1. Take no
notice, my son, let them publish what they like.
I fear God's judgement and not that of men. Only sin is to be
feared because it offends God and dishonours us.
Goodness not only does not reject repentant souls, but even goes in search of
3. When you
are in a state of abjection imitate the kingfishers who
build their nests on the masts of ships, which are raised above the earth.
Raise your heart and your thoughts to God who alone can console you and give you
the strength to sustain your trials in a holy way.
4. Your Kingdom
is not far away, allow us to participate in Your triumph on earth to
then participate in Your Kingdom in Heaven. Grant that, being unable
to contain the communication of Your charity, we preach Your
divine Regality by our example and good works. Take possession of our
hearts in time to possess them in eternity. Keep us under Your sceptre
so that neither life nor death can separate us from You. Let our
lives be drawn from You in large draughts of love which will then
extend over humanity and let us die at every moment to live only
for You and keep You in our hearts.
5. Let us do good
while we still have time, and we will
render glory to our heavenly Father, sanctify ourselves, and give good example to others.
6. When you are unable
to take big steps on the path that leads to God, be content with
little steps, patiently waiting until you have the legs to run; or better still,
wings to fly. Be content with being, for now, a little bee in a hive,
which will soon become a big bee, capable of producing honey.
humble yourself before God and man, because God speaks to the humble. Love
silence, because much talk is never without sin. Withdraw into yourself
as much as you can, because, in this way, the Lord speaks freely
to the soul, and the soul is more able to listen to his voice. Cut down
on your visits to people, and bear those visits made to you in a Christian manner.
8. God is served
only when He is served as He wishes to be.
9. In short,
don't philosophize on your defects; don't reply but carry on firmly. No, God could
not lose you when, in order to avoid losing Him you persist in
your resolutions. Let the world turn upside down, let everything
be in darkness, in smoke, in confusion, but God is with us, what
can we fear therefore? If God lives in the darkness and on Mount
Sinai amidst the thunder and lightning, shouldn't we be happy, knowing
we are close to Him?
10. Thank God
and gently kiss his hand which strikes you; it is always the hand of a Father
who strikes because He loves you.
11. Fear is an evil worse
than evil itself.
12. To doubt is the greatest
insult to Divinity.
13. It is by means
of trials that God binds to Him the souls He loves.
14. He who attaches
himself to the earth remains attached to it. It is better to detach oneself
little by little instead of all at once. Let us always think of Heaven.
15. To fear losing
yourself in the arms of divine Goodness, is stranger than the fear of an infant
held tightly in its mother's arms.
16. You must cultivate this
well-formed heart, carefully, and spare nothing which could be useful
to its happiness. Even though in every season - that is, at every age - you can
and must do this,
your present age is the most suitable.
17. As regards your
reading there is very little to be admired and hardly anything by which to
be edified. It is absolutely necessary for you to add to such reading
that of the holy books (Sacred Scripture) so highly recommended
by all the holy Fathers of the Church. I cannot dispense you
from such spiritual reading, for I have your perfection too much at
heart. If you want to gain the quite unhoped-for fruit from such reading,
it will be well to rid yourself of the prejudice you have with regard
to the style and form in which these holy books are set forth.
Get to work then. Make an effort in this respect and don't neglect
to ask the divine assistance with all humility.
18. All the feasts
of the Church are beautiful. Easter, yes, is glorification but Christmas has a
tenderness, a child-like sweetness that completely captivates my heart.
19. May the Holy Family
never withdraw its loving gaze from you and your family. Model
yourselves on it and you will have peace, and spiritual and temporal well-being.
20. Poverty, humility,
degradation, contempt surround the Word made flesh. But from the
darkness in which this Word made flesh is enveloped, we understand
one thing, we hear a voice, we catch a glimpse of a sublime truth.
All this He has done out of love, and He does nothing but invite us
to love; He speaks of nothing else but love; He gives nothing but
proof of love.
21. Stay very close
to the crib of this most beautiful Child, especially during these days of his
birth. If you love riches, here you will find the gold the Kings left
Him. If you love the smoke of honours, here you will find that of
incense. And if you love the delicacy of the senses, you will smell
the perfumed myrrh which perfumes the entire holy stable.
22. May the Child
Jesus be your guiding star in the desert of this present life.
23. Faith also
guides us and we follow securely in its light the way which leads to God, His
homeland, just as the holy Magi, guided by the star, symbol of faith,
reached the desired place.
24. Don't let
your zeal be bitter, fussy, aggravating or a cause of uneasiness, but let it be
free from all defects: Let it be sweet, benevolent, gracious, peaceful
and uplifting. Ah, who cannot see the dear little Infant of Bethlehem
in the event for which we are preparing? Who does not see his
incomparable love for souls? He comes to die in order to save, and
He is so humble, sweet and lovable.
25. Live joyfully
and courageously, at least in the upper part of the soul, amidst the trials in
which the Lord places you. Live joyfully and courageously, I repeat,
because the Angel who foretells the birth of our little Saviour and Lord,
announces singing, and sings announcing that he brings tidings of
joy, peace and happiness to men of goodwill. So that there is nobody
who does not know that in order to receive this Child it is sufficient to
be of goodwill.
26. From the time
of his birth Jesus points out our mission, which is to despise what the
world loves and seeks.
27. Jesus calls the poor
and simple shepherds by means of angels to manifest Himself to them.
He calls the learned men by means of their science. And all of
them moved interiorly by grace hasten to adore Him. He calls all
of us with divine inspirations and He communicates Himself to us with his grace.
How many times has He not lovingly invited us also? And with what promptitude have
we replied? My God I blush and am filled with confusion at having
to reply to such a question.
28. The worldly, engulfed
in their affairs, live in obscurity and error, nor do they try to learn about
God, or give a thought to their eternal salvation, or try to find out
about the coming of that longed-for Messiah who was awaited by
men and prophesied and predicted by the prophets.
29. And yet,
once our last hour has come, and our hearts have ceased to beat, everything will
be finished for us and the time to merit as well as to demerit. We will
present ourselves to Christ the Judge just as death finds us. Our
cries of supplication, our tears, our sighs of repentance, which while
still on earth would have won God's heart, could have made us with the
help of the sacraments, saints out of sinners, today is worthless; the
time of mercy is passed, now begins the time of justice.
30. It is
difficult to become saints. Difficult but not impossible. The road to perfection
is long, just as long as a lifetime. Consolation is rest along the way,
but as soon as your strength is restored, you must get up diligently
and continue the race.
31. The palm
of victory is reserved only for those who fight up to the end. Therefore let
us begin this year our holy battle. God will assist us and crown us
with eternal triumph.