"Soul of mine, listen to the Parable of the pearl.
"A grain of sand moved by the waves of the sea is swallowed by the valves of the mollusk. A rough common pebble, a minuscule fragment of rock, a chip of pumice--all these things that don't warrant a look from man.
"That grain of sand swallowed like this certainly misses, at first, the boundless prairies of the sea, where it freely rolled under the spur of the currents and saw so many beautiful things, created by my Father. But after some time, around the gray, rough grain there forms a white film, increasingly lovely, solid, and even. And the pebble no longer misses its prior wild freedom, but blesses the moment when it was engulfed--by a will superior to its intention--amid the valves of that mollusk. If the grain could speak, it would say, 'Blessed be that moment when I lost freedom! Blessed be the power which took away my freedom and made me, poor and ugly, into a precious margureite!'
"The soul is a pebble, rough by nature. It bears the sign of divine creation, but it has come down so low, rolling in descent, that it has become increasingly coarse and gray. Grace, like a heavenly current, drives it through the boundless spaces of the universe, towards the Heart of God, which remains open to receive his creatures. Your God remains with an open Heart, desiring you, poor creatures.
"But you often resist the currents of grace and the invitation of God, who wishes to enclose you in his Heart. You think you are happier, freer, and more masters of yourselves by remaining outside. No, my poor children. Happiness, freedom, and mastery are within the Heart of God. Outside there is the deceit of the flesh, the deceit of the world, and the deceit of Satan.
"You think you are free but you are bound like slaves to the galleys. You think you are happy but cares--these alone--are indeed unhappiness. And then there is all the rest. You think you are masters, but are the servants of everyone, servants of yourselves, in your lower part, and no joy comes to you of it, even if you labor to obtain joy for yourselves.
"I give joy, for I give Peace, for I give continence, for I give resignation, patience, every virtue.
"Blessed are those souls who do not oppose too stiffly the grace driving them towards Me. Most blessed are those who not only let themselves be carried to Me, but come to Me with the impatience of the desire to be swallowed up by my Heart.
"It does not reject anyone, no matter how base and coarse he is. It receives all, and the more wretched you are--but at the same time convinced that I can make you beautiful--the more I work your baseness, clothing it in a new precious pure robe. My merits and my love work the metamorphosis. You enter as creatures and come out into the Light of God's Day as most precious pearls.
"The soul sometimes misses its former freedom. Especially at the early stage, for my work is severe, though clothed in love. But the more willing the soul is, the more quickly it comprehends. The more the soul gives up all desire for false freedom and prefers the royal slavery of love, the more quickly it tastes the blessedness of its imprisonment in Me and accelerates the sanctifying prodigy of love.
"The world loses all attraction for that happy soul living enclosed in Me like a pearl in a jewel case. All the riches of the earth, all the ephemeral suns, and all deceitful joys and forms of pseudo-freedom lose light and articulation, and there remains only the increasingly vast and profound will of our mutual love, of our wanting to be for one another and in one another and belongs to one another.
"Oh, this beatitude of beatitudes--to live with Me, who know how to love--is too little known! For if Peter exclaimed on Tabor, just because he saw Me transfigured, 'Lord it is good for us to remain here,' what should the soul that is itself transfigured, becoming a molecule of my Divine Heart, say?
"But consider Maria. Whoever lives in Me becomes part of Me. Do you understand? Of Me, Jesus, Son of the true God, Wisdom of the Father, Redeemer of the world, eternal Judge, and King of the future age, eternal King. The soul living immersed in my Heart becomes all of this. An integral, living part of the Heart of a God, it will live eternally like God in the Light, Peace, and Glory of my Divinity."
Peace be with you always