Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 15

     On December 7th,1720 Paul Daneo writes this large entry: “ During morning prayer I was at peace and then again troubled with thoughts. At holy Communion I was particularly recollected and uplifted with tears to such an extent that my bones and my stomach ached for I was shivering a little from the cold— but then it all disappeared. This often happens to me. I know I have felt bodily weakness before— oh infinite mercy of our Sovereign Good! After holy Communion, I feel myself growing better and strong. According to the understanding God gives me, this comes from the great strength which the soul receives from that angelic Food which has likewise the effect of strengthening the body.  

  ” I had likewise great fervor mingled with tears in praying for the conversion of poor sinners; I kept telling God that I could no longer bear to see Him offended. I had also special tenderness in imploring God in His mercy to found the holy Congregation quickly, and send forth some people for His greater glory and for the good of their neighbors— this with great desire and fervor. I asked Him to accept me as the least and lowest servant of His poor, and it seemed to me that I was utterly unworthy (as indeed I am) to serve Him as a scullion.    

” I had great self-knowledge. When God gives me this deep knowledge of myself, it seems to me that I am worse than a devil, that I am a smelly cesspool, as in truth is the case; but never do I lose the greatest and most tender confidence in my Sacramental Spouse. I tell Him that in giving me so many graces and such innumerable favors, He only displays all the more His infinite mercies because He acts thus toward the greatest of sinners. In all things, blessed be His holy name.”

     Orlando’s entry: This is a very important day for the Passionist Congregation. Paolo finishes writing his Rule on this day. This day is at the heart of our celebration of the 300th YearJubilee, as we observe it in a way similar to San Paolo—” in lock-down “, “stay-at-home”, “quarantined”, feeling the cold of winter growing around us.  Thank You Lord, for giving us this consolation in the middle of this strange, sorrowful time!     Paolo’s entry for this day speaks more eloquently than anything else I can say about his themes: the power of the Eucharist, the zeal for mission in saving others, the finding of who we are through our Lord Jesus Christ: unworthy creatures, so beloved by Him!

     Berta’s entry: Dear Jesus, it fascinates me how Paul was so in tune with the Sacramental Jesus. Do WE truly see You, my Lord Jesus in that Host? Are WE truly aware, as Paul was of the many graces and favors You bestow on us every time we take You into our bodies?      No matter how I look at it, I know very well that I am a sinner. I know that I am not perfect, but I also know that You, my Jesus, love me! Thank You for not putting me aside or throwing me away for my imperfections and my sins. Every time I take You, my Jesus, into my body, I know that I am being filled with Your goodness and Your love. There is nothing that can compare to this. May every one of Your children, Lord, that takes You into their bodies at Mass realize what a treasure they are taking. Every part of us is being fed: our mind, body, soul and spirit. “In all things blessed be Your Holy Name.” 

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