Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The Ten Commandments of the Great Reset.

Sometime around 1979 or 1980, a “small group of loyal Americans,” whose identity remains unknown to this day, commissioned a granite company in Elberton, Georgia, to build a monument reminiscent of Stonehenge. Called the “Georgia Guidestones, they are comprised of five granite slabs almost twenty feet tall, which are capped by another large slab. Written on the slabs in eight contemporary languages are ten rules, or guidelines, which some contend are the basis of the New World Order. (See online Smithsonian article from 2013). Here are the guidelines, which one conspiracy theorist describes as the outline for a “totalitarian tribal government.”


  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

  2. Guide reproduction wisely—improving fitness and diversity.

  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.

  4. Rule passion—faith—tradition—and all things with tempered reason.

  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.

  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.

  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.

  9. Prize truth—beauty—love—seeking harmony with the infinite.

    10. Be not a cancer on the Earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.



The monument has recently been in the news, at least in Italy, when on June 2 an Italian language website reported that none other than Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano cited them in a talk, describing them as the new ten commandments for the “Great Reset.” Referring to the first guideline, the article reports this about Vigano’s speech (thanks to Google Translate:)

“And in this regard he mentions the "Guidestones", the monument of the New World Order in Georgia, in which the new "10 commandments" are written. The first point is in fact engraved: "Keep humanity under 500 million inhabitants". ViganĂ² miming states: "Does this remind you of something?", Evidently referring to the widespread theory that that elite would have in mind to decimate humanity with ongoing experimental gene therapies of which no one is able to explain the adverse events in the medium and long term term. And he cites again in the introduction the famine with which Stalin exterminated millions of Ukrainians.”

I find it interesting that there is no direct mention of God in these rules, other than a brief reference to “the infinite” in number nine, which is nothing but New-Age-speak. And number two, what else is it but a program of Darwinian eugenics, so that only the fittest and the best survive. Number four buries faith under the dominion of reason, which is contrary to Catholic teaching which holds that "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth." --Pope St. John Paul II.

The secularists can make their own Godless rules for life if they wish, but they are destined to become empty, useless, and even damaging. One can do nothing without the Lord, for in John 15:5, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Further, Our Lady at Fatima promised that her Immaculate Heart will Triumph. So don’t fear the Great Reset or whatever else is planned, it will fail! 

 

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Converted at the mere sight of St. Bernadette of Lourdes.

I hope this selection will touch you with grace as it did me. It is from one of the earliest books about St. Bernadette and Lourdes, and was written and compiled by the Sisters of the Mother House of her Order where the Saint was cloistered: the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction of Nevers, France. In the book, one of St. Bernadette’s close friends from Lourdes relates the story of the time she herself personally witnessed a conversion effected by the mere sight of Bernadette.
 
“It was in 1862; we had staying at our hotel an English Catholic family. Their man-servant, a Catholic himself, was married to an Irish Protestant. The husband, a fervent believer, desiring above all things the conversion of his wife, went immediately upon his arrival at Lourdes to see Bernadette, and asked her prayers to this end. He had previously told me of his desire and asked my prayers for the same intention. One day he came to introduce his wife to me. She was a charming person, very ladylike, and having apparently received an education superior to her station.

“Having made her acquaintance, I invited her to take a walk to the Grotto with myself and the servants. She made no difficulty about accepting my invitation. When we arrived at the sacred rock, we all of us knelt in prayer, herself excepted. I purposely appeared to take no notice of her attitude, but when when we were on the point of leaving, I offered her some of the water to drink. She refused politely, whereupon I said: ‘If you do not care to drink, at least dip your finger in it and make the sign of the cross.’

“ ‘Please do not insist,’ she replied; ‘for I should be sorry to have to refuse a second time.’

“These words were spoken with such decision that I thought it prudent to press the matter no further.

“On our way home we were caught in a terrible thunderstorm; the rain fell in torrents, and we could find no shelter, for, at the time of which I write, there was no habitation on the road leading to the Grotto. ‘Madame J.’ said I, ‘you will be the recipient of a shower of graces no less abundant than the rain which is now falling on us.’ I was then bold enough to tackle the religious question, and reproached her gently for having refused to drink at the Grotto and even to make the sign of the cross. After having raised sundry objections, she added: ‘Mademoiselle, I am seeking for light. I promise you that when I see it, I shall not voluntarily shut my eyes.’



“On the following day it was commonly reported in town that Bernadette was at the point of death and that she had already received the Last Sacraments. As I desired intensely that Madame J. should see her, I proposed that she should accompany me to the Hospital to pay her a visit. She refused absolutely to do so, saying: ‘I have not the slightest desire to see Bernadette; she may be already dead, and, what is more, I have no time to spare; I have to leave almost immediately for Pau.’

“ ‘You may have no desire to see Bernadette,’ I replied, ‘but I have no hesitation in telling you that I am extremely anxious for you to do so; If you wish to do me a favour, you will consent to accompany me.’

“Her natural politeness, or perhaps it would be wiser to say the grace of God, got the better of her opposition and we set out for the hospital with her husband.

“The patient had been strictly forbidden to receive visitors, but the dear Sisters had not the heart to turn me away. We reached the dormitory at the very moment when Bernadette was seized with a dreadful spasm.

“Two sisters were supporting her and she had every appearance of being on the point of expiring, for she could no longer breathe. ‘Come,’ said Madame J., ‘let us go, you can see very well that she is no longer in a condition to speak.’ ‘No matter,’ said I, ‘if we cannot speak to her, we can at least see her.’ So saying, I led her to the foot of the sufferer’s bed, where she remained as if rooted to the spot.

“As soon as Bernadette was a little recovered, I went and kissed her. As I left her side, I saw my friend spring forwards and throw herself on her knees at Bernadette’s side. There she burst into tears, burying her face in her hands as if she were ashamed to betray her emotion.

“Bernadette, who up to that moment had said nothing, turned her head and said encouragingly: ‘Oh! Madame, please get up and stop crying; I cannot bear to see you so distressed.’

“I drew up a chair and begged Madame J. to take it, which she did, covering her face with her hands and continuing to weep bitterly.

“ ‘I should love,’ said Bernadette, ‘to give our friend a little souvenir; pass me my crucifix and my medals: now make her choose what she would prefer.’ My poor friend, distracted with grief, had paid not attention to what had been said. ‘Madame,’ said I, ‘Bernadette wishes to give you a souvenir and asks you to choose the object you wish.’ She rose abruptly, and falling again upon her knees, exclaimed: ‘No! No! I want nothing; I don’t deserve anything; I am not worthy of it.’ ‘Surely,’ said I, ‘you do not desire to hurt her feelings by refusing what she is so glad to offer you.’ ‘If I must accept,’ she replied, ‘let her choose for me.’

“Bernadette selected a cross and a medal, and with a tenderness that no words can render, added: ‘The cross is for you, Madame; the medal is to remind you constantly of me.’
 


My friend’s tears and sobs began afresh. Taking advantage of her deep emotion I reminded her of her words of the day previous. ‘You are seeking light, it is now shining clearly before your eyes; do not close them, but open your heart to the action of grace which has so markedly singled you out. Yesterday you refused to join with me in prayer; will you now consent to go down to the chapel with the Sisters? We are all going to pray for you.’ ‘Ah! Mademoiselle,’ was her reply, ‘I can refuse you nothing: I am ready to do whatever you wish.’

We took leave of Bernadette, who was greatly affected; the poor child did not suspect what God had accomplished through her agency.

“Not long after the young Irishwoman abjured Protestantism and became a fervent Catholic. Two years later God called her to Himself.

“In heaven, where she now is, she must bless the day which witnessed her meeting with Bernadette on earth, for it is certain that God employed the favorite Child of Mary as the instrument of her conversion.”

From Bernadette of Lourdes, first English edition 1914; St. Pius X Press Inc., 2012; pp. 170-173.


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Friday, March 26, 2021

The Unceasing Act of Love

The call of the Lord to offer Him an unceasing, life-long act of love was the foundation of the spirituality of the Venerable Sister Consolata Betrone. He taught her the now well-known prayer, “Jesus Mary! I Love You, Save Souls!” Recently, another religious sister, whose identity remains anonymous, wrote of her experiences as she lived this prayer, in a book entitled I Will Think of Everything. You, Think Only of Loving Me, published with Imprimatur in 2017. The title of this book emphasizes one of the key parts of the ceaseless act of love – that as we concentrate our prayer and attention on loving Him, He will take care of everything else in our lives. It was this promise that attracted our anonymous sister to immerse herself in the teachings that our Our Lord presented to Venerable Consolata.

Our Lord had said to Sister Consolata: “I will think of everything, even the tiniest things; you, think only of Me, I’m thirsty for your love. All of it. Don’t add a single stray thought, it would be a thorn in My head.”

The sister who authored the book is a member of the Children of Mary community; it is based in Ohio, and dedicated to the apostolate of spreading love for our Eucharistic Lord. She tells the story of how she came to find out about the teachings of Jesus to Sister Consolata, or more correctly, how these teachings found her. She offers personal examples of the way the Lord ‘thought of everything,’ as she let go and let Him resolve many practical difficulties, while she instead concentrated on making endless acts of love for God.

Although the ceaseless act of love is greatly facilitated by praying "Jesus, Mary I love You! Save Souls!" as taught by Our Lord, this is just one of many ways of constantly loving Jesus. In harmony with the goal of her religious community, our anonymous sister shows the reciprocity between loving Jesus through Eucharistic Communion and adoration, and persevering in prayer to love Jesus, Mary and souls. This is the fulfillment of the commandments to love God and our neighbor. Our neighbor is in some way God made visible to us.

Her book is interspersed with quotes from the only other book in English about Sister Consolata and the prayer of love, Jesus Appeals to the World, by Fr. Lorenzo Sales. It is a translation from the Italian of the work of Fr. Sales, and first appeared in 1955. (My post about that book is Here.) Her book also often quotes from, no surprise, The Tremendous Lover, by Fr. Eugene Boylan; and also cites Fr. John Hardon, St. John of the Cross, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Catherine of Siena, papal documents, and other sources.

Those who regularly pray, “Jesus Mary I Love You! Save Souls!” as an offering to Jesus, become part of a movement which He termed The Littlest Way of Love. The very first Littlest One to consecrate herself to making the ceaseless act of love during the lifetime of Sister Consolata, was an 85 year-old lay woman named Giovanna Compaire. The Lord foretold that over the course of centuries to come throughout the world, “The Littlest Ones will not merely be counted by the thousands, but by millions and millions. They will not belong exclusively to the feminine sex; there will also be men; yes, there are many Little Souls even among men.”


This Littlest Way can be summarized in three sentences: Make an internal, ceaseless act of Love. Say a cheerful “Yes” to everyone since it’s Jesus we see and deal with through others. Say a grateful “yes” to everything that God asks of us. This act of love becomes a “virginal act of love” when it is not intermingled with any other thought. While centering on this love, one should avoid all useless speech unless it is required by Christian charity; one should resist inquisitiveness about the events of the world or about the affairs one’s neighbor.

A surprise bonus in the book is a question-answer catechism on the Littlest Way of Love written by Fr. Lorenzo Sales. Comprising 99 questions and almost as many pages, Fr. Sales deals with all aspects of the unceasing act of love. It can almost be called a “Catechism of Divine Love”.

The Lord told Sister Consolata that the prayer “Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save Souls!” includes everything: the souls in purgatory, as well as those in the militant Church; the innocent soul as well as the guilty one, the dying one, the atheist, etc., all souls. However, the unceasing act of love is not an escape or a bed of roses. In the above mentioned catechism we read, “Jesus didn’t present the ceaseless act of love to Sr. Consolata as a solace, but as a cross, upon which she was to live her vocation as a victim of love, upon which she was to complete her holocaust of love and suffering for souls.”


I Will Think of Everything. You, Think Only of Loving Me is available at Amazon Here. The website of the author’s Children of Mary Community is Here.


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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Revelations to Luisa Piccarreta on Love

"Love alone is what surpasses everything, and leaves everything behind.  So one who loves much, not the one who does much, will be more pleasing to the Lord."

 

December 27, 1908 (Vol. 8)
What passed between Baby Jesus and His sweet Mama when She would feed Him from Her breast. The ‘I love You’ of the creature is requited by the ‘I love you’ of the Creator.

I was meditating on when the Queen Mama would give Her milk to Baby Jesus. I was saying to myself: ‘What must have passed between the Most Holy Mama and little Jesus in this act?’ At that moment, I felt Him move in my interior, and I heard Him say to me: “My daughter, when I suckled milk from the breast of my most sweet Mother, together with milk I suckled the love of Her Heart – and it was more love than milk that I suckled. While suckling, I would hear Her say to Me: ‘I love You, I love You, O Son’; and I would repeat to Her: ‘I love You, I love You, O Mama.’ And I was not alone in this; at my ‘I love You’, the Father, the Holy Spirit and the whole of Creation – the Angels, the Saints, the stars, the sun, the drops of water, the plants, the flowers, the grains of sand, all of the elements, would run after my ‘I love You’, and repeat: ‘We love You, we love You, O Mother of our God, in the love of our Creator.’

My Mother could see all this, and would remained inundated. She could find not even a tiny space in which She would not hear Me say that I loved Her. Her love would remain behind and almost alone, and She would repeat: ‘I love You, I love You….’ But She could never match Me, because the love of a creature has its limits, its time, while my love is uncreated, unending, eternal. The same happens to any soul when she says to me, ‘I love You’; I too repeat to her, ‘I love you’, and with Me is the whole Creation, loving her in my love. Oh, if creatures comprehended what good and honor they procure for themselves even by just saying to Me: ‘I love You’! This alone would be enough – a God beside them who, honoring them, replies: ‘I love you too.”

 

October 16, 1906 (Vol. 7)
How each good is a distinct melody in Heaven.

Having neglected to write what follows, obedience commanded me to do it.

I seemed to be outside of myself, and it seemed that there was a special feast in Heaven, and I was invited to this feast. It seemed I was singing with the very Blessed, because, up there, there is no need to learn, but one feels as though an infusion in one’s interior, and whatever the others sing or do, one is able to do as well. Now, it seemed to me that each Blessed is a key, that is, a melody himself, but all are in harmony among themselves, though each one is different from the other. One sings the notes of praise, one the notes of glory, one of thanksgiving, one of blessings, but all these notes reunite into one single note, and this note is Love. It seems that one single voice reunites all those voices and ends with the word ‘Love’. This cry, ‘Love’, is such a sweet and strong resounding that all other voices remain as though extinguished in this canticle, ‘Love’.

It seemed that all the Blessed were made ecstatic, drowsy, awake, inebriated by this cry or chant, ‘Love’, high, harmonious, beautiful, which deafened the whole of Heaven; they participated – one could say – in one more Paradise. But who were the fortunate ones who cried out more loudly, who made this note, ‘Love’, resound in everything, and who brought great happiness into Heaven Itself? They were the ones who had loved the Lord more when they lived on earth. Ah, they were not the ones who had done great things, penances, miracles… Ah, no – never! Love alone is what surpasses everything, and leaves everything behind. So, it is one who loves much, not one who does much, that will be more pleasing to the Lord. It seems I am speaking nonsense, but what can I do? It is obedience’s fault. Who doesn’t know that the things from up there cannot be spoken down here? So, in order not to speak more nonsense, I stop here.




July 14, 1907 (Vol. 8)
Everything in the soul must be love.

Continuing in my usual state, blessed Jesus came for a little while, and without thinking, I asked: ‘Lord, yesterday I went to confession; if I had died, since confession remits sins, would You not have brought me straight to Heaven?’

And He: “My daughter, it is true that confession remits sins, but the surest and most certain thing to be exempt from Purgatory is love. Love must be the predominant passion in the soul. Love – her thought, her word, her movements – everything, everything must be enveloped by this love. In this way, finding her all love, the Uncreated Love absorbs the created love within Itself. In fact, Purgatory does nothing but fill the voids of love that are present in the soul; and once It has filled these voids, It sends her to Heaven. But if these voids are not there, it is not something that belongs to Purgatory.”


October 29, 1907 (Vol. 8)
True love and sacrifice.

. . . Then He added: “My daughter, love is that which ennobles the soul and gives her possession of all my riches, because true love tolerates no division of any kind, even though one may be inferior to the other. ‘What is mine is yours’: this is the language of two beings who really love each other, because true love is transformation. So, the beauty of one removes the ugliness of the other, and renders him beautiful; if one is poor, I make him rich; if ignorant, I make him learned; if wretched, I make him noble. One is the heartbeat, one the breath, one the will in two beings that love each other; and if any other heartbeat or breath wanted to enter into them, they feel suffocated, breathless and torn, and they become ill. So, true love is health and sanctity, and one breathes a balsamic and fragrant air, which is the breath and the life of love itself. But it is in sacrifice that this love is more ennobled, more strengthened, more confirmed and expanded. So, love is the flame, sacrifice is the wood. Where there is more wood, the flames are higher, and the fire is always greater.

What is sacrifice? It is to empty oneself out in the love and in the being of the beloved; and the more one sacrifices himself, the more he is consumed in the being of the beloved, losing his own, and acquiring all the features and the nobility of the Divine Being.


February 9, 1908 (Vol. 8)
The way the soul must be with Jesus. Necessity of love for Jesus.

. . . Ah, yes! Love Me for all, satiate Me with love! There are no passions in Me, but if there could be any passion, it would be only this and this alone: love. But love in Me is more than passion – it is my life; and if passions can be destroyed, life cannot. See the necessity of being loved in which I find Myself. Therefore, love Me, love Me.”



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Jesus, Mary, I Love You! Save Souls!





Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Christ, the Poor, the Suffering, and Despised. 

A short but formidable Lenten meditation on the "sweet gifts of God" - poverty suffering and contempt - by Saint Angela of Foligno. “For these three things were with Him in all places, at all times, and in all His deeds, and likewise with His mother, that is to say, they did bear the utmost poverty, suffering, and contempt.”

OF THE MOST SWEET GIFTS OF GOD, POVERTY, CONTEMPT, AND SUFFERING; AND OF OTHER PERFECTIONS.

THESE are the sweet gifts of God, and whosoever does fully obtain them may know himself to be perfected and consummated in the most sweet God, Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ to be perfected in him through transformation. And the more perfect man is in these things, the more wholly will he be transformed in Jesus Christ.

The first is the love of poverty, whereby the soul puts away from itself the love of every creature; for it desires not the possession of any save of the Lord Jesus Christ, it trusts not in the help of any creature whatsoever in this life; and thus does love of Him not only reign alone in the heart, but is also shown forth in the works.

The second is the desire to be despised, scorned, and hated of every creature, and the wish that every creature should esteem the soul worthy of disgrace, so that none should have compassion on it. It should desire likewise to be cherished in the heart of none save of God alone, and by Him alone to be held in good repute.

          

The third is the desire to feel all the sufferings, burdens, and griefs borne by the heart and body of the most sweet Jesus Christ and His tender mother, and that all creatures should inflict upon the soul those same unending woes. And if it feels not able to desire these three things, it may know itself to be very far removed from the likeness of Christ. For these three things were with Him in all places, at all times, and in all His deeds, and likewise with His mother, that is to say, they did bear the utmost poverty, suffering, and contempt.

The fourth is that each person should deem himself unworthy of so much good; that he should know that he could never have these things of his own self; and the more abundantly he has them, the more must he deem himself to lack them, for whoso thinks to possess the thing beloved does thereby lose the Beloved Himself. Wherefore must we never deem ourselves to have attained unto it, but must ever consider that we are beginning anew, that we have as yet achieved nothing and have obtained none of these things.

The fifth is, that the soul should strive constantly to reflect how these things were always in the Lord Jesus Christ, ever imploring God with fervent prayers that He would clothe its heart anew and give it these companions, and asking naught else; that it should find all its joy in this life in the perfect transformation of all these things and strive ever to rise unto the thought of how the heart of the most sweet Jesus was full thereof, yea, running over and infinitely more full than He did show forth in His body.

 


The sixth is, that it must flee as though from a pestilence from all who hinder it from attaining unto these things, whether it be a carnal or spiritual person, and all the things of this world which it holds to be unlike or contrary unto that good thing must it hold in horror and flee from them as from a serpent.

The seventh is, that it pronounce no judgment upon any other creature whatsoever, nor seek to judge others, as saith the Gospel, it must esteem itself more vile than all others (howsoever evil they may be), and unworthy of the grace of God. It must know, moreover, that whosoever strives to possess these three things in this present life and mortal struggle will possess God in fullness here after.

Thus is the soul wholly united with God by transformation. God doth give us of His transformation in this life in order that we may share His humility, poverty, and pain. For the soul should desire no other consolations in this life, not even spiritual ones, save perchance for the healing of its infirmity. But it should desire only the perfect crucifixion of Christ, the Poor, the Suffering, and Despised.


Taken from Chapter 38 of The Book of Divine Consolation, by St. Angela of Foligno.


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Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Total Lenten Fast of St. Francis for 40 Days

The Total Lenten Fast of St. Francis for 40 Days; made by the saint in 1211 AD on the isolated island of Isola Maggiore in Lake Trasimene in Central Italy not far from Assisi.


From The Deeds of Blessed Francis and His Companions:

Because Francis, that very real servant of Christ, was in some things another Christ given to the world, God the Father made this fortunate man conformed in many things to Christ, His Son, as was apparent in his venerable band of holy companions, in the wonderful mystery of the stigmata of the Cross, and the holy fast of forty continuous days.

At one time when Francis was near the Lake of Perugia, he was at Mardi Gras a guest of a man devoted to him. He asked his host to take him for the love of God to an island on the lake where no one lived and to do so during the night before Ash Wednesday so that no one would know about it. The host did this very eagerly because of the great devotion he had for Francis. He prepared his little boat at night and transported him on Ash Wednesday to the island. Saint Francis brought nothing for food except two small loaves of bread.

After he reached the island he asked his ferryman to tell no one and to come back for him on Holy Thursday. Since there was no shelter there where he could rest, he crawled into a dense thicket where thorn bushes had formed an enclosure, and he stayed there immobile for the whole forty days, neither eating nor drinking. 
 


His host came looking for him, as they had agreed, on Holy Thursday and he found that, except for part of one, the two little loaves of bread had not been touched. It is believed that Saint Francis ate part of one loaf so that with a little bread he would expel the poison of vainglory, and thus the glory of a forty day fast be reserved for the blessed Christ. Yet he did fast forty days and forty nights after the example of Christ.

In that place where Saint Francis did such remarkable penance, many miracles were performed through his merits. Therefore, people began to build and live on this island, and in a short period of time a large village and a house for the brothers were established there. The people of this village still show great reverence for that place where Saint Francis kept the Lenten Fast.


The Deeds of Blessed Francis and His Companions, by Ugolino Boniscambi, circa 1328 AD was original version of The Little Flowers of St. Francis.


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Jesus, Mary, I Love You! Save Souls!


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Saint Angela of Foligno on Prayer.

Saint Angela explains how important it is to concentrate on what you are doing.

  • If He who was actually God would accept nothing without having prayed and asked for it, how darest you, miserable creature, hope to receive without supplication and prayer?

  • All who desire to receive the Holy Spirit must pray; for on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended not upon the disciples save when they were at prayer.

  • The eternal kingdom may verily be bought with a moment of time.

WHEN we pray we must keep our whole hearts fixed thereon, for if our hearts be divided we lose the fruit of true prayer. In all other exercises that we perform, such as eating and drinking and other actions, it is not needful that we should be so single-minded, nor that we should perform them with our whole hearts and bodies. But these things do we only perform outwardly, whereas we must give our hearts wholly unto God if we desire to profit by the fruits of true prayer and not to lose them utterly. The reason wherefore we are tempted during prayer is because our hearts are not wholly given unto God.

Pray, therefore, and pray often, because the more often you pray the more will you be enlightened and the more deeply and clearly and nobly will you perceive the supreme Good, and that which is supremely good, and the more deeply and excellently you perceive it the more will you love it, and the more you love it the more will you delight in it and be able to comprehend it. Then will you attain unto the fullness of light, and will you know that which heretofore you could not know.

Pray, if you desire faith; pray if you desire hope; pray if you desire charity, or poverty, or obedience, or chastity; pray if you desire any virtue whatsoever.

Poverty, Suffering, and Contempt.

The way in which you must pray is this: you must read the Book of the Life of Christ Jesus, which life was poverty, suffering, contempt, and true obedience. When you shall be fully entered into this life and shall have profited thereby, you will be afflicted by many tribulations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. In many divers ways will they molest you and horribly persecute you, and if you will overcome you must pray.

Watch and pray, therefore, that you give no advantage unto the adversaries who continually surround you; for when you cease to pray, you give place unto the enemy. Therefore, the more you are tempted the more must you persevere in prayer. Sometimes, however, prayer is the cause of your being tempted, as when demons do endeavor to hinder it. But take no heed of aught save of prayer, so that you may always be worthy of being freed from temptation. For through prayer are you enlightened, through prayer are you set free from temptation, through prayer are you cleansed, and through prayer are you united with God. Prayer is nothing else save the manifestation of God and of oneself, and this manifestation is perfect and true humiliation, for humility consists in the soul, beholding God and itself as it should. Then is the soul in a state of deep humility, and the deeper the humility the greater is the divine grace which springs therefrom and increases there.

The more the divine grace humbles the soul, the more quickly does this same grace increase and spring afresh out of the depths of that humility. And the more the grace increases the more deeply does the soul abase itself in true humility through the continuance of true prayer. Thus do grace and light divine grow ever within the soul, and the soul is ever prostrate in true humility, duly reading and meditating upon this Life of Christ.


 Man’s Perfection.

Man's perfection consists in knowing the greatness of God and his own nothingness. And how he attains unto this through gazing upon that Book of Life has already been said. Therefore, oh my son, cast away from you all slothfulness and negligence. I certainly desire you, and do exhort you, that you watch and pray no less and do no fewer good works when you are deprived of the grace and fervor of devotion than in times when you obtained that grace of devotion. Verily it is pleasing unto God if, in the fervor of grace, you continue to pray and watch, labor and perform other good works. Wherefore, if the divine fervor and ardor does sometimes constrain you to watch, pray, and offer praise, do it with all thy might while the fire burns within you.

When it so happens that God deprives you of warmth and fervor (whether because of your own fault, as is most often the case, or whether for the augmenting and strengthening of grace in you), you must nevertheless watch, pray, and do good works as heretofore. And if temptation or tribulation (whereby the children of God are purged and punished) should fall upon you and grace and fervor be withheld, do you endeavor none the less to perform the aforesaid good works and strive that you may overcome. Keep thyself in subjection by constant prayers, vigils, tears, and importunities, so that God in His mercy will at last give you back your warmth and fervor. Do your part, for God will assuredly do His.

Constant, ready, and insistent prayer.

Constant, ready and insistent prayer is very acceptable unto God. Therefore do you persevere in prayer, and concern not thyself with other occupations immediately when you begin to feel more than commonly filled with God. And see that you give not thyself unto any occupation or thought before you have learned to separate thyself from all others. Take heed likewise unto thy fervor and thy spirit, which rush forward eagerly before you can follow it. Inquire and see the beginning, middle, and end of the road it would take, and you should follow it only so far as it keeps unto the way of the Book of Life. And take heed of those who say they have the spirit of liberty, but do openly oppose the Book of the Life of Christ, the which is written according to the law, He being the founder of the law, who lives for ever and ever. Amen.

Taken from chapters 21,22,23 of The Book of Divine Consolation, by St. Angela of Foligno.

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