What kind of exile will this be? Perhaps Joseph and Mary thought the same thing when they were directed to flee to Egypt in the middle of the night to escape Herod. We do not know their thoughts , but we do know that they just got on with it—knowing it was God’s Will was enough. That exile began their hidden life, thirty-odd years of it, a mystery to us for the most part. Yet now, through the writings of Luisa, we gain a glimpse of the glory and power of those hidden years. More than that, we are given the unimaginable grace of participating in that glory and power through the Grace of living our own daily acts in the Divine Will.
Luisa herself participated in the hidden life of Nazareth, confined to her bed for some 60 years. Her holiness was enrobed with humility and most people did not know the depth of the spiritual life that she was living. From the cross of her bed, she participated in the plan of salvation largely by assisting others, by patiently bearing her suffering and not least, by stitching and embroidering altar cloths. In the writings below, we see what a beautiful, unimaginable gift it is live our daily acts, our own hidden life in the Divine Will.
August 14, 1912
(Summary of passage in the Volume) In order to forget ourselves, we must do each thing not only because Jesus wants it, but because Jesus wants to do it within us. If He redeemed us with His Passion, with His hidden life He prepared the divine action for every human action.
Finding myself in my usual state, my always adorable Jesus told me: “My daughter, in order for the soul to forget herself, she should do each thing which is necessary for her as if Jesus wanted to do it within her. If she prays, she should say: ‘It is Jesus who wants to pray, and I pray together with Him.’ If she has to work: ‘Jesus wants to work; Jesus wants to walk; Jesus wants to take food. He wants to sleep, He wants to get up, He wants to enjoy Himself…’ and so on for all other things of life – except for error. Only in this way can the soul forget herself; not only will she do everything because I want it, but because I want to do them: they are necessary to Me.”
Now, one day I was working and I thought to myself: ‘How is it possible that Jesus works in me while I work? Does He really want to do this work?’ And Jesus: “Yes I do. My fingers are in yours and they work. My daughter, when I was on earth, didn’t my hands lower themselves to work the wood, hammer the nails, and help my foster Father Joseph in the smithing work? While I was doing that, with those very hands and with those fingers, I created souls and called other souls to the other life; I divinized all human actions; I sanctified them, giving a Divine merit to each one of them. In the movements of my fingers I called in sequence all the movements of your fingers and those of others; and if I saw that they were doing them for Me, or because I wanted to act within them, I continued my life of Nazareth in them, and I felt cheered by them for the sacrifices and the humiliations of my hidden Life, giving them the merit of my own Life.
Daughter, the hidden Life that I conducted in Nazareth is not taken into account by men, when in fact, after the Passion, nothing could benefit them more. By lowering Myself to all those little actions and those acts which men exercise during their daily life, such as eating, sleeping, drinking, working, starting the fire, sweeping, etc. – all acts which no one can do without – I made flow inside their souls a tiny divine coin of incalculable price. Therefore, if my Passion redeemed them, my hidden Life provided each human action, even the most insignificant one, with Divine merit and with infinite value.
Do you see? As you work – working because I want to work – my fingers flow within yours, and as I work in you with my creative hands, in this very instant, how many am I giving to the light of this world? How many others am I calling? How many others do I sanctify, correct, chastise, etc.? Now, you are with Me creating, calling, correcting and so forth; therefore, just as you are not alone, neither am I alone in my work. Could I ever give you greater honor?”
Who can say all that I understood, and all the good that can be done for ourselves and for others, by doing things because Jesus wants to do them in us? My mind gets lost, therefore I stop here.
August 20, 1912
(Summary of passage in the Volume) Jesus is close to us, ready to do well, together with us, all that we are about to do, as soon as we ask Him.
Continuing, my always adorable Jesus, as He came, told me: “My daughter, how sorry I feel in seeing the soul huddled within herself, and operating by herself. While I am close to her and look at her, seeing that many times she is unable to do well what she does, I wait for her to call Me and say: ‘I want to do this thing, but I am unable do it. Come and do it with me, and I’ll do everything well. For example: I want to love; come to love together with me. I want to pray; come and pray together with me. I want to make this sacrifice; come and give me your strength, for I feel weak…’, and so forth with everything else. Gladly and with greatest delight, I would offer Myself for everything.
I am like the teacher who assigned an essay to his pupil, remaining close to him to see what his pupil does. Unable to do well, the pupil gets worried, worked up, upset, and he may even cry, but he doesn’t say: ‘Master, teach me how I should do this.’ What is not the mortification of the teacher, in feeling treated like a nothing by his student? Such is my condition.”
Then He added: “It is said: man proposes, God disposes. As soon as the soul proposes to do some good – to be holy – I immediately dispose the things that are needed around her: light, graces, knowledge of Me, detachments. And if I do not achieve the purpose with these, then by means of mortifications I do not deny anything to that soul, in order to grant her what she had proposed. But, oh, how many forcefully escape from this crafting that my Love has woven around them! Few are those who do not give up and let Me accomplish my work.”
Friends, this pandemic crisis is undoubtedly nailing us to our own crosses, the cross of loss of certain forms of freedom we took for granted like coming and going as we please, learning to be satisfied with less, making do. (Remember that most of human history has consisted of people making do. God provides.) But Luisa was confined to her bed for 60 years. In one of the writings, Jesus told Luisa that since she was the instrument chosen to make known the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, her sufferings would be much greater than it would be for those who came after her. So, as we take up the cross of Living in the Divine Will, we can see it as an opportunity to conform ourselves to Nazareth. Let us call Jesus into every act of our lives. Jesus desires this; he longs for it. He thirsts for the souls he will reach through us. For our part, we will be blind to the effects. Let us not look for results, but humbly and prayerfully call him to participate in our every action. “Jesus, let’s do this together.”
(Summary of passage in the Volume more relevant today than ever!) Good-bye in the Evening to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
Oh my Jesus, celestial Prisoner, the sun is now setting, the darkness invades the earth, and you remain alone in the Tabernacle of love. I seem to see You there in an air of sadness for the loneliness of the night, because You don’t have around You the crown of your sons and of your tender spouses, who may at least keep You company in this voluntary imprisonment.
Oh, my Divine Prisoner, I too feel my heart breaking for having to leave You, and I am forced to say Good-bye; but, what am I saying, oh Jesus – never again Good-bye. I don’t have the courage to leave You alone. I say Good-bye with my lips, but not with my heart; rather, I will leave my heart with You in the Tabernacle. I will count your heartbeats and I will correspond with my heartbeat of love; I will number your panting whispers and, to give You comfort, I will let You rest in my arms. I will be your vigilant sentry; I will be on guard to see if anything comes to trouble or sadden You, not only not to ever leave You alone, but also to take part in all of your pains.
O Heart of my heart! O Love of my love! Leave this air of sadness, be consoled. It breaks my heart to see You troubled. While I say good-bye with my lips, I leave with you my breaths, my affections, my thoughts, my desires and my movements, which will form a chain of continuous acts of love, united with Yours, surrounding You as a crown, and loving You for all. Aren’t You happy, O Jesus? You seem to say Yes, don’t You?
Good-bye, oh Loving Prisoner – but, I haven’t finished yet. Before I go, I also want to leave my body before You; I intend to make of my flesh and bones many tiny little pieces in order to form as many lamps for as many Tabernacles which exist in the world; and of my blood many little flames to light those lamps. I intend to put in every Tabernacle my lamp which, united with the lamp of the Tabernacle that gives You light at night, will say ‘I love You, I adore You, I bless You, I offer reparation and I thank You for me and for all.’
Good-bye, oh Jesus – but, listen to one more thing: let’s make a pact, and the pact will be that we will love each other more. You will give me more love, enclose me in your love, make me live of love and bury me in your love. Let’s tighten more our bond of love. I will be happy only if You give me your love to be able to really love You.
Good-bye, oh Jesus, bless me – bless all. Squeeze me to Your Heart, imprison me in your love as I kiss your Heart. Good-bye, good-bye….
(Summary of passage from the Volume) Good Morning to Jesus
O my Jesus, sweet Prisoner of love, here I am before You again. I left You saying good-bye, and now I come back saying good morning. I was anxiously burning to see You again in this prison of love, to give You my yearning regards, my affectionate heartbeats, my ardent desires and all myself in order to transfuse all of myself in You, and to abandon myself in You in perpetual memory and pledge of my love toward You.
Oh my always adorable Sacramental Love, do you know? While I came to give You all of myself, I came also to receive from You all of Yourself. I cannot live without a life, therefore I want yours. All is given to the one who gives all, isn’t it true, O Jesus? Therefore, today I will love with your heartbeat of a passionate lover; I will breathe with your panting breath in search for souls; I will desire your Glory and the good of souls with your immeasurable desires. All the heartbeats of creatures will flow within your divine heartbeat; we will grasp them all and will save them. We won’t let anybody escape, at the cost of any sacrifice, even if I should bear all the pain. If You should push me away I will fling myself more inside You, I will cry out louder in order to plead together with You for the salvation of your children and my brothers.
Oh my Jesus, my Life and my All, how many things does your voluntary imprisonment tell me! But the emblem with which I see You all sealed is the emblem of the souls, while the chains which bind You completely – very strongly – are love. It seems that the words souls and love make You smile, debilitate You and force You to surrender in everything; and I, pondering well these excesses of your love, will be always before You and together with You, with my usual refrains: souls and love.
Therefore, today I want all of You; always together with me in the prayer, in the work, in the pleasures and displeasures, in the food, in the steps, in the sleep – in everything. I am certain that, being unable to obtain anything by myself, with You I will obtain everything; and everything we will do will serve to soothe each one of your pains, to sweeten every bitterness, to give You reparation for any offense, to compensate You for everything, and to plead for any conversion, no matter how difficult and desperate. We will go begging a little love from every heart, to make You more content and happy – isn’t it good this way, O Jesus?
Oh dear Prisoner of love, bind me with your chains, seal me with your love. Please, show me your beautiful face. Oh Jesus, how beautiful You are! Your blond hair braids and sanctifies all my thoughts; your calm forehead, even in the midst of many insults, gives me peace and puts me in perfect calm, even among the greatest storms, my privations of You, and your fusses, which cost me my life. Ah, You know it, but I move on; my heart will tell You this, for it knows how to say it better than I. Oh Love, your azure eyes, sparkling with divine light, sweep me to Heaven and make me forget the earth but, alas, with my greatest pain, my exile continues yet. Hurry, hurry, oh Jesus. Yes, You are beautiful, O Jesus; I seem to see You in that Tabernacle of love. The beauty and the majesty of your face enamors me and makes me see Heaven; your gracious mouth lightly places its ardent kisses every instant. Your gentle voice calls me and invites me to love every moment; your knees sustain me; your arms clasp me with an indissoluble bond, and I will impress my burning kisses, thousands upon thousands, on your adorable face.
Jesus, Jesus, may our will be one, one our love, one our happiness. Never leave me alone, because I am a nothing, and the nothing cannot be without the all. Will You promise me, oh Jesus? It seems that You say Yes. And now, bless me, bless all; and together with the angels, the saints, the sweet Mama and all the creatures, I will say to You: ‘Good morning, O Jesus, good morning.’
Now, after I wrote these prayers, written here under the influence of Jesus, as the night was approaching, Jesus showed me that He was keeping this ‘good-bye’ and ‘good morning’ inside His Heart, and He told me: “My daughter, they really came out of my Heart. Whoever will recite them with the intention of being with Me as it is expressed in these prayers, I will keep her with Me and in Me, to do anything I do. Not only will I warm her with my love, but I will increase my love towards that soul every time, admitting her to the union with the Divine Life and with my own desires to save all souls.”
I desire Jesus in my mind, Jesus in my lips, Jesus in my heart; I want to look only at Jesus, feel only Jesus, squeeze myself only to Jesus. I want to do everything together with Jesus; play with Jesus, cry with Jesus, write with Jesus; without Jesus I don’t even want to breathe. I will stay here like a fussy little child and do nothing, so that Jesus may come to do everything with me, content to be his toy, abandoning myself to his love, to his chastisements, to his concerns and to his loving jokes, provided that I do everything with Jesus.
See, O my Jesus? This is my will, and You won’t move me, did You hear? So now come and write with me.
14 February, 1912
(Summary of passage in Volume) Jesus looks at everything in the will, and it is there – in her will – that the creature keeps the ownership of her things. In the Divine Will all things become equal.
Continuing in my usual state, my always adorable Jesus came while I was telling Him: ‘Tell me, oh Jesus, how it comes about that after You have disposed the soul to suffering, and she loves suffering, knowing the goodness contained in it, and she suffers almost with passion, believing that her destiny is to suffer – at that very moment You take this treasure away from her?’ And Jesus: “My daughter, my love is great, my rule is insuperable, my teachings sublime, my instructions divine, creative and inimitable. Therefore, in order to make all things – great or small, natural or spiritual, painful or pleasant – acquire one single color and have one single value, once the soul has been trained to suffer and arrives at the point of loving it, I let this suffering pass into her will as her own property. So, every time I will send her a pain, she will always be disposed to suffer it and to love it, since she keeps within her will the property and the dispositions. I look at things in the will, and it is as if the soul always suffered, even if she does not suffer.
Further, in order for pleasure to have the same value as suffering, and in order for praying, working, eating, sleeping – in sum, everything, whatever they might be – to have one single value, since all can be if things are of my Will, I allow the soul to practice all things in my Will with holy indifference. So, it may seem to the soul that just as I give her something, I take it away from her, but it is not true. Rather, it happens that at the beginning, when the soul is not yet well trained, she is sensitive in the suffering, praying or loving. But when, with practice, these things pass in her will as her own property, the sensitivity ceases; and as she occasionally needs to use these divine properties which I made her acquire, she begins to exercise them, as the opportunity arises, with firm step and imperturbable heart. For example: does suffering occur? She finds within herself the strength and the life of suffering. Must she pray? She finds within herself the life of prayer; and so forth with all the rest.”
According to what Jesus says, it seems to me this way. Let’s suppose that I received a gift. Until I make up my mind on where I should keep that gift, I look at it, I appreciate it, and I feel a certain sensitivity in loving that gift; but if I keep it under lock and key, no longer watching it, that sensitivity ceases. With this I cannot say that the gift is no longer mine, rather, it is certainly more mine since I keep it locked, while before it was in danger and someone could have stolen it from me.
Jesus continues: “In my Will all things hold each other’s hands, all look alike and all are in agreement. Therefore, suffering gives rise to pleasure and says: ‘I have done my part in the Will of God; now you do yours, and only if Jesus wants it will I place myself in the field again.’ Fervor says to coldness: ‘You will be more ardent than me if you will content yourself with staying in the will of my Eternal Love.’ Prayer to work, sleep to vigil, illness to health,… everything; all things among themselves, it seems that each one of them leaves its place to the other to be in the field – but each one of them has its own distinct place. Then, it is not necessary for one who lives in my Will to move to place herself in the act of doing what I want; she is already in Me, like an electric wire, doing whatever I want.”
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