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The Way Of Divine Love
by -Sr. Josefa Menendez



“If you love Me, Josefa, remove this thorn.”
(Our Lord to Josefa, August 17th, 1920)

THE wounded Heart of Jesus was very soon to make a further appeal to Josefa, as to one chosen for a special share in His redemptive work for souls. He reminded her of her vocation as victim, and a few days after her clothing, on Thursday, August 5th, He made her share once more the pain of the six thorns that were wounding Him, and comforted her with the words: “If you are faithful, you shall know the riches of My Heart. You will carry My Cross indeed, but as on a well-loved Bride shall My benefits be heaped upon you.”

“This time,” said Josefa, “I saw Him surrounded with such splendor that it was not possible to gaze fixedly on that dazzling light. His Heart was all aflame and seemed to be escaping from His breast.”

On Tuesday, August 10th, she wrote:

“At meditation I had a great desire to comfort Him. I offered Him all the actions of my day, and begged Him to tell me if there was anything else I could do. I promised not to let Him out of my thoughts for a single instant, and I never stopped telling Him of my love. That evening before going to adoration, I went into the oratory of Mater

In the Exercises of Saint Ignatius four periods are named “weeks.”

to ask our Blessed Lady to help me to console her Son; when I reached the chapel I suddenly found myself in the presence of Jesus. . . . He said: ‘What else do I want but love? Look at My Heart, Josefa. It alone can make you happy. Rest in It.’

“Then He went on to say: ‘I had six thorns. You have taken out five; only one remains and that is the one that wounds Me most. Spare no pains to remove it.’

“ ‘Lord,’ I answered, ‘what shall I do?’

“ ‘I want you to love Me and to be faithful to Me. Remember, no one else can make you happy. I will lay open to you the riches of My Heart. Love Me without measure.’

“And again I was left alone.”

The feast of the Assumption came round. Josefa, who loved Our Lady so dearly, spent the day in union with her, and as the remembrance of the thorn deeply embedded in the Sacred Heart haunted her:

“I begged her,” she wrote, “to take charge of that soul and to draw out the thorn that Jesus had asked me to remove from His Heart.

“The next day, towards three in the afternoon, while I was at my sewing, I was telling Our Lord that I wanted every stitch to be an act of love so as to comfort Him; hardly had I finished the words than I saw Him standing there.

“ ‘I have not come to comfort you, Josefa,’ He said, ‘but to let you share My suffering. Can you not see how that thorn pierces My Heart? Draw it out; that soul is almost forcing My justice to act.’ ”

The salvation of that soul was to cost Josefa a great deal of suffering. Gradually Our Lord was initiating her into His redemptive work, which later was to occupy so great a part of her life. He continued:

“ ‘The sins of mankind wound Me deeply, but not nearly so much as those of My religious. That thorn is a religious on whom I have bestowed many talents. She appropriates them . . . her pride will be her ruin.’

“That evening I saw His Heart all on fire, the Wound gaping wide, and still that thorn was there. ‘I have two measures for every soul,’ He said, ‘one is of mercy, and already it has overflowed . . . the other is of justice, and it is very nearly full. Nothing grieves Me more than the obstinacy and resistance of this soul. . . . I will make a last appeal to her heart; if she still resists, I will leave her to her own devices.’

“Here I do not know what He made me understand . . . but I would give my life to save that soul.

“As I had permission to make a Holy Hour that evening, I offered myself in union with His Passion. ‘Do not look at the sins of that soul, but rather at the Blood that Thou hast shed for it . . . and which can cleanse all the sins of the whole world.’

“Then I said the litanies of Our Lady and repeated many times, ‘Refuge of sinners, pray for us.’ When I got to the words ‘Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world . . . ’ my soul was filled with anguish. Jesus was silent; He did not seem to be listening; He seemed deaf.

“At the end of the Holy Hour He came, His Heart still pierced by that thorn. I implored Him to have mercy on that soul, and as He did not answer, I said: ‘But Lord, wilt Thou not forgive her? . . . ’ ‘I will touch her heart once again, and if she responds she will be the beloved of My Heart. If she still holds out, My justice must act.’ ”

Many days went by, Josefa’s offerings were more and more costly, but as she said, her soul was plunged in unspeakable sadness.

“I think that never before have I understood as I do now what is meant by resistance to grace. I seem to endure something of the grief of the Heart of Jesus when a soul turns away from Him.

“If you are ready to suffer,” said Our Lord to her on Wednesday, August 18th, “I will wait for that soul, but unless she herself wills to be forgiven, I cannot pardon her. She was created without her cooperation, but she is free to save or lose her soul.”

“A few days later He added: ‘When I find a soul that is loving and wants to comfort Me, I am ready to grant whatever she asks, so I will wait, and knock again at the door of her heart; if she is willing, My Heart is ready to forgive.’

“His words left me in agony. He has taught me to repeat often: My God, I will suffer for love of Thee, and to comfort Thy Sacred Heart.”

Josefa was oppressed by the suffering she was undergoing, she felt as if the divine anger had fallen on her.

Our Lord’s calls pursued her and left her no rest either day or night. The weight of that soul was heavy on her own, without, however, lessening her desire for reparation.

On Wednesday, the 25th of August, after a night of agony and supplication, Josefa, ever faithful to her morning’s meditation, began it with the other novices.

“Suddenly,” she wrote, “I saw Him. . . . He, the all-beautiful. . . . I cannot attempt to describe Him. He was standing upright, vested in white, He held His Heart in His hands, as in a brazier of fire. His whole Person shone with radiant light. His hair was like spun gold, His eyes like brilliants, and His countenance . . . what can I say . . . I can find no comparison worthy of It. . . . His Heart surmounted by the cross no longer had any thorn in It. The wound which was open wide, emitted flames . . . a very sun. . . . From the wounds in His hands and feet also came bright flames. . . . From time to time He opened and extended His arms; all I could say, was, O Jesus! how beautiful Thou art . . . how hearts would be ravished could they behold Thee . . . and the thorn? . . . ‘The thorn? . . . It is gone, for there is nothing so strong as love, and that I find among my religious.’

“His Heart was kindling more and more. I thanked Him for having drawn me to this Society, and begged Him to have compassion on me who am a miserable creature and unworthy to be here: O Lord, do not permit me to be the one blot on this holy group of consecrated souls. Do not allow the graces I receive to be my condemnation, for there is no evil of which I am not capable; I want to be faithful or to die.”

It was in this new joy that a few minutes later Josefa assisted at Mass, associating herself with the thanksgiving of the Blessed Virgin.

“After Communion I asked Him to consecrate me His true spouse by fidelity . . . but to leave me in the common way, for I should never be able to correspond to His graces.

“ ‘Leave yourself in My hands, Josefa. I will use you as seems best to Me. What of your littleness and weakness . . . no matter . . . All I ask of you is to love and console Me. I want you to know how dearly My Heart loves you, how great are the riches it contains, and you must be like soft wax that I may mold you to My liking.

“ ‘Listen . . . I want you to offer Me all, even the smallest things, so as to comfort My Heart’s sufferings, especially those I have to endure from consecrated souls in religion. I want you to rest in My Heart without any fear. Gaze on it; cannot this flame burn up all your imperfections? Leave yourself entirely in My hands and be busy only in pleasing Me.’

“ ‘I want you to tell Reverend Mother in all simplicity whatever I ask of you, and you must have no personal care as to how they use you. Lastly, I repeat: be like soft wax, to which I can give any shape I please. . . . Remember that I am your Father, your Spouse, your God.’

“Then He vanished. Never had I seen Him so beautiful!

“All this time I was able to talk to Him and listen to Him because I had leave. But from today onward I have been ordered to make no more account of these things, and not to answer anything.”








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