Chp: The Need to Pray for Consecrated Women
"In the lesson on priests I said I would have you reflect on the needs of persons consecrated by special vows, but who are not priests--that is, the virgins enclosed in the monasteries and convents around the world.
"In the mind of the founders, these places were to be as many houses in Bethany where I--weary, disgusted, offended, and persecuted--was to find shelter and love. And they were to be--also in the mind of the founders--many summits where, in the solitude and prayer, pure souls would continue to pray for the world's inhabitants, who struggle and often do not pray.
"Chastity, not just the flesh, but of thought and of the soul, most lively charity, prayer--indeed, continuous prayer undisturbed by occupations--love for poverty, respect for obedience, exterior silence to hear the voice of God internally, the vocation to sacrifice, a spirit of true penance--these are the virtues which should pervade the hearts of all the women who have given themselves to Me by special vows.
"If it were so, every day there would be a burning of spiritual incense a lavacre of spiritual aromas which would purify the earth, rising, then, to my throne. And the sad darnel of sin would gradually be destroyed. For whoever prays obtains, and if there were really intense prayer for sinners, their conversion would be obtained.
"You instead pray for yourselves. This is selfishness and wounds charity. Not all, but a great many of the souls who are in convents--why did they enter? Let us look at the reasons together. You will spontaneously feel the need to pray for these souls who are off the path, much more than if they had remained in the world.
"Many entered out of exaltation, obeying an impulse that was good in itself, but no corroborated by firm purpose, severe reflection, and a true vocation. They saw the plow, in a sunny hour on a flower-covered field, and they set their hand to it without reflecting on whether they had the strength to plow themselves with the tremendous plowshare of acts of renunciation. The flowers fall; the sun sets. There comes the rocky, hard, anguished, thorny earth; there comes the black, stormy night. These souls yielded to a dream without reflecting; they find themselves desolate in a world not their own, where they are able to move only with difficulty. They suffer and cause suffering.
"Others entered after a disappointment. They thought they were dead. Instead, they were only in a swoon. Even if one gets over the reflection that the first fruits and not the leftovers should be offered to God, one must always reflect on whether it is really the soul's death to the world or just a serious wound that is involved. Every nonfatal wound heals, and the person becomes more alive than before. The latter, too--indeed, the latter more than the former--then find themselves disturbed, for, in addition to grasping that the monastic world is not their own, they carry inside the things of the outer world: memories, regrets, yearnings, desires. In the silence of the cloister these things are like vinegar upon a wound; the chafe and irritate it and poison everything, making them restless, spiteful, and caustic. These also suffer and cause suffering while meriting nothing.
"The third category: those who enter out of self-interest. They are alone, poor, fearful of life, without an occupation or profession to provide them with assurance. They withdraw. They take the house of God as a safe inn where there is a bed and a table. They provide themselves with a guarantee for the morrow. But God is not mocked and is not deceived. God peers into the depth of hearts. What will God think of these?
"Finally, there are the souls that give themselves to God with purity of sentiment and a true vocation. These are the pearls. But there are few of them in comparison to the others. Even these can become ruined and sick. Even the pearls grow sick. In a monastic life it is hard for there never to be the assault of a germ seeking to ruin the pearl that has given itself to God.
"My grace helps them. But they must be prayed for. The Communion of Saints exists for this purpose. No one is so base that his prayer is of no use. God, attracted by prayer rising up from the world, can descend as a power into the heart of one of my brides wavering in a convent.
"Humanity does not die in human beings when the cross the threshold of a monastery. Humanity never dies. Unfortunately, it enters with the holy walls and casts Me out. It creates acts of baseness and rancor and ill-advised zeal, and dissipates, obstructs, and chills. It is true that it makes the sanctity of the 'saints' increase a hundredfold. But that is not enough.
"Pray and pray and pray for my brides. That the deceived, disappointed, and self-interested may understand and be able to add the cross of their error to the others in conventual life to turn it into a new step on the stairway ascending to Heaven. It is useless to be bunches of flowers set upon an altar if those flowers remain human. I want spiritual flowers.
"Do you know the difference that exists between a soul living humanly and on living spiritually? You have many flowers in your room and smell a lot of fragrance. But you admit that all those roses, carnations, lilies, and jasmines never give you even the most remote resemblance to the 'scent' you sometimes smell which comes from supernatural realms. That is a heavenly scent, and that of your flowers, an earthly fragrance.
"The same holds for souls. Those that are truly mystical release a celestial fragrance; the others, a human scent. The latter may be admired by the world, but I do not treasure it.
"I want my convents to be heavenly gardens where, like dead leaves, human concerns and acts of pride, envy, criticism, jealousy, selfishness, and falsity fall away. It is useless to observe the rule externally if the interior is sullied by human venoms.
"Prayer does not rise up when it's got a dead weight of humanity hanging from its wings, and it cannot unfold. Prayer does not expand over the earth to save sinners and does not ascend to console Me if it is thickened by a lot of human mire. It is, then, useless to consecrate oneself to Me if the sacrifice of freedom is not to yield the fruit for which certain sacrifices are conceived.
"Everything dies when charity is lacking, especially charity, for charity towards Me makes people pure, good, and detached from all that is not God, lovers of the Cross and of crosses--for charity towards their neighbor makes people patient, gentle, and generous.
"The world can be helped by the virgins. But the virgins must be helped by the victims."
Peace be with you always