Feast of St. Philip Neri

FEAST OF ST. PHILIP NERI

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Novena for Vocations to the Priesthood – May 23 – June 1

NOVENA PRAYERS TO ST. ANNIBALE MARIA di FRANCIA

FOR VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD

St. AnnibaleClick image for Novena Prayers

FEAST DAY: JUNE 1

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Take Your Place of Honor in the Whole Order of Creation

FROM THE LETTERS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD, LUISA PICCARRETA

Letter #89 – Oh, how happy It will be to live Its Divine Life with the creature who Knows It, because only Knowledge gives us the highest Good of possessing It.  It makes Its Goods our own, and – oh, how happy It is to let us Live with Its own Will and to see us possessing Its own Goods!  In this Holy Divine Will, It sees the seas of Its Love no longer desert, but populated by Its children.  Therefore, let us hold dear taking refuge in the Divine Will as our life.

Letter #70 – Whatever one does for God is never lost; rather, the seed is formed, which, in sprouting, makes Life be born again, more flourishing, strong and beautiful.  Everything you have done, both for yourself and for others, is seeds that you have formed – seeds which make the Life of the Divine Will be born again.  However, our cooperation is needed – our repeated acts in the FIAT, which like beneficial water, water the seed in order to form the life.  And once the life has been formed, it takes our will united with His in order to make it grow; it takes our continuous love in order to nourish it.  Therefore, nothing is lost for us, if we really want to live from the Divine Will.  This Life exists within us, it did not escape; however, one must not abandon it, but make it grow and nourish it.  The trouble is, rather, for those who have not yet Known it, because Knowledge is necessary in order to possess.

Letter #112 – .  A Good cannot be possessed if it is not Known; and as we get to Know it, our capacity is expanded and this good takes Its royal place in us.  So, Its Sanctity, Its Beauty, Its Love are increased in us, and it forms its little Divine Seas within our soul.  This is why all the effort of the enemy is to prevent the Knowledge of the Divine Will from coming out to light, because he would lose his kingdom on earth.

The first thing that the Divine Will does when It is Known is to transform us in Good, and to floor our passions.

… You must know that for everything we do to make It Known, the Divine Will takes Its place in us and does everything Itself.  We are nothing but concurrent, giving It the place in order to let It work and do whatever It wants.

Letter #122 – (…) In order to possess a good, it is necessary to Know itKnowledge makes one love and appreciate the good possessed; it makes us rise again in the good Known; it gives us Divine Likeness.  So, every additional act we do in the Divine Will is one more Divine Likeness that we receive; and Jesus loves us so much as to endow us with His Love, His Sanctity, His Light and perennial peace, and He declares us His legitimate children.  Therefore, let us pray and let us never allow the Divine Will to escape us – both in small and in great things, both in spiritual and in natural things – because everything is of God, and it is just that we recognize the Divine Will as prime act in everything (…)

Letter #65 – Dearest son, you must Know that this is a task which God gave us in Creation.  The origin of our existence was formed in the center of the Supreme Fiat.  God created our human will as His Divine Room, as a secret office, in which He was to live together with us, and have His pulpit in order to teach us the celestial doctrine of His Will.  Therefore, no law can impose us not to Live in It; neither the Holy Church, as much as we bow and adore Her dispositions, nor God Himself can say to us:  “I do not want you to Live in My Will”, because He Himself, with highest Wisdom, gave us the right by creation.  By Living in It, we must be the dwelling of God, the bearers of our Creator; the ones in whom, in order to pour out His delirium of love, He was to become the narrator of His Divine Being within the secret room of our human will.  And therefore He wants us to Know how much He loves us, and that He wants us to live in His Will with that same love with which children and Father live…

Letter #86 – But the most beautiful wish I can send you is that your will rise again in the Divine Will, so that you may take your place of honor in the whole order of Creation, where God wants us to be.

Letter #87 – Dearest one in the Divine Volition, I don’t know how to thank you for your desire to help me like a son, if I were in need of the necessary things.  Thank you, thank you!  Even more, I want to tell you a secret which has been promised by the Divine Fiat:  It will take to heart the destiny of all those who will live from It, and will provide them with everything they need, for both the soul and the body.  It will make them lack nothing, and if necessary, even with miraculous means.  We will find ourselves in the conditions of Creation, in which one created thing has no need of the other, but all are rich in themselves.  However, they remain in highest accord and never move from their place.  Our place is the Divine Will.  If we live in It, It will keep us at Its table and nothing will be lacking to us.  How good is the Lord!  Let us thank Him from the heart.

Letter #132 – I answer to your dear letter.  To hear that you speak of the Divine Will and that you want to Know more about It is a great joy for me, knowing how content is Jesus to find a soul who wants to live of Divine Will.  This creature is His Triumph and His Victory.  And even if in the past He was wounded by this creature, He looks at these wounds, smiles and says:  “I have conquered her; she is My Victory”, and He shows her around to all of Heaven to make feast.  And as Fulfillment of His Victory, He centralizes all His Goods in her:  the Goods of Creation and of Redemption, and gives her the right over everything.  And then, wanting to Know a Good means wanting to possess it; it is like the appetite for food.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/21/pope-at-audience-if-we-destroy-creation-it-will-destroy-us/

Peace and the Holy Spirit

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VATICAN CITY, May 20, 2014 – Those who welcome the Holy Spirit will have a solid and endless peace, unlike those who choose to “superficially” trust in the tranquillity offered by money or power.

This was Pope Francis’ message in his homily at Mass on Tuesday morning in Casa Santa Marta.

Reflecting on the peace offered by things — money , power , vanity — and the peace in the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father warned that the first is always in danger of vanishing. “Today you are rich and you are somebody, not tomorrow,” he said, adding that “no-one can take away the second because it is a definitive peace.”

The Pope’s homily, which centered on one of the greatest desires of mankind of all times, was inspired by a passage from the Gospel of John, in the liturgy of the day. Jesus is about to face the Passion and before he takes leave of the disciples, he announces: “My peace I give you”.

It is a peace, the Pope said, which differs completely from the “peace that the world gives us” which is “somewhat superficial”, offering a “degree of calm, even a certain joy”, but only “up to a certain point.

“For example, it offers us the peace of wealth: ‘I am at peace because I have everything I need, everything organized for my whole life, I do not have to worry … ‘,” the Pope reminded. “This is a peace that the world gives. Do not worry, you won’t have any problems because you have so much money … the peace of wealth.

“And Jesus tells us not to trust this peace because, with great realism, he tells us: ‘Look, there are thieves … thieves can steal your wealth!’ Money does not give you a definitive peace,” the Pope continued. “Just think, metal also rusts! What does it mean? A stock market crash and all your money is gone! It is not a secure peace: It is a superficial temporal peace”.

Pope Francis also examined two other types of worldly peace. The first, the peace of “power”, does not work either because “a coup can take it away”. Think what happened to the “peace of Herod”, the Pope said, when the Magi told him that the King of Israel was born. “That peace vanished immediately”. Or the peace of “vanity”, which Pope Francis termed an “peace of conjecture”: today you are greatly appreciated and tomorrow you will be insulted, “like Jesus between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Instead, the peace that Jesus gives is of a completely different substance.

“The peace of Jesus is a Person, the Holy Spirit!,” Francis said. “On the same day of the Resurrection, He comes to the Upper Room and His greeting is: ‘Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit’. This is the peace of Jesus: it is a Person, it is a great gift. And when the Holy Spirit is in our hearts, no one can remove His peace. No one! It is a definitive peace!

“So what is our task? To take custody of this peace. Safeguard it! It is a great peace, a peace that is not mine, it belongs to another Person who gives it to me, another Person who is in my heart and accompanies me all the days of my life. The Lord has given it to me”.

This peace is received at Baptism and Confirmation, but above all “we receive it like a child who receives a gift”, the Pope said, ” without conditions, with an open heart”. We must take custody of the Holy Spirit without “imprisoning Him”, asking for help from this “great gift” of God.

The Pope added: “If you have this peace of the Spirit, if you have the Holy Spirit within you, and you are aware of this, let not your heart be troubled. Be sure! Paul told us that we must first pass through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But we all, all of us, we have so many, everyone! Some bigger, some smaller … ‘But let not your heart be troubled’, and this is the peace of Jesus. The presence of the Spirit that makes our heart be at peace. Not anesthetized, no! At peace! Aware, but at peace with the peace that only God’s presence gives”.

Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/20/peace-and-the-holy-spirit-2/

Priesthood and Victimhood

506px-Holy_Orders_Picture“If in Christ, Priesthood and victimhood are inseparable, should this not be so in ‘other-Christ’s’? Why have we considered ourselves only as offerers and not as offered, as preachers and not as sin-bearers, as social workers and not as redeemers? The priest is called to be a sin-bearer, as Christ was. This does not mean that he must wear hair shirts. Penance does not require hair shirts today; our neighbors are hair shirts. Victimhood means that we feel the guilt and sin of the world as if it were our own, and by constant union with Christ, seek to reconcile all mankind to Him. Love means identification with others – not only with the sheepfold, but also those who are not in it. If sin were finished, the Priest need only be a Priest; but if Calvary is continuing then the glorified Christ can still ask: why do you persecute me?”

– Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Those Mysterious Priests)

Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/20/priesthood-and-victimhood/

St. Bernardine of Siena

StBernardinetalSaint Bernardine of Siena, priest. Madonna and Child between Saint Francis and Saint Bernardine of Siena Benozzo Gozzoli

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Collect:
O God, who gave the Priest Saint Bernardine of Siena
a great love for the holy Name of Jesus,
grant, through his merits and prayers,
that we may ever be set aflame
with the spirit of your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:57-62
As they were going along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.” To another He said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”.

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Let God “Write” Your Life

Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/17/let-god-write-your-life/

Pray, Imitate Jesus

FROM THE LETTERS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD, LUISA PICCARRETA

L_Luisa_Reading-a2Letter #106 – So, dear Father, let us pray.  Let us do this Will so Holy and let us live in It.  May It be our breath and heartbeat.  If we do so, we will be carried in the Divine Arms; It will lower Itself to breathe in our breathing, to beat in our heartbeat, to move in our motion.  Then, in the ardor of our love, we will say to Him:  “I love You for all, and for love of You, I give You the heartbeat, the breath and the motion of all.”

Letter # 122 – Therefore, let us pray and let us never allow the Divine Will to escape us – both in small and in great things, both in spiritual and in natural things – because everything is of God, and it is just that we recognize the Divine Will as prime act in everything (…)

Letter #131 – How happy we will be, thinking that in every little act of ours – even in the breath, in the motion, in the steps – we will form as many Jesuses, as many Divine Lives, for as many acts as we do!  Oh, how Jesus longs for this, reaching the point of counting the minutes, the breaths, to form His life in the acts of the creature and say:  “The creature loves Me with my own Love; she adore Me, she prays to Me with My own prayers…”  In this way we will populate the Sun, the earth, the sea, with many Divine Lives.  Then will our lives live hidden in God, and we will do what the Lord wants and does.  Therefore, let us pray, in order to obtain such a great good.

Letter #133 – Poor Jesus, how much He suffers!  And how He sighs and cries because the creatures do not pray Him, do not press Him to concede them the gift of living in the Will of God.  And if He finds one, He takes her in His arms, He makes feasts, He feels like a victorious King who, although He had to suffer for six thousand years receiving wounds and defeats, has now finally made His first conquest.  And He enjoys her triumphantly, calling all of Heaven to celebrate His first victory.  And while He makes feast, He places His Sanctity, His Love, His Light, His graces, at the creature’s disposal, and gives her the right to her Celestial Fatherland…

Letter # 87 – Now, I let you know that I receive Holy Communion every day, and Holy Mass once a week, while, before, even when I went out of the convent, It was celebrated every day.  

Letter #125 –You will certainly not neglect to make Holy Masses be celebrated for her soul.

Letter #51 – It takes trust and love with blessed Jesus; the braver we are, the more He loves us.  Your fear of receiving Communion comes from the enemy; he would be pleased if we formed more firewood for hell, otherwise he would not have told you this, nor caused so many fears within you.  On the contrary, I tell you that when you abstain because of fear, you form firewood for Purgatory, and the Communions you do not receive on earth, you will receive them with fire in Purgatory, because Jesus burns with love in the Most Holy Sacrament and wants to come into our hearts in order to pour His flames out; while if we abstain, He burns more, becoming fidgety and delirious, and with Justice He will make us burn more in Purgatory.  Therefore, think only of loving Jesus, of how to make Him happier, and love will destroy all the wood and, as celestial dew, will cover you and purify you from everything.

Letter #23 – I send you Jesus to keep you company.  Keep your gaze fixed in Him to imitate Him, your heart to love Him, your hands to hug Him, your lips to repeat always:  Fiat, Fiat!

Letter # 102 – Therefore, courage and trust.  With courage we will challenge everyone, and with trust we will live safely in the Heart and in the Arms of our sweet Jesus; our Queen Mama will take us on Her knees and will keep us hidden under Her Blue Mantle.  I leave you in the Divine Volition to make yourself a saint.  I recommend to you:  let us not change in the different circumstances of life; many times they serve to make us copy and imitate our dear Jesus.

Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/16/popefrancis-pray-celebrate-and-imitate-jesus/

DIVINE MARTYRDOM – BECOMING A SAINT

DIVINE MARTYRDOM – BECOMING A SAINT

 Here is one of the most wonderful and terrifying sentences I have ever read, from William Law’s Serious Call, “If you will look into your own heart in utter honesty, you must admit that there is one and only one reason why you are not even now a saint. You do not wholly want to be.”

That insight is terrifying because it is an indictment, but it is wonderful and hopeful because it is also an offer, an open door. Each of us can become a saint. We really can. We really can. I say it three times, because I think we do not really believe that deep down. For if we did, how could we endure being anything less?

What holds us back? Fear of paying the price. What is the price? The answer is simple. T. S. Eliot gave it when he defined Christianity as “a condition of complete simplicity…costing not less than everything.” The price is everything—100 percent. Martyrdom, if required, and probably a worse martyrdom than the quick noose or stake, the martyrdom of dying daily, dying every minute for the rest of your life. Dying to all your desires and plans—including your plans about how to become a saint. (Peter Kreeft, Culture War)

FROM THE LETTERS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD, LUISA PICCARRETA

Luisa1

 Letter #10 – “My daughter, forget about everything, and remember only that your Jesus wants love in order to give you love.  If you love Me, you will form chains of love, and binding Me with them, you will hold Me tightly in your arms, and I will be your defense, your help, your company, your life.”  So, make Jesus content, and do not lose simplicity; do not lose time.  Each thought of yourself is a gap of love that you form; you deny Jesus an act of love, and keep Jesus sighing for your little love.  Think about it, and be attentive.

 Letter #99 – More so, since every time we do an act in the Divine Will, the human will goes through a martyrdom – not of blood, but of will, which never dies.  And the Lord is so pleased that He places on it the seal of a divine martyrdom.  So we can say to God:  “I am your continuous martyr.  I die not just once, but so many times for as many times I don’t do my will…”  Enough for now; let us move to something else.

Letter #100 – You are right in what you say to me, and I add:  what we should care about is to live dissolved in the Holy Will.  In each one of our acts, also natural, done in the Divine Will, in the most tiny things, even in one breath, we can form a martyrdom, not human, but divine – more noble, more holy than the martyrdom of shedding our blood, to offer to Jesus His infinite Love, His Sanctity which has no beginning and no end.

Letter #105 – and I wish you a greater martyrdom, more noble and divine, more heroic and more accepted by God – that is, the martyrdom of the Divine Will.  This martyrdom surpasses all other martyrdoms; even more, as many times as you do the Will of God instead of doing yours, so many times will you be able to say:  “I am martyr for You; the martyrdom I offer You is not of blood or of flesh, but with my will united to Yours, I offer You a divine martyrdom.”  Goodness of God!  If only our acts enter the Divine Volition, everything is changed into divine in us, and what is human has no longer life.

Here is my wish.  I could not send you a more beautiful one; more so, since the opportunities are not lacking.  In all circumstances, even painful, you will have a refuge in which to take shelter.  Jesus is waiting for you open arms to receive you and to help you to form in you the noble martyrdom of the Divine Will.

Letter #12 – Therefore, what I recommend to you is to correspond to such a great good.  Be attentive to listening to sweet Jesus, Who speaks in your heart.  He wants to make of you a saint, but wants your will in His hands in order to make of it a prodigy of sanctity.

 Letter #13 – What I recommend to you is to look at the Divine Will in all things, both the favorable and the adverse – painful, sorrowful ones – and in the contrasts of life which no one lacks; rather, blessed Jesus allows them in order to form the little rocks on which to raise the building of sanctity within us, since without Cross we would lack the primary element to becoming saints… Saying,  “I don’t mean to become a saint”  means that you rely too much on yourself; you look at yourself instead of abandoning yourself in the arms of Jesus.  Lean on Him, and you will see that all things – pains, crosses, miseries, weaknesses, the very defects, and illness – will lose their look and will all turn into messengers and bearers of sanctity.  Sweet Jesus gave you everything to make of you a saint:  call to religion, crosses, nourishment… And if you sin and are not holy, do you want to know the cause?  Lack of union with Jesus.  Union with Jesus floors all sins, love kills all passions, and abandonment in Him and trust are the nourishment in order to grow in sanctity.  Here is the means to sin no more:  to be united with Jesus, love Him, and always do His Will.

Don’t think about the past, this harms you a great deal; rather, even today, begin your life with Jesus and you will find out for yourself  how all things change for you; you will feel like another man, born again in all that is holy.

Lastly, I tell you that if Jesus made me write as many as two times (which I do for almost no one), it is because He loves you and wants you a saint.  Therefore I beg you to do the deeds.  I leave you in the Divine Volition, clasped within the arms of Jesus.

Letter #15 – Now let’s come to us.  You say you have many crosses.  Good sign, my daughter.  Crosses are divine jealousies and little coins that our Lord gives us.  His jealousy is the great love He has in making of us saints; He takes everyone away from us and He Himself, God, Maker and Martyr, with little crosses and with His own hands, works our souls and makes of them His images.  What love for us, as we can say, through little and large crosses,  “I am similar to my dear Jesus”!

But do you want to know why you feel the weight of your miseries?  Because many times you do not try to be together with Jesus and to convince yourself that He is already with you, and you do not unite the pains of Jesus with yours.  Before the pains of Jesus, yours lose hardness, empty themselves of their weight, become small, and almost smile, because they love to adorn our souls with the same ornaments as those with which we see Jesus being adorned.  What pleasure, what joy, to be able to say:  “You have suffered for me, and I for You”!  Together with Jesus, pains change their look, miseries disappear; and from pains, miseries and weaknesses the most beautiful conquests, celestial riches and the strength of God arise, and the very Angels and Saints envy our lot.

Therefore, my daughter, here is the secret to becoming a saint:  be together with Jesus, never deny Him anything, and in everything you do, even in necessary things of life – in the pains you suffer, in the prayers you say, in the work, in the food, in the sleep, say to Him from the heart:  “Jesus, I want to do always your Will.”  In this way, you will always keep the Fiat on your lips, in your mind, and in your heart.

Letter #17 – The Lord had to prepare the material in order to make of you a saint; and He has prepared enough of it.  So, all you have to say and do is this:  “The Heart of Jesus wants me a saint:  I must become a saint!”  Have we understood each other?

Now I assure you of my prayers for your children; then the Lord will console you even more.  I leave you in the Divine Volition to become a saint.  Never get disturbed in anything; rather, give all to Jesus, so that He may change it into flames of love.  Pray for me.  With a thousand regards, I say,

most affectionately yours,

 the little daughter of the Divine Will

Corato, January 5, 1935

Letter #31 – When there is prayer, the hour of the Lord will come and He will give us more than we ask for.  Our part must be to remain always in our place, to always do the Divine Will, because this is the greatest of miracles, and Our Lord will provide and take care of everything; more than that we ourselves would not do.  If we always do the Divine Will, our names will be written in Heaven and our salvation, our sanctity, will be secured.  Jesus will be all ours; and what will He not give to us?  Everything.  Therefore, think about making yourself a saint, and the rest will come by itself.

Letter #52 –   If you want to be a saint, search only for Jesus and take from Jesus all that He disposes – privations, lack of help, even spiritual… My daughter, until you strip yourself of everything, even of holy tastes, Jesus, the kidnapper of hearts, will not give you His divine tastes, and therefore you will be always shaken and beaten, now by one wave, now by another one…

I conclude, enclosing you in the wound of the Most Holy Heart of Jesus, so that He may bless you, console you, and hold you tightly in His arms.  Pray for me…

The little daughter of the Divine Will

Letter #60 – As far as the future, don’t worry about it either, because it is not ours, but belongs to God.  We must obey and make ourselves saints, not for our interest, but for the glory of God.  So, banish every doubt, since doubt, fear and agitation do not come from God, but from the devil; rather, think of loving and doing the Will of God, because with doubts we displease the Lord much more than if we sinned.

Letter #61- everything is in denying nothing to the Divine Will.  To deny something to It, not letting oneself be dominated by It, means to break the sanctity, to tear it to shreds, in such a way that we ourselves will not be able to make head or tail of anything, in order to really become saints.

Letter #63 – Oh, how the Divine Will wants you a saint!  But It wants you to call It continuously, in order to make the day of peace arise in your soul, and make all the miseries which prevent true sanctity, magically disappear from your heart.  The Divine Fiat awaits you, to say to you:  “Give me life in your acts and I will make you a saint.  And everything will turn into happiness.”

Letter #72 – We must be convinced that not the great things make us saints, but the little ones, which we have in our power and which serve as the nourishment of sanctity.

Letter #80 – If you want to be a saint, live always with Jesus.  He takes on the commitment to make of you His faithful copy, to the extent of being able to say:  “Jesus has made of me another Jesus.”  These are His aims.  My daughter, make Him content.

Letter #82- If you want to be a saint, live always with Jesus.  He takes on the commitment to make of you His faithful copy, to the extent of being able to say:  “Jesus has made of me another Jesus.”  These are His aims.  My daughter, make Him content.

Letter #108 – It is Jesus that wants His daughter similar to Himself; aren’t you happy?  So, do not care about anything else but to live abandoned in His Arms.  With this you will feel a new strength, and you will no longer feel alone; sufferings will turn for you into sanctity and into celestial joys.  Dear Jesus will give you His pains as courting, strength and company.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/15/divine-martyrdom-becoming-a-saint/

FORTITUDE, THE GIFT TO OVERCOME DIFFICULT MOMENTS

FORTITUDE, THE GIFT TO OVERCOME DIFFICULT MOMENTS

Pope Francis 3Vatican City, 14 May 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father, in the catechesis of this Wednesday’s general audience, mentioned the first three gifts of the Holy Spirit considered during the previous weeks: wisdom, understanding and counsel, and went on to talk about the fourth gift, fortitude. To explain the importance of this gift, he offered the example of the parable of the sower. The seeds which fall on the road are eaten by birds, and those which fall among the stones dry out; only those that fall on good soil grow and bear fruit.

The sower is the Father, who sows the seeds of His Word. “The seeds often encounter the aridity of our heart and, even when accepted, risk remaining sterile. With the gift of fortitude, however, the Holy Spirit wakes the ground of our heart from its torpor, uncertainty and all the fears that may hold it back, so that the Word of the Lord may be put into practice, in an authentic and joyful manner”. The Pope spoke about all those difficult moments and extreme situations in which the gift of fortitude manifests itself in an extraordinary way, and remarked that the Church is “resplendent with the witness of many brothers and sisters who have not hesitated to give their lives in order to remain faithful to the Lord and to His Gospel”, and that nowadays there are still many Christians who offer witness to their faith in perilous circumstances. He added, “We all know people who have experienced difficult situations and great suffering. But, think of these men, these woman, who lead difficult lives, who struggle to maintain their families, to bring up their children: they do all of this because the spirit of fortitude helps them. … These brothers and sisters of ours are saints, everyday saints, saints who are concealed among us; they have the gift of fortitude that allows them to carry out their duties as persons, as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and citizens. … And it is good for us to think about these people: if they do all this, if they can do it, why can’t I? It is good for us to ask the Lord for the gift of fortitude”.

However, “it should not be thought that the gift of fortitude is necessary only on some occasions or in particular situations. This gift must constitute the base note of our Christian being, nurturing in us a sanctity lived in the ordinariness of our daily life”. Pope Francis commented that the phrase of the apostle Paul, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. Before concluding, the Pontiff added that “at times we are tempted by idleness or we are discouraged, especially when faced with the burdens and trials of life. In these cases, we must not lose heart, but must instead invoke the Holy Spirit, so that the gift of fortitude might lift our hearts and transmit new strength and enthusiasm to our life and to our following of Jesus”.

FROM THE LETTERS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD LUISA PICCARRETA

Letter # 80

LUISA14“…what I recommend is that you never lose peace, and that do not think of your miseries and weaknesses.  The more you think about them, the more you will feel them, and you will really make Jesus cry.  On the other hand, by not thinking of them, dear Jesus will cover them with His Love, and the Light of His Will will change them into fortitude and divine riches.  Oh, how I wish you would occupy yourself with nothing but living from the Divine Will, to let sweet Jesus live always together with you.  Never lose sight of Him, my daughter; never leave Him alone in your heart.  May everything you do serve to court and love Jesus.  He looks at everything you do, whether they are things directed to love Him and keep Him company within your heart.  Oh, how embittered He remains when your external acts do not echo in your interior, bringing Him your kisses, your love, your longed for company… If you want to be a saint, live always with Jesus.  He takes on the commitment to make of you His faithful copy, to the extent of being able to say:  “Jesus has made of me another Jesus.”  These are His aims.  My daughter, make Him content.

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