is sad to live as an orphan; come, My sons, come to your Father. I am your God and your Father, your Creator and your Savior. You are My creatures, My sons bought at the price of My life and Heart’s Blood, which I shed to free you from slavery and the tyranny of sin.

You have souls great and immortal, destined for eternal happiness, wills capable of all good, hearts made both to give and receive affection. The thirst for contentment and love can never be appeased by earthly and fleeting gains, which will always leave you hungry and unsatisfied. Perpetual conflict, sadness, anxiety, and affliction will still be your portion.

If you are poor and have to earn a living by work, the miseries of life will embitter you; you will be hostile to your employers and may even wish them ill, that like yourself they may experience the hard grind of daily toil. Fatigue, disgust, even despair will weigh heavily on your spirits, for the way is rough and in the end comes death!

O! How great are these calamities when viewed from a human standpoint. But I come to show you life under a different aspect:

All you who are deprived of this world’s goods and obliged to labor for your daily bread under a master, reflect that you are not slaves, but created for the freedom of eternity. All you whose craving for affection is unsatisfied, remember that you are made to love that which is eternal, not that which passes with time.

You who love your homes and labor to support your families and provide them with comforts and happiness, do not forget that though death will one day sever every tie, this is only for a time.

You who serve a master, and owe him respect, love, care for his interests, hard work and fidelity, forget not that he is your master only for the short span of a lifetime. How soon this will pass away and give place to an eternity, where you will no longer be workers but reign as kings for ever and ever.

Your souls, created by a loving Father who bears you a limitless and eternal affection, will find one day in the bliss of Heaven prepared for you a final answer to all your aspirations.

There every labor will be rewarded.

There, you will find your family for whom you worked so hard on earth.

There you will live eternally, for earth is but a passing shadow; Heaven will never pass away.

There you will be united to your God and Father. O! If you but knew how great is the beatitude that awaits you!

You say you do not believe in a future life? Tell Me, are you perfectly contented here and do you never feel a yearning for what is not possible to obtain here below? If after seeking for enjoyment, you succeed in obtaining it, does it satisfy your cravings?

If after pursuing riches, you will last possess them, have you ever enough? If you feel the need of affection, and one day find it, are you not soon tired of it? None of these things is what you long for and here below you will never obtain all that your heart desires. Your craving is peace, not the peace of this world, but that of the children of God; and how do you expect to find in the midst of rebellion?

That is why I have come to show you where true peace and happiness are to be found, and where you can slake the thirst that for so long has consumed you. Do not rebel when I tell you that all these things are to be found in accomplishing My law. Do not fear this word Law for My law is no tyranny but a law of love, because I am your God and your Father.

Believe in My love and My mercy.

You have sinned against Me; I forgive you.

You have persecuted me; I love you.

You have wounded Me by both word and deed; still I wish to do you good and to let you share all My treasures.

Do not imagine that I am ignorant of your state of soul. I know that you have despised My grace, perhaps even profaned My Sacraments. Yet you have from Me a full pardon.

If then you would be happy in this world and at the same time secure your eternal salvation, do as I tell you:

If you are poor, do the work that necessity forces on you with submission and remember that I too lived for 30 years in subjection to the self-same law, for I was needy and poor. Do not consider your masters as tyrants. Banish all hatred from your hearts. Never wish them ill, but further their interests and be faithful to them.

If, however, you possess this world’s goods and employ workers and servants, be fair to them in all your dealings; pay them a just wage, and show them both gentleness and kindness. If you have an immortal soul, so too have they, and if you’re bound in wealth, it is not for your sole comfort and enjoyment, but that you may administer it wisely and practice charity to your neighbor.

Both employer and employed must accept the law of labor with submission, acknowledging a Supreme Being over all created things. As God He demands of you the accomplishment of His divine law. As your Father, He asks you to accept His commandments in a spirit of filial piety.

Thus, when you’ve spent a week in the pursuit of work, business or sport, He claims but one half-hour that you may fulfill your Sunday duty. Is this excessive? Go then to your Father’s House, where day and night He awaits your coming, and as Sundays and Holidays recur, give Him the homage of this half-hour by assisting in the mystery of love and mercy that is Holy Mass. Tell Him everything; about your families, your children, your business, your desires. Lay at His feet your sorrows, difficulties and sufferings. Believe in the interest and love with which He listens to your prayer.

You may perhaps say to Me: “I have not entered a church for so many years that I have forgotten how to hear Mass.” Do not be afraid on that account. Come, spend this half-hour with Me; your conscience will tell you what to do, and be docile to its voice. Open your soul wide to grace, and it will inspire you. Gradually it will teach you how to act in a given circumstance, how to treat your family, what to do in regard to your business… How to bring up your children, love those who depend on you, and honor those in authority over you. It may make you feel that such and such concern must be given up, such a friendship relinquished, or such a meeting avoided.

Again, it may tell you that you are hating a certain person quite unreasonably; or it may put into your mind to sever your connection with some person you feel drawn to and whose advice is doing you harm.

Only give grace a chance, and gradually its power will grow stronger in you, for just as evil increases insensibly, once it is given into, so will each new grace prepare your soul for a still greater one. If today you listen to My voice and let grace act, tomorrow its influence will be stronger and so steadily increase as time goes on; light will grow in your soul, peace envelop you, and the reward will be eternal bliss!

Man was not created to live forever here below. He was made for eternity. If then he is immortal, he should live, not for the passing things of time, but for that which will never die. Youth, wealth, wisdom, human glory, all that is nothing, it will all end with this life; God only will endure forever.

The world is full of hate, races are in perpetual conflict with one another, so are nations, and even individuals, and all this is due to the decay of faith. Only let faith reign once more over the world and peace and charity will return to it.

Faith in no way impedes civilization and progress. The more it is rooted in individuals and peoples, the more wisdom and learning increase, for God is infinite in wisdom and knowledge. But whenever faith is completely lacking, peace, civilization, and true progress likewise vanish… For God is not in war… and in their place come enmities, clash of opinions, class wars, and within man himself, rebellion of passions against duty. All that is noble in humanity is exchanged for revolt, insubordination and warfare.

Let yourselves be convinced by faith and you will be great. Let yourselves be ruled by faith, and you will be free; live by faith, and you will escape eternal death.

My Heart is burning with desire to attract souls to Itself in order to forgive them. I want to forgive. I want to reign over souls and pardon all nations. I want to rule souls, nations, the whole world. I will shower My Mercies on the world to wipe out its ingratitude. My reign will be one of peace and love and I shall inaugurate it by compassion on all: such is the end I have in view and this is the great work of My love.

I love souls so dearly that I have sacrificed My life for them. It is this love that keeps Me a prisoner in the tabernacle. For nearly twenty centuries I have dwelt there, night and day veiled under the species of Bread and concealed in the small white Host, bearing through love, neglect, solitude, contempt, blasphemies, outrages, sacrileges.

For love of souls, I instituted the Sacrament of Penance, that I might forgive them, not once or twice, but as often as they needed to recover grace. There I wait for them, longing to wash away their sins, not in water, but in My Blood.

I am God, but a God of love! I am a Father, but a Father full of compassion and never harsh. My Heart is infinitely wise, and knowing human frailty and infirmity, stoops to poor sinners with infinite mercy.

I love those who after a first fall come to Me for pardon. I love them still more when they beg pardon for their second sin, and should this happen again, I do not say a million times but a million million times, I still love them and pardon them, and I will wash in My Blood their last as fully as their first sin.

Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for their return, and the greater their distress, the greater My welcome. Does not a father love a sick child with special affection? Are not his care and solicitude greater? So is the tenderness and compassion of My Heart more abundant for sinners than for the just.

This is what I wish all to know. I will teach sinners that the mercy of My heart is inexaustable. Let the callous and indifferent know that My Heart is a fire which will enkindle them because I love them. To devout and saintly souls I would be “The Way,” that, making great strides in perfection, they may safely reach the harbor of eternal beatitude.

Look at my Heart, study It, and from It you will learn love. True love is humble, generous, disinterested. So if you want Me to teach you to love, begin by forgetting yourself. Do not stop at sacrifices. Do not be checked by what they cost you. Ignore your personal attractions, and do all things because you love. Many souls think that love consists of saying: “My God, I love Thee!”

No, love is sweet, and acts because it loves. I want you to love Me in that way, in work, in rest, in prayer and consolation as in distress and humiliation, constantly giving Me proofs of your love by acts; that is true love! If souls really understood this they would advance in perfection rapidly, and how greatly they would console My Heart!

Love makes all things easy. The soul that loves wants to suffer, for suffering increases love. Love and suffering unites a soul closely to God, and make her one with Him.

Many are willing to entertain Me when I visit them with consolation. Many receive Me with joy in Holy Communion, but few welcome Me when I visit them with My Cross.

Souls are of such great worth! Do not fear suffering, for by enduring it you can increase My glory and repair the sins of the world. Only those who love the Cross and embrace it willingly for love of Me, will possess eternal life. Whoever generously accepts the Cross walks in true light; follows a straight and sure path, with no danger from steep inclines down which to slide.

My Cross is the door to true life, and the soul that knows how to accept and love it, just as I have chosen it for her, shall enter by it into the glory of life eternal. Do you now understand how precious the Cross is? Do not shun it. Love it for it comes from Me, and I never shall leave you without strength to bear it. I bore it for love of you, will you not bear it for love of Me?

Do you know how to comfort Me? Love Me and suffer for souls and never refuse Me anything! Yes, do not refuse Me anything, and do not forget that I need souls to carry on My Passion, that divine wrath may be restrained. But I will sustain you.

When two people love one another, a very small lack of consideration in one of them is sufficient to wound the other. And so it is with My Heart. That is why I want those to who aspire to intimacy with Me to refuse Me nothing. If you are faithful to these tiny details of love, I will not be outdone in generosity. Your soul will be filled to overflowing with peace, nor shall I leave you alone, and in your very littleness you will be great, I shall live in you.

My Heart cannot contain the ardor with which It longs to impart Itself, and deliver Itself over, and remain always with sinners. How I long for them to open their hearts to Me, to enclose me in them, and that the fire that consumes Mine should fortify and enkindle theirs!

Then I shall be for them just what they wish: If they look upon Me as their Father, I shall be a Father to them. If they desire Me as their Beloved, I shall be their Beloved. If they need strength, I will be their strength, and if they long to console Me, I will let them console Me. All I want is to give Myself to them and to fill them with graces prepared for them.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#2
INTRODUCTION OF THE EUCHARIST AT THE LAST SUPPER
PART 2

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In this second part, Christ talks about His Introduction of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and its touching significance for our lives.
These excerpts from the book [Christ's Appeal to Love] were taken from his talks with Josefa during Lent in 1923.



February 22nd, 1923

I will begin by discovering to you the thoughts that filled My Heart while I was washing the feet of My Disciples. Mark how the whole 12 were gathered together, none excepted: John the beloved was there, and Judas who was soon to deliver Me to My enemies. I will tell you why I willed to have them all assembled together, and why I began by washing their feet.

I gathered them all together because the moment had come for My Church to be manifested to the world, all the sheep to have but one Shepherd. It was My intention, also, to show souls that I never refuse grace to those who are guilty of grave sin; nor do I separate them from all the good whom I love with predilection. I keep them all in My Heart, that all may receive the help required by their state of soul.

But was how great was My sorrow to see in the person of My unhappy disciple Judas the throng of those who, though often gathered at My feet and washed with My Blood, would yet hasten to their eternal perdition.

I would have these to understand that it is not the fact of being in sin that ought to keep them from Me. They must never think that there is no remedy for them, nor that they have forfeited forever the love that once was theirs. No, poor souls the God who has shed all His Blood for you has no such feelings for you!

Josefa, let your soul be seized today by an ardent desire to see all souls, especially sinners, come and purify themselves in the waters of repentance. Let them give themselves up to thoughts of confidence, not fear, for I am a God of pity, ever ready to receive them into My Heart.


February 25th, 1923

We are going on with Love’s secrets. I will tell you My reasons for washing the feet of My apostles before the Last Supper. In the first place I would teach souls how pure they must be to receive Me in Holy Communion. I also wished to remind those who would have the misfortune to sin that they can always recover their innocence through the Sacrament of Penance.

And I washed the feet of My apostles with My own hands, so that those who consecrated themselves to apostolic work may follow My example, and treat sinners with humility and gentleness, as also all others that are entrusted to their care.

I girded Myself with a white linen cloth to remind them that apostles need to be girded with abegnation and mortification, if they hope to exert any real influence on souls.

I wished also to teach them that mutual charity, which is ever ready to excuse the faults of others, to conceal them and extenuate them, and never to reveal them. Lastly, the water poured on the feet of My apostles denotes the zeal which burned in My Heart for the salvation of the world.

The hour of Redemption was at hand. My Heart could no longer restrain its love for mankind, nor bear the thought of leaving them orphans. So, to prove My tender love for them and in order to remain always with them until time has ceased to be, I resolved to become their food, their support, their life, their all.

Could I but make known to all souls the loving sentiments with which My Heart overflowed at My Last Supper, when I instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. My glance ranged across the ages, and I saw the multitudes who would receive My Body and Blood, all the good It would effect. How many hearts I saw that from Its contact would bud fourth virginity!

And how many others It would awaken to deeds of charity and zeal! How many martyrs of love did I see. How many souls who had been enfeebled by sin and the violence of passion would come back to their allegiance and recover their spiritual energy by partaking of this Bread of the strong! Who can describe the overwhelming emotions that filled My Soul? Joy, love, tenderness…But, alas, bitter sorrow also.

Later I shall continue, Josefa. Go now in My piece; console Me, and do not be afraid; the well spring of my blood is not exhausted, and It will cleanse your soul.


March 2nd, 1923

Write for My souls:

I want to tell them of the poignant sorrows which filled My Heart at the Last Supper. If it was bliss for Me to think of all those to whom I should be both Companion and Heavenly Food, of all who would surround Me to the end of time with adoration, reparation, and love, this in no wise diminished My grief at the many who would leave Me deserted in My tabernacle and who would not even believe in My real presence.

Into how many hearts defiled by sin would I not have to enter… and how often this profanation of My Body and Blood would serve for their ultimate condemnation. Sacrileges and outrages, all the nameless abominations to be committed against Me passed before My eyes…the long, lonely hours of the day and of the night in which I would remain alone on the altars…and the multitudes who would not heed the appeals of My Heart.

Ah! Josefa, let the thoughts of My Heart sink deep into yours. It is love for souls that keeps Me a Prisoner in the Blessed Sacrament. I stay there that all may come and find the comfort they need in the tenderest of Hearts, the best of Fathers, the most faithful of Friends Who will never abandon them.

The Holy Eucharist is the invention of Love. Yet how few souls correspond to that love which spends and consumes itself for them! I live in the midst of sinners that I may be their life, their physician, and the remedy of the diseases bred by corrupt nature. And in return they forsake, insult and despise Me!

Poor pitiable sinners, do not turn away from Me. Day and night I am on the watch for you in the tabernacle. I will not reproach you. I will not cast your sins in your face. But I will wash them in My Blood and in My Wounds. No need to be afraid…come to Me. If you but knew how dearly I love you.

And you, dear souls, why this coldness and indifference on your part? Do I not know that family cares, household concerns, and the requirements of your position in life, make continual calls upon you? But cannot you spare a few minutes in which to come and prove your affection and your gratitude? Do not allow yourselves to be involved in useless and incessant cares, but spare a few moments to visit and receive this Prisoner of love.

Were you weak or ill in body surely you would find time to see a doctor who would cure you? Come, then to One who is able to give both strength and health to your soul, and bestow the alms of love on this divine Prisoner who watches for you, calls for you and longs to see you at His side. When about to institute the Blessed Sacrament, Josefa, these were my feelings...


March 6th, 1923

Open your whole soul to Me, and if you are conscious of having nothing worthy of Me say with humility and trust: “Lord, Thou knowest both the flowers and fruits of my garden. Come and teach me how I may grow what will please Thee most.”

To one who speaks in this way and has a genuine desire of showing love, I answer: Beloved, if such is your desire, suffer Me to grow them for you. Let Me delve and dig in your garden. Let Me clear the ground of those sinewy roots that obstruct it and which you have not the strength to pull up.

Maybe I shall ask you to give up certain tastes, or sacrifice something in your character…do some act of charity, of patience or self-denial…or perhaps prove your love by zeal, obedience, or abnegation; all such deeds help to fertilize the soil of your soul, which then will be able to produce the flowers and fruit I look for.

Your self-conquest will obtain light for a sinner. Your ready patience under provocation will heal the wounds he inflicted on Me, will repair for his offense and expiate his fault. A reproof accepted patiently and even with joy will obtain for a sinner blinded by pride the grace to let light penetrate his soul and the courage to beg pardon humbly.

All this I will do for you if you give Me freedom. Then will blossoms grow quickly in your soul, and you will be the consolation of My Heart.

“Lord, Thou knowest my readiness to let Thee do with me whatsoever Thou wilt. Alas, I have fallen and displeased Thee. Wilt Thou forgive me once again? I am so wretched and can do no good!”

Yes, My beloved even your falls comfort Me. Do not be discouraged, for this act of humility which your fault drew from you has consoled Me more than if you had not fallen. Take courage, go forward steadily and let Me train you.

All this was present to Me when I instituted the Blessed Sacrament and My Heart glowed with desire to become the food for just such souls.

If I have taken up My abode among men is not merely to live among the perfect, but to uphold the weak, and sustain the lowly. I will make them grow and become strong. Their good resolves will be My solace and I will rest in their wretchedness.


March 7th, 1923

Write today concerning the pain endured by My Heart, when being constrained by the fire that consumed It, I devised the marvel of love, the Holy Eucharist. And while I looked at those souls that would feed on this heavenly Bread, I could not but see also the indifference by which so many others…consecrated souls…priests…would wound Me in this Sacrament. There were those who would grow cold…gradually yield to routine…and worse than routine…to weariness and lassitude, and little by little to tepidity.

Still, I wait all night and watch in the tabernacle for that soul, fervently hoping that she will come and receive Me…that she will converse with Me with all the trust of the bride, telling Me of her sorrows, her temptations, her sufferings, asking My advice and begging for the graces she needs for herself or others. Perhaps she has dependent on her or in her family souls that are in danger and far from Me?

Come, I say to her, let us discuss everything with perfect freedom. Be concerned about sinners. Offer yourself to make reparation. Promise Me that at least today you will not leave Me alone…then see if My Heart is not asking something of you to comfort It.

This is what I hoped to obtain from that soul and from many another. Yet when she receives Me in Holy Communion she barely says a word to Me. She is distracted, tired, or put out. Her whole mind is absorbed by her occupations, her family cares, her acquaintances…or maybe her health. She does not know what to say to Me. She is indifferent, bored…wishes it were time to go.

Is it thus that you receive Me, O soul whom I have chosen and for whom I have watched with all the impatience of love throughout the livelong night? Yes, I yearned for her coming that I might rest in her and share her anxieties. I had prepared fresh graces for her but she does not want them. She has nothing to ask of Me, neither advice nor strength. She just complains to herself without so much as addressing Me.

It seems then that she has come simply out of routine, to go through a customary formality, or perhaps because no grave sin prevented it. But it is not love nor a true desire for close union with Me that has impelled her coming. Alas, that soul does not possess the delicate love I had hoped to find in her.

And priests? Who can express all I expect from each of My priests. They are invested with My own power, that they may forgive sin. I Myself am obedient to their word when they summon Me from heaven to earth. I am totally surrendered into their hands.

They may confine Me to the tabernacle or give Me to the faithful in Holy Communion. They are, so to say, My almoners. To each I have entrusted souls that by their preaching, their direction and above all their example, they may guide them in the path of virtue.

What response do they make? Do they all fulfill Love’s mission? Will this My minister at the altar confide the souls of his charges to Me today? Will he entreat of Me the strength he needs to carry out in holiness his sacred ministry?...zeal to work for the salvation of souls…courage and self sacrifice, more today than yesterday? Will he give Me all the love I expect…and shall I be able to rely entirely on him as on My dear and well-beloved disciple?

Oh, what cruel sorrow for My Heart, when I am forced to say: “The world wounds Me in My hands and in My feet and it sullies My countenance. My chosen souls and My consecrated religious, My priests, they rend and break My Heart. How many priests after giving back grace to many souls are themselves in a state of sin. How many say Mass thus…receive Me thus…live and die thus.

Now you know what anguish oppressed Me at the Last Supper when I saw in the midst of the Twelve the first unfaithful apostle, and after him so many more who would follow him in the course of the ages.

The Blessed Sacrament [the Eucharist] is the invention of Love. It is life and fortitude for souls, a remedy for every fault, and viaticum the last passage from time to eternity. In it sinners recover life for their souls; tepid souls true warmth; fervent souls, tranquility and the satisfaction of every longing…saintly souls, wings to fly toward perfection…pure souls sweet honey and rarest sustenance. Consecrated souls find in it a dwelling, their love and their life. In it they will seek and find the perfect exemplar of those sacred and hallowed bonds that unite them inseparably to their heavenly Bridegroom.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#3
FROM HIS AGONY IN THE GARDEN TO PETER'S DENIAL
PART 3

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In this third part, Jesus describes, in heart-rending detail, His Agony in the Garden at Gesthemane and then events immediately following his subsequent arrest.


Jesus’ remembrances of His Agony are especially moving, as we see our Lord struggling to keep His composure at Gesthemane the night before His crucifixion. His Humanity was sorely tested then to fulfill his mission in His Divinity to die on a cross so that we might have Eternal Life. Yet His quite natural fear of death, and despair at betrayal, could not keep him from carrying out His Father’s Will.

We get a strong sense in his talks with Sister Josefa here of just how emotionally painful this brief period of time in prayer was for our Lord. St. Luke tells us in his Gospel that Jesus sweat blood over His visions at Gesthemane. You may wonder, quite rightly, what could make God sweat blood?

It wasn’t enough that He could foresee in horrific detail his being scourged, mocked, and crucified the next day. There was something even worse than that: the thought that His redemptive suffering would be in vain for many ungrateful souls throughout the ages to come!

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in his moving biography of our Lord entitled The Life of Christ writes that Christ saw, as he put it, “the broken marriage vows, lies. Slanders, adulteries, murders, apostasies—all these crimes were thrust into His own hands as if He had committed them...the foul miasma of the world’s sins rushed upon Him like a flood; Samson-like.”

Thus, in a brief hour or two, Jesus had visions covering the next 2000 years of everyone’s sins, including yours and mine and offered them up to His Heavenly Father, as you can read in the selection below, as if He, who was without sin, Himself had committed them.

As Bishop Sheen put it "Christ reached up and pulled the whole guilt of the world upon Himself as if He were guilty, paying for the debt in our name, so that we might once more have access to the Father.”

Witnessing even one murder or other such act of violence can traumatize any of us. We read of soldiers or policemen surviving struggling with PTSD or other emotional disturbances from the human cruelty they’ve witnessed.

Imagine our Lord seeing so much hatred, coldness, and bloodshed combined, two millennia of Hell on Earth quite present before Him in about 2 hours!

Jesus continues in this account to Sister Josefa to describe His heartbreak at his apostle Judas' betrayal, making the important point that He would see many more Judases over the coming centuries, both from His religious and laity alike.

Then he covers His arrest and another famous betrayal, from St. Peter, who, unlike Judas, did not succumb to despair and damnation afterwards. Indeed, we read in the 21st chapter in John’s Gospel that Peter reaffirmed His love for our Lord following His resurrection three times!

In all these accounts Christ relates His pain in moving detail and yet challenges us to see ourselves in those who harmed Him, slandered Him or otherwise deserted Him, in our own often fickle love for Him tainted by our sinful nature. Jesus’ narrative includes frequent entreaties for us to stay close to Him for the sake of our own salvation.


March 12th, 1923

Josefa, come with Me… Let us go to Gethsemane, and may your heart be immersed in the feelings of bitterness and sadness with which Mine was submerged. After having preached to great crowds, healed the sick, given sight to the blind, raised the dead…after having lived three years with My apostles to train them and teach My doctrine to them, I finally willed to teach them by example how to love one another, to put up with one another, and how mutually to serve each other; and this I did by washing their feet and making Myself their food.

The hour had come for the Son of God made man, Redeemer of the human race, to shed His Blood and give His life for the world. And that I might surrender Myself to My Father’s will I forthwith betook Myself to prayer.

Dearly loved souls, come and learn from your Model that the one thing necessary, whatever the revolts of nature, is surrender to God’s will in humble submission and by a supreme act of the will to accomplish the will of God whatever the circumstances may be.

Learn also from Him that all important actions should be preceded and vivified by prayer, for only in prayer can a soul obtain the strength needed in life’s difficulties. In prayer God will communicate Himself, will counsel and inspire, even if His action be unfelt.

I withdrew into the Garden of Gethsemane, that is to say into solitude. God is to be sought within, away from distraction and noise. To find Him the soul must enforce silence and all the disturbances by which nature often fights against grace; on interior arguments prompted by self-love or sensuality. These constantly tend to stifle the inspirations of grace and keep her from finding God within.

In order to give you an example My beloved ones, I took with Me three of My disciples, from which learn that the three powers of your soul must accompany and help you in your prayer.

Let memory recall the benefits and protections of your God; His power, goodness, love and mercy. Let your understanding seek out ways of responding to the wonderful graces which He has given you. Let the will be strengthened in its resolve to do ever more and better for Him.

Offer yourself to work for sinners and apostolic labors, or in the silence and prayer of a humble and hidden life. Submit your will to His. Adore His will for you, whatever it is…and humble yourself as befits a creature before its Creator. It was thus I offered Myself to carry out the redemption of the world.

At the moment I felt all the torments of My Passion burst overwhelmingly upon Me: the calumnies and the insults… the scourging and the Crown of Thorns, the thirst…the Cross.

All these sufferings thronged before My eyes and pressed upon My Heart, while at one and the same time I saw all the offenses, sins and crimes that were to be committed throughout the ages. I not only witnessed them, but was invested in them…so that under the burden of their ignominy I was constrained to present Myself before the face of My all-holy Father and implore Him to show mercy.

And there burst upon Me the wrath of an angry and offended God, and in order to appease His Majesty I offered myself as security for sinful man, I, His Son, to calm His anger and satisfy His justice. But so great was the anguish and so mortal the agony of My human nature under the strain and weight of so much guilt, that a bloody sweat poured from Me to the ground.

O sinners who thus torture Me…will this Blood bring salvation and life, or will it be shed in vain for you? How can I express My sorrow at the thought of this sweat, this anguish, this agony, this Blood… useless for so many souls!

That is enough for today, Josefa. Console My Heart; tomorrow we shall go on. Adieu. Remain close to Me in Gethsemane that My Blood may fertilize and strengthen the root of your littleness.


March 13th, 1923

Let us continue our prayer in Gethsemane:

Draw near Me, and when you see me submerged in an ocean of grief, rise and go with Me to the three disciples whom I had left a stone’s throw away.

I had chosen them that they might share My agony, pray with Me, and by their company afford Me some consolation… What were My feelings to find them asleep? Oh the pang of loneliness, and to have none to share in My sorrow. How often My Heart suffers this same grief…how often, hoping to find solace among the souls It loves, It finds them slumbering!

It is useless for Me to attempt to awaken them, to make them leave themselves and their preoccupations, their vain and fruitless conversations. Too often the reply that reaches Me in act if not in words amounts to: “I cannot now, I am too busy…too tired…I need repose.”

Then gently insisting I say to this soul: Come for a little while. Come and pray with Me, I need you, do not be afraid of sacrificing your rest for Me; I will be your reward. And the same answer is repeated….Poor sleeping soul, who cannot watch one hour with Me!

Beloved souls, learn from this how useless it is to seek comfort in creatures. How often you will receive only an increase of distress because they are asleep and respond neither to your hope nor love.

I went back to My prayer, and again falling on My face I worshipped My Father and implored His help. I did not call Him “My God” but “My Father”. It is when harrowed with pain that you too must call God your Father. Beg for His help, expose your woes…your fears, your longings…and let your cry of anguish remind Him you are His child.

Tell Him that your body is exhausted…your heart is sorrowful even unto death…that your soul is experiencing what seems a very sweat of blood. Pray with a child’s confidence and expect relief from your Father’s Heart.

He Himself will comfort you and give you the strength necessary to endure the tribulation or suffering, whether it be your own or that of the souls confided to your care.

My soul, already shattered and prey to sadness, had to endure still more deadly grief, for crushed by the weight of the sins of men, in return for so much suffering and love, I saw only outrages and ingratitude.

The Blood now pouring from My body and which I was soon to shed from countless wounds would be in vain for so many souls… many would be lost…a still greater number would sin against Me…and myriads would not so much as hear My name. I would pour out My Blood for all, offer My merits to each soul…Blood of a God…infinite merits…yet to be in vain for how great a number!

Yes, I will shed My Blood for all and all will be loved with great love…but for some that love will be more tender, more intimate, more ardent…so from these chosen souls I shall expect more consolation and love, more generosity and abnegation…in a word, a fuller response to My loving kindness.

Alas! At this moment I see how many will turn away from Me. Some will not listen to My call…others will hear but will not follow Me…others will respond for a time with a certain amount of generosity to the call of My Heart, but then will gradually grow drowsy and one day will say to Me by their deeds: “I have worked enough…I have been faithful to every detail of my duty…I have overcome nature…I am no longer a child…so many privations…so much vigilance are no longer necessary…I need no longer endure this restraint, etc…”.

Poor soul! Is this how you begin to go to sleep? Soon I shall return and as you are asleep you will not hear Me. I shall offer you My grace and you will not receive it. Is there any hope that later on you will be roused? Must one not fear that you will grow weak through lack of food and be unable to throw off your lethargy?

Beloved souls, know that death is stolen upon masses while they were thus sleeping soundly! Where and by what means have they been awakened? I saw all this and felt it in My Heart.

What should I do…turn back, ask My Father to free Me from this torment?…Show Him the uselessness of My sacrifice for so many souls?…No, again I surrendered Myself to His Holy Will, and accepted this chalice, to drink it to the dregs.

O souls that I love, I did it to teach you not to faint under your burdens. Never count them as useless, even if you’re unable to reckon the result; submit your judgment and leave the divine will free to do with you whatsoever it wills.

I Myself would neither go back nor escape, and knowing that My enemies would come and seize Me in that very garden, I stayed where I was. Tomorrow we shall continue, Josefa; be on the alert, that I may find you awake if I need you.


March 14th, 1923

After having been comforted by an angel sent by My Father, suddenly I saw Judas coming, one of the Twelve, and with him those who were come to take Me prisoner. They carried staves and stones, chains and ropes to seize and bind Me. I arose, and drawing near, I said to them: “Whom seek ye?”

Then Judas, putting his hands upon My shoulders, gave Me a kiss! Ah! Judas, what are you doing? Why do you betray Me with a kiss? To how many souls cannot I also say: What are you doing? What does this kiss mean?

Beloved soul, you who come to receive Me, so often assure Me of your affection…and you have hardly left Me than already you have betrayed Me to My enemies! You know very well that in that company you find so attractive there will be conversations that wound Me, you who communicated this morning and tomorrow will do so again…These are the occasions in which you lose My costly grace.

And why do you carry on transactions of doubtful integrity? I say to another. Do you not know these are unlawful gains, unlawful this rise in social position…this wealth? In so doing you receive Me as Judas did with a kiss, for in a few moments, a few hours at most, you will give My enemies a sign by which they will recognize Me and so lay hands on Me.

Now I speak also to you Christian souls: you betray Me by this dangerous friendship, you cast stones at Me and cause another likewise to betray Me. Why do you thus? You who know Me and so often have gloried in your almsgiving and church-going? These acts which might be highly meritorious are but a cloak of your malice.

Friend whereto art thou come?…Judas! Dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss, your Master and your Lord? He who loves you and is ready to forgive again…one of My Twelve!…who sat at My table and whose feet I have washed.

How often must I speak this to souls I love most dearly? I do not ask you to free yourself, for I know well it is not always in your power, but what I do ask of you is to keep up the struggle against your passions. What are passing pleasures…if not the thirty pieces of silver for which Judas sold Me and what did he gain? The loss of his soul.

How many have sold Me and will sell Me for the low price of a passing pleasure? Alas, poor souls, whom seek ye? Is it I? This Jesus whom once you knew and loved? Listen to My words: “Watch and pray, fight your evil inclinations and suffer them not to grow into confirmed habits.”

The grass in meadowlands has to be mown every year, and in some cases even at every recurring season. The ground needs to be plowed up, manured, and freed from weeds, and so must work be carried on in souls and evil tendencies carefully corrected.

Do not imagine that it is always a serious fault that leads to the worst sins. The greatest faults are often the result of neglect of little things: a small satisfaction indulged in, a moment of weakness yielded to, a consent to do a thing in itself lawful but immortified, a pleasure not sinful, but ill advised here and now.

All these things recur unheeded, and little by little the soul is blinded, grace loses its power, passion increases and finally triumphs.

Ah! How infinitely sorrowful for the Heart of God, whose love is boundless, to see so many insensibly approaching nearer and nearer the abyss.


March 15th, 1923

When the soldiers came forward to seize Me I said to them: “It is I.” Such too, is the word I utter when a soul is about to yield to temptation: “It is I.”

You come to betray Me and to deliver Me up. No matter, come, I am your Father, and if you consent, then it will not be you that bind Me with chains of sin, but I that shall bind you with chains of love!

Come, it is I who love you, it is I who have poured out all My Blood for you. I pity your weakness, I long to open My arms and clasp you in Love’s embrace!

Alas, how sick at heart I am when after words so tender there still remain some who would bind Me and lead Me to My death.

After he had given Me the traitor’s kiss, Judas left the garden, and realizing the gravity of his crime, gave way to despair. Who can measure My sorrow at the sight of My apostle casting himself into hell!

The hour had come, so yielding to the soldiery I meekly gave Myself up as a lamb into their hands. At once they dragged Me to the house of Caiphas, where they heaped insults and mockery on Me and where one of the soldiers struck Me a blow in the face.

The first buffet…Mark My words, Josefa, do you think it gave Me more pain than the scourges of the flagellation? Doubtless no, but I saw in this first blow the first mortal sin of many souls who until then had lived in My grace…And after the first, how many more…and how great the number of souls who would follow that example and fall into the same danger…perhaps into a like misfortune: death in mortal sin.

Tomorrow we shall continue; meanwhile, Josefa, spend the day in reparation and prayer that many souls may realize where their dangerous path is leading them.


March 16th, 1923

Continue writing for the sake of souls:

My disciples have all fled; Peter alone, impelled by curiosity, but full of fear, slinks in among the soldiery. All around Me are false witnesses uttering lie upon lie calculated to increase the anger of the iniquitous judges.

They call Me a seducer, a profaner of the Sabbath, a false prophet, and the servants and menials, stimulated by these accusations, utter cries and threats against Me.

Where then were you, My disciples and apostles, witnesses of My life, of My doctrine, and of My miracles? All those from whom I had every reason to expect help and protection – none was there to defend Me.

I was alone, accused of the worst crimes, surrounded by soldiers no better than ravening wolves. They all ill-treat Me, one strikes Me in the face, another spits upon Me, and a third makes a laughing stock of Me.

And while I offered Myself to be thus ill-used for the sake of souls held captive by sin, Peter, whom I had constituted Head of My Church…Peter, who but a few hours before had vowed to go with Me to torments and to death…Peter, who has the opportunity of giving testimony of Me, answers a simple question, first by a denial…and when the question is repeated, as fear takes an ever stronger hold of him, he swears that he has never known Me and has never been My disciple….

Ah! Peter, do you swear you that do not know your Master? You not only swear it, but at a third question deny Him uttering horrible imprecations.

All you who live in the world in the midst of perils and occasions of sin, be on your guard against danger, for would Peter have fallen if resisting courageously he had not yielded to vain curiosity?

All you who labor in My harvest-field or in My vineyard, if at some time you feel yourselves drawn to work by the attractions of a merely human enjoyment, fly. But if obedience, zeal for My glory or the good of souls, imposes a duty on you, have no fear; I will defend you, and you will pass victoriously through the danger.

While the soldiers were leading Me to prison, I saw Peter in the crowd and I looked at him. Turning, he looked at Me and forthwith began to weep bitterly for his sin. It is thus that I look on guilty souls, but they?...Do they look at Me?... Do our eyes meet? Alas, how often I look in vain… that soul does not see Me, for he is blind. I urge him gently, but he does not respond. I call the sinner by name, but receive no answer. I send the trial that might awaken him, and still he slumbers.

Beloved souls unless your eyes are turned heavenward, you will in time become like animals that have no reason. Lift up your heads, gaze on your true fatherland which awaits you. Seek your God. You will find that He returns your earnest look and in His glance are peace and life. Keep My Cross and comfort Me!
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#4
ON CHRIST'S WORSENING PASSION
PART 4

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In this fourth part, we first encounter Jesus in prison the night before His crucifixion. He compares his anguish there to that He finds in tabernacles around the world, even to this day. With so many people over the centuries not believing that our Lord is truly present in the Eucharist, it’s not hard to feel his pain at being ignored or otherwise treated so coldly.

Soon after, Jesus focuses on Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and his various equivocations and futile attempts to satisfy justice and yet keep order, in the face of an increasingly angry mob clamoring for Christ’s death. Having Jesus scourged, which our Lord describes in painful detail, won’t be enough, nor will trying, as he does, to pass the buck by sending him to King Herod. Christ makes it a point here to warn us not to be like Pilate, in our own ways, by committing or condoning sinful behavior under the smarmy and all-too human guise of situational ethics!


March 17th, 1923

JESUS IN THE PRISON

Contemplate Me in the prison where I spent the greater part of the night. The soldiers came and, adding words to injuries, insulted Me, mocked Me, outraged Me, and gave Me blows on My face and on My whole body. Tired of their sport, at length they left Me bound and alone in the dark and noisome place, where, seated on a stone, My aching body was cramped with cold.

Compare the prison with the Tabernacle…and especially with the hearts that receive Me. In the prison I spent only part of one night…but in the Tabernacle, how many days and nights?

In the prison I was insulted and ill treated by soldiers who were My enemies. In the Tabernacle most often it is they who call Me their Father who treat Me thus, but how unlike that of children is the treatment!

In the prison I endured cold, sleeplessness, hunger and thirst, pain, shame, solitude, and desertion. And there passed before My mind’s eye all the tabernacles where in the course of ages I should lack the shelter of love…the icy-cold hearts that would be as hard and unfeeling as the stones of the prison floor were to My numbed and wounded body.

And how often should I wait for this or that other soul to visit Me in the Blessed Sacrament and receive Me into his heart… how many nights should I spend longing for his coming… but he would let business or carelessness or anxiety for his health get the better of him… and he would not come!

How often should I hunger for souls…for their fidelity…for their generosity. Would they satisfy that eager hunger by a little victory over self or by a slight mortification? Would they comfort Me in My sorrow by their tenderness and compassion? In some hard moment would they endure the pain…neglect…scorn…opposition…grief of soul or family…would they come to Me and say: “This I offer Thee to console Thy sadness, to keep Thee company in Thy solitude.”

Oh! If they would thus unite themselves to Me, with what peace would they face difficulties…how much fortitude they would win and how they would gladden My Heart!

In the prison what shame I felt at the obscene words of those around Me…and My distress was increased by the thought that like words would one day fall from lips I love.

When blows and buffets were rained upon Me by the filthy hands of the soldiery it recalled to My mind how often those who would receive Me into their hearts fouled by unrepented sin would shower reiterated blows on Me by habitual and willed sin.

And in the prison when they pushed Me and let Me fall to the ground bound and helpless, so many were present to My mind who would prefer a moment’s satisfaction to Me, would load Me with chains by their ingratitude, would push Me back and again cause Me to fall, by leaving Me alone.



March 20th, 1923

JESUS BEFORE PILATE

At dawn next day, Caiphus ordered Me to be taken to Pilate, that he might condemn me to death. Pilate questioned Me shrewdly, hoping to discover a true cause for My condemnation, but finding none, his conscience soon told him of what a grave injustice he would be guilty…so to evade the responsibility he sent Me to Herod.

Pilate’s soul is typical of those who, tossed between the impulses of grace and the allurements of their own passions, blindly yield to human respect and excessive self-love; for if they are faced by a temptation or a dangerous occasion of sin, they blind themselves and argue, until they gradually persuade themselves that there is no harm, no peril in it.

They are wise enough to decide for themselves and have no need of advice. They are afraid of seeming ridiculous in the eyes of the world. They lack energy to overcome themselves, and not making use of grace they fall into one occasion of sin after another until, like Pilate, they deliver Me up to Herod.



March 21st, 1923

To all Pilate’s questions I answered nothing, but when he said “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” then gravely and with full responsibility I replied: “Thou sayest it; I am King, but My Kingdom is not of this world.”

So, when an occasion of conquering human respect and accepting bravely either humiliation or suffering (even if it could easily be avoided) presents itself, a soul should answer: “'My Kingdom is not of this world,’ for that reason I do not seek human favor; I go to my true fatherland, where rest and joy await me. Meanwhile I will do my duty faithfully and make no account of the opinion of the world. If for this I must seek humiliation or suffering, I will not draw back. I will listen to the voice of grace and disregard that of nature. If I am unable to do this alone, I will ask advice, for I know how often self-love and passion blind me and entice me into the paths of evil.”



March 21st, 1923

JESUS BEFORE HEROD

Pilate therefore, overcome by human respect and the fear of shouldering his responsibilities, ordered me to be led to Herod, a perverse man who sought only to satisfy his unruly passions. He was glad when he saw Me appear before his Court because he hoped for entertainment through My words and miracles.

Consider, O beloved souls, my repulsion when brought face to face with so vicious a man, whose questions, gesticulations, and movements filled Me with shame.

Listen to the false witnesses. See the implacable desire of this crowd avid for scandals and before which I am made a laughing-stock. Herod expected Me to reply to his sarcastic remarks, to justify and defend Myself, but I opened not My lips and kept the most profound silence in his presence.

This silence testified to My sovereign dignity, for the obscene comments of so perverted a man were not worthy of exchange of words with the All-pure.

During this interview My Heart was closely united to My Heavenly Father. I desired ardently to shed the last drop of My Blood for souls whom I love so much, and I was all inflamed with love at the thought of those who would follow My example and My generosity.

Not only did I rejoice during this terrible interrogation, but I was urged from within to hasten the moment of My suffering on the Cross.

After undergoing these ignominies in complete silence, I allowed Myself to be treated as a fool and arrayed in a white garment, the sign of derision, and thus I was led back to Pilate amid the jeers of the multitude.



March 21st, 1923

RETURN TO PILATE

Look at Pilate! See how afraid and disturbed he is. He is at his wits end in order to calm the fury of the people who demand My death. He orders Me to be scourged.

Such is the soul that has not enough courage and generosity to break energetically with the world’s demands, her nature or her passions. Instead of obeying conscience and making short work of temptation which she knows did not come from the good spirit, she yields to one fancy or another, to a slight satisfaction.

If she overcomes herself on one point, she gives in on another which would need greater effort. If she does some mortification, she hesitates about others which would ensure her fidelity to grace or the Rule, but would deprive her of some small pleasure. She allows herself half of what nature or passion demands and so soothes her conscience.

Like Pilate you give Me up to the scourges! Do not think you will satisfy passion thus…today so much, tomorrow more. And if you have given in only on a small provocation, how will you act when temptation is violent?



March 21st, 1923

THE SCOURGING OF JESUS

Contemplate Me, O My beloved, being led away as a meek lamb to the shameful and terrible punishment of the scourging.

Blow after blow is discharged by the executioners on My body, already covered with bruises and broken with fatigue. With whips and knotted cords they strike Me with such violence that My very bones are shaken and I am torn with innumerable wounds.

Bits of My divine flesh are rent off by the scourges. Blood flows from every limb, and I am reduced to such a state of pitiable disfigurement as no longer to resemble a human being.

Can you contemplate Me in this sea of sorrow and remain unmoved? Pity I did not expect from My executioners but from you, O My chosen souls I look for compassion! See My wounds! Who has suffered for love of you as I have?



March 22nd, 1923

JESUS CROWNED WITH THORNS

When at last, exhausted by their exertions, these hard and cruel men desisted, they wove a crown of thorns and drove it deep into My head, and as they filed before Me, they mockingly cried out: “We salute Thee, O King!”

Some insulted Me, others savagely struck Me on the head and each and all added new agonies to those which already racked My body.

O you whom I love, contemplate Me condemned to death, given over to the insults and profanations of the mob, scourged at the pillar, and as though all this were not sufficient to reduce Me to the most humiliating condition, now crowned with thorns, clothed in a purple rag, and derisively hailed as mock king…and treated as a fool.

I, the Son of God, who hold the universe in the palm of My hand, willed that in men’s eyes I should appear as the last and most contemptible of all. Far from flying from such humiliations, I willingly endured them to expiate man’s pride and draw souls to follow in My footsteps.

I expiated by this painful crowning the pride of those who refused to accept anything that lowers them in the eyes of the world.

I allowed My shoulders to be covered by the cloak of mockery and Myself to be treated as a fool, so that many souls would not scorn to follow Me in a way that the world holds as vile and humiliating and which to them might seem beneath their condition.


March 23rd, 1923

BARABBAS IS PREFERRED TO JESUS

We are going to make souls understand how many allow themselves to be deceived by pride.

Crowned with thorns enclosed in the purple mantle, and amidst overwhelming insults and mockeries, I was brought back by the soldiers to Pilate. Finding in Me no crime worthy of death, he questioned Me again and asked Me why I did not reply, seeing that he had the power to crucify Me or release Me.

Then breaking silence I said: “Thou wouldst have no power over Me unless it were given thee from above, but the Scriptures must needs be fulfilled.” After which I resumed my silence, surrendering Myself wholly to God.

Pilate, meanwhile troubled by a message from his wife, and worried by the remorse of his conscience and fearing that the people might turn against him if he refused to sentence Me to death, sought for a pretext to release Me.

So presenting Me to the people in the pitiable plight to which I had been reduced, he offered to free Me and condemn instead Barabbas the thief. But the multitude cried out angrily with one voice “Let Him die! He must die and let Barabbas be set free.”

O all ye who love Me, consider how I was compared to a thief…or rather valued lower than a degraded criminal, one of the wickedest of men. Hear their cries of rage against Me and their vociferous clamors for My death.

Far from seeking to escape this affront, I lovingly accepted it for love of souls, for love of you…desirous of showing you that My love was leading Me not only to death, but to contempt, ignominy and hatred of those very men for whom I should shed My Blood in such profusion.

I was treated as a disturber of the peace, as insane, a madman, and I accepted it all with the utmost meekness and humility.

Do you think that in My human nature I felt no repugnance and grief? I willed to know experimentally all that would have to be undergone by you, that you might draw strength from My example for all the circumstances of your life. So, I did not free Myself though this would have been easy.

I accepted all lovingly that thus fortified you might understand how to sacrifice every repugnance in order to accomplish the holy will of God My Father…repair His glory…expiate the sins of the world and win the salvation of many souls.

When I was to be born of poor and humble parents… far from My country and home…in a stable…in the severest season of the year and the coldest of nights…did I hesitate? Did I refuse?

During thirty years I knew the hard toil of an obscure workshop, bearing the contempt and indifference of those for whom My father, St. Joseph, worked. Nor did I disdain to help My Mother in the humble and hidden occupations of her poor household.

Had I not more knowledge than was needed for the humble trade of a carpenter, I who at twelve years of age taught the Doctors in the Temple? But such was My Father’s will and consequently it was in this way that I gave Him glory.

From the beginning of My Public Life, I could have made Myself known at once as the Messiah and Son of God, so as to attract the intention and veneration of men to My teaching. I did not do so, because My one desire was to follow in all things My Father’s will.

And when the hour of My Passion had struck, see how in spite of the cruelty of some, the insults of others, the desertion of My own, the ingratitude of the crowds…the unspeakable martyrdom of My body and the intense repugnance of My human nature, I embraced with ever more love that holy will.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#5
FROM THE WAY OF THE CROSS TO CALVARY
PART 5

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In this fifth episode, the next to last in this series, Jesus describes the Way of the Cross and His Crucifixion, not holding back anything in describing his anguish, both physical and emotional. He stresses here the importance of carrying our own crosses, as He did, for others' salvation and our own; and for God’s glory as well. In addition, Jesus challenges us all to draw closer to Him through a most prized grace, that of equanimity. This state of mind, where we keep our composure in serving God, even in the midst of great trials and tribulations, is treasured our Lord, and many saints valued it as well. Equanimity requires much practice and prayer, to be sure, but it can be a great aid to our advancing in Holiness! Christ also reminds us that our sufferings and failures are never in vain if we unite them to Him on His Cross; and that we should never despair of His Mercy, if we feel our sins are too great to be forgiven.



March 24th, 1923

JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

Meditate for a moment on the martyrdom of My supremely tender and loving Heart at finding Barabbas preferred to Me, and how, and seeing Myself so scorned, I felt cut to the quick by the cries of the crowd urging My death.

I called to mind the sweet caresses of My Mother when she pressed Me to her heart…the toils of My adopted father, and the care with which he surrounded My life.

I reviewed in spirit the benefits so liberally bestowed by Me on this ungrateful people…how I had given sight to the blind…health to the sick…healing to the lame…how I had fed the multitude in the desert… and even raised the dead to life…and see now to what a contemptible state I am reduced… more hated too, than perhaps any man has ever been…condemned to death as an infamous thief… the multitude has demanded My death. Pilate has now given sentence. O all ye who love Me, attend and see the sufferings of My Heart.

THE DESPAIR OF JUDAS

After the betrayal in the Garden of Olives, Judas wandered away, a fugitive, a prey to the reproaches of his conscience which taxed him with the most execrable of sacrileges. And when he heard that I was condemned to death, he gave himself up to despair and hanged himself.

Who can measure the deep and intense grief of My Heart when I saw this soul so long taught by love…the recipient of My doctrine, one who had so often heard from My lips words of forgiveness for the most heinous crimes, finally throw himself into hell fire?

Ah! Judas, why not throw yourself at My feet that I may forgive you too? If you are afraid to come near Me because of the raging mob that surrounds Me, at least look at Me. My eyes will meet yours, for even now they are lovingly intent upon you.

O all you who are steeped in sin, and who for time more or less long have lived as wanderers and fugitives because of your crimes…if the offences of which you have been guilty have hardened and blinded your hearts…if to grant satisfaction to one or other of your passions you have sunk into evil ways…Ah! when the motives or accomplices of your sin have forsaken you, and you realize the state of your soul, oh then, do not yield to despair! For as long as a breath of life remains a man may have recourse to mercy and ask for pardon.

If you are still young, if already the scandals of your life have lowered you in the eyes of the world, do not be afraid. Even if there is reason to treat you as a criminal, to insult and cast you off, your God has no wish to see you fall into the flames of hell.

On the contrary He ardently desires you to come to Him so that He may forgive you. If you dare not speak to Him, at least look at Him and let the sighs of your heart reach Him, and at once you will find His kind and fatherly hand stretched out to lead you to the springs of pardon and life.

Should it happen that you have spent the greater part of your life in impiety and indifference, and that the sudden approach of the hour of death fills you with blinding despair…Ah! do not let yourself be deceived, for there is still time for pardon. If only one second of life remains to you, in that one second you can buy back eternal life!

If your whole life has been spent in ignorance in error…if you are been a cause of great evil to other men, to society at large, or to religion, and if through some set of circumstances you have come to realize that you have been deceived…do not allow yourself to be crushed by the weight of your sins and of the evil of which you have been the instrument, but with a soul penetrated with deep contrition throw yourself into an abyss of confidence, and hasten to Him who awaits your return only to pardon you.

The case is the same for a soul that has been faithful to the observance of My law from childhood, but who has gradually cooled off into the tepid and unspiritual ways of an easy life. She has, so to say, forgotten her soul and its higher aspirations.

God was asking of her greater efforts, but blinded by habitual failings, she has fallen into tepidity worse than actual sin, for her deaf and drowsy conscience neither feels remorse nor hears the voice of God.

Then, maybe, that soul awakens with the shock of realization: life appears to have been a failure, empty and useless for her salvation. She has lost innumerable graces, and the evil one, loath to lose her, makes the most of her distress, plunges her into discouragement, sadness and dejection…and finally casts her into fear and despair.

O soul whom I love, pay no attention to this ruthless enemy… but as soon as possible have recourse to Me, and filled with deepest contrition implore My mercy and have no fear. I will forgive you. Take up again in your life of fervor, and you have back your lost merits, and My grace will never fail you.



March 26th, 1923, Monday in Holy Week

THE WAY OF THE CROSS

Let us go on, Josefa. Follow Me bowed under the weight of the Cross to Calvary. While the loss of the soul of Judas was filling Mine with sadness, the executioners, devoid of every feeling of humanity, now placed a hard and heavy Cross upon My lacerated shoulders. I was to consummate on the Cross the mystery of man’s redemption.

Angels of Heaven! look on the God before whom you are ever prostrate in adoration. See the Creator of all the world’s wonders going to Calvary carrying that holy and blessed Cross on which He is to die.

O souls who desire to imitate Me faithfully, gaze on Me likewise: wearily I dragged Myself forward, for My body was broken by many torments and bathed in sweat and blood. I suffered, but there was none to compassionate Me. The crowd followed Me, the soldiers pitiless as ravening wolves surrounded Me. No one had pity on Me.

So great was My exhaustion and so heavy the Cross that I fell on the way. See how roughly the inhuman soldiery raised Me to My feet once more. One seized an arm, another My garments which clung to My open wounds…a third grasped hold of Me by the neck…and another by the hair.

Some showered blows on Me with their clenched fists and others brutally kicked My prostrate body. The Cross which fell upon Me crushed Me with its weight. My face bruised and torn, mingled the blood which covered It with the dust of the highway, blinding My eyes and adhering to My sacred face. I became the vilest and most contemptible of all creatures!

THE MEETING WITH OUR LADY

Come a little further with Me. There you will see My blessed Mother, whose heart is pierced with grief. She comes to meet Me, and that for two reasons: that seeing Me, her God, she may have fortitude to endure, and then to give Me, her Son, courage to carry on and complete the work of Redemption helped by the sight of her heroism.

Consider the martyrdom of these two hearts. What does this Mother love more than her Son? And far from being able to help Him, she knows that the sight of her anguish increases His.

And I, what do I love more than My Mother? Not only can I offer her no comfort, but I know that the terrible plight in which she sees Me pierces her heart with a sorrow like My own; for if I suffer death in the body, she suffers death in her heart.

See those eyes fixed on Mine, as Mine dulled and blinded with blood are fixed on hers! No word is spoken, but what a world of intercourse our two hearts exchange in one heartrending glance.

Yes, My Mother was present in spirit at all the torments of My Passion by divine revelation. Some of the disciples, though afar off…, also tried to find out what was going on in order to report it to her. As soon as she knew that My death sentence had been pronounced she came forth to meet Me and did not leave Me anymore until I was placed in the tomb.



March 27th, 1923, Tuesday in Holy Week

SIMON OF CYRENE

Meanwhile the procession advanced on the way to Calvary.

Fearing that I might die before crucifixion, those wicked men inspired by hatred not compassion, looked around for someone to help Me carry the Cross, and for that purpose, offering a small reward, seized on a man of that neighborhood, called Simon.

Contemplate Me on the way to Calvary loaded with My heavy Cross, watch Simon carrying it behind Me, and consider two things:

Though he was a man of goodwill, yet he was mercenary, and if he carried My Cross, it was for pay. So when he began to tire, he allowed the weight to bear more and more on Me, and that is how I fell twice. Secondly, this man helped Me to bear part of My Cross, but not the whole of it.

There are many souls following in My footsteps who accept to help Me carry My Cross but they are troubled about their own rest and comfort. They try to avoid suffering, count the cost of abnegation, and turn away from humiliation, work or fatigue whenever they can.

They accept only what they cannot avoid, or what is of strict obligation…and so carry only a small part of My Cross and in such a way as barely to acquire the merit indispensable for salvation. In the next world they will see how far behind they lagged.

On the other hand, there are many souls who, urged on by the hope of salvation but still more by the motive of love, are resolute in their determination to follow me in the Way of the Cross.

If My Cross comes to them in the shape of illness, if it is hidden under some employment that goes against the grain or is little adapted to their talents…if it has all the appearance of being the result of forgetfulness or opposition from those around them, they recognize and accept it with all the submission of which their will is capable.

Sometimes it happens that, urged by greater love and zeal for souls, they have done what seemed to them best in such or such a circumstance and things turn out differently from their expectations and there follows a whole train of humiliations and trials.

These souls, moved solely by love, joyfully accept these unexpected consequences of their action, for in them they see My Cross. They worship it, offer it up, and use it to procure My greater glory.

These are the souls that truly bear the Cross after Me. Their interests and their gain are none other than love. These are they who repose and glorify My Heart.

Be persuaded that if your self-denial and suffering bear fruit but late or bear no fruit at all, they have not been in vain or useless. Someday you will bear abundant sheaves and reap a great reward.

When a soul loves truly, she neither measures what she does nor weighs what she suffers. Never looking for reward, and seeking only what she believes to be for God’s greater glory, she never says “enough” when labor or fatigue are in question. And because of the purity of her aim, whatever the result, she neither excuses herself nor protests her good intentions.

Her motive being love, her efforts and sufferings always give glory to God. She is not troubled nor does she lose her peace of mind if she meets with contradiction or persecution or humiliation, as her sole motive is love and she leaves results in Love’s hands.

These souls are not mercenary. They only want Me to be consoled. They desire only My rest and glory. That too, is why they have shouldered the whole of My Cross and carry its full weight.



March 28th 1923, Wednesday in Holy Week

THE CRUCIFIXION

We have nearly reached Calvary. The crowd is growing excited while I drag Myself along with the utmost difficulty, and soon, worn out with fatigue, I fall for the third time. By my first fall I obtained for sinners rooted in evil, the grace of conversion.

By My second fall, encouragement for those weak souls blinded by sadness and anxiety, so that rising up they might make a fresh start in the way of virtue. My third fall will help souls to repent in the supreme hour of death.

We have now reached the summit. Look at the officiousness with which these hardened sinners surround Me. Some seize hold of the Cross and lay it on the ground. Others tear My garments from Me, reopening all My wounds. My blood flows afresh.

Think, dear souls, of My shame in seeing Myself thus exposed to the gaze of the mob…what physical agony, what confusion for My soul.

The tunic woven by My Mother, with which she had so lovingly closed Me in My infancy, and which had grown with My stature…these cruel men despoil Me of it and draw lots whose it shall be.

Think of the affliction of My Mother as she witnessed this terrible scene. How she longs to take possession of that tunic now impregnated with My Blood.

The hour has come! The executioners stretch Me upon the Cross. They violently seize and extend My arms that My hands may reach the holes they have prepared in the wood. Every shock causes My thorn-crowned head to come into violent contact with the Cross. The thorns are driven deeper and deeper into it.

Hear the first sound of the hammer that fixes My right hand… deep into the very earth it resounds. Listen again: they fasten My left hand. The very heavens tremble, and the Angels fall prostrate at the sight. As for Me, I keep the deepest silence, not a murmur escapes My lips.

Having nailed My hands, they pull pitilessly at My feet. My wounds burst open afresh…the nerves are severed…the bones dislocated… the torture is unspeakable. They pierce My feet and My blood is poured upon the ground!

CONTEMPLATION AND APPEAL

Stay a while and contemplate these pierced hands and feet…this body covered with wounds...this head pierced through and through by cruel thorns fouled with dirt, bathed in sweat and blood.

Wonder and marvel at My silence, patience, and resignation under such brutal treatment. Ask yourself who suffers? Who is the victim of such barbarity? It is Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things, who causes the plants to grow and every living thing to prosper…Who created man, and whose power sustains all things.

Behold Him unable to move, an object of scorn, Him, throwing away fortune, comfort, honor, family despoiled of all. But soon what a multitude will follow and homeland…everything that the world can give, to render Him honor and glory and the love that is His due.

Be attentive, O ye Angels of heaven, and all ye who love Me! The soldiers are about to turn the Cross in order to rivet the nails so as to prevent the weight of My Body from drawing them out. My sacred Body gives the kiss of peace to guilty earth.

Then Calvary witnesses a wonder indeed. At My Mother’s prayer, for though she stands impotent to help Me she is imploring mercy of My heavenly Father…at her prayer legions of angels crowd around to support My Body and prevent it from being grazed by the ground and crushed by the weight of the Cross.

Then while the soldiers inhumanely make the air ring with their blows…the earth trembles…there is silence in heaven; angelic spirits are prostrate in adoration. God is nailed to the Cross!

Josefa, see thy Jesus extended on the Cross, He cannot stir hand or foot, He is exposed naked, without honor or liberty. Nothing remains to Him.

No one pities Him, none compassionate His sufferings, but instead fresh mockeries, new insults, more and more pain, are added to what He already endures. If you love Me truly what will you do to resemble Me? Will you refuse anything My love asks? Will you spare any efforts to console Me?
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#6
ON THE SEVEN LAST WORDS FROM THE CROSS
PART 6 - CONCLUSION

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This sixth part is the shortest one, a coda as it were, to this poignant Passion Narrative.
It covers our Lord’s thoughts given to Sister Josefa on what are known as His Seven Last Words, phrases actually, that He uttered from the Cross as recorded in the Gospels.


March 30, 1923 Good Friday

JESUS ON THE CROSS

I have made my sufferings known to you… follow Me in them… accompany Me and share in My agony.

Now is the hour for the world’s Redemption! They were about to lift Me up as a spectacle of derision to the crowd… but also of admiration to souls.

Peace has come to the world! The Cross, hitherto an instrument of torture on which criminals were made to die, is changed into the light and peace of the world and the object of the most profound veneration.

Sinners will draw pardon and life from My sacred wounds. My Blood will wash away and efface all their filth and foulness.

Pure souls will come to My wounds, there to slake their thirst and kindle flames of love in their hearts. There they will find a refuge, and forever make a home. The world has found a Redeemer, and chosen souls the Model they must copy.

And as for you, Josefa, these hands are yours to give you support, these feet to follow you and never leave you alone.

Write all that you see.

Quote:
THE SEVEN LAST WORDS

FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO

They have not known Him who is their life. On His shoulders they have heaped the fury of their iniquities. But I beseech Thee, Father, heap upon them the full measure of Thy mercy.

TODAY THOU SHALT BE WITH ME IN PARADISE…

… for thy faith in thy Savior’s mercy has wiped out all thy offenses and it will lead thee to eternal blessedness.

WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON!

O Mother Mine! These are My brethren…keep them…love them. You for whom I died are no longer alone; you have a Mother to whom you can have recourse in every necessity.

MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

Yes, henceforth a soul has the right to say to its God: “Why hast Thou forsaken me?” After the mystery of the Redemption was consummated man became the son of God, Christ is his brother, eternal life his heritage.

I THIRST!

O My Father, I thirst indeed for Thy glory, and behold now is the hour at hand! Man shall henceforth know through the fulfillment of My wounds that Thou indeed hast sent Me, and Thou shalt be glorified. I thirst for souls, and to appease this thirst I have given the last drop of My Blood…and so I can say:

ALL IS CONSUMMATED!

Now at length is accomplished that great mystery of love in which a God delivers up His own Son to death. I came into this world to do Thy will; O My Father, it is accomplished.

INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT!

To Thee I give back My soul. Thus shall souls that do My will have the right to say in all truth: All is consummated….My Lord and My God, receive My soul which I commit into Thy hands.

Josefa, write down what you have heard. I want souls to hear and to read what is written…So that they who thirst may drink and the hungry may be filled.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#7
Audiobook of The Passion of Christ by Sr. Josefa Menendez


"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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