Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 3

Paul Daneo writes :     “ Monday 25 November, 1720. During prayer I was without feeling and also distracted. At Holy Communion I was at first recollected and then that stopped. I felt most fervent during the night and even shed some tears when praying to the Lord for holy Church and for sinners, that He would avert the imminent punishment that I deserve for my sins, and other prayers which I do not write down here. For the rest of the day I was full of misery and depression and likewise sorely tempted with compassion for my family. It irritated me even to see people or to hear them passing by, to hear the sound of the church bell; in fact it seemed to me that my heart was buried without any feeling of prayer. 

  However it never occurs to me to seek relief, and in my own mind I am quite happy to put up with such thoughts; but this happiness brings no relief because at such a time there is a certain disquiet of a peculiar kind. There is a kind of satisfaction that the most holy Will of our dear God is being fulfilled, but this remains, as it were, buried beneath the ashes in the most secret recess of the soul. I know it is hard to explain what I mean because one who has not experienced this will find it difficult to understand.”

Orlando’s entry:     “I shed some tears”….. fervent prayer…..I did not get to feel like that. But the quiet, the peace, the confidence in your Will and Presence is with me today, oh Lord. At 8:30 Mass at the Passionist Church, thank You Lord, I felt You in warm, reassuring ways. It was a shame that I felt uneasy in the company of my fellow Catholics. This pandemic forces us to be distant from each other, in more than one way. The outdoors Stations of the Cross (did it for Berta) were noisy with the sound of lawnmowers and leaf-blowers all around, but it was solemn and peaceful. In some way or another I could relate to the emotions of the characters beautifully depicted in sculpture at each Station: Mary, Veronica, the Weeping Women, John, even the executioners, and especially, my most sorrowful, patient Jesus.     Our prayer time at home, with the reading of the diary of the young St. Paul of the Cross was quiet and simple. Paolo writes about his depressions and feelings of “disquiet”, even annoyance, and yet with a deep inner assurance: “There is a kind of satisfaction that the most holy Will of our dear God is being fulfilled.” Yes, thank You God! Jesus I trust in You, even if right now I feel that this is not going to be a great day!

Berta’s entry:     Dear Jesus, thank You for putting people in my path today. It’s hard for me to deal with them, but I was pleasantly surprised. I started out this morning with a specific plan, but You came and changed it. After Mass I was seeking solitude and silence with my husband Orlando at the Stations of the Cross. But we were intercepted by people who wanted to talk. Speaking to them and listening to them seemed to help them and it also opened interesting paths for me. Thank You! Sometimes solitude is not the way to You, my Lord Jesus.     What I did not accomplish, which was part of my plan, was the Stations of the Cross by the Passionist Church. It was already too late for my brain. I couldn’t concentrate. But I knew You were with us! Thanks again! I do love You!  

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