Call to Souls
Words of Our Lord from The Way of Divine Love
of Sister Josefa Menéndez
Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for their return, and the greater their distress, the greater My welcome. Words of Our Lord (See p. 2)
I want souls to have confidence in My mercy, to expect all from My clemency, and never to doubt My readiness to forgive. Words of Our Lord
A CALL TO SOULS
I am Love! My Heart can no longer contain its devouring flames. I love souls so dearly that I have sacrificed My life for them. It is this love that keeps Me a prisoner in the tabernacle. For nearly twenty centuries I have dwelt there, night and day, veiled under the species of Bread and concealed in the small white Host, bearing through love, neglect, solitude, contempt, blasphemies, outrages, sacrileges . . .
For love of souls, I instituted the Sacrament of Penance, that I might forgive them, not once or twice, but as often as they need it to recover grace. There I wait for them, longing to wash away their sins, not in water, but in My Blood. How often in the course of the ages have I, in one way or another, made known My love for men: I have shown them how ardently I desire their salvation. I have revealed My Heart to them. This devotion has been as light cast over the whole earth, and today by its means those who labor to gain souls to My service have been enabled to do so.
Now, I want something more, for if I long for love in response to My
own, this is not the only return I desire from souls: I want them all to have
confidence in My mercy, to expect all from My clemency, and never to doubt My
readiness to forgive. I am God, but a God of love! I am a Father, but a Father
full of compassion and never harsh. My Heart is infinitely holy but also infinitely
wise, and knowing human frailty and infirmity, stoops to poor sinners with infinite
mercy. I love those who after a first fall come to Me for pardon . . . I love
them still more when they beg pardon for their second sin, and should this happen
again, I do not say a million times but a million million times, I still love
them and pardon them, and I will wash in My Blood their last as fully as their
first sin. Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for
their return, and the greater their distress, the greater My welcome. Does not
a father love a sick child with special affection? Are not his care and solicitude
greater? So is the tenderness and compassion of My Heart more abundant for sinners
than for the just. This is what I wish all to know. I will teach sinners that
the mercy of My Heart is inexhaustible. Let the callous and indifferent know
that My Heart is a fire which will enkindle them, because I love them. To devout
and saintly souls
I would be The Way, that making great strides in perfection, they may safely reach the harbor of eternal beatitude. Lastly, of consecrated souls, priests and religious, My elect and chosen ones, I ask, once more, all their love and that they should not doubt Mine, but above all that they should trust Me and never doubt My mercy. It is so easy to trust completely in My Heart. (June 11, 1923).
I will make it known that My work rests on nothingness and miserysuch is the first link in the chain of love that I have prepared for souls from eternity. I will use you to show that I love misery, littleness and absolute nothingness. I will reveal to souls the excess of My love and how far I will go in forgiveness, and how even their faults will be used by Me with blind indulgence . . . yes, write . . . with blind indulgence. I see depths, the very depths of souls, I see how they fain would please, console and glorify Me, and the act of humility they are obliged to make when they see themselves so feeble, is solace and glory to My Heart. What does their helplessness matter? Cannot I supply all their deficiencies? I will show how My Heart uses their very weakness to give life to many souls that have lost it. I will make known that the measure of My love and mercy for fallen souls is limitless. I want to forgive them. It rests Me to forgive. I am ever there, waiting, with boundless love till souls come to Me. Let them come, nor be discouraged. Let them fearlessly throw themselves into My arms! I am their Father.
Many of My religious do not understand all they can do to draw those steeped in ignorance to My Heart. They do not know how I yearn to draw them to Myself and give them life . . . true life. Yes, Josefa, I will teach you the secrets of My love, and you will be a living example of My mercy, for if I have such love and predilection for you who are of no account whatever, what am I not ready to do for others more generous than you? (August 6, 1922).
Come . . . enter My Heart. How easy it is for a mere nothing to lose itself in that abyss of love. That is how I will consume your littleness and nothingness. I will act through you, speak through you, and make Myself known through you. How many will find life in My words! How many will take new courage as they understand the fruit to be drawn from their efforts! A little act of generosity, of patience, of poverty . . . may become treasure that will win a great number of souls to My Heart . . . (August 7, 1922).
I do not look at the act itself, I look at the intention. The smallest act, if done out of love, acquires such merit that it gives Me immense consolation . . . I want only love, I ask for nothing else. (September 8, 1922).
When a soul is generous enough to give Me all I ask, she gathers up treasure for herself and others and snatches great numbers of souls from perdition. It is by their sacrifices and their love that My chosen souls are deputed by My Heart to dispense My graces to mankind. The world is full of perils . . . How many poor souls are dragged towards sin and constantly need a visible or invisible help! Ah! let Me say it again, do My chosen souls know of what treasures they deprive themselves and others, when they are ungenerous? I do not say that by the fact of My choice, a soul is freed from her faults and wretchedness. That soul may and will fall often again, but if she humbles herself, if she recognizes her nothingness, if she tries to repair her faults by little acts of generosity and love, if she confides and surrenders herself once more to My Heart . . . she gives Me more glory and can do more good to other souls, than if she had never fallen. Miseries and weaknesses are of no consequence, what I do ask of them is love.
Yes, in spite of its miseries, a soul can love Me to folly . . . But realize that I am speaking only of faults of frailty and inadvertence, not of willed sin or voluntary infidelity. Offer your life, imperfect as it is, that all My chosen souls may realize the beautiful mission that they can carry out through their ordinary actions and in their daily struggles. Let them never forget that I have preferred them to so many others, not because of their goodness, but because of their wretchedness . . . I am all love, and that flame in Me consumes all their weakness. I will again tell you the secrets of My Heart . . . But the desire which consumes Me is ever the same: It is that souls may know My Heart better and better. (October 20, 1922).
Write for My souls: The soul who constantly unites her life with Mine glorifies Me and does a great work for souls. Thus, if engaged in work of no value in itself . . . if she bathes it in My Blood or unites it to the work I Myself did during My mortal life, it will greatly profit souls . . . more perhaps, than if she had preached to the whole world . . . and that, whether she studies, speaks or writes . . . whether she sews, sweeps or rests . . . provided first that the act is sanctioned by obedience or duty and not done from mere caprice; secondly: that it is done in intimate union with Me, with great purity of intention and covered with My Blood.
I so much want souls to understand this! It is not the action in itself that is of value; it is the intention with which it is done. When I swept and labored in the workshop of Nazareth, I gave as much glory to My Father as when I preached during My Public Life. There are many souls who in the eyes of the world fill important posts and they give My Heart great glory; this is true. But I have many hidden souls who in their humble labors are very useful workers in My vineyard, for they are moved by love, and they know how to cover their deeds with supernatural gold by bathing them in My Blood. My love goes so far that My souls can draw great treasure out of mere nothing. When as soon as they wake they unite themselves to Me and offer their whole day with a burning desire that My Heart may use it for the profit of souls.
. . when with love they perform their duties, hour by hour and moment by moment . . . How great is the treasure they amass in one day! I will reveal My love to them more and more . . . it is inexhaustible and how easy it is for a loving soul to let itself be guided by Love. (November 30, 1922).
Write for souls:
My Heart is all love and it embraces all souls, but how can I make My chosen souls understand My special love for them and how I wish to use them to save sinners and so many souls who are exposed to the perils of the world? For this reason I would like them to know how much I desire their perfection, and that it consists in doing their ordinary actions in intimate union with Me. If they once grasped this, they could divinize their life and all their activities by this close union with My Heart . . . and how great is the value of a divinized day! When a soul is burnt up with desire to love, nothing is a burden to her, but if she feels cold and spiritless everything becomes hard and difficult . . . let her then come to My Heart to revive her courage . . . Let her offer Me her dejection, and unite it to My fervor; then she may rest content, for her day will be of incomparable value to souls. All human miseries are known to My Heart, and My compassion for them is great.
But I desire souls to unite themselves to Me not only in a general way. I long for this union to be constant and intimate, as it is between friends who live together: for even if they are not talking all the time, at least they look at each other, and their mutual affectionate little kindnesses are the fruit of their love.
When a soul is in peace and consolation, doubtless it is easier for her to think of Me, but if she is in the throes of desolation and anguish, she need not fear. I am content with a glance. I understand, and this mere look will draw down on her special proofs of My tenderness. I will repeat again to souls how My Heart loves them . . . for I want them to know Me thoroughly, that they may make Me known to those I place in their care. I ardently desire My chosen souls to fix their eyes on Me, and never turn them away . . . and among them there should be no mediocrity which usually is the result of a misunderstanding of My love. No! it is neither difficult nor hard to love My Heart, but on the contrary, it is sweet and easy. They need do nothing extraordinary to attain to a high degree of love: purity of intention, be the action great or small . . . intimate union with My Heart, and love will do the rest. (December 2, 1922).
Yes, I am that Jesus who loves souls tenderly . . . Behold this Heart that never ceases calling them, guarding them, and caring for them . . . Behold this Heart on fire with longing for their love, but especially for the love of My chosen ones.
Write, write more for them:
My Heart is not only an abyss of love, It is also an abyss of mercy; and knowing as I do that even My closest friends are not exempt from human frailties, I will take each of their actions, however insignificant, to be clothed through Me with immense value for the help of those in need and for the salvation of sinners. All cannot preach nor evangelize distant uncivilized peoples, but all, yes, all, can make My Heart known and loved . . . All can mutually help one another to increase the number of the saved by preventing the loss of many souls . . . and that, through My love and mercy. I will tell My chosen souls that My love for them goes further still; not only shall I make use of their daily life and of their least actions, but I will make use of their very wretchedness . . . their frailties . . . even of their falls for the salvation of souls. Love transforms and divinizes everything and mercy pardons all. (December 5, 1922).
. . . Write a few more words for My souls:
Love transforms their most ordinary actions and gives them an infinite value, but it does more: My Heart loves My chosen souls so tenderly, that I wish to use their miseries, their weaknesses, and often even their faults. Souls that see themselves overwhelmed with miseries, attribute nothing good to themselves, and their very abjectness clothes them with a certain humility that they would not have if they saw themselves to be less imperfect. When therefore in the course of apostolic work or in the carrying out of duties, a consciousness of their incapacity is forced upon them . . . or when they experience a kind of repugnance to helping souls towards perfection to which they know themselves to be still strangers, such souls are compelled to humble themselves in the dust, and should this self-knowledge impel them to My feet, asking pardon for their halting efforts, begging of My Heart the strength and courage they need, it is hardly possible for them to conceive how lovingly My Heart goes out to them and how marvellously fruitful I will make their labors. Those whose generosity is not equal to these daily endeavors and sacrifices will see their lives go by full only of promise which never comes to fruition.
But in this, distinguish: to souls who habitually promise and yet do no violence to themselves nor prove their abnegation and love in any way I say: Beware lest all this straw and stubble which you have gathered into your barns take fire or be scattered in an instant by the wind! But there are others, and it is of them I now speak, who begin their day with a very good will and desire to prove their love. They pledge themselves to self-denial or generosity in this or that circumstance . . . But when the time comes they are prevented by self-love, temperament, health, or I know not what, from carrying out what a few hours before they quite sincerely purposed to do. Nevertheless they speedily acknowledge their weakness and, filled with shame, beg for pardon, humble themselves, and renew their promise . . . Ah! Let them know that these souls please Me as much as if they had nothing with which to reproach themselves. (December 12, 1922).
2. Our Lord here establishes a very clear distinction between habitual venial faults, unresisted and consented to, and faults of frailty that are repaired. He explains that the willed reparation gives Him more comfort than the fault of frailty gave Him displeasure. In fact, the humility, confidence and generosity implied in an act of reparation presuppose awareness and complete consent of the will; a condition only partially fulfilled in the fault of frailty.
I want to forgive. I want to reign over souls and pardon all nations. I want to rule souls, nations, the whole world. My peace must be extended over the entire universe, but in a special way over this dear country [France] where devotion to My Heart first took root . . . O that I might be its peace, its life, its King. I am Wisdom and Beatitude! I am Love and Mercy! I am Peace, I shall reign! I will shower My mercies on the world to wipe out its ingratitude. To make reparation for its crimes, I will choose victims who will obtain pardon . . . for there are in the world many whose desire is to please Me . . . and there are moreover generous souls who will sacrifice everything they possess, that I may use them according to My will and good pleasure. My reign will be one of peace and love and I shall inaugurate it by compassion on all: such is the end I have in view, and this is the great work of My love.
My appeal is addressed to all: to those consecrated in religion and those
living in the world, to the good and to sinners, to the learned and the illiterate,
to those in authority and to those who obey. To each of them I come to say:
if you seek happiness you will find it in Me. If riches, I am infinite wealth.
If you desire peace, in Me alone is peace found. I am Mercy and Love! and I
must be sovereign King.
Taken from A Call to Souls by TAN Books & Publishers, Inc.
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