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Jesus embraces the Cross
The Hours of the Passion
My tortured Good, with You I repair, with You I suffer. But I see that Your enemies hurl You down the stairs; the people await You with fury and eagerness; they make You find the Cross ready, which You long for with many sighs. And You—with Love You gaze on It, and with firm step You approach It and embrace It. But first You kiss It, and as a shiver of Joy runs through Your Most Holy Humanity, with highest contentment You gaze on It again, measuring Its length and breadth. In It, already, You establish the portion for each creature. You dower them all, enough to bind them to the Divinity with a bond of Marriage, and make them heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then, unable to contain the Love with which You Love them, You kiss the Cross again, and say, “Adored Cross, finally I embrace you. You were the longing of My Heart, the martyrdom of My Love. But you, O Cross, have delayed until now, while My steps were always toward you. Holy Cross, you were the goal of My desires, the purpose of My Existence down here. In you I concentrate My whole Being, in you I place all My children, and you will be their Life, their Light, defense, custody and strength. You will assist them in everything, and will bring them gloriously to Me in Heaven. O Cross, Pulpit of Wisdom, you alone will teach True Sanctity; you alone will form the heroes, the athletes, the martyrs, the Saints. Beautiful Cross, you are My Throne, and since I have to leave the earth, you will remain in My place. To you I give all souls as dowry—keep them, save them; I entrust them to you!”
In saying this, eager, You let It be placed upon Your Most Holy Shoulders. Ah, my Jesus, the Cross is too light for Your Love, but the weight of our sins unites to that of the Cross—enormous and immense, as the expanse of the Heavens. And You, my wearied Good, You feel crushed under the weight of so many sins. Your soul is horrified at their sight, and feels the pain of each sin. Your Sanctity remains shaken before so much ugliness, and as the Cross weighs upon Your shoulders, You stagger, You pant, and a mortal sweat creeps through Your Most Holy Humanity. Oh please, I pray you, my Love—I don’t have the heart to leave You alone—I want to share the weight of the Cross with You; and to relieve You from the weight of sins, I cling to Your Feet. I want to give You, in the name of all creatures, love for those who do not love You, praises for those who despise You, blessings, thanksgivings, obedience on behalf of all. I promise that in any offense You receive, I intend to offer You all of myself in reparation, to do the acts opposite to the offenses the creatures give You, and to console You with my kisses and continuous acts of love. But I see that I am too miserable; I need You to be able to really Repair You. Therefore I unite myself to Your Most Holy Humanity, and together with You I unite my thoughts to Yours in order to Repair for the evil thoughts—mine, and of all; my eyes to Yours, to Repair for the evil glances; my mouth to Yours, to repair for the blasphemies and the evil discourses; my heart to Yours, to repair for the evil tendencies, desires and affections. In a word, I want to Repair everything that Your Most Holy Humanity Repairs, uniting myself to the Immensity of Your Love for all, and to the Immense Good You do to all. But I am not yet content. I want to unite myself to Your Divinity, and I dissolve my nothingness in It, and in this way I give You Everything. I give You Your Love to quench Your bitternesses; I give You Your Heart to relieve You from our coldness, lack of correspondence, ingratitude, and the little love of the creatures. I give You Your Harmonies to cheer Your hearing from the deafening blasphemies It receives. I give You Your Beauty to relieve You from the ugliness of our souls, when we muddy ourselves in sin. I give You Your Purity to relieve You from the lack of righteous intention, and from the mud and rot You see in many souls. I give You Your Immensity to relieve You from the voluntary constraints into which souls put themselves. I give You Your Ardor to burn all sins and all hearts, so that all may Love You, and no one may offend You, ever again. In sum, I give You all that You are, to give You Infinite Satisfaction, Eternal, Immense and Infinite Love.
SEPTEMBER – 8th
THE BIRTHDAY OF THE BLESSED MOTHER
The Book of Heaven
The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will
9/8/29 – Vol. 26 The birth of the Virgin was there birth of all humanity.
My poor mind was wandering in the immense Sea of the Divine Fiat, in which everything is in act, as if there were no past and no future, but everything present and everything in act. So, whatever thing it wants to find of the works of its Creator in the Divine Will, my little soul finds it as if It were just doing it, in act.
And since I was thinking about the birth of my Celestial Mama, to give Her my poor homages, and I was calling all Creation together with me to sing the praises of the Sovereign Queen, my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter, I too, together with you and with all Creation, want to sing the praises of the birth of the height of My Mama. You must know that this birth enclosed within itself the rebirth of the whole human family, and all Creation felt reborn in the birth of the Queen of Heaven. Everything exulted with gladness—they felt happy to have their Queen. Up to that moment, they had felt like a people without its Queen, and in their muteness they were waiting for that happy day in order to break their silence, and say: ‘Glory, love, honor to She who comes into our midst as our Queen. We shall no longer be without defense, without anyone who dominates us, without feast, because She has arisen, who forms our everlasting glory.’
“This Celestial Baby Girl, by keeping Our Divine Will intact within Her soul, without ever doing Her own, reacquired all the rights of Adam innocent before Her Creator, and the sovereignty over all Creation. Therefore, all felt themselves being reborn in Her, and We saw in this Holy Virgin, in Her little Heart, all the seeds of the human generations. So, through Her, humanity reacquired the rights lost, and this is why Her birth was the most beautiful, the most glorious birth. From Her very birth, She enclosed within Her maternal little Heart, as though in-between two wings, all generations, as children reborn in Her virginal Heart, so as to warm them, keep them sheltered, and raise them and nourish them with the blood of Her maternal Heart.
“This is the reason why this tender Celestial Mother loves creatures so much—because all are reborn in Her, and She feels the life of Her children within Her Heart. What can Our Divine Will not do wherever It reigns and has Its life? It encloses everything and everyone, and makes one the provider of good to all. So, all feel, under Her blue mantle, the maternal wing of their Celestial Mother, and they find in Her maternal Heart their little place in which to take cover.
“Now, My daughter, one who lives in My Divine Will renews her rebirth and redoubles the rebirths for all human generations. When My Supreme Will lives inside a heart and lays the fullness of Its endless light within it, It centralizes everything and everyone, It does everything, It renews everything, It gives back all that, for centuries upon centuries, It has not been able to give through the other creatures. So, this creature can be called the dawn of the day, the daybreak that calls the sun, the sun that gladdens all the earth, illuminates it, warms it, and with its wings of light, more than tender mother, embraces everything, fecundates everything; and with its kiss of light, it gives the most beautiful tints to flowers, the most delicious sweetness to fruits, maturity to all plants. Oh! if My Divine Will reigned in the midst of creatures, how many prodigies would It not operate in their midst?
“Therefore, be attentive; everything you do in My Divine Fiat is a rebirth that you have in It; and to be reborn in It means to be reborn in the Divine order, to be reborn in the light, to be reborn in the sanctity, in the love, in the beauty. And in each act of My Will, the human will undergoes a death, dying to all evils, and it lives again to all goods.”
9/8/32 – Vol. 31 Prodigy of the Birth of the Queen of Heaven. Ways of communication between Creator and creature. What forms Nobility.
My little mind is always running inside and outside of the Divine Volition, and for however much it goes around I am never tired. I feel a Mysterious Strength that, enticing me, never says enough to me, but says: “Run, seek Its Acts, Love them, adore them, kiss them, and Transform yours to Its, and form all your Life of Divine Will.”
And if I do not know how to say anything, in my courses and rounds I tell my little tale: “I love You, I love You, I adore You, I bless You, O Adorable Will, in all Your Works.” And since today is the Nativity of the Queen of Heaven, I stopped to think about the Great Portent of Her Birth in which it seemed Heavens and earth were at attention in order to adore this Divine Prodigy.
And my Highest Good Jesus, with Indescribable Love and Tenderness, told me: “Blessed daughter of My Will, the Birth of My Celestial Mama encloses all Wonders, all Prodigies united together—but do you know why? She was not only born Pure, Holy, Beautiful, Immaculate, no, no, but My Divine Will was born together with the Celestial Little Baby Girl. It was already Conceived and enclosed in Her in order to form Its Operating and Growing Life in the Gracious Little Baby Girl. My Will enclosed Itself in order to be born together with Her, to make use of the organ of this Celestial Creature in order to Operate and form Its Divine Life.
“This was a Prodigy that only the Eternal Love, the Divine Wisdom and Power, could work. It was not only Life that was given to Her, nor only the Gift of being free from original sin—this would have been nothing for Our Power. What was amazing and called the attention of everyone, was My Will that was Born together with Her into the world, so much so that the Heavens and earth remained shaken by it, placed themselves at attention, and felt a Mysterious Strength, that same Strength that Dominated and Conserved the whole of Creation. It was Our very Will that moved everything, and placed Itself and the whole of Creation at the service and disposition of this Newborn Baby Girl.
“So this Birth of My Will together with Her was the Origin that called all the other Prodigies to Centralize them in Her. Where My Fiat Reigns there is no Good that It does not enclose, nor Prodigy that It does not complete. It wants to display Its Love and Power by forming Its Operating Life, and placing of Its Own for however much it is possible for a creature to contain. Therefore, admire and thank Our Supreme Being that arrives at so much Love toward this Newborn Baby Girl as to let Our Unborn Will, that has neither beginning, nor end, nor limits in Its confines, be born in Her.”
So I followed the Work of the Divine Will in all created things, and my Lovable Jesus added: “My daughter, created things were done by Us in order to form many ways so that man could make use of them to come to Us. Therefore, We left everything open, so that when he wanted to come he would not need to knock or open in order to come to Us. He was Our Son, it was Just and Reasonable that all the ways to go to his Celestial Father be held open, and We be with each other in order to Love him and be Loved, and as son to ask for Graces and Favors. But do you know what this ungrateful son did? He himself closed the ways, he formed the bars, and by sinning he formed the doors, closing the correspondence with One who had given him Life.
“Now, do you know who returns to open the doors, to burn the bars? One who Loves Me and Lives in My Divine Will. Love and My Fiat are Powerful Forces that burn and empty everything, and they open all the ways to place the distant son again in the arms of his Celestial Father. Now, you must know that all the virtues, the good works, the love, and doing My Divine Will, form the Nobility of man. But the substance of this Nobility is the wealth of My Grace. All good becomes leaned on It, which becomes the Font and Conservator of all the good that he can do. Otherwise one can say that man is Noble by Origin, but since he lacks the wealth, he finds himself almost by necessity doing acts not Worthy of his Nobility. Indeed, if one is noble and is not rich, he cannot dress nobly, or live in palaces. In this way his nobility is reduced to only the memory that he was noble. So, in one who does not possess the wealth of My Grace, all good is reduced to squalid virtue that very often makes seen that he is not rich with patience, with prayer, with charity, and so forth. Now, good forms Nobility, the wealth of My Grace conserves it, My Will forms the King who Dominates and with Divine Mastery Rules and Orders all.
Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will – Day Ten: The soul to the Queen of Heaven
“Here I am, O Holy Mama, near Your cradle, to be spectator of Your Prodigious Birth. The heavens are stupefied, the sun is fixed upon You with its light, the earth exults with joy and feels honored to be inhabited by its Little Newborn Queen; the Angels compete among themselves in surrounding Your cradle, to honor You and to be ready for Your wishes. So, all honor You and want to celebrate Your birth. I too unite myself with all, and prostrate before Your cradle, where I see, as though enraptured, Your mother Anne and Your father Joachim, I want to tell You my first word, I want to entrust to You my first secret. I want to empty my heart into Yours, and say to You: “My Mama, You who are the Dawn, Herald of the Divine Fiat upon the earth, O please! put to flight the gloomy night of the human will in my soul and in the whole world. Ah! yes, may Your birth be our hope which, like a New Dawn of Grace, may regenerate us in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”
“Here I come again to You, my dear little Baby, in the house of Nazareth. I want to be spectator of Your tender age; I want to give You my hand as You take Your first steps and speak with Your holy mama and with Your father Joachim. Little as You are, after you have learned how to walk, You help Saint Anne in the little tasks. My little Mama, how dear You are to me, and all striking. O please! give me Your Lessons, that I may follow Your childhood and learn from You, also in the little human actions, to live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”
“Holy Mama, who can resist seeing You cry and not listening to Your holy lessons? I, with all my heart, promise, swear, never to do my will – never again. And You, Divine Mama – never leave me alone, so that the Empire of Your presence may crush my will, to let me reign, always – always in the Will of God.”
Ejaculatory Prayer: “Powerful Queen, captivate my heart, to enclose it in the Will of God.”
Feast of the Assumption
In the Divine Will
The Queen of Heaven in the
Kingdom of the Divine Will.
Transit from Earth to Heaven. Happy Entrance.
Heaven and Earth celebrate the New Comer.
The soul to her Glorious Queen:
My dear Celestial Mama, I am back again in your maternal arms, and in looking at You, I see that a sweet smile arises on your most pure lips. Today your attitude is all festive; it seems to me that You want to narrate to me and confide to your child something that will surprise me even more. Holy Mama, O please! I pray You, with your maternal hands, touch my mind, empty my heart, that I may comprehend your holy teachings and put them into practice.
Lesson of the Queen of Heaven:
Dearest child, today your Mama is in feast, because I want to speak to you of my departure from earth to Heaven, on the day in which I completed fulfilling the Divine Will on earth. In fact, there was not one breath, or heartbeat, or step in Me, in which the Divine Fiat did not have Its complete act; and this embellished Me, enriched Me, sanctified Me so much, that even the Angels remained enraptured.
Now, you must know that before departing for the Celestial Fatherland, I returned again to Jerusalem with my beloved John. It was the last time that I went past the earth in mortal flesh, and the whole Creation, as though realizing it, prostrated Itself around Me. Even the fish of the sea that I crossed, unto the tiniest little bird, wanted to be blessed by their Queen; and I blessed them all, and gave them my last good-bye. So I arrived in Jerusalem, and withdrawing into an apartment where John brought Me, I enclosed Myself in it never to go out again.
Now, blessed child, you must know that I began to feel within Me such a martyrdom of love, united to ardent yearnings to reach my Son in Heaven, as to feel consumed – to the point of feeling infirm with love; and I had intense deliriums and swoonings, all of love. In fact, I did not know illness or any slight indisposition; in my nature, conceived without sin and lived completely of Divine Will, the seed of natural evils was missing. If pains courted Me so much, they were all in the supernatural order, and these pains were triumphs and honors for your Celestial Mama, and gave Me the field so that my Maternity would not be sterile, but conqueror of many children. Do you see then, dear child, what it means to live of Divine Will? It means to lose the seed of natural evils, which produce, not honors and triumphs, but weaknesses, miseries and defeats.
Therefore, dearest child, listen to the last word of your Mama who is about to leave for Heaven. I would not depart content if I did not leave my child safe. Before departing, I want to make my testament to you, leaving you as dowry that same Divine Will which your Mama possesses, and which engraced Me so much, to the point of making of Me the Mother of the Word, Lady and Queen of the Heart of Jesus, and Mother and Queen of all.
Listen, dear child, this is the last day of the month consecrated to Me. I have spoken to you with great love of that which the Divine Will operated in Me, of the great good It can do, and of what it means to let oneself be dominated by It. I have also spoken to you of the grave evils of the human will. But do you think that it was only to make you a simple narration? No, no; when your Mama speaks, She wants to give. In the ardor of my love, in each word I spoke to you, I bound your soul to the Divine Fiat, and I prepared for you the dowry in which you might live rich, happy, and endowed with divine strength.
Now that I am about to leave, accept my testament; may your soul be the paper on which I write the attestation of the dowry that I give to you, with the gold pen of the Divine Will, and with the ink of the ardent love that consumes Me. Blessed child, assure Me that you will not do your will, ever again. Place your hand on my maternal Heart, and promise Me that you will enclose your will in my Heart, so that, not feeling it, you will not have any occasion to do it, and I will bring it with Me to Heaven, as triumph and victory of my child.
O please! dear child, listen to the last word of your Mama, dying of pure love; receive my last blessing as seal of the life of the Divine Will that I leave in you, which will form your heaven, your sun, your sea of love and of grace. In these last moments, your Celestial Mama wants to drown you with love, and pour Her own self out into you, provided that I obtain my intent of hearing your last word – that you will content yourself with dying, and will make any sacrifice, rather than give one act of life to your will. Say it to me, my child – say it to me.
Holy Mama, in the ardor of my sorrow, I say it to You crying: if You see that I am about to do one act alone of my will, make me die; come Yourself to take my soul into your arms, and take me up there; and from the heart, I promise, I swear, never – never to do my will
The Queen of Love:
Blessed child, how content I am. I could not decide to narrate to you my departure for Heaven if I did not leave my child safe on earth, endowed with Divine Will. But know that from Heaven I will not leave you – I will not leave you orphan; I will guide you in everything, and from your smallest need, up to the greatest – call Me, and immediately I will come to you to act as your Mama.
Now, dear child, listen to Me. I was already infirm with love. The Divine Fiat, in order to console the Apostles, and also Myself, allowed almost in a prodigious way that all the Apostles, except one, would surround Me like a crown at the moment I was about to depart for Heaven. All felt a blow to their hearts, and cried bitterly. I consoled them all; I entrusted to them, in a special way, the nascent Holy Church, and I imparted my maternal blessing to all, leaving in their hearts, by virtue of it, the paternity of love toward souls. My dear Son did nothing but come and go from Heaven; He could no longer be without His Mama. And as I gave my last breath of pure love in the endlessness of the Divine Will, my Son received Me in His arms and took Me to Heaven, in the midst of the angelic choirs that sang praise to their Queen. I can say that Heaven emptied Itself to come to meet Me. All celebrated for Me, and in looking at Me, remained enraptured and said in chorus: “Who is She, who comes from the exile, all cleaving to Her Lord – all beautiful, all holy, with the scepter of Queen? Her greatness is such that the Heavens have lowered themselves to receive Her. No other creature has entered these celestial regions so adorned and striking – so powerful as to hold supremacy over everything.”
Now, my child, do you want to know who She is – for whom the whole of Heaven sings praise and remains enraptured? I am She who never did Her own will. The Divine Will abounded so much with Me as to extend heavens more beautiful, suns more refulgent, seas of beauty, of love, of sanctity, such that I could give light to all, love and sanctity to all, and enclose everything and everyone within my heaven. It was the work of the Divine Will operating in Me that had accomplished such a great prodigy; I was the only creature entering Heaven, who had done the Divine Will on earth as It is done in Heaven, and who had formed Its Kingdom in my soul. Now, in looking at Me, the whole Celestial Court was amazed, because as they looked at Me, they found Me heaven; and returning to look at Me, they found Me sun; and unable to remove their gaze from Me, looking at Me more deeply, they saw Me sea, and found in Me also the most clear earth of my humanity, with the most beautiful flowerings. And, enraptured, they exclaimed: “How beautiful She is! She has everything centralized within Herself – She lacks nothing. Among all the works of Her Creator, She is the only complete work of the whole Creation.”
Now, blessed child, you must know that this was the first feast made in Heaven for the Divine Will, which had worked so many prodigies in Its creature. So, at my entrance into Heaven, the whole Celestial Court celebrated that which, beautiful and great, the Divine Fiat can operate in the creature. Since then, these feasts have never been repeated, and this is why your Mama loves so much that the Divine Will reign in souls in an absolute way: to give It the field in order to let It repeat Its great prodigies and Its marvelous feasts.
Mama of love, Sovereign Empress, O please! from the Heaven in which You gloriously reign, turn your pitying gaze upon the earth and have pity on me. O, how I feel the need of my dear Mama. I feel life missing in me without You; everything vacillates without my Mama. Therefore, do not leave me halfway on my path, but continue to guide me until all things convert into Will of God for me, so that It may form Its life and Its Kingdom in me.
In the Divine Will
The Portiuncola, Assisi
Portiuncola (Porziuncola) Indulgence
According to a legend, the existence of which can be traced back with certainty only to 1645, the little chapel of the Portiuncola was erected under Pope Liberius (352-66) by hermits from the Valley of Josaphat, who had brought thither relics from the grave of the Blessed Virgin. The same legend relates that the chapel passed into the possession of St. Benedict in 516. It was known as Our Lady of the Valley of Josaphat or of the Angels — the latter title referring, according to some, to Our Lady’s ascent into heaven accompanied by angels on the Solemnity of the Assumption. However, a better founded opinion attributes the name to the singing of angels which had been frequently heard there.
The Portiuncola today is in the “frazione” of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the city of Assisi, located about three-quarters of a mile from the center of the city. The frazione, numbering about 2000 inhabitants, has grown up around the basilica of Our Lady of the Angels and the adjoining Franciscan monastery.
In the early 1200’s, when St. Francis was repairing the small Portiuncola chapel, the basilica which now encloses the chapel was non-existent. The humble Portiuncola was surrounded by the dense woods which covered the plain of Assisi.
FRANCIS’S CONNECTION WITH THE CHAPEL
Francis, who had previously repaired the chapels of San Damiano and San Pietro della Spina, was enraptured by the Portiuncola, a nick name which means “the little portion.” He loved its formal name–Santa Maria degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels), its poverty reflective in its nick name, its isolation and silence, and its proximity to the leper hospitals where he tended the pitiable residents.
On February 24, 1208, the Feast of St. Matthias, while hearing Mass at the Portiuncola, St. Francis of Assisi recognized his vocation in the day’s Gospel. Preach the Gospel. Take nothing for the journey. Stay with those who are worthy in the towns you visit.
Francis made the Portiuncola the headquarters of his Order while refusing to accept ownership of it from the Benedictines. Francis settled on presenting the Benedictines a yearly rent of a basket of fish, thereby feeling comfortable about using the chapel and the huts the friars built around it.
On October 3, 1226, after blessing his friars and asking to be laid naked on the ground so as to come to the Father in utter destitution, Francis died at the Portiuncola after recommending the chapel to the faithful protection and care of his brethren.
THE PORTIUNCOLA INDULGENCE
The Portiuncola Indulgence is a special favor granted by the Pope to St. Francis at his request.
One night in 1216, Francis awoke and felt a strong impulse to enter the chapel of the Portiuncola and pray. While at prayer, Our Lord and Our Lady appeared to Francis and asked him what he desired. Thinking of others and recognizing his own sinfulness, Francis spoke. “0 God, although I am a great sinner, I beseech You to grant a full pardon of all sins to all who, having repented and confessed their sins, shall visit this church.”
Our Lord answered, “Francis, you ask much, but you are worthy of greater things, and greater things you shall have.”
The Lord granted the Indulgence and Pope Honorius III ratified it. Originally the Indulgence was attached only to the Porticuncola. However, subsequent Popes expanded the churches in which the Indulgence can be gained.
THE PORTIUNCOLA INDULGENCE TODAY
a. Intend to gain the Indulgence
b. Be detached from all sin
c. While in the church pray one Our Father, one Apostle’s Creed, and one other prayer of the individual’s choice
d. Pray for the intentions of the Pope (prayerfully saying an Our Father and a Hail Mary will suffice although other prayers may be said)
e. Receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist within one week either before or after August 2.
May we all take advantage of the graces afforded by this Indulgence.
In the fifth century, the young Benedict was sent to Rome to finish his education with a nurse/housekeeper. The subject that dominated a young man’s study then was rhetoric — the art of persuasive speaking. A successful speaker was not one who had the best argument or conveyed the truth, but one who used rhythm, eloquence, and technique to convince. The power of the voice without foundation in the heart was the goal of the student’s education. And that philosophy was reflected in the lives of the students as well. They had everything — education, wealth, youth — and they spent all of it in the pursuit of pleasure, not truth. Benedict watched in horror as vice unraveled the lives and ethics of his companions.
Afraid for his soul, Benedict fled Rome, gave up his inheritance and lived in a small village with his nurse. When God called him beyond this quiet life to an even deeper solitude, he went to the mountains of Subiaco. Although becoming a hermit was not his purpose in leaving, there he lived as a hermit under the direction of another hermit, Romanus.
One day, during his time living in a cave above a lake as a hermit, the Devil presented Benedict’s imagination with a beautiful, tempting woman. Benedict resisted by rolling his body into a thorn bush until it was covered in scrapes. It is said through these body wounds, he cured the wounds of his soul.
After years of prayer, word of his holiness brought nearby monks to ask for his leadership. He warned them he would be too strict for them, but they insisted — then tried to poison him when his warning proved true. The story goes, the monks attempted to poison Benedict’s drink, but when he prayed a blessing over the cup – it shattered.
So Benedict was on his own again — but not for long. The next set of followers were more sincere and he set up twelve monasteries in Subiaco where monks lived in separate communities of twelve.
He left these monasteries abruptly when the envious attacks of another hermit made it impossible to continue the spiritual leadership he had taken.
But it was in Monte Cassino he founded the monastery that became the roots of the Church’s monastic system. Instead of founding small separate communities he gathered his disciples into one whole community. His own sister, Saint Scholastica, settled nearby to live a religious life.
After almost 1,500 years of monastic tradition his direction seems obvious to us. However, Benedict was an innovator. No one had ever set up communities like his before or directed them with a rule. What is part of history to us now was a bold, risky step into the future.
Benedict had the holiness and the ability to take this step. His beliefs and instructions on religious life were collected in what is now known as the Rule of Saint Benedict — still directing religious life after 15 centuries.
In this tiny but powerful Rule, Benedict put what he had learned about the power of speaking and oratorical rhythms at the service of the Gospel. He did not drop out of school because he did not understand the subject! Scholars have told us that his Rule reflects an understanding of and skill with the rhetorical rules of the time. Despite his experience at school, he understood rhetoric was as much a tool as a hammer was. A hammer could be used to build a house or hit someone over the head. Rhetoric could be used to promote vice … or promote God. Benedict did not shun rhetoric because it had been used to seduce people to vice; he reformed it.
Benedict did not want to lose the power of voice to reach up to God simply because others had use it to sink down to the gutter. He reminded us “Let us consider our place in sight of God and of his angels. Let us rise in chanting that our hearts and voices harmonize.” There was always a voice reading aloud in his communities at meals, to receive guests, to educate novices. Hearing words one time was not enough — “We wish this Rule to be read frequently to the community.”
Benedict realized the strongest and truest foundation for the power of words was the Word of God itself: “For what page or word of the Bible is not a perfect rule for temporal life?” He had experienced the power of God’s word as expressed in Scripture: “For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
For prayer, Benedict turned to the psalms, the very songs and poems from the Jewish liturgy that Jesus himself had prayed. To join our voices with Jesus in praise of God during the day was so important that Benedict called it the “Work of God.” And nothing was to be put before the work of God. “Immediately upon hearing the signal for the Divine Office all work will cease.” Benedict believed with Jesus that “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God’ ” (Matthew 4:4).
But it wasn’t enough to just speak the words. Benedict instructed his followers to practice sacred reading — the study of the very Scriptures they would be praying in the Work of God. In this lectio divina, he and his monks memorized the Scripture, studied it, and contemplated it until it became part of their being. Four to six hours were set aside each day for this sacred reading. If monks had free time it “should be used by the brothers to practice psalms.” Lessons from Scripture were to be spoken from memory not read from a book. On Benedict’s list of “Instruments of Good Works” is “to enjoy holy readings.”
In one story of Benedict’s life, a poor man came to the monastery begging for a little oil. Although Benedict commanded that the oil be given, the cellarer refused — because there was only a tiny bit of oil left. If the cellarer gave any oil as alms there would be none for the monastery. Angry at this distrust of God’s providence, Benedict knelt down to pray. As he prayed a bubbling sound came from inside the oil jar. The monks watched in fascination as oil from God filled the vessel so completely that it overflowed, leaked out beneath the lid and finally pushed the cover off, cascading out on to the floor.
In Benedictine prayer, our hearts are the vessel empty of thoughts and intellectual striving. All that remains is the trust in God’s providence to fill us. Emptying ourselves this way brings God’s abundant goodness bubbling up in our hearts, first with an inspiration or two, and finally overflowing our heart with contemplative love.
Benedict died on 21 March 543, not long after his sister. It is said he died with high fever on the very day God told him he would. He is the patron saint of Europe and students.
Feast Day of SAINT BENEDICT
INTROIT Ps. 25:11-12
Redeem me, O Lord, and have pity on me, for my foot stands on the right path. In the assemblies I will bless the Lord.
Ps. 25:1. Do me justice, O Lord, for I have walked in innocence, and in the Lord I trust without wavering.
V. Glory be . . .
O Almighty God, while Your servants mortify their bodies by fasting, may they also follow after righteousness and avoid sin. Through Our Lord . . .
Let the blessed Abbot Benedict intercede for us, O Lord. May his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON Dan. 9:15-19
In those days, Daniel prayed to the Lord, saying, “O Lord, our God, who hast brought forth thy people out of the land of Egypt, with a strong hand, and hast made thee a name as at this day: we have sinned, we have committed iniquity, O Lord, against all thy justice: let thy wrath and thy indignation be turned away, I beseech thee, from thy city, Jerusalem, and from thy holy mountain. For by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem, and thy people, are a reproach to all that are round about us.
“Now, therefore, O our God, hear the supplication of thy servant, and his prayers: and shew thy face upon thy sanctuary, which is desolate, for thy own sake. Incline, O my God, thy ear, and hear: open thy eyes, and see our desolation, and the city upon which thy name is called: for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before thy face, but for the multitude of thy tender mercies. O Lord, hear: O Lord, be appeased: hearken, and do: delay not, for thy own sake, O my God: because thy name is invocated upon thy city, and upon thy people.”
GRADUAL Ps. 69:6, 3
Help me and deliver me, O Lord, make no delay! V. Let my enemies who seek my life be put to shame and confounded.
TRACT Ps. 102:10; 78:8-9
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. O Lord, remember not our iniquities of the past; let Your mercy come quickly to us, for we are being brought very low. (All kneel.) V. Help us, O God our Savior, and for the glory of Your name. O Lord, deliver us; and pardon us our sins for Your name’s sake.
GOSPEL John 8:21-29
At that time, Jesus said to them: “I go: and you shall seek me. And you shall die in your sin. Whither I go, you cannot come.” The Jews therefore said: “Will he kill himself, because he said: Whither I go you cannot come?”
And he said to them: “You are from beneath: I am from above. You are of this world: I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.” They said therefore to him: “Who art thou?” Jesus said to them: “The beginning, who also speak unto you. Many things I have to speak and to judge of you. But he that sent me, is true: and the things I have heard of him, these same I speak in the world.” And they understood not that he called God his Father.
Jesus therefore said to them: “When you shall have lifted up, the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he and that I do nothing of myself. But as the Father hath taught me, these things I speak. And he that sent me is with me: and he hath not left me alone. For I do always the things that please him.”
OFFERTORY Ps. 15:7, 8
I bless the Lord, who has given me understanding. I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
O Lord, protect us through this sacrifice which we offer to atone for our sins and to give glory to You. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT BENEDICT
Accept this offering which we humbly present in honor of Your Saints, O God, and through it purify our bodies and our souls. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 8:2
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth!
O Lord, may this Communion cleanse us from sin, and bestow upon us spiritual health from heaven. Through Our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT BENEDICT
Almighty God, we pray that the reception of this Bread of Heaven may strengthen us against all adversity through the intercession of Your blessed Confessor Benedict. Through our Lord . . .
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Hear our petitions, O Almighty God. Your love has given us hope; let Your unfailing mercy protect us. Through our Lord . . .
From The Book of Heaven
Volume 25 – 10.10.28
Then, as I am near my Jesus in the Sacrament, every morning there is benediction with the Most Holy One, and while I was praying my sweet Jesus to bless me, moving in my interior, He told me: “My daughter, I bless you with my whole Heart; even more, I bless my very Will in you, I bless your thoughts, breaths and heartbeats, that you may think always about My Will, may breath It continuously, and My Will alone may be your heartbeat. And for love of you I bless all human wills, that they may dispose themselves to receive the Life of my Eternal Volition. Dearest daughter of mine, if you knew how sweet it is, how happy I feel in blessing the little daughter of My Will…. My Heart rejoices in blessing she who possesses the origin, the Life of Our Fiat, which will bring about the beginning, the origin of the Kingdom of my Divine Will. And while I bless you, I pour in you the beneficial dew of the light of my Divine Volition which, making you all shining, will make you appear more beautiful to my sacramental gazes; and I will feel happier in this cell, gazing at my little prisoner daughter, invested and bound by the sweet chains of My Will. And every time I bless you, I will make the Life of my Divine Volition grow in you. How beautiful is the company of one who does my Divine Will. My Will brings into the depth of the soul the echo of everything I do in this Holy Host, and I do not feel alone in my acts – I feel that she is praying together with Me; and as our supplications, our sighs, unite together, we ask for one same thing – that the Divine Will be known and that Its Kingdom come soon.”
Volume 25 – 11.4.28
After this, benediction was given with the Most Holy Sacrament, and I prayed Him from the heart to bless me; and Jesus, moving in my interior, echoing what Jesus in the Sacrament was doing, raised His blessed right hand in the act of blessing me, and told me: “My daughter, I bless your heart, and I seal my Divine Will in it, so that your heart, united with my Divine Will, may palpitate in all hearts, so that you may call all hearts to love It. I bless your thoughts, and I seal my Divine Will in them, that you may call all intelligences to know It. I bless your mouth, so that my Divine Will may flow in your voice, and you may call all human voices to speak about my Fiat. I bless all of you, my daughter, so that everything may call my Divine Volition in you, and you may run to all in order to make It known. O! how much happier I feel in operating, praying, blessing in one in whom My Will reigns. In this soul I find my life, the light, the company; and everything I do arises immediately, and I see the effects of my acts; and I am not alone if I pray, if I operate, but I have company, and one who works together with Me. On the other hand, in this sacramental prison, the accidents of the host are mute, they say not a word to Me, I do everything on my own, I feel not a sigh which would unite to mine, nor a heartbeat which would love Me. On the contrary, there is the cold of a sepulcher for Me, which not only keeps Me in prison, but buries Me, and I have no one to whom to say a word, nor anyone with whom to pour Myself out; because the host does not speak, I am always in silence, and with divine patience I wait for hearts that receive Me, so as to break my silence and enjoy a little bit of company. And in the soul in whom I find my Divine Will I feel Myself repatriated in the Celestial Fatherland….”
Book of Heaven; Volume 34 – April 21, 1936
“Blessed daughter of my Volition, you have reason, the waves of my Volition inundate you, drown you and your little capacity remains lost and needs your Jesus in order to better explain that which you see, but don’t know how to say. Now know my daughter, our love is such and so much for one who wants to live and lives in our Divine Volition that we want to make them participant with all our works, for as much as (a) creature it is possible, also giving her the merit of our divine works. As the creature enters in our Will, He calls in act his Divine work as if in that instant the same (was) operating, and uniting her in his act, he makes her see the prodigies of his work, and receives and confirms her in the good, making her feel the new life of his act; you have seen the conception of the Sovereign Queen, and how you being in my Will, you have found yourself conceived in Her Maternal Heart, you see the great difference for who lives in my Volition, the prodigies of the Immaculate Conception were unheard of. My Will that animated this conception, which no one can escape from, called present all creatures, so that they might remain conceived in her virgin Heart, and might receive her maternity, her help, her defense, they might find the refuge, the support in this Celestial Mother.
In the Kingdom of the Divine Will
Letter 20. To Federico Abresch from Bologna
Most esteemed one in the Lord,
You cannot imagine the contentment I feel when I hear that one wants to live in the Divine Will, because it is a victory of Jesus; and as He conquers our will, we conquer His Own. In the Kingdom of the Divine Will no one loses, we are all winners, both God and the creature.
I am surprised by your doubts. How is it? Don’t you know that Redemption is preparation for the Kingdom of the Divine Will? And the Sacred Heart of Jesus is nothing other than the immense Reign of His Most Holy Divine Will. It is not the Heart that dominates; it is the Divine Will that dominates His Divine Heart. Poor Heart, if it did not have a Will to dominate it, it would be good at nothing. If the will is good, the heart is good; if the will is holy, the heart is holy. If our will gives place to the Divine, letting It raise Its throne in our will, the heart acquires the divine qualities by grace. Therefore, both in the Divine and in the human order, it is always the will that has the first place, the prime act, its rule. The heart and all the rest are in the secondary order… Therefore, to say that the Heart reigns, if the Divine Will does not reign, is absurd. They can be called devotions, pious practices…; if the Divine Will does not reign, the Kingdom does not exist. It exists in Heaven, but has no place on earth. However, the Holy Church, organ and messenger of the Supreme Fiat, through the Sacred Heart, through the Celestial Mama, beseeches the Kingdom of the Divine Will. She does not say it with words, but says it with facts. The Divine Volition is the King – His Heart, His wounds, His precious Blood, the sweet Queen, form the ministers that surround the King, and through them beseech the Kingdom of the Divine Will in souls.
Now, how can one know It? All the necessary things, the different circumstances in which we may find ourselves, are Will of God for us. If we are really determined to live in It, God is so pleased that, if miracles are needed, He will make them in order not to let us use our will. It is up to us to truly decide, and be willing to give even our life in order to live in It; and dear Jesus and the Sovereign Queen will take on the commitment, will be our sentries, and will surround us with such graces as to not let us be betrayed by our own wills. More so, since our Lord does not teach difficult things, nor does He impose them or want them, but He facilitates all that He wants from us in an admirable way; even more, He puts Himself in our place to make it easy for us, and does together with us all that He wants us to do.
I commend myself to your prayers and also to my good daughter Amelia. Make yourselves saints. May the Divine Volition stretch out Its arms to you, to raise you in Its womb. Look at all things as bearers of It, to give you Its life, Its sanctity… The little one – raise him holy, as a gift of the Fiat; who knows whether your desires to see him religious and holy may not be fulfilled. So I leave you all in the Divine Volition; let me always find you in It. And with a thousand regards to the father, to the mother and to the son, I say, most affectionately yours,
the little daughter of the Divine Will
The Feast of the Sacred Heart and Promises
The Sacred Heart of Jesus feast and devotion was established as a result of Jesus Himself appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and requesting it. This day again leads us to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament where He continues to manifest His tremendous Love, Mercy and Compassion for all of humankind. The messages that Our Lord gave were primarily centered on His Most Blessed Sacrament.
- In order that the faithful should return thanks to Him for the great gift which he has left them in the Adorable Eucharist.
- In order that loving souls should make amends by their prayers and pious affections for the irreverences and insults which He has received and still receives from sinners in this Most Holy Sacrament.
- In order that they might make up also for the honor which he does not receive in so many churches where he is so little adored and reverenced.
Jesus promised that He would make the riches of His Sacred Heart abound towards those who should render Him this honor, both on the day of this feast, and on every other day when they should visit Him in The Most Holy Sacrament.
The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
“And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which It contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source. He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and Its image should be exposed … He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing It special honour, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion.” (St. Margaret Mary)
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is here waiting for us with Open Arms of Love!