Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 24, December 16,1720

     Paolo Daneo continues…..”I kept asking my Jesus not to deliver them from them [the negative obstacles to prayer], but rather to make me walk the path of suffering; whence it followed by a special grace of God, that although I was in particular desolations, temptations, and interior afflictions, it did not occur to me to desire any relief .”

     Orlando’s entry: At 6:30 a.m. I delighted in the “Prayer of Contemplation”, by Fr.Ignacio Larrañaga, an important faith teacher in my life. It was a peaceful, relaxing experience; at its best moments, I felt the great strengthening of my faith and almost as if I could touch my Loving God. But, throughout the demanding day, frustration upon frustration came to assail me and destroy my peaceful mood. Like Paolo Daneo, I accept this “ path of suffering” and stay in my faith in the love of my God. But I plead for His help in this. I went to another prayer by Ignacio Larrañaga, “The Prayer of Surrender (patience)”:  Lord, give me the grace to accept with peace:- that You have the Wisdom and freedom to give us what You think, not necessarily what we want, since all You give us is a free gift for us.- I accept the long, zig-zagging path of prayer, that the road to holiness be so long and daunting.- I accept the countless set backs that come.- I accept seeing everything pass or decay.- disease and physical pain.- my insignificance (I will die and the world will go on!), I accept loneliness and death. – I accept wanting to do so much and accomplishing so little.- seeing my best efforts having such meager results.- that I end up doing what I don’t want to do, and neglecting what I should do. – I accept what I should’ve been, and never was, what I should have done and never did.- reaching my limits and tasting failure, not being understood by others. I offer all of this, and more, to You my Lord; all I ask for is Your peace.

     Berta’s entry: Dear Jesus, I just realized today that Paul Daneo is going right through Advent with no sense of the joy and expectation that usually goes with this season. All his distractions and loneliness has led him away from what is happening outside of his small cell. I feel for him, my Lord Jesus. He doesn’t want relief from all these temptations and sufferings. As for me, I am in a good place, with You, my Lord Jesus. I am celebrating Your Coming. I’m thankful to You that in the middle of everything that’s going on around me I can still find some joy and hope in everyone I interact with. The dark world outside is lit up in Your honor. Our expectations are high! The arrival of You, my Lord, is imminent! Blessed be the Lord most High! Allelujah!

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