1943: The Priestly Exercise of Fatherhood


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    1943: The Priestly Exercise of Fatherhood
    November 14, 1943
    Isaiah 8:5

    Jesus says:

    “When you have done your duty—I continue to speak to you priests—I authorize you to say what I taught my apostles to say when on their mission through Palestine. Remember, however, not to grow weary too quickly. I repeated my doctrine for three years. I was God. After three years, one out of twelve among these filled with Me betrayed Me. Countless others abandoned Me in the hour of the trial. Do you claim to be more solicitous than I was? More powerful? Obeyed more?

    “Remember that if brothers and sisters are to be forgiven seventy times seven, spiritual children—and all Catholics are children for you, all them without exception—are to be forgiven seventy times seventy times.

    “Remember for you human differentiations concerning souls do not exist. Indeed, there is a reversal of values. Man admires and reveres the honest, the good, and the pure. You must not admire, but love those who are spiritually unfortunate. The filthier they are, the farther they are from Me, the more you must be a father and a light for them. No repugnance, no weariness, no abandonment, and no fear is granted you. You must stoop over all forms of wretchedness. You must seek them to look after them. You must love them to bring them to Love. When rejected, attack again; when derided, increase your charity. Make us of human things to lead souls to supernatural things.

    “And must I teach you the sweet stratagems of love? Haven’t you ever had a father, a mother, and brothers and sisters with whom you have used them to win a bigger and bigger love for yourselves? Your faithful are children for you. Oh, how many things a father studies to make himself be loved by his child! The child is still an infant and the father, weary from his work, still bends over the crib and repeats the sweet words so as to hear them spoken afterwards by the innocent little mouth. He is a child, and the father bends to teach the baby to take his first steps, shows him the flowers and the stars, and educates his mind in the first sensations, the first thoughts. Even if he is a slow-witted, simple-minded, the father strives to open his child’s mind. Even if he is uncontrollably naughty, with a thousand stratagems he seeks to change the child’s heart.

    “And you? Why don’t you have a father’s feelings for your spiritual children? Are they atheists? It doesn’t matter. Are they lustful? It doesn’t matter. Are they dens of vice? It doesn’t matter. Pray and dare. Today, tomorrow, and even the day after tomorrow, and always, always, without tiring.

    “It is often enough to be able to look at a soul with a gaze of true love to conquer it. Souls are not often wicked, as you think. They are disgusted, sick, ashamed. Disgusted with what the world—and the clergy therein—have given them. Ashamed of being sick. They wish to be cured, but they are ashamed to confess their illnesses.

    “Give them what they have not had: holy love. Go out to meet them. Persuade them to open themselves without shame. They are reluctant flowers. But if love warms them, they open.

    “Oh, holy dews and blessed rays that you priests by your sacrifice draw upon souls! Acts of repentance and redemption which make them children of God. Sacraments and grace which you infuse and which make you and them holy. Be blessed for this work, O faithful servants who look after my harvest and my vineyard. And blessed even if you bend over wild grass arising outside my vineyard.

    “It is not necessary to leave one’s country to be missionaries, O children. Europe, the world, is entirely a missionary land, or man has again become idolatrous and heretical. In truth I tell you that it would be necessary to till one’s native land, out of love for one’s country, before others, for it is from a Christian country that the country’s well-being comes, and where are the Christian nations today?

    “Look around you. What do you see? Heaps of ruins and heaps of victims. Who has produced them? One? Two? Four individuals? No. They are the agents, the ministers of Evil, who uses them as would a despotic king. But they are what they are because the populations over which they rule have let them be such, finding in them the maximum representatives of their own sentiments. From a people devoid of God—and the peoples are now devoid of God because they have torn Him out of their souls, putting the flesh, money, and power in his place—there arise the cobras that kill by their threefold hunger, which Satan incites.

    “It is useless to say, ‘They were the cause of the present evil.’ Say, all of you—I say all—including priests, ‘We were,’ and you will be sincere.

    “Work in the uncultivated field is now harder. But act. Become like my first apostles again. Become heroes of the priesthood again, which is the only holy militia. Do your duty, all of you, to the point of immolation. For if the throngs are then obstinate in being lost, I will provide for them. You will receive a reward all the same, even if you come to Me with your arms broken in the wearisome labor, laden with very few ears of grain.

    “But, I beg you—and I am God—do not be to blame for a lack of love. I do not forgive a lack of charity. It is a denial of God.”

    Peace be with you always
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