Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 17

     On December 9,1720 Paul Daneo writes:” I was greatly troubled and molested by thoughts. At holy Communion I was recollected, then dry, and again molested by thoughts. In petitions made to God in prayer by night I was very fervent, especially in praying for the conversion of sinners.”

     Berta’s entry: Dear Jesus, I can so commiserate with the way St. Paul was feeling today. Trying to pray, yet only burdening thoughts would come.I understand that so well, my Lord! Sometimes as I try to sit and listen to Your Word my mind is pulled away by all the troubling situations we have to deal with in life. Here I am trying to empty myself of all of this so You would have an empty canvas to work with, and what happens is that the canvas all of the sudden becomes black— no room for You! How do I get back to You? Maybe some days are not for reaching out to You in a personal way, thinking only of myself. Maybe those days are meant for interceding for others in prayer. It could be that what You are looking for from me is empathy and compassion for others! Yes, Lord Jesus, those days of dryness or negative thoughts I will dedicate to others through intercessory prayer or a visit, a phone call, a ministry. Yes, those are days not concerned with self. They are days dedicated to You and what You need for me to do. Thank You, my God, for opening my eyes and my ears to You. Our relationship is not an easy one, my Lord. Slowly I am learning!!!

     Orlando’s entry: Day 17 was another tough day for Paolo. This morning at breakfast Berta declared to me that she was not looking forward to today. She felt weak and nauseous. I was not doing too well myself, getting into that strange, unexplainable bad mood as I found the honey in my cereal cloying. I remembered this later when we read the Bible reading from Rev. 10: 8-11. The scroll, the Word of God, tastes like sweetest honey, but sits bitterly in the stomach. Suddenly we were feeling the most powerful craving for the Eucharist, so we took our masks and dragged ourselves to Mass at Our Lady of the Snows. I had a most anointed, recollected time, in God, during the whole Mass; thank You, Lord. My Berta finally experienced relief and peace after receiving Jesus. We went for a walk in the beautiful day. We called friends in need. Slowly, we were healed. Our God is with us.

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