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The Way Of Divine Love
by -Sr. Josefa Menendez



“Be attentive, Angelic Spirits, and all ye who love Me.”
(Our Lord to Josefa)

ON the morning of Wednesday in Holy Week Our Lord was to lead Josefa after Him to Calvary.

“Kiss the ground,” He said to her as He entered her cell at nine o’clock that day. “Humble yourself, for you are not worthy to hear the words I am about to speak. . . . But I love souls and it is for their sakes that I come to you.

“We have nearly reached Calvary. The crowd is growing excited while I drag Myself along with the utmost difficulty, and soon, worn out with fatigue, I fall for the third time.

“By My first fall I obtained for sinners rooted in evil, the grace of conversion. . . . By My second fall, encouragement for those weak souls blinded by sadness and anxiety, so that rising up they might make a fresh start in the way of virtue. My third fall will help souls to repent in the supreme hour of death.

“We have now reached the summit. Look at the officiousness with which these hardened sinners surround Me . . . some seize hold of the Cross and lay it on the ground . . . others tear My garments from Me, reopening all My wounds . . . My blood flows afresh. . . .

“Think, dear souls, of My shame in seeing Myself thus exposed to the gaze of the mob . . . what physical agony, what confusion for My soul. Think of the affliction of My Mother as she witnessed this terrible scene. . . . How she longs to take possession of the tunic now impregnated with My blood!

“The hour has come! The executioners stretch Me upon the Cross. They violently seize and extend My arms that My hands may reach the holes they have prepared in the wood. Every shock causes My thorn-crowned head to come into violent contact with the Cross . . . the thorns are driven deeper and deeper into it. Hear the first sound of the hammer that fixes My right hand . . . deep into the very earth it resounds. Listen again: they fasten My left hand. The very Heavens tremble, and the Angels fall prostrate at the sight. . . .

“As for Me, I keep the deepest silence—not a murmur escapes My lips.

“Having nailed My hands, they pull pitilessly at My feet; My wounds burst open afresh . . . the nerves are severed . . . the bones dislocated . . . the torture is unspeakable! . . . They pierce My feet and My blood is poured forth upon the ground!

“Stay a while and contemplate these pierced hands and feet . . . this body covered with wounds . . . This head pierced through and through by cruel thorns, fouled with dirt, bathed in sweat and blood.

“Wonder and marvel at My silence, patience, and resignation under such brutal treatment. Ask yourself who suffers? Who is the victim of such barbarity? It is Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, Maker of Heaven and earth and of all things . . . who causes the plants to grow and every living thing to prosper. . . . Who created man, and whose power sustains all things. . . . Behold Him unable to move, an object of scorn, despoiled of all. But soon what a multitude will follow Him, throwing away fortune, comfort, honor, family and homeland . . . everything that the world can give, to render Him honor and glory and the love that is His due.

“Then while the soldiers inhumanly make the air ring with their blows . . . the earth trembles . . . there is silence in Heaven, angelic spirits are prostrate in adoration. . . . God is nailed to the Cross!

“Josefa, see thy Jesus extended on the Cross, without honor or liberty. He cannot stir hand or foot. . . . Nothing remains to Him.

“No one pities Him, none compassionate His sufferings, but instead fresh mockeries, new insults, more and more pain are added to what He already endures. If you love Me truly what will you do to resemble Me? Will you refuse anything My love asks? Will you spare any efforts to console Me?

“And now, Josefa, prostrate to the ground and listen to My words:

“May My Will triumph in you. . . .

“May My love consume you. . . .

“May your misery glorify Me.”

Long Josefa remained prostrate on the ground. What secret intercourse passed between her and her Master? To what depth of annihilation was it not His Will to see her reduced? . . . What words were exchanged between them? His words are never in vain, and in one instant are able to effect what He wills in the soul that is wholly abandoned to His divine action.

When at last she rose Jesus had departed.

It was ten o’clock when she went to the Auxiliary Chapel to follow Him to Calvary. Jesus was waiting for her. “I will accompany you in the state in which I was when I went through the streets of Jerusalem bearing My Cross.”

“He was wearing a red mantle over His white tunic,” she wrote; “it was soiled with blood and torn in many places. The Crown of Thorns was pressed deep on His forehead and His mournful face bore traces of the ill-treatment He had received and was all disfigured with clotted blood. He came to me and said: ‘Josefa, come and contemplate Me on the sorrowful way of Calvary, adore My Blood so copiously shed and offer it to My Heavenly Father for the salvation of souls.’ ”

She rose and followed Him. He went before her and stopped at each Station. She on her part prostrated herself on the ground, kissed it to adore the Precious Blood and then listened to the outpourings of the Sacred Heart. . . . He reminded her in a few words of the measure of His sufferings and made an appeal for love to the souls whom He calls to follow Him.

Two days later, on the morning of Good Friday, Our Lord came to repeat and dictate the secrets of the Via Dolorosa thus showing how careful He was that none of His words should be lost.

Josefa spent the whole day in this atmosphere of pain and love, for her soul was penetrated through and through by it. How could it be otherwise?

Yet, as in the past and in the future to the very end, so now she allowed nothing to interfere with her daily duties which she faithfully carried out . . . truly a mystery of heavenly fortitude which possessed and used her according to the Divine Will and the grace of the present moment.

In the evening of Wednesday in Holy Week whilst all slept in the great old monastery of Les Feuillants, Josefa went to the tribune where she had leave for a Holy Hour. She had hardly begun her prayer when Jesus Christ manifested Himself to her. He was resplendent in beauty, every trace of pain had disappeared, and His Sacred Heart seemed to be plunged in a sea of fire.

“Josefa,” He said with vehemence, “tomorrow is the day of Love! Look at My Heart: It cannot contain the ardor with which It longs to impart Itself, and deliver Itself over, and remain always with sinners. How I long for them to open their hearts to Me, to enclose Me in them, and that the fire that consumes Mine should fortify and enkindle theirs.”

“His Heart dilated in the midst of the flames. How lovely It was! No words can express it,” wrote Josefa. “I asked Him to consume me with this true love which never resists Him, and He went on speaking:

“ ‘Let Me enter into you, work at you, consume and destroy [“self” in] you, so that it is no longer your will that acts, but Mine. Behold My Love exulting at the sight of souls who tomorrow will receive Me, accept divine grace, and console Me.

“ ‘Yes, tomorrow Love will flow over . . . will give itself . . . O happy and consoling memory . . . My soul is devoured with longing . . . to sacrifice Itself for them . . . and that they should give themselves to Me. . . . You at least, Josefa, give Me all your heart, and let your littleness be no obstacle. Let Love possess and transform you.’ ”

Saying these words, Jesus vanished. . . . Josefa spent the remainder of that night in the thought of Christ’s great love for souls.








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