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The Way Of Divine Love
by -Sr. Josefa Menendez


  • 1 If one had looked for a chosen soul among the novices of that time (they were for the most part Polish), Josefa’s appearance, which had nothing of the mystic about it, would not have led one to suspect God’s choice of her.
  • 2. Nothing was imposed on her by God; He did not force His reluctant creature, but with divinely consummate skill He pursued His purpose of obtaining her consent. At each recoil of Josefa’s fears, Our Lord left her without reproach; but His departure so disturbed Josefa that she made a more than ever generous acceptance. Also, Jesus did not tell her straight away that He wanted her to be His Messenger to the world, the shock would have been too great; but He simply appealed to her generosity: “Are you willing to suffer? And are you willing to be a victim?” If a victim, then it was a question of suffering, not of coming prominently before the world, and Josefa accepted.
  • 3. “My Heart finds rest in communicating its feelings. I come to rest in your heart when a soul grieves Me, and it is My longing to do it good that passes into you and becomes yours” (October 23rd, 1922).
  • 4. See especially the diabolical persecutions endured by Saint Margaret of Cortona, Saint Veronica Giuliani, the Curé d’Ars, and Sister Marie de Jésus-Crucifié, whose life has been written by V.R.F. Buzy, Superior General of the Fathers of Bétharram, and many others.
  • 5. A number of both men and women saints have had visions of Hell; few have actually gone down into its depths, and fewer still have done so frequently, as did Sister Josefa in order to atone for sinners. Saint Veronica Giuliani, born 1660 and died 1727, thus a contemporary of Saint Margaret Mary, seems, like Sister Josefa, to have been a victim of expiation, and had this same experience.
  • 6. In his recent encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ (June 1943) Pope Pius XII tells us that devotion to the Sacred Heart has prepared souls to understand the doctrine of the Mystical Christ. The idea of reparation for others which Our Lord made an essential element in devotion to the Sacred Heart, implies the solidarity of all Christians—one with another—in the unity of the Mystical Body. But devotion to the Mystical Christ, the “whole” Christ, with its horizons attractive through their very vastness, inclines the superficially minded to find too limited a devotion, centered in the Heart of Christ. This mistake is due to a lack of understanding that devotion to the Sacred Heart is directed to Christ loving, wounded with love, and that by it all the members of the Mystical Body are united in this love with Him and with each other.
  • 7. Delightful apparitions of the Holy Child at Christmas … of Our Lady, “in all her beauty and so motherly,” as Josefa always describes her.
  • 8. Institute for the development of the arts.
  • 9. The Boarding School and Free School of the Sacré Coeur were both situated in the street called Leganitos. It was destroyed by the Reds during the civil war of 1936.
  • 10. This is a hill situated in the geographical center of Spain, and on it the National Monument of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was erected.
  • 11. These words, which were not spoken by Our Lord, but shown to Josefa written in a book in the midst of the flames of His Heart, are to be found word for word in the works of Saint Margaret Mary. They are at the hour of Sext of the Office for Tuesday in the Little Breviary of the Sacred Heart. Through them the Saint marvelously explains her mission as a victim and it would seem that in reproducing them here as His own it was Our Lord’s intention to associate humble little Sister Josefa with the Saint.
  • 12. In the Society of the Sacred Heart it is the Mother Assistant who is specially charged with the Sisters and the direction of their Noviciate.
  • 13. In the Exercises of Saint Ignatius four periods are named “weeks.”
  • 14. Oratory near the door of the chapel at Les Feuillants, dedicated to Our Lady under the title of Mater Admirabilis. In Convents of the Sacred Heart copies of the miraculous fresco painted on the wall of the cloister in the Trinita-dei-Monti at Rome are specially honored.
  • 15. “La señal, la dare en ti. Lo que quiero es que te abandones a Mi.”
  • 16. “Let us here note once and for all that Josefa never had to translate into human language visions, locutions, or interior promptings. It seemed to her that Our Lord was manifesting His thought and wishes in the direct form of human words which she believed that she perceived in a sensible way, and which she had only to transcribe in the very same terms.

    It may be added that fully occupied as her days were by household work, obliged to ask leave before each meeting and to give a full account of it immediately after, Josefa never had time to invent, prepare, or make up her narrative; these conditions necessarily excluded any premeditation on her part and so stamped all she recorded with a further mark of veracity. However, the Church alone has power and authority to pronounce with greater certainty on this matter.”
  • 17. This divine gesture of outstretched arms has already been noted by Josefa, and was to be repeated many times; it would seem to be significant of Our Lord’s appeal to the whole world through His Messenger. That is why this attitude of the Montmartre Statue with Heart inflamed and Arms open wide has been selected as the most suitable in representing and illustrating the Message of the Heart of Jesus.
  • 18. The falls to which Our Lord refers are the simple imperfections that she reproaches herself of as infidelities.
  • 19. The cell where Saint Madeleine Sophie used to gather her first novices in 1809, and which had been transformed into a small oratory where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved during part of the year.
  • 20. Latin for “Behold the man.”
  • 21. These doubts, temptations, obsessions, which will be multiplied from now on, have no other motive than to make Josefa turn back from the special mission which opens before her. These are her hesitations, and strong repugnances which she self-reproachfully calls weaknesses, failings or infidelities.
  • 22. “Todos los Viernes y conpreferencia, el primero de cada mes te haré participar de la amargura de mi Corazón y sentiras de una manera especial los tormentos de mi Passión.”
  • 23. “El amor que tengo a las almas, y muy especialmente a la tuya, es tan grande que no puedo contener las llamas de mi ardiente caridad y a pesar de tu gran indignidad y miseria, Me servire de ti para realizar mis designios.”
  • 24. “El mundo no conoce la Misericordia de mi Corazón. Quiero valerme de para hacerla conocer.”
  • 25. “Sabes el fin que tengo al darte mis gracias en tanta abundancia? Quiero de tu corazón hacer un altar en el cual arda continuamente el fuego de mi Amor. Por eso, quiero que se purifique y que nada lo toque que pueda mancharlo.”
  • 26. The point in question is her weakness to accept, in spite of her repugnances, the special mission to which Our Lord calls her: all her weaknesses or falls of which she speaks or accuses herself refer nearly always to the acceptance of this mission.
  • 27. “Yo haré un gran edificio sobre la nada, es decir sobre tu humilidad tu abandono y tu amor.”
  • 28. “Recuerda mis palabras y ten fe. El deseo único de mi Corazón es aprisionarte y ahogarte en mi amor, hacer de tu pequeñez y flaqueza un canal de misericordia para muchas almas que se salvarán por tu medio. Mas tarde te descubriré los secretos mas amorosos de mi Corazón y ésto servira para hacer bien a muchas almas. Deseo que escribas y guardes cuanto Yo te diga. Todo se leerá cuando tu estés en el cielo, no es por tus méritos que quiero servirme de ti, es porque las almas vean que mi Poder se sirve de instrumentos débiles y miserables.”
  • 29.The point in question is that openness with Superiors, which is spontaneous and always free in the religious life.
  • 30. It may with reason surprise readers that on one or two occasions Our Lord, who is Master and Sovereign and needs no permission from anybody, was pleased to act with such deference towards those into whose charge He had committed Josefa. Was it not perhaps to teach her the humble submission she owed her Superiors? In any case He was only confirming His own words: “I too will obey.” The lesson sank deep and bore fruit. Josefa was given it that she might transmit the message to other religious souls.
  • 31. On the 31st of July of this same year, encouraging Josefa to bear up in face of her great difficulties: “Before three years are out,” she said, “you will already be in Heaven. I tell you this to give you courage.”
  • 32. Our Lord showed Himself to Sister Josefa as actually clothed in sorrow for the sins of the present day. We know that His Sacred Humanity can no longer suffer. But He made it actual, as He had done for Saint Margaret Mary and other holy souls. Josefa made no mistake about this, and in the lucidity of her faith understood quite well how her participation in her Master’s sufferings could bring alleviation to Him, to whose Heart everything was present at the time of His Passion.
  • 33. This intolerable odor enveloped Josefa on her return from the bottomless pit and it was the same, at the moment of her abductions and persecutions by the arch-enemy. It was of mingled sulfur and burning putrid flesh, and it clung to her, say the witnesses, for a quarter of an hour or so, even half an hour, but she herself was painfully aware of it for a much longer time.
  • 34. These repeated temptations always had the same aim: to exploit Josefa’s repugnances to God’s plan for her.
  • 35. “Agarrada”—clutching, clinging to, a word which does not translate easily.
  • 36. “Asi ire consumiendo tu pequeñez y tu miscria. Yo abrare en ti. Yo hablare por ti…. Me hare conocer por ti. Cuantas almas encontraran la vida en mis palabras! Como cobraran animo viendo el fruto de sus trabajos…. Un actito pequeño de generosidad, de paciencia, de pobreza, etc…. puede ser un tesoro que de a mi Corazón gran numero de almas. Pronto, tu no existiras, pues mis palabras viviran siempre…”
  • 37. Josefa noted down a few days later words which at the time she did not dare tell Reverend Mother: “You will die soon. I will warn you a little beforehand, so that your Mother can tell the Bishop everything. But do not be alarmed, for not many days after you will be with Me in Heaven.”
  • 38. “Ya sé que as almas lo saben—pero de tiempo en tiempo necesito hacer una nueva llamada de amor. Y ahora quiero servirme de ti, pequeña y miserable criatura. Nada tienes que hacer: ámame y queda abandonada a mi voluntad. Yo te tendré escondida en mi Corazón. Nadie te descubrirá. Sólo después de tu muerte se leerán mis palabras.”
  • 39. For some weeks past Josefa had been enjoined by obedience to add the Divine Praises to the renewal of her vows. The devil was never able to repeat after her these words of love and benediction, whereas her heavenly visitants gladly repeated and commented on them.
  • 40. “No sabes cual es mi obra? … pues es de Amor!”
  • 41. Our Lord here establishes a very clear distinction between habitual venial sins, 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.
  • 42. “Si tu indignidad y tus pecados son grandes, ven a sumergirte en el torrente de sangre de mi Corazón y déjate purificar! … y después acepta generosamente todos los sufrimientos que mi Voluntad te envia para ofrecerlos a mi Padre Celestial. Deja que tu alma se abrase en deseo de consolar a un Dios ultrajado y toma mis Méritos para reparar tantos pecados.”
  • 43 These are the burning outpourings of the Heart of Jesus taken down by Josefa whilst her Master spoke, and translated from the Spanish (through the French in this instance), large extracts of which will be found in the following pages. Our Lord did not exactly dictate, but He spoke with ardor and Josefa wrote down His words as they fell from the divine lips.
  • 44. 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.
  • 45. Marmoutier, near Tours. In 1923 it was the house of Noviceship of the Society of the Sacred Heart in France.
  • 46. Marmoutier, near Tours. In 1923 it was the house of Noviceship of the Society of the Sacred Heart in France.
  • 47. Mi gracia acompañará a las palabras y a las personas encargardas de hacerlas conocer. La verdad triumfará … la paz gobernará las almas y en el mundo … y mi reino llegará.
  • 48. What Josefa calls “temptations” are always her constant repugnances to the path by which Our Lord is leading her.
  • 49. For the last few months Our Lord continued secretly to make clearer to Josefa the time of her approaching death.
  • 50. No te apures! Yo trabajo en la oscuridad y al fin mi Obra saldrá a la luz de domo que se puedan admirar todos los detalles.
  • 51. At that time the Sister Novices numbered about thirty; nearly all from Poland where there were many vocations.
  • 52. One of these requests concerned what the Bishop of Poitiers would have to do with regard to the Message; moreover, there was this indication of the date of Josefa’s death: “In February 1924 the Cardinal Protector is to be approached, that is to say after your death.”
  • 53. “Mis palabras serán la luz y la vida para muchísimas almas. Todas se imprimirán se leerán y se predicarán. Yo daré gracia especial para que hagan bien y para que sean la luz de las almas.’
  • 54. These invocations are said as a novena in all the Convents of the Sacred Heart in preparation for the First Friday, and are a protestation of union with the feelings and affections of the Heart of Jesus.
  • 55. See: January 12th, 1922; August 7th, 1922 (note); May 14th, 1923; July 16th, 1923; August 20th, 1923; October 15th, 1923 (note).
  • 56. Patroness of Mexico, then undergoing dire persecution, and which, like all Our Lady’s titles, was dear to the Society and to Josefa.
  • 57. Mercedes died at the Convent of the Sacred heart, Montpellier, on November 19th, 1942.
  • 58. Palomita Mia et amada—“My beloved little dove.”
  • 59. “O immensa pietas, o inestimabilis caritas! ut liberares servum, Filium tradidisti … O Caritas! o pietas! Quis audivit talia? Quis super tanta misericordiae Viscera non obstupescat? Quis non miretur? Quis non collætur propter nimiam caritatem tuam qua nos dilexisti.” (Meditation, Saint Augustine).
  • 60. “Amo te, Deus meus, amo te et magis atque magis amare volo. Da mihi, ut desideram te, ut amem te, quantum volo et quantum debeo. Immensus es et sine mensura debes amari, praesertim a nobis, quos sic amasti, sic salvasti, quo quibus tanta et talia fecisti.” (Soliloquies, Saint Augustine)
  • 61. “Vulnera Jesu Christi plena sunt misericordia, plena pietate, plena dulcedine et caritate. Foderunt manus ejus et pedes ejus et latus ejus lancea perforaverunt: per has rimas licet mihi gustare quam suavis est Dominus Deus meus … Copiosa redemptio data est nobis in vulneribus Jesu Christi Salvatoris nostri, magna multitudo dulcedinis, plenitudo gratiae et perfectio virtutum.” (Libellus de contemplatione Christi).
  • 62. “Major est iniquitas mea quam ad veniam merear—Absit. Absit. Major enim est ejus pietas quam quaevis iniquitas.” (Cantic. Cantic., sermo XI 13.)
  • 63. “Ego vere confidenter quod ex me mihi deest usurpo mihi ex visceribus Domini, quoniam misericordia affluunt, nec desunt foramina per quae effluant. Foderunt manus ejus et pedes, latusque lancea foraverunt: et per has rimas licet mihi sugere mel de petra oleumque de saxo durissimo, id est gustare et videre quoniam suavis est Dominus. Cogitabat cogitationes pacis et ego nesciebam … Clamat clavus, clamat vulnus, quod vere Deus sit in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi. Patet arcanum cordis per foramina corporis, patet magnum illud sacramentum, patent viscera misericordiae Dei nostri … Quidni viscera per vulnera pateant? In quo enim clarius quam in vulneribus tuis eluxisset, quod tu, Domine, suavis et mitis et multae misericordiae? Majorem enim miserationem nemo habet, quam ut animam suam ponat quis pro addictis mortis et damnatis. Meum proinde meritum, miseratio Domini.” (In. Cant. Cant.. sermo LXI, B.C.).
  • 64. “ … in eo omnes collocandae spes: ex eo hominum perenda atque expectanda salus.”

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