The Everlasting God has in His Wisdom foreseen from Eternity, the cross He now presents to you as a gift from His Innermost Heart. This Cross He now sends you He has Considered with His All-Knowing Eyes, Understood with His Divine Mind, Tested with His Wise Justice, Warmed with Loving Arms and Weighed with His Own Hands to see that it not be one ounce too heavy for you. He has Blessed it with His Holy Name, Anointed it with His Grace, Perfumed it with His Consolation, and taken one last Glance at you and your courage – has Sent it to you from Heaven, a Special Greeting from God to you, an Alms of the All Merciful Love of God.
~St. Frances de Sales~
From the Book of Heaven
V2 – May 16, 1899 – The virtue of the Cross. Stripping oneself of one’s own will.
Jesus continued for a few more days to manifest Himself in the same way – not wanting to detach Himself from me. It seemed that that little bit of sufferings He had poured into me attracted Him so much, that He could not be without me. This morning He poured a little bit more of bitterness from His mouth into mine, and then He told me: “The cross disposes the soul to patience. The cross opens Heaven, and unites Heaven and earth together – that is, God and the soul. The virtue of the cross is powerful, and when it enters into a soul, it has the virtue of removing the rust of all earthly things. Not only this, but it causes her boredom, bother and contempt for the things of the earth, giving her, instead, the flavor and the enjoyment of celestial things. However, few are those who recognize the virtue of the cross; therefore they despise it.”
V3 – December 2, 1899 – Eloquent Praise of the Cross
“Today I take pleasure in spending time with you Luisa. Tell Me something.” And I: ‘You know that all my contentment is in being with You, and in having You, I have everything. So, in possessing You, it seems I have nothing else to desire, or to say.’ And Jesus: “Let Me hear your voice that cheers My Hearing. Let us converse together a little; I have spoken to you many times about the Cross; today, let Me hear you speak of the Cross.”
I felt all confused; I did not know what to say. But as He sent me a ray of intellectual light, to make Him content I began to say: ‘My Beloved, who can say to You what the Cross is? Your Mouth alone can speak worthily of the sublimity of the Cross; but since You want me to speak, I will do it.
The Cross, suffered by You, freed me from the slavery of the devil, and espoused me to the Divinity with an indissoluble bond. The Cross is fecund and gives birth to Grace in me. The Cross is Light, It disillusions me of what is temporal, and reveals to me what is eternal. The Cross is fire, and reduces to ashes all that is not of God, to the point of emptying my heart of the tiniest blade of grass that might be in it. The Cross is coin of inestimable value, and if I have, O Holy Spouse, the fortune of possessing it, I will be enriched with eternal coins, to the point of becoming the richest in Paradise, because the currency that circulates in Heaven is the Cross suffered on earth. The Cross, then, makes me know myself; not only this, but It gives me the knowledge of God. The Cross grafts all virtues into me. The Cross is the noble pulpit of the uncreated Wisdom, that teaches me the highest, the finest and most sublime doctrines. So, only the Cross will reveal to me the most hidden mysteries, the most secret things, the most perfect perfection, hidden to the most erudite and learned of the world. The Cross is like beneficent water that purifies me; not only this, but It administers to me the nourishment for the virtues, It makes them grow, and only then does It leave me, when It brings me back to Eternal Life. The Cross is like celestial dew, which preserves and embellishes for me the beautiful lily of purity. The Cross is the nourishment of Hope. The Cross is the beacon of operating Faith. The Cross is like hard wood, which preserves the fire of Charity, keeping it always lit. The Cross is like dry wood, which dispels and puts to flight all the smokes of pride and of vainglory, producing the humble violet of humility in the soul. The Cross is the most powerful weapon that offends the demons, and defends me from all of their claws. Therefore, the soul who possesses the Cross is the envy and admiration of the very Angels and Saints, and the rage and indignation of the demons. The Cross is my Paradise on earth, in such a way that if the Paradise of the Blessed up there, is of delights, the Paradise down here is of sufferings. The Cross is the chain of most pure Gold that connects me to You, my Highest Good, and forms the most intimate union which can possibly be given, to the point of making my being disappear. And It transforms me in You, my Beloved, to the point that I feel lost within You, and I live from your very Life.’
After I said this (I don’t know whether it is nonsense), my lovable Jesus was all delighted in listening to me, and taken by enthusiasm of love, kissed me all over, and said to me: “Brava, brava, My beloved – you spoke well! My Love is Fire, but not like the terrestrial fire which, wherever it penetrates, renders things sterile and reduces everything to ashes. My fire is Fecund, and it renders sterile only that which is not Virtue. To all the rest it gives Life, it makes Beautiful Flowers Bloom, it makes the most Delicious Fruits Mature, and forms the most delightful Celestial Garden. The Cross is so Powerful, and I Communicated so much Grace to It, as to render It more effective than the very Sacraments; and this, because in receiving the Sacrament of My Body, the dispositions and free concourse of the soul are needed in order to receive My Graces, and many times these may be lacking; while the Cross has the Virtue of disposing the soul to Grace.”