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The Way Of Divine Love
by -Sr. Josefa Menendez



We have been enabled to realize how the Message consists not only in the words entrusted to Josefa, but in her whole life. By her very existence, this soul, so beloved of Jesus, speaks to all who will listen, and her life stands as evidence of the divine action upon her.

She alone heard the words of Our Lord, and so is the sole witness; but her life testifies to the truth of the Message, and, moreover, she was closely followed up by qualified observers, who testify to the undeniable virtue of the obscure little messenger of infinite love, and to the reality of her supernatural states, of which tangible proofs were not wanting. All who had to do with her attested her very real virtue; not that she shone in a striking manner, for she was ever more imitable than admirable, but all felt the unconscious influence she exercised around her. No self-seeking, but rather self-denial in everything, unquestioning obedience, gentleness, and patience: all the result of true humility.

“You are the echo of My voice,” said Our Lord to her (December 10th, 1922), and, in fact, everything in her was an echo of the divine. Her unaffected virtue led one to a conviction that God was acting on this soul, and this by itself could have provided clear evidence that her supernatural communications came from God. Nevertheless, Superiors and her Director remained for a certain length of time deliberately hesitant and uncertain, and they deserve our thanks for their reserve and wary misgivings, which insisted on proofs.

With her innate candor and honesty, she could never have practiced willful deception. Perhaps one is justified in asking whether she was led astray by her heart or imagination—a not infrequent trait in persons of sincere holiness. But (and this is a good sign) Josefa lived in perpetual fear that such might be the case, and was quite prepared, had Superiors deemed her to be in illusion, to consider all that had taken place as delusion. Such action was characteristic of her.

When she went to Rome to carry a message from Our Lord about the Society of the Sacred Heart to the Mother General, she was suddenly seized with a blinding fear (at the devil’s instigation) that all was a dream and that she had no message from Heaven to deliver. Without hesitation or reflection on the harm it might do her cause in the eyes of her Superiors, she confessed her anguish of mind, and the certitude she now felt that all was a chimera of her imagination, and she humbly begged that no credence should be given to anything she might say. That she should have had this anxious concern at such a moment is another proof of the truth of her mission.

She could not have acted so had she not been profoundly humble and self-forgetful; her writings bear the same impress of sincerity.

It was by the express command of Our Lord and of Our Lady that she kept her Superiors informed of all that passed: “You must write,” said Our Blessed Lord to her. This, no doubt, was meant to secure that none of His words should be lost (August 6th, 1922), but also His divine purpose may have been that all Josefa’s actions should be controlled and witnessed from start to finish. In all she wrote there never occurs a useless word, nor anything false or equivocal; nothing that could be regarded as self-praise nor that betrays a shadow of vanity. All is true, reasonable, moving, and holy.

The same control was exercised over her supernatural states. When she was carried off into Hell, or when she returned to consciousness after an ecstasy, her Superiors were present; they watched with solicitous and maternal eyes her gradual return to life’s interests, noting carefully words that escaped her in those impressive moments.

When she had communications with souls in Purgatory who came to ask her prayers, the name, exact date, and place of their death, if given, were always found on investigation to be correct.

No possible doubt exists concerning the forcible abductions of Josefa by the devil; they took place under the very eyes of her Superiors, who were powerless to prevent them. Likewise the effects of fire which burned her were seen on her garments and flesh; fragments of scorched linen are still preserved.

The most convincing feature of these diabolic visitations (visions of Satan, descents into Hell), which to most people would have been terrifying, was that they seemed neither to have troubled her imagination, nor to have disturbed the calm equilibrium of her eminently sane temperament. So also the divinely supernatural, with those simple and homely proofs of affection she received from Our Lord and His Mother,

Delightful apparitions of the Holy Child at Christmas … of Our Lady, “in all her beauty and so motherly,” as Josefa always describes her.

must surely have moved her feelings to an extraordinary degree, yet they left her peaceful, silent, and apparently without even the natural desire to talk over her wonderful experience with anyone. The Mothers noticed how very discreet she was, never speaking of the favors she received, except to the two witnesses already mentioned. Finally, all the sufferings (nights spent in Hell, or in bearing the Cross, or in wearing the Crown of Thorns) which might have made her beg for relief, only gave her a greater desire to suffer for love of Our Lord and of souls.

So her writings and her life confirm each other as evidence that all that took place in her was divine in origin. Even the most extraordinary happenings have an aim and significance. There are no useless details, no record of revelations that do not bring out in clearer light and force some dogmatic truth, giving us deeper insight into the Heart of Our Lord, His love, the value of souls, the happiness of Heaven, the irreparable loss of the damned.

Everything in Josefa’s life is grace-giving and profoundly moving. The writings of this unassuming Sister, regarded as ignorant in the world’s eyes, will, no doubt, be scrutinized and pondered over by theologians and masters of the spiritual life, and as in the case of Saint Thérèse of the Child of Jesus, numerous books will be written to develop the profound doctrine contained in these writings, and to make known the mysteries of love. But better still, the mere reading will bring numberless graces and lead many to conversion and holiness. The world may be astonished at the great things that come from a life so simple; but it is precisely in her nothingness that the overwhelming proof of the authenticity of her Message lies.

In very truth it was countersigned by a Hand that was nothing less than divine.

Digitus Dei est hic
(Signed) H. Monier Vinard S.J.








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