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The Way Of Divine Love
by -Sr. Josefa Menendez



“Write all that you see.”
(Our Lord to Josefa)

FROM very early on Good Friday morning Our Lord united Josefa with Himself in the scenes of the Crucifixion.

He was about to manifest His dolours to her visibly, so that they should be imprinted both on her body and on her soul. Following in His footsteps she would share the compassion of His Mother, whilst hour by hour the happenings of that dread day were unfolded before her eyes.

Who can say how intimate, intense and real, was Josefa’s participation in the sufferings of Jesus Christ?

She endeavored to write down something of what she was privileged to see, to hear, and to suffer. But her power of expression broke down in the attempt. Nevertheless the simplicity of her record gives it special value.

“At about six in the morning when at prayer,” she noted, “I saw Him as during the night, but a red mantle had been thrown over His white tunic. He seemed utterly spent. At once He said to me: ‘Josefa, My enemies are soon going to load the Cross on My shoulders. It is so heavy.’

“I implored Him to let me carry it, for I so long to help Him. . . .

“ ‘Yes, take it,’ He said, ‘and may your love mitigate My pain. . . . I have made My sufferings known to you . . . follow Me in them . . . accompany Me and share in My agony.’ ”

In the course of the morning He returned to dictate to her the Stations of the Cross He had made with her two days before.

“His face was torn,” she wrote, “His eyes swollen and filled with blood. . . . He let Me kiss His feet at the seventh, the eleventh and the thirteenth Stations, and before leaving He said to me: ‘The hour of the Crucifixion is approaching. . . . I will warn you when the time comes.’

“Towards half past twelve I saw Him again,” she continued. “His tunic had been wrenched off half His body.

“ ‘Now is the moment when the executioners are about to fasten Me to the Cross, Josefa.’

“Then,” she wrote, “such an agonizing pain shot through my hands and feet that my whole body was shaken. . . . At the same time I heard the strokes of the hammer, slow and resounding afar. . . . In a faint and dying voice He said these words: ‘Now is the hour for the world’s Redemption! They are about to lift Me up as a spectacle of derision to the crowd . . . but also of admiration to souls. . . .

“I saw Him a few moments later. He was fastened to the Cross, and it had been lifted up erect.

“ ‘Peace has come to the world! . . . The Cross, hitherto an instrument of torture on which criminals were made to die, is changed into the light and peace of the world and the object of the most profound veneration.

“ ‘Sinners will draw pardon and life from My sacred wounds . . . My Blood will wash away and efface all their filth and foulness.

“ ‘Pure souls will come to My wounds, there to slake their thirst and kindle flames of love in their hearts . . . there they will find a refuge, and forever make a home.

“ ‘The world has found a Redeemer, and chosen souls the Model they must copy.

“ ‘And as for you, Josefa, these hands are yours to give you support, these feet to follow you and never leave you alone.

“ ‘Write all that you see.’ ”

Once again Josefa attempted to describe Our Saviour as she saw Him. She knew that this manifestation was made to her for the sake of souls, that she might transmit to them the testimony of His torments. Putting all her powers to the task, she tried to omit no part in her narrative:

“He was nailed to the Cross. The Crown of Thorns encircled His brow and great spiky thorns furrowed deep into the flesh. One longer than the rest had pierced its way through His forehead and emerged near the left eye which was much swollen. His face covered with blood and filth leaned forward a little to the left. Though His eyes were very swollen and bloodshot, they were open and gazed earthwards. All over His wounded body were to be seen the weals and welts caused by the scourges which in some parts had tom away fragments of flesh and skin. Blood flowed from His head and from His other wounds. His lips were purple and His mouth slightly twisted, but when I saw Him for the last time at about half-past two, it had assumed its normal shape. The sight was so pitiful that it wrung my heart with compassion . . . what caused me most sorrow was that He could not use a hand to touch His face.

“What strength this sight gave me, Jesus nailed hands and feet . . . strength to leave all and to submit to His Will in everything, however costly.

“I also noticed as I gazed at Him on the Cross how they had torn away His beard. It had given such majesty to His face . . . and His once beautiful hair which used to add such grace to His Person was all matted, tangled, and clotted with blood, and falling across His face.”

This painful spectacle left Josefa, so to speak, annihilated, and this is not hard to understand. She seemed drowned in sorrow. She spent all the afternoon in the little cell that had witnessed so many favors, and that today by God’s Will had taken on the semblance of the summit of Calvary. A silence, gripping in its intensity, reigned there, and Josefa in prayer associated herself with the sacrifice of the Redeemer.

“Towards half-past two,” she wrote, “Jesus spoke again in a faint and faltering voice.” Josefa listened to the Seven Words of Jesus, amplified by the last outpourings of His love.

“ ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do:

“ ‘They have not known Him who is their life. On His shoulders they have heaped the fury of their iniquities. But I beseech Thee, Father, heap upon them the full measure of Thy mercy.

“ ‘Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise. . . .

“ ‘ . . . for thy faith in thy Saviour’s mercy has wiped out all thy offenses and it will lead thee to eternal blessedness.

“ ‘Woman, behold thy Son!

“ ‘O Mother Mine! . . . these are My brethren . . . keep them . . . love them. . . . You for whom I died are no longer alone; you have a Mother to whom you can have recourse in every necessity.’ ”

Here Josefa interrupted her narrative:

“I saw near the Cross the Blessed Virgin, standing erect. She was gazing at her Son. She wore a purple garment and veil and spoke in a voice which was firm though full of deep sadness:

“ ‘See, my child, the state to which His love for souls has reduced Him! . . . He whom you see in so sad and pitiable a state is my Son. Love is driving Him to His death . . . and it is love that constrains Him to make all men brethren by giving them all His own Mother.’

“ ‘My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?

“ ‘ . . . Yes, henceforth a soul has the right to say to its God: “Why hast Thou forsaken me?” After the mystery of the Redemption was consummated, man became the son of God, Christ is his brother, eternal life his heritage.

“ ‘I thirst!

“ ‘O My Father, I thirst indeed for Thy glory, and behold now is the hour at hand! Man shall henceforth know through the fulfillment of My words that Thou indeed hast sent Me, and Thou shalt be glorified.

“ ‘I thirst for souls, and to appease this thirst I have given the last drop of My Blood . . . and so I can say:

“ ‘All is consummated!

“ ‘Now at length is accomplished that great mystery of love in which a God delivers up His own Son to death. I came into this world to do Thy Will; O My Father, it is accomplished!

“ ‘Into Thy hands I commend My spirit!

“ ‘To Thee I give back My soul. Thus shall souls that do My Will have the right to say in all truth: “All is consummated.” . . . My Lord and My God, receive My soul which I commit into Thy hands.

“ ‘Josefa, write down what you have heard. I want souls to hear and to read what is written . . . so that they who thirst may drink and the hungry may be filled.’

“After these words,” said Josefa, “He disappeared.

“In unspeakable sadness of heart I kept the Cross and the nails, till about six o’clock that evening; when suddenly all ceased except the pain of the Crown of Thorns.”

Our Lord’s very frequent visits came to an end on Good Friday evening. All Holy Saturday Josefa was weighed down by the recollection of the previous day’s revelations.

At about half-past two on Easter morning Our Lady appeared, radiant in loveliness. She spoke only these words:

“Daughter, my Son and your divine Master suffers now no more, He is risen and glorious. . . . His wounds are a fountain from which innumerable souls will draw grace, and a shelter where the most wretched will find a home.

“Be prepared, daughter, to adore His glorious wounds!”

She vanished instantly.

“I cannot say how sad I was at seeing her go . . .” wrote Josefa. “I should have loved to fly after her, so as not to remain alone—but I saw her no more. . . .”








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