Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 22, 12/14/1720


     On December 14, 1720 Paolo Daneo wrote: “ I remained recollected and I also experienced dryness and distracting thoughts, and likewise the above-mentioned sufferings, but not so violent. At holy Communion I was recollected, making acts of love with tenderness to my Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. May He be praised and loved by all. Amen.


     Orlando’s entry: After those four intense days, Paolo seems to experience many of the same inspirations, desolations, and consolations that he has gone through before. It just seems that they have become a little less intense. Could he be falling into a routine? Perhaps our human minds and bodies just cannot keep up with the incandescent intensity of the mystical states that Paolo has gone through. I believe God is in charge of all those holy gifts. God sets the pace in His loving wisdom.     I look at my spiritual life during the past week and wonder whether I am also falling into a daily routine. My wife and I begin our shared meditations and can quickly get into a bad mood. At times we get distracted and ignore what the other person is saying, then get discouraged and offended, and force ourselves to trudge on. Eventually the Divine Arbiter calms us and brings us back to the acknowledgement of His Presence, and we experience peace and love. I go to pray and God, my loving father, once again rewards me with His Light and Hope. It feels wonderful. I am like a lucky kid, a golden boy, as He gently holds me. Do I have the right to feel this good?      Paul of the Cross writes later in his life: “Whoever looks only for consolation loses sight of the great God of consolation. Whoever remains in his or her own nothingness, distrusting himself or herself completely while trusting totally in God, will never be deceived.”…..Beloved God, I will humbly acknowledge my poverty of spirit. Whatever You send me, I’ll take it in gratitude. Thank You for being there always with me, and giving me the Faith to know it!


     Berta’s entry: Dear Jesus, today the word that kept coming to me is “humility”. I feel that I need to come to You with a humble heart, soul, and mind. I have come to understand that You, my God, are a mystery that I don’t understand. Now, one day, if it is Your will, I will reach Eternal Life in Heaven and then You will reveal Yourself to me.     One of the most important things You taught us through Your Passion is how to be humble. Here You are, the King of the Universe, the Omnipotent God, coming to our world as a baby. You faced all human discomforts, all human fears, all human emotions. You faced all of it with humility and love. Towards the end of Your Passion, when everything became evil incarnate, You turned Your eyes to You Father and allowed Him to help You keep going. You did it with all humility.     May I learn from You, my God, that when I am facing all types of suffering, disappointments, fear, anger, impatience, rebellion, I may then turn to You, my Jesus, and face You in all humility so You can help me! Thank You for Your guidance, Your sacrifice, and Your love! 

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