by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
July 15, 1926
My Jesus, my Love, my Celestial Mama and Sovereign Queen, come to my assistance, take my poor heart in your hands. Don’t you see how it bleeds because of the hard fight of having to start all over again, talking about my poor existence, my childhood?
At any cost would I want to escape this most painful and hard sacrifice, and even more painful because unexpected; but a new obedience comes out into the field to torture my poor and insignificant existence. Jesus, Mama, come tomy aid, otherwise I feel that my will would want to enter the field again, in order to have life and to be able to say a curt “no” to the one who commands me. Ah, Jesus, will You perhaps allow me to have anything to do with my will, after You have kept it bound at your feet with so much jealousy for so long, as gift and triumph of your little daughter?
They imposed it on me to pray in order to know from You, whether I have to do it or
not, and instead of being with me, You told me: “This will serve to make known the land which the Sun of My Will had to illumine, in order to form Its Kingdom.”
Ah, Jesus, what do I care of making my little land known! And You should care to make your Will known; isn’t that true, O Jesus? But Jesus kept silent and disappeared; and with all the intense bitterness of my soul I say, “Fiat! Fiat!,” and I begin.
So, at the beginning I will say what I have been told by my own family. I was born in 1865, on April 23, Sunday “in Albis”, in the morning; on the same evening I was baptized. My mother said that I was born upside down although she did not suffer at all during the delivery; and in fact in the encounters and circumstances of my poor existence I usually say: “I was born upside down! It is right that my life be upside down compared to the life of other creatures.”
I remember that during the tender age of three or four up to about the age of ten, I was of fearful temperament, and the fear was such that I could neither be alone nor take one
step by myself. But the reason for this was that from the age of three, at night I had always had frightening dreams. I dreamed of the devil who gave me such fright as to make me tremble. Many times I dreamed that he wanted to take me with him pulling me strongly, and I made every effort to escape. In this dream I would break out into a cold sweat, hide, and run into the arms of my Mama. Then the following day I would remain with the impression of those dreams, and with such fear that I felt as though the devil was coming out from all sides.
Now, I believe that this was good for me, because from that age I recited many “Hail
Marys” and “Our Fathers” to all the Saints whose names I knew, in order to obtain the grace of not dreaming of the devil; and if anyone mentioned another Saint whom I didn’t know, I immediately added a “Father” if he wasmale, or a “Hail” if she was female, because I said that if I did not honor all of them, they would have made me dream of the devil. I remember that from that age I always recited the seven “Hails” to the Sorrowful Mama, so I had a great length of “Fathers” and “Hail Marys”; so, while the other little girls and my little sisters were playing, I remained a short distance from them-or together with them because I was scared-but I did not participate in their innocent games in order to recite my long series of “Hails” and “Our Fathers”… I also remember
that sometimes I dreamed of the Virgin who cast the devil away from me, and once said to me: “My daughter, cry, for My Son is dead.” I was shaken and I felt compassion for
Her; but this made me unhappy. When I reached a more capable age in which I was able to meditate and read, I could not be by myself because of the fear,and therefore I could not do what I wanted.
Now, after I became a daughter of Mary at the age of eleven, one day, as I wanted to
pray and meditate, I was caught up by fear and I was about to run to my family, when I
felt a strength in my interior holding me back, and in the depth of my soul I heard a voice telling me: “Why do you fear? Your Angel is by your side, Jesus is in your heart, and your Celestial Mama keeps you under her mantle; why do you fear then? Who is stronger: your guardian Angel, your Jesus, your Celestial Mama, or the infernal enemy? Therefore, do not run away, but stay, pray, and do not fear.”
This voice in my interior gave me so much strength, courage and firmness that the
fear went away, and every time I was caught up by fear, I heard this voice in my interior again, and I felt I was being carried by the hand, by my angel, by the Sovereign Queen
and by sweet Jesus. I felt triumphant in their midst, so much so, that I acquired such courage that all the fear went away; and even more, the frightening dreams ceased completely. So I was able to be alone, walk alone, go to the garden by myself when we stayed at the farm house; while before, if I did go, I would run away if I saw only a tree branch moving, because I thought that the devil was up there.
I remember that one day, recalling the fear of my young age, the many dreams
about the enemy, which rendered my childhood unhappy, I said to Jesus: “What’s
the purpose, my Love, of having spent my young age with so much fear, with so
many bad dreams which made me shake and sweat, and embittered an age so tender?
I could understand nothing, nor did I think that the enemy had any purpose, given that my age was so small; and Jesus said to me: “My daughter, the enemy had an inkling of something about you-that I could use you in something for My great Glory, and that he would receive a great defeat, never before received; more so, since he saw that, as much as he tried, he could not make any affection or thought less pure penetrate into you, because I kept the doors closed to him, and he could find no way to enter. In seeing this, he became angry and, unable to do anything else, he tried to terrify you with dreams of fear and fright. Moreover, since he did not know the reason for My great designs upon you which were to serve for the destruction of his kingdom, he came to attention in order to investigate the cause, hoping to be able to harm you in some way.”
Our Lord has been very good to me, giving me good parents, who were mostly
attentive not to letting us hear even one word of blasphemy or that was less than honest. They loved me, but with a dignified and serious love. I remember that when I was a little child, my father never took me in his arms, and that I never gave or
received kisses from him. I do not remember having kissed my mother either; and
when I was grown up and bedridden, as she had to go to the farm house and be absent for many months, on taking leave of me, my mama made the motion of wanting to kiss me; in seeing this, I kissed her hand before she could, and so she abstained from that expression, so maternal.
Daddy and mama were angels of purity and modesty. They were generous with their employees: fraud and deceit had no place in our house. Their custody was such that never did they entrust us to strange people, but kept us always with them. I hope that blessed Jesus rewarded so much virtue, by giving them the Celestial Fatherland as residence.
I also remember that I was of shy temperament, and if relatives or other people
came to visit us, I ran upstairs so as not to be found, or I hid behind a bed and prayed; and I came out only when they called me telling me that they had left. When my mama went to visit some relatives and wanted to take me with her, I cried because I did not want to go; so, I and one of my little sisters, with almost the same temperament, were content with remaining alone and locked in instead of going out. This shyness prevented me from participating in anything-either feast or amusements, even innocent ones-which were usual among families. I was the sacrificed one of shyness, and if my parents forced me, I felt crucified because shyness rendered all things alien to me.
As I remembered all this, which somehow rendered my childhood unhappy, sweet Jesus said to me: “My daughter, even the shyness with which I surrounded you in
your tender age was one of My greatest jealousies of love for you. I wanted that no one would enter into you, either world or people; I wanted to render you apart from everyone. I did not want you to participate in anything, or that anything be pleasing to you, because, having established from that time that I was to form the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat within you, and since you were to take part in Its feasts and joys-it was right that you enjoy no other feast, and that you be deprived of all pleasures and amusements which are on earth. Aren’t you happy?” But although I was shy and fearful, I was of lively and happy temperament:
I ran, I jumped, and I even did some impertinences.
Then, at about the age of twelve, a new period of my life began: I started to hear
the interior voice of Jesus, especially at Communion. I had First Communion at
nine, and on the same day I received the Sacrament of Holy Confirmation.
Not rarely did Jesus make Himself heard in my interior when I received Holy
Communion. Sometimes I remained several hours kneeling, almost motionless, after Communion, and I heard the interior voice speaking, and sometimes reproaching me if I had not been good and attentive. And if sometimes during the course of the day I had been a little distracted, oh, how it reprimanded me, and ended up saying: “Yet, you say that you love Me; and where is this love of yours?” I felt like dying in hearing this, and promised to be more attentive, and Jesus added: “I will see, I will see if it is true…; words are not enough for Me; I want facts.”
Communion became my predominant passion. In It I centralized all my affections. I was certain to hear Our Lord speaking; and how much it cost me to be deprived of It, being forced by my family to go with them to the farm house, and having to be many months without Mass and without Communion. How many times I burst into tears in seeing trees, flowers, the whole Creation…! I said to myself: “The works of Jesus are around me; only Jesus is not with me…
Please, speak to me, you flower, you sun, you heavens, you crystal clear water flowing in our little pond-speak to me about Jesus. You are works of His hands, give me news of Him…!” And it seemed that all things spoke to me about Him. Each created thing spoke to me about each quality of Jesus, and crying because I could not receive the One Whom all things loved, things which could narrate so well the beauty, the love, the goodness of Jesus-I wept and reached the point of falling ill.
Also during meditation I heard the voice of Jesus, but sometimes it was missing; but
at Communion, never. And how many times, while meditating, I would remain two or three hours without being able to move. As I read the point and stopped, I heard the voice of Jesus in my interior, Who, acting as Teacher, explained the meditation to me. Since that time in my interior lovable Jesus gave me lessons on the Cross, on meekness, on obedience, on His hidden Life… Talking about His hidden Life, I remember that He said to me: “My daughter, your life must be in our midst in the home of Nazareth. If you work, if you pray, if you take food, if you walk, you must give one hand to Me, the other to our Mama, and your gaze to Saint Joseph, to see whether your acts correspond to ours, so as to be able to say: first I make my model what Jesus, the Celestial Mama and Saint Joseph do, and then I follow it. According to the model you have made, I want to be repeated by you in My hidden Life; I want to find in you the works of My Mama, those of My dear Saint Joseph, and My own works.”
I was confused and said to Him: “My beloved Jesus, I don’t know how to do it.”
And He: “My daughter, courage, do not lose heart; if you do not know how to do it, ask Me to teach you, and I will soon teach you. I will tell you of our way-My intentions, the continuous love among the three of us; of how I, as sea, and they, as little rivers, were always swollen in such a way that one overflowed into the other, to the extent of having little time to talk to each other, so much were we absorbed in love. Do you see how behind you are? Much do you have to do in order to reach us. Much silence and attention would be convenient for you, for I do not want you behind, but in our midst.”
So, when I didn’t know what to do, I asked Jesus, and He taught me in my interior.
I tried almost always to withdraw from my family as much as I could, in order to be alone, to maintain silence. I took my work and I asked mama for permission to go upstairs, and she allowed me to do so. So my mind was in the house of Nazareth-and I looked now at one, now at the other, and I felt confused in seeing them so attentive in their humble works, so absorbed in the flames of love, which rose so high that their works remained inflamed and transformed into love. And I, astonished, thought to myself: “They love so much, and what is my love? Can I say that my works, my prayers, the food I take, the steps I take, are flames which rise to the Throne of God, and form a river which overflows into the sea of Jesus? In seeing that it was not so, I remained afflicted, and in my interior Jesus said to me: “What is it? Do not afflict yourself; little by
little you will make it. I will be over you, and you-follow Me and do not fear.”
If I wanted to say everything which occurred in my interior during my childhood, I
would be too long; more so, since in the first Volume I have written-without specifying the period, whether before or after, whether I was younger or grown up-there is mention of the crafting of grace in the depth of my soul, because so I was told: that it did not matter if I didn’t put the order of age-what had happened before, or what happened later-as long as I said what had occurred in me. More so, since after many years, it was difficult for me to maintain the order of what had occurred in my interior. So now, in order not to make repetitions, I move forward.
I remember that, as a girl, I had almost a yearning for becoming a nun, and since
I went to school to the nuns, I felt an affection a little pronounced for them; but I loved them because I wanted to be one of them. However, in my interior I felt reproached
because of this affection, and while I promised to love no one else but Jesus, I fell again, and Jesus returned to give me bitter reproaches. This was the only affection I remember, which I felt in my life in a special way, since afterwards I no longer felt in love with anyone. What tyranny a natural affection is, even though innocent, for the poor human heart! I remember it with terror; the internal reproaches crucified me; it seemed to me that my affection kept Jesus crucified, and that Jesus, in return, crucified me; so I did not enjoy true peace, because the nature of human love is to wage war against a poor heart. To have peace and to love people in a special way, does not exist in the world, and if it does, it means having no conscience; even if it were with a holy and indifferent intention.
But blessed Jesus put a stop to it soon, and here is how. One morning I asked my mama to send me to visit Mother Superior, and I obtained this with hardship and sacrifice. Upon going there, I asked for Mother Superior, and after a while I got the answer that she was busy and could not come. On hearing this I was wounded. I went to church and poured out my pain with Jesus; and from this He took the occasion to make me stop. He spoke to me of His Love, of the inconstancy of the love of creatures, and of how He absolutely wanted me to stop it, telling me: “When a heart is not empty, I refuse it, nor can I begin the crafting which I had planned to do in the depth of the soul.” But who can tell all that He said to me in my interior? I remember that it did end there, and my heart remained intrepid, no longer able to love anyone.
But I always prayed Jesus to let me become a nun, and I often asked Him when I felt
Him in my interior, whether my religious vocation was going to be fulfilled. And Jesus assured me, telling me: “Yes, I will make you content; you will see that you will be a nun.” I remained all content in being assured by Jesus, and I tried to dispose my family in order to obtain their consent; but they were opposed, especially my mother. She even cried, and said to me that she would have made me content if I wanted to become a cloistered nun; but to be an active nun, she would have never let me win.
However, to tell the truth, I wanted to become an active nun, because those I knew had been my teachers; but my long illness occurred, and put an end to my vocation. Many
times I lamented with Jesus and said to Him: “Yet, You told me a lie-You made fun of me, promising that I was going to become a nun.” And many times Jesus assured me that He was telling the truth, saying to me: “I can neither deceive nor make fun. The call which I made upon you was more special: who, in becoming a nun, even in the most strict religious lives, cannot walk, cannot take air, cannot enjoy anything? And how many times in religious orders do they let the little world in, and amuse themselves magnificently? And I remain as if aside… Ah, My daughter, when I call to a state, I know how to fulfill the call. The place is indifferent to Me; the religious habit tells Me nothing, when in substance the soul is what she should be if she had entered religious life. Therefore I tell you that you are and will be the true little nun of My Heart.”