Chp: Christ Hidden In Appearances
September 11, 1949
"To be able to love one's neighbor entirely, see Me in each one."
"It is very hard to be able to see You in some. You, that are true, faithful, constant charity; You, that are truth, justice, mercy, patience, temperance--all the virtues, all of them!"
"It is true. Too many neighbors, even those who are externally Christians, are the opposite--completely or partially--of what I am. But strive to see Me in each. An act of faith which can provoke in you an act of love for those who, in reality, do no deserve your love. Love Me in their souls. The soul comes from God and thus from Me, too. The soul, at least for a moment, was a temple of the Spirit of God and thus conserves a trace of Me. The creature's ill will, disdain for the first commandment and then for the others in the Decalog, vice preferred to virtue, and sin--indeed, sins--have corroded--even canceled out--and always sullied and obscured and sometimes annulled the divine sign in human spirits. But that sign can always rise again. For only final impenitence cancels out it out completely and inexorably. Then Jesus is no longer in that spirit forever."
"But how can one believe that You are in people, certain people, when they are seen carrying out actions which You condemn, which You, Most Perfect Holiness as Jesus, Infinite Holiness as the Word, would never have carried out when You were the Incarnate Word, dwelling in our midst?" I asked.
"You are also able to believe I am under the appearances of a little wheat reduced to a thin host, with all of my Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! And so in the same way believe I am concealed under the imperfect matter of many.
"In some I am as if in a tomb... They contain Me dead, waiting to rise again with a movement of love and repentance on their part.
"In others I am hidden, just like the Most Holy Sacrament, which is in their churches, but is not visible, hidden as it is behind the veil, gold, and stone of the tabernacle, within the metal of the ciborium, which is, in turn, hidden. But I am there, ready to appear and give Myself, if only the creatures, the faithful and priests together, begin the Communion Rite with their Jesus, loving Him by removing all the material obstacles which conceal Me and separate Me from them, keeping Me from fusing with them and living in them, in place of them, so that their way of life will be holy.
"Others have Me like a sun in an unstable season. Their clouds, the clouds of their inconstancy, make Me shine in them at times and sometimes make it seem the sun is no longer there. Generally, these inconstant ones are those who are mystics or contemplatives or worshipers that have been shaped as such through years and years of faithful desire and continuous ascesis which gets swifter and swifter the more pain--all the pain which is the heritage of those who truly love and imitate Me--oppresses them.
"The paradoxes of mystical life: the more pain crushes, the more the soul ascends, flies, rises up, unites to Me, who reach out to it from the radiant Abyss of Paradise!
"These are the 'sentimentalists' of religion, those who, after a homily, a religious ceremony, a retreat, or a reading, would like to emulate Paul in evangelizing the Gentiles, John the virgin in chastity, Lawrence in martyrdom, and Jerome in penance, but, once the emotion has passed, they fall back into 'enjoying life.' They want to make the little flame burning them turn into a fire...and in the fleeting, strained blaze destroy even the little flame....
"They want to be athletes, first in religious manifestations, act, enthrall others, and be an emblem, beacon, and voice; and they pressure and strain to such a point that for others they become a fearful curtain displaying Me and religion in an unreal way that dismays poor souls, the majority, who are so apprehensive--a chain strangling benevolent religion, the support of spirits, and making it into a Nemesis armed with scourges and punishments.
"And they pressure and strain to such a point of exhaustion and then lie drained, unable to fight against Satan, who waits for that exhaustion to attack and wear them out, when, just out of a human reaction--comparable to what happens to certain machines when they are strained too far--they do not destroy themselves, plunging into bestial forms of carnality because they wanted to become angels too quickly, without being called to wanted to such a vocation, and, above all, because they wanted to become such on their own, piling up phylacteries and frills, but forgetting that the way to ascend to the point of becoming angels lies in the Gospel, when lived out.
"A long way!! And the Gospel teaches: Charity and Renunciation, Charity and Sacrifice. Charity, I said. Not alms. For neither God nor one's neighbor.
"Do you know when people give alms to God? When they give Him external practices in the hours of the practices and then, in the others, belong to the world. Do you know when people, on the other hand, give charity to God? When, while reducing practices and vocal prayers to what is strictly necessary, they work and pray with their entire self, uninterruptedly, as I worked and prayed. And it is the same in relation to their neighbor. They truly love their neighbor when they give that person their heart and not an offering, help and not an offering.
"And do you know when people truly renounce and carry out sacrifice? Not only when they give up a meat dish because it is a day of abstinence, but, above all, when they renounce the appetite for their flesh. And they sacrifice when they give up the self to serve charity and justice towards God and their neighbor.
"But see Me in everyone, to be able to approach even the demon-men, the leper-men, and the delinquent-men. I will reward you for it by coming to you to console Myself for their repugnant way of life, more repellent than a tomb full of rottenness, sadder than an abandoned church, more frightening than a cave of thieves.
"And wherever I am as if in a tomb, call Me to resurrection with your seraphic love.
"And wherever I am hidden in a ciborium which is forgotten, remind the forgetful to honor the hidden Guest and do so with your intrepid love.
"And wherever as the Divine Sun I cannot beam forth because the mists of humanity are often such as to conceal Me, disperse these hostile mists with your love filled with fortitude.
"Love, Maria! Love. You have so much of it: all that I have given you and you have not squandered, but, rather, to which you have added your own, already abundant, like the shoot entwined around the stump of the vine. Give it to your neighbor. The more you give, the more you will have. But let your love be strong, free from weakness, even though, like shears cutting the tendrils of empty forms of sentimentality, purifying like a fire. The flame turns matter into light. The flame, on rising, elevates what is low to the heights. The flame gives a voice and warmth even to things lacking a voice and warmth.
"Among men, many are truly muter than stones and colder than metal exposed to the night frosts. Love them so that they will love. Love them because they do not love Me. May I find in you alone the love which ought to be in those who do not love or love poorly and occasionally. Be an abyss of fire and a sea of love into which creatures who cause Me pain sink, so that I will see them no longer, but see you and, through you, them, but rendered bearable because they are wrapped in your fire, covered by the waves of your love.
"Things cast into fire get purified and things cast into the sea are washed and salted. With your love for your neighbor, considering that I am in him (everything is in Christ), purify them, wash them, and salt them, so that they will no longer be dirty and useless as tasteless things."
Peace be with you always