On November 27,1720 Paul Daneo writes: “ I prayed by night. At first I was very recollected and that lasted for some little while. Then I felt some disturbance of thought and some temptations which lasted for a short time. Holy Communion was received with great sweeties and elevation in God, mingled with tears. Then I remembered hearing that people had said I would never endure this utter deprivation. At that very moment, so great was my joy and my desire to suffer that the cold, the snow and ice seemed sweet to me and I longed for them with great fervor, saying to my beloved Jesus: ‘Your pains, dear God, are pledges of Your love!’ Then I remained thus rejoicing in my Beloved Jesus in the greatest joy and peace without any movement of the faculties but thus in silence.
“There was no lack of fervor in praying for the above-mentioned needs. I know that I had a particular urge to go to Rome for this great and wonderful work of God. I also asked my Sovereign Good if it were His Will that I should write the Rule for the Poor of Jesus, and I felt a strong urge to do so, with great sweetness. I rejoiced that our great God should wish to make use of so great a sinner, and on the other hand, I knew not where to cast myself, knowing myself to be so wretched. Enough! I know that I tell my Beloved Jesus that all creatures shall sing His mercies.”
Orlando’s entry: In a lesser way, my day with God goes through changes like those of Paolo on his 5th day of retreat. He goes from desolation to fervent prayer, to sweet consolation, to frustration and distraction, to acceptance of the sufferings and doubts that will plague his 40-day retreat. Finally, he surrenders to the Will of God, as he looks at his sufferings mingled with the sufferings of Jesus and sees a direct message of God’s love in each one of them. Paul wants to share in those pains, embraces them lovingly, and the Lord places him in the joy, peace, and silence of the Contemplative State, about which there was nothing to say. He emerges from this fountain of grace full of inspiration, motivation, and energy for the accomplishment of his mission— the establishment of the order of the Poor of Christ— the Passionists! Lord, take me deeper into Your Light. Move me into Your service!!!
Berta’s entry: Dear Lord Jesus, am I ready? When You come calling, will I recognize You and You me? Will we know each other? Am I totally open to knowing You? What does it take? Am I doing enough? All I seem to have are questions. If You want me to tell what I really think : I believe You are the Great I AM. I believe that You love me and are ready to forgive all, especially my misunderstandings. But I have to admit that I doubt myself. Will I recognize You? I need to be more open to You. I need to listen more. Show me the way to You; I can’t do it alone. Jesus, I need You and Your Holy Spirit to be my guide. FEED ME!
Dear Orlando and Berta, thank you for your own words from the heart and the courage to share them with others. The strength of your faith shines through and gives me hope. I offer you both my meager prayers. As you share so honestly from your hearts, may the Passion of Jesus Christ and st. Paul of the Cross continue to bless your journey.
Thank you! You are our prayers too!