THE SECOND BOOK:
ADMONITIONS USEFUL FOR THE IMITATION OF THE MOST
SACRED HEART OF JESUS IN HIS ACTIVE LIFE
CHAPTER XVII. THAT THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS,
ENTERING UPON HIS PUBLIC LIFE, TEACHES US ZEAL FOR SOULS
1. The voice of Jesus.-----My Child, God sent His Son into the world, that the world may be saved by
Do not then wonder, if zeal for souls was ever pressing and incessantly urging on My Heart, that
It might spread the kingdom of Divine love over the hearts of men, by every means which My heavenly Father had placed at Its disposal.
Hitherto I had remained hidden in solitude, as it were to prepare Myself for the work, and to teach all the Disciples of My Heart that they must first have an ardent zeal for them selves before they can profitably exhibit zeal for their neighbor.
Behold! whilst I was sanctifying Myself for the salvation of souls, how often, and with how great a fervor of Heart, was I wont to pray for them, that they might live for the Lord their God, do no evil, and make progress in virtue!
I also associated with My Disciples and Apostles, whom, filled with the Spirit of My zeal, I cheered on; to whom I communicated My intentions; upon whom I looked rejoiced in Heart, because they applied themselves strenuously to the salvation of souls.
I went around, teaching, and speaking of the kingdom of God,-----seizing every opportunity, in private and in public, to induce men to do better.
The example of My life shone forth, like a light that had risen for a people seated in darkness. For I went about doing good to all, and manifesting to everyone the humility and charity of My Heart.
How greatly they were edified and moved when they beheld Me toiling all day for their advantage and salvation; and, in the mean time, frequently withdrawing from the multitude, that, for a little while, I might pray alone! When they learned that, after the labors and journeys of the day-----whilst My wearied Apostles refreshed themselves by nightly slumbers-----I Myself was wont to spend the night in prayer!
Finally, since all power in Heaven and on earth had been given to Me, I employed the same for the exercise of the zeal of My Heart, for the Divine glory, for the gaining of souls; and I wrought as many miracles as were necessary and proper for the salvation of all.
Behold, My Child, the means which the zeal of My Heart employed to win souls. Are not the same means at thy disposal, in whatever state of life thou mayst be? Use them, therefore, earnestly for My glory and the salvation of souls.
2. Do thou frequently pray; and, in the spirit of prayer, offer some mortifications-----little and light though they be-----some works of piety and mercy, thy spiritual exercises, and even thy ordinary occupations for this, that My straying children-----who are miserably pining away in the far-off country, either of infidelity, heresy, or sin-making, at last, a better use of their freedom, may rejoice My Heart by their happy return; moreover, that the good may advance in virtue, may strive after better gifts, and continue to aspire to perfection.
O, if thou didst know how powerful prayer is for the salvation of souls! How many interior persons there are, and they too secluded from intercourse with the world, who, individually, by prayer alone, have snatched thousands of souls from infidelity, heresy or sin, and raised them to bliss everlasting!
Understand, then, My Child, what thou mayst effect by prayer.
Try to inspire some persons with zeal; they thus become thy disciples and apostles, whom thou sendest in quest of souls.
Thus thou wilt perform many things, not by thyself alone, but also through others; who, in turn, will animate and send others; and, in this manner, transmit them from generation to generation.
Be eager to speak frequently on subjects that breathe piety; which promote edification, and render virtue attractive. How many are there now in Heaven who owe the occasion of their everlasting felicity to some pious conversation?
It is, indeed, true, My Child, that thou shouldst not be importunate; so as to deter thy neighbor from virtue, rather than draw him to it; but a genuine and fervent zeal knows how to employ a holy dexterity, to produce and employ fit opportunities of conversing on subjects of piety.
Wonderfully effective is good example. It gives life and power to all other outward means. Take this away, and what can all the rest effect? It may cause a noise to the senses, it cannot move the heart.
By the example of thy life, therefore, do thou show forth the incomparable delights of My love; prove to thy neighbor that he, who lovingly serves Me, is, even in this world, most happy. Thus thou shalt, in some manner, force thy neighbor to taste and experience how pleasant is the service of My Heart-----the service of My love.
If thou canst not work miracles, so as to suspend the laws of the universe, thou canst, by co-operating with Divine grace, perform wonders. Why? is it not wonderful, nay prodigious, that, for pure love of Me, thou overlookest thy own interest, that thou mayst have a care of that of others? thou returnest good for evil? esteemest thyself blissful with Me, in the midst of humiliations?
These and the like prodigies of grace, My Child, have sometimes moved hearts that had resisted all other means, and induced them to pursue a better course.
3. In every place, and at all times, My Child, be thou full of zeal for souls; so that whosoever approaches thee may feel an incentive to virtue or perfection. Do not believe that thou art a true Disciple of My Heart, if thou hast no zeal, no efficacious will for the salvation and perfection of souls. But if thou art desirous of proving in deed, that thou really lovest and followest My Heart, foster an ardent zeal.
What canst thou do more pleasing to My Heart than to labor at the salvation and perfection of
souls-----created to love and glorify Me for evermore?
If thou sendest only one soul to Heaven, thou givest Me more glory than all men together, on earth, have ever given Me, or can ever procure for Me. For, whatever glory mortals, on earth, give Me, is limited by the number of acts which are at last finished: but the glory which a blessed soul, in Heaven, gives Me-----since it is ever-enduring-----is equivalent to a number of acts to which there shall be no end forever. Consider, My Child, how greatly I valued the salvation of souls, since for this object I came down from Heaven; sought it through incessant and arduous labors and hardships; and, lastly, sacrificed My very life for the same.
Oh, if thou didst know the worth of a soul, with how great a zeal for her salvation wouldst thou be inflamed! Learn what she is worth, by the price at which I ransomed her.
Save a soul, and behold! thou shalt have performed a deed incomparably more precious than
if thou hadst gained this whole world, with all its possessions.
My Child, if thou savest the soul of thy neighbor, thou freest thy own: for he that shall cause a sinner to turn from the error of his way, shall save his own soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins.
How great a joy shall it be to thee, My Child, after this life, to behold in Heaven the Elect, who, after grace, owe to thee-----some their heavenly bliss, others the height of their sanctity, and a corresponding everlasting glory; and who will repay thee with a thousand thanksgivings forever!
Verily, the help in the salvation and perfection of souls is not only the most excellent of all things human, but even the most godlike of all things Divine.
4. Pray frequently, that thy heart may be endowed with a true zeal-----one which humility supports, charity stimulates, science shapes, discretion guides and perseverance strengthens.
Take heed, lest thou suffer thyself to be animated with a zeal which springs, not from grace in a meek and humble heart, but from nature, under the influence of some passion. He that is led by this zeal, whilst he endeavors to root out sins, multiplies them; and whilst he burns to make others better in deed, renders them worse in heart.
Strive, as much as thou morally canst, everywhere to correct what is evil, and to promote what is good.
But, whilst thou art doing what is in thy power, endure patiently whatsoever thou art unable to correct or improve-----intrusting all things to My Divine Providence, and praying that all may, at last, serve for My greater glory.
My Child, if the work of thy zeal do not succeed at the first attempt, try again and again. It happens that men-----listening secretly to the evil spirit, or lulled to sleep by lukewarmness-----at first scarcely hearken to what is better; but that afterward-----when the good Spirit, by means of interior remorse, repeats what they have heard, and exhorts them from within-----the zeal of the zealous laborer urging them on, and grace moving them, they turn and surrender.
So long as I wait, so long as I endure a mortal, thou shouldst by no means despair of him. If he
is an unbeliever now, how knowest thou whether he will not soon be a believer? If he is a heretic at present, whence knowest thou that he will not soon follow Catholic truth? If a schismatic today, he may be united to the Church tomorrow.
Paul was in the morning a persecutor of the Church; in the evening he was a Vessel of election. Magdalen was a sinner in the city on one day; on the following she was a model of every virtue,-----a Seraph-like lover of My Heart.
How many there are, who, seemingly lost beyond all hope, in their errors or sins, were yet converted, and found the happy life of grace in this world and the blissful life of glory in the next? Has, then, the power of grace grown less? has man's freewill become extinct?
5. If, in spite of thy endeavors, men be unwilling to be converted, do not lose thy peace of heart.
Imitate the holy Guardian Angels, who, after having done whatever they should and could have done-----if the men committed to their charge do not repent nor improve-----remain equally peaceful, equally blissful.
If there be any who do not avail themselves of the efforts of thy zeal for the good of their souls, these endeavors shall not be less rewarded; since, with Me, an efficacious will is reputed equal to success.
It is thy duty to water the plants of grace-----not to give them increase. Water them, ,therefore, and labor cheerfully, and, whether or not thou seest an increase, thou shalt never toil without profit to thyself, and honor to Me.
6. Meanwhile, My Child, thou must take heed, lest, whilst thou art laboring to save others, or to make them perfect, thou suffer thyself to become a castaway or a disregarder of thy own perfection.
In thy heart believe that they, to whose spiritual good thou appliest thyself, are already better than thyself, or that they shall be so some day: and how much good soever thou effectest in souls, deem thyself no more than a cymbal, which, without another's aid, cannot give forth a sound.
The more disinterestedly thou shalt have Me for thy aim, and the more humbly thou shalt think concerning thyself, the more fit shalt thou be to promote the salvation and perfection of souls.
For I select weak instruments of this kind-----weak in their own eyes-----to perform My own great works; that no one may glory in his strength, but that to Me may be given all the honor and glory.
7. The Voice of the Disciple.-----It is not, then, enough, Lord Jesus, that I alone love Thee: it is necessary that others also love Thee; that all serve Thee. For Thou art supremely, Thou art for every reason, worthy of the love of all hearts.
O Jesus! if men knew Thee, would they ever offend Thee? Would they not love Thee with their whole heart?
How sweet a labor, to win hearts to Thee! how angelic an employment! how godlike a work!
Who will grant me, to travel over the whole earth, to captivate all hearts, to enkindle them with love for Thee!
Oh would, most sweet Jesus, that I held possession of all hearts, that I might devote them all to Thee, consecrate them to Thy love!
Receive, I beseech Thee, the desire of my heart, whereby I long to be able to secure for Thee, upon earth, as great a love from all men as Thy Angels and Saints show Thee in Heaven.
Let me become, I entreat Thee, the apostle of Thy Heart, that I may spread Thy love everywhere; that, with a ready and generous heart, I may spend my labor, my pains, my every means, and, over and above, spend myself, for souls that may love and glorify Thee through all eternity.
CHAPTER XVIII. THAT THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS, PRESENT AT THE
MARRIAGE-FEAST OF CANA, TEACHES US SPIRITUAL JOYFULNESS
1. The voice of Jesus.-----My Child, as I came for the salvation of all, I became all to all, that I might gain all.
Light is pleasing to all, a source of gladness, diffusing heat and life. Such was I, the Light of the world: such was My Life, which manifested the joy, the love, the cheerfulness of My Heart.
Search carefully all things, My Child, nowhere shalt thou find Me surly; nowhere shunning, or driving away the people through moroseness: but, everywhere cheerful, gladsomely dealing with men according to the Divine good pleasure-----animating and sanctifying all things with My Spirit.
Nay rather, behold! when invited, I refused not to be present at the Marriage-feast, together with My Mother and My Disciples; and there to rejoice in a holy manner, availing Myself of every opportunity to gain souls, and to teach virtue and true gladness of heart.
By this example of My Heart, the Saints were taught to entertain a spiritual joyfulness; and thereby to edify their neighbor, and to serve Me with a cheerful heart.
They knew that I am a kind Father, that I love that My children live with their heart expanded-----content and happy in the partaking of My blessings.
Ponder these things, My Child: imitate them, that My joy may be within thee.
2. Behold what this spiritual joyfulness does and accomplishes! What is there that gives Me here greater honor than to serve Me with a cheerful heart; to prove, in this manner, to the whole world, that My service is full of sweetness and felicity?
Moreover, the gladness of My Heart adorns virtue, smooths difficulties, softens hardships, brightens the understanding, enlivens the will; in short, makes the whole man well-disposed to everything.
Without joyfulness of heart, all external good things contribute little to happiness; the powers of the soul are inactive, the body itself languishes, man is wretched-----even in the midst of prosperity.
By the practice of spiritual joyfulness, thou wilt render thyself dear to Me, who love him that gives cheerfully; useful to thy neighbor, who will be pleasantly stimulated to that which is good: lastly, beneficial to thy own self, who, by this practice alone, wilt perform several acts of virtue.
What more? Behold! who is the man, that desires life, who loves to see good days? Cheerfulness of heart, this is the life of man; and good days, the best of days, which are passed in God's grace, which is like a Paradise amid blessings.
Now, spiritual joyfulness is a most certain mark of the state of grace.
The joyfulness of the just, therefore, is present felicity, and a presage of everlasting bliss.
3. What is spiritual joyfulness, except the good disposition of the soul-----showing that for My sake, she is truly satisfied?
It is not, therefore, founded on nature, but on grace: it does not depend on the peculiarity of one's character, but on the disposition of the heart: it has for its object not sensual, but spiritual things.
Worldly joyfulness is hurtful; it leads to grief and bitter gnawings of the mind: natural joyfulness is inconstant, subject to frequent sadness: but spiritual joyfulness is steady and wholesome.
A heart of good will, together with grace, produces this holy joyfulness; fervent piety gives it expansion: victory over one's natural inclinations makes it solid.
4. The devil, who loves depression of spirits, knowing how powerfully spiritual cheerfulness acts against him, seeks to assail it by every means, to destroy it by false reasonings, or to diminish it by vain subtleties.
Be on thy guard, My Child, lest thou be caught by him. If thou yieldest to this promoter of sadness, he will not be satisfied with depriving thee of the blessings of holy joyfulness, but, seeing thee disposed according to his wishes, he will attack and tempt thee in the most dangerous manner.
Whatsoever may be suggested, whatsoever may befall thee, give no admittance to gloominess, which depresses the heart. This direful evil dries up the very bones, stupefies reason itself. Wherever it reigns, understanding disappears: yea, wherever sadness of heart prevails, every misfortune is found.
It may come to pass occasionally, My Child, that, without knowing from what cause it proceeds, thou feelest thyself inclined to a certain irksome sadness. When this happens, do thou pray again and again, stir up thy fervor, and employ other suitable means, that thou mayst preserve thy gladness of heart.
5. Often also, contrary or adverse circumstances will present themselves, which will naturally produce their effect upon thee. These, by allowing thyself to be grieved in heart, thou wilt render more burdensome: on the other hand, by preserving a joyful heart, thou wilt make them light. Turn these things, therefore, in the best way thou canst, to the everlasting good of thy soul; and, with thy mind withdrawn from what is unpleasant, rejoice supernaturally over the greatness of thy gain.
But the things which are especially wont to hinder spiritual joyfulness in a virtuous soul are the defects which she commits, and without which she knows full well that she cannot live. Behold here a delusion: behold the deceit of the enemy, whereby he is accustomed to do very great harm to the inexperienced.
It depends on thee alone, My Child, to make these defects-----after they have been committed-----subservient to thy profit, and, consequently, to the joyfulness of thy heart. For it is a source of great advantage, nay, of great merit, on the one hand, forthwith to repent, through love for Me, of the faults committed; and, on the other, to rejoice in the humiliations which follow these faults, because My honor is thereby repaired.
Finally, My Child, whatever obstacles thou mayst find in thy way, leave nothing that is right untried, to guard against this baneful gloominess. Beware, however, lest, whilst shunning sadness, thou run into it by the other extreme. Wherefore, to avoid it, do not give thyself up to dissipation, to the neglect of thy spiritual exercises, to the pursuit of sensual delights. For, of the end of such a joy, mourning takes hold.
6. My Child, after the possession of the state of grace, the chief of the means to enjoy spiritual gladness, and to preserve the same, is to be meek and humble of heart, for love of Me.
Be humble, and thou shalt never be cast down: love fervently, and thou shalt ever possess a joyful heart.
If thou followest the propensity or the aversion of nature: if thou art lukewarm or careless in the things which concern My service, even shouldst thou have all the delights of earth, thou canst never taste nor possess true joyfulness of heart.
There are also outward things which contribute to the joy of the heart: holy endeavors to cultivate spiritual gladness, pious jubilations by hymns and canticles, intercourse with those who are spiritually joyous, cheerfulness in action, resignation in suffering, a holy freedom in one's proceeding.
Pray, My Child, and strive to make a right use of these means, and thus shalt thou enjoy true gladness, compared to which all other delight is mere grief-----all other gayety, sadness-----all other sweetness, bitterness.
This is My joy, wherein rejoice thou always: again, I say, rejoice.
7. The voice of the Disciple.-----O Jesus! Whose Heart is the never-failing fountain of exquisite gladness, whence Heaven draws as well as earth; where, save in Thee, shall I find true joyfulness of heart?
O most sweet Jesus! Who hast pity in cheerfulness, have pity on me, Thy unworthy Child; fill my heart with holy gladness.
Without Thee, my soul is like a field without water, dry and wretched: Thou alone art true and efficacious refreshment.
When Thy refreshing Spirit is not within me, distasteful is all that creatures can offer: but when Thou cheerest up the heart, my soul leaps for joy; and, in her gladness, bears all things with ease, finds all savory, tastes sweetness even in what is bitter.
Thus do Thou ever, I entreat Thee, gladden my soul. Grant me a humility so solid that I be never dejected: so great a love for Thee, so great a fervor, that ever joyous I may live for Thee.
O Jesus, Beloved of my soul, my whole and sole delight! let me so serve Thee with a cheerful heart that I may honor Thy service, edify my neighbor, sanctify myself, to the everlasting joy of Thy heart.
CHAPTER XIX. THAT THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS, CONVERSING WITH MEN,
TEACHES US TO BEAR WITH THE DEFECTS OF OUR NEIGHBOR
1. The voice of Jesus.-----My Child, so long as I was seen upon earth, and conversed with men, I was in the midst of a wicked generation.
How much pride and infidelity, how much uncleanness and iniquity, thinkest thou, did I behold----I the Searcher of hearts----in the hearts of men, to whom naught, save the world; naught, except self-interest, was pleasing!
How was My Heart moved at the sight of men's sinful ignorance, unbridled licentiousness, forgetfulness of the things of Heaven, anxiety for those of earth, neglect of virtue, the triumph of vice!
Compare Me, My Child, with such men: My humility with their conceitedness and vanity: My zeal with their indifference and obstinacy: My beneficence with their insensibility and ungratefulness: My charity with their listlessness and disregard: in short, all My virtues with their defects and vices!
Understand, also, what disposition of Heart I displayed before them. Behold! whatsoever they were, I continued to live with them, to converse with them, to stay among them----without complaint or indignation of Heart----yea, to show myself content.
If thou meditatest rightly upon this pattern of life, thou wilt learn to manifest similar sentiments of heart to thy neighbor.
2. Thou, My Child, and all thy neighbors, ye are conjointly children of the same heavenly Father; ye were conjointly ransomed at the same price of My life, ye are all to be united forever in fellowship by the same bond of the love of the Holy Spirit.
Ye are all called to the same kingdom of Heaven; that there ye may be made blissful in perfect peace, In the joy of an everlasting union.
See, therefore, that thou agree with them on the way, lest thou be hereafter excluded from the heavenly abode of the Blessed, and delivered up to exterior torturers.
This is My example; nay more, this is My command, that, carrying each other's burdens, ye love one another, as I love you----with a supernatural, universal, efficacious love.
If ye love Me, keep My command. If ye keep the same, ye will remain in My love.
He that hates his brother is a murderer: he kills the very soul, and that his own. Whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be answerable before the judgment. He that forgives not, shall not be forgiven. He that forbears not, shall not be forborne. For with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3. Remember, My Child, that thou art living----not among Angels but among men, who cannot be here below without failings.
Do not then wonder, if frail mortals err or fall; but wonder at this, that, whilst thyself thou hast many failings, with which others must bear, thou darest sometimes feel indignant at those of others.
If thou bearest not with another's defect, dost thou not by the very fact commit a fault and show it, too?
Know that I sometimes suffer well-meaning and virtuous men to be opposed to each other, that, without sin, there may be an opportunity of bearing with one another's defects, of practising solid virtues, and of acquiring merits.
Judge the things of thy neighbor by thy own. As thou desirest to be dealt with, so deal thou with others: and do not to others what thou wouldst not have done to thyself.
Hast thou not many things, My Child, from which thou wouldst gladly free thyself, and from which thou know est, by thy own experience, that thou art unable to free thyself? What thou sufferest, therefore, in thyself, even against thy will, that do thou likewise tolerate in others; whom, if thou hast any humility and charity, thou wilt suppose to endure their own defects, in spite of themselves.
4. There are they who willingly enough bear with the defects of friends, and of those whom they find agreeing with themselves in taste and manners: but who take easily offense at the failings of all beside. Now, what virtue is there in this? Do not the heathen do the same? Nay more, are not the very animals, devoid of reason, accustomed to act in the same manner?
How canst thou be My Disciple, if thou hast the feelings of a pagan: or, if thou followest simply an animal instinct?
Be thou animated, My Child, with the supernatural charity of My Heart: whereby I endured, and loved all, enemies as well as friends, even unto death.
Passing, therefore, over every merely natural consideration, endure thou all, love all; make of no one an exception.
Pray for them that persecute and calumniate thee; bless them that revile thee; do good to them that hate thee; overcome evil by good.
Hate the evil which is done: but beware lest thou hate the man who commits the same. How much soever thou mayst detest the sin of a man, thou art bound to love the man himself.
5. The Saints, who followed not nature but grace, did so far clothe themselves with the sentiments of My Heart that they endured and loved----not only all in general, but specially those that were opposed to them.
Yet, My Child, they, too, were men; and, like thyself, had the feelings of nature: but they overcame nature; and, in spite of feeling, in their greatness of soul, emulated My example.
Come, Child, be courageous, and, as is becoming in a Disciple of My Heart, imitate those noble and generous souls.
When thou feelest indignant at the faults of thy neighbor, keep silence; neither suffer thou aught ill-ordered to escape thy lips----whereby thou mayst harm thyself as well as thy neighbor.
Pray for him in thy heart; and steadily refrain thy mind from reflecting on his faults.
Never grow weary of pardoning thy neighbor, of bearing with his faults, of loving him with a supernatural affection; if with thy heart thou desirest to follow My Heart.
If thou hast many and great things to endure in others, remember, Child, that I have undergone more and greater things for thy sake: nay, that I have borne with more and greater things in thee.
Behold! I mercifully forgave thee a debt of ten thousand: shouldst thou not then have pity on thy fellow-servant, as I also had mercy on thee?
Call to mind, My Child, how long, and with how great a goodness of Heart, I have endured thee, and how I do even now endure thee: and learn thence, how and how far thou oughtest to bear with thy neighbor.
6. The voice of the Disciple.----O Jesus! how kind and forbearing hast Thou been towards me, yea, art even now! How can I recall this without tears of affection and gratitude!
How wretched soever I may be, I find Thy Heart always open for me: and yet, I own it to my confusion, I do sometimes close mine against my neighbor.
O Jesus, meek and humble of Heart! Who knowest that I am less ready to bear with the defects of my neighbor, because I love and esteem myself too much: infuse into my heart, I beseech Thee, the humility and charity of Thy Heart, that, for love of Thee, I may love every neighbor as myself.
Grant me grace, that, as often as I behold the failings of others, I may raise myself above nature; and that, by a supernatural principle, I may be moved to compassion,----not to indignation; to well-wishing,----not to aversion.
Bestow upon us, most loving Jesus, Thy Spirit, the Spirit of charity; that we may love one another, and live united by a holy peace, until we enter the realms of Thy everlasting love.
CHAPTER XX. THAT THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS, ACTING TOWARD ALL
WITH THE GREATEST OPEN-HEARTEDNESS, TEACHES TO ACT WITH SIMPLICITY
IN REGARD TO OUR NEIGHBOR
1. The voice of Jesus.-----My Child, when I dwelt among men, they wondered and were astonished, that with each and all of them, I dealt with so great a simplicity.
But it was a secret of My Heart. For My Heart is simple, loves God, and, by the same love, all besides; holding one in all, and all in one.
This simplicity of Heart, which I showed to men, is the image of My Spirit,-----charity undivided in itself, busied with many things, itself ever one.
Loving God and men in the same Spirit: contemplating human misery and prosperity; averting evil and promoting good; perfecting various works; supporting the different characters and dispositions of persons; passing, in one and the same manner, through varied and manifold circumstances: and all this in the same Spirit.
By this most pleasing virtue, men were wonderfully moved. For never had they beheld, nor even conceived in their mind, so great a simplicity united with so great a dignity: so uniform a kindness allied to so wonder-working a power.
In Me there was no duplicity, nothing feigned, no affected loftiness of speech, no artful manner of acting.
The ingenuous frankness of My Soul was apparent to all; My actions reflected, as it were, like a mirror, the sincerity of My Heart.
Hence, My Child, men came to Me of their own accord, and poured out their hearts before Me. Even little children ran to meet Me; and I suffered them to come to Me, so that men wondered; I spoke to them with kindness, I blessed them; I filled them, all joyous as they were, with the love of virtue.
2. By My example, learn to make use of a holy simplicity in regard to thy neighbor,-----which consists in drawing thy thoughts, words, and deeds, from one Divine charity, and in referring to the same the thoughts, words, and deeds of others.
In My Heart, the centre of charity, is every neighbor to be viewed and loved.
Whoever views his neighbor without My Heart, easily divides his heart among various merely natural affections, or compounds it by means of motives or intentions partly human.
But he that views and loves men in the charity of My Heart, he, with a single eye, sees one in all; he, with a pure affection, loves one in all; he has his heart neither compounded nor divided.
Thus, then, be thou simple in viewing or thinking that which is thy neighbor's: and do not divide thy heart by rashly judging.
Who has established thee a judge of thy neighbor? Whence thy right to condemn him? how darest thou to cast off, by thy judgment, one whom I shield with My Heart, whom thou art bound to love as a brother, who, in My sight, may be, now or hereafter, better than thyself?
If thou judgest rashly, My Child, thou art inexcusable. For, if thou so condemnest another, dost thou not condemn thyself? By rashly judging him guilty of a fault, thou renderest thyself guilty of a fault.
Do not, however, confound a suggestion with a suspicion, nor a suspicion with a judgment. A suggestion is an evil instigation, which does not depend on man's will, and therefore, unless willfully indulged in, is blameless. And what is suspicion, except, from some doubtful signs, to think and hold something as probable or truth-like? But judging is, from a sufficient reason, to decide and believe something as certain.
Wherefore, when there is a sufficient reason for suspecting or judging, the suspicion and the judgment are assuredly neither rash nor culpable.
And if a sufficient reason to suspect or judge be wanting, without its being remarked, the error is invincible and guiltless.
If, however, the care of others be committed to thy charge, it is not only lawful, but also necessary, whenever probable signs of evil are given,-----that thou have suspicion concerning those who are subject to thee; that thus thou mayst prudently remove the evil, if any be found to exist.
For the rest, My Child, whatsoever sign, word or deed, thou dost observe in thy neighbor, take it ever in good part; if by any means it can be excused in thy mind, do so; but if thou seest that it can in no manner be excused, correct him by a word of charity, or by a sign of disapproval, if prudence allow it, and certain fruit is expected.
O, My Child! the holy simplicity of charity thinks no evil; neither is it grieved because it errs, when innocently it judges well, even of what is evil.
4. Be thou also simple in speech, My Child. Do not divide thy heart by means of the tongue,-----as does the world, which, satisfied with outward appearances, boasts foolishly of the art of feigning and dissembling.
Do thou, from the treasury of a virtuous heart, with simplicity present good things to thy neighbor.
Far removed, therefore, from thy conversation be all artfulness, all duplicity, all craftiness; whereby thy neighbor may be misled with fallacies, or rendered distrustful through fear of some concealed untruth, or scandalized by the evidence of implied wrongfulness; or, lastly, be made to suffer harm on account of his credulity.
My Child, whatsoever thy lips utter, let it also be the sentiment of thy heart. Does it, then, behoove thee to express the inordinate emotions of the passions, if thou feelest these within thyself? Beware, lest thou draw such an inference: be far from such a belief; these emotions are not only to be suppressed by the lips, hut also by the heart.
Be the same to all; true and holy simplicity is courteous to all, ever agreeable, everywhere uniform.
Whatever be the reasons in thy favor, do not wound the union of charity, for the sake of matters which are indifferent, or do not concern thee. Remember, that one act of charity surpasses infinitely the multitude of all reasonings.
If it happen that, by a word, thou give offense to thy neighbor, humbling thyself in artless simplicity, endeavor, as soon as possible, to give him satisfaction, or an excuse. For humility alone is a reparation of wounded charity.
5. Finally, be also simple in acting. Let there appear in thee no affectation, nor carelessness: be thy whole exterior such, that it may show the candor of thy interior.
Let all things, that regard thy neighbor, be done in charity; which, although it is one and single, yet possesses many and various acts. One and undivided as it is, it knows how to unite many and divided objects; to tolerate equally things unequal, and to preserve and advance those which are united.
My Child, if thou hast truly learnt the simplicity of My Heart, thou wilt, with ease and sincerity, show a yielding charity to all,-----becoming honor to every one; being so disposed, as inwardly to give the preference to others, and willing, with one and the same Divine love, joyfully to render service to each one, according to his position.
Proceed with simplicity, My Child, go on straightforward, not running to the right nor to the left, in order to speculate about things possible; or to investigate what others may think of thee.
In all things seek Me alone, whom thou shalt undoubtedly find in all, and in whom alone thou shalt possess all.
6. Woe to the double-hearted, who has one thing in his heart, another on his lips; who keeps sweetness on his lips, bitterness in his heart; who outwardly professes sincerity, and inwardly hides deceit!
The heart that enters the path of deceit shall meet no happy issue: it shall find neither the path to My Heart, nor the road to the heart of the neighbor: it shall stray to its own confusion.
Duplicity shall one day be unveiled, and the hope of the hypocrite shall perish.
But blessed are the simple; for theirs is secure peace! I say it again: Blessed, because My conversation and familiar intercourse is with the simple!
He that walks in simplicity, walks confidingly, and shall be safe.
7. Beware, My Child, lest by following simplicity, thou dash thyself against imprudence. Holy simplicity is artless indeed, because it is holy; but, because it is holy, it is also prudent.
Be, therefore, simple as the dove: but also prudent as the serpent.
Do not lay open thy heart to every one. Do not unveil thy own affairs to thy neighbor, except in so much as well-ordered charity demands.
Whatsoever serves not for common edification, or is not of an ordinary kind, suffer thou to be known to none, except Myself, and to those that hold My place in thy regard.
Let not thy heart be like a broken vessel, which cannot hold what is poured into it.
If thou canst not keep a secret, thou art not only unworthy of the name of a Disciple of My Heart, but even of tile confidence of thy neighbor; very unworthy of the secrets of friends, most unworthy of My Own.
Hast thou heard anything whispered against thy neighbor? Let it die within thee: it shall not cause thee to burst, My Child, neither shall it hurt thee in any way.
A tale-bearer shall defile his own soul, and be hateful to others. For he is a doubly envenomed tool of evil.
To say the truth is not always lawful, but to tell a falsehood is never allowed. Prudence, therefore, is necessary, lest, by uttering what is true, or by saying what is false, thou sin against charity and other virtues.
Under such circumstances, My Child, have thou recourse to My Heart: the unction of Its charity will teach thee in what manner thou oughtest to proceed.
Lastly, pray that thou mayst obtain the spirit of holy simplicity, and cultivate a virtue, whereby thou wilt render thy intercourse with thy neighbor grateful and profitable to thyself, as well as to him, and pleasing and honorable to Me.
8. The voice of the Disciple.-----Thou, Lord, art the model, the pattern of perfect simplicity. Would that I might become like to Thee!
O Jesus, Thou simple love! make Thou my heart single, that I may come as near to Thy simplicity as it can be granted to a creature,-----by loving one in all, and all in one.
Render Thou my mind single, by freeing it from the different and false principles of the world and of self-love; and by preserving it from every evil suspicion and rash judgment; that it may be guided by Thee alone,-----where things are certain, in truth; and, where they are doubtful, in charity.
Make me wholly single, inwardly and outwardly, that, having become one, I may always and everywhere be uniform,-----inferring all things from Thee alone, and referring all to Thee alone, who art the beginning and end of all.
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