Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 27, December 18,1720

      Paul Daneo finishes his entry for the previous four days like this: “ The continual desire for the conversion of all sinners does not leave me. I feel particularly moved to pray to God because I do not wish Him to be offended anymore.”

     Berta’s entry: Dear Jesus, this young man, Paul Daneo, wished to share Your love so much that he wanted all people to know You and love You just as much as you do. His whole life at this particular time was dedicated to You, my God. If he didn’t think about You, guilt would burden him along with other things. He wanted anyone not dedicated to You to get to know You the way he was trying to do. He would pray fervently for the “conversion of all sinners”. I believe we all need to pray for others, specially those that haven’t yet met You, my God. I feel they are missing so much. I leave them to You, leave them in Your capable hands. I set them at the foot of Your Cross! I was one of those people once and You opened my eyes so I could see, and  opened my ears so I could hear You, my God. Thank You, my Beautiful One. May others be as blessed as I was that day You came and got me!

     Orlando’s entry: In the final part of his entry Paul expresses the hurt that he feels at knowing that so many people do not know and love Jesus. I am reminded that Paul is on this retreat to discern his mission to save souls for the God he loves. He feels specially sad for our God who sees the sinfulness of His people.      I have already written about the sorrow that I feel, in the middle of prayer, for those persons, and beg God to touch their hearts with His Presence, with the gift of faith. But Paolo points out how God is offended by our rejection. I wonder, can God be offended, angered by our sinfulness? There are plenty of instances in the Bible that lead us to think this is true. We had better fear God!      Yet, my mind was sent into a prayer of meditation on the Passion of my Lord and God: ….. Bound Jeus, already abused and beaten, answers the high priest, “Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you address the high priest?” (John 18: 21-22) The soldier must had hit Him hard, in the face, maybe with some object, maybe drawing blood. I feel hurt and terrified by this image, but I am also angered and offended. I want to hit this man back, the bully! Does my Lord feel this way, when He has chosen to die for this man? If some stranger hits my little granddaughter, I would probably go crazy with rage. How did my Heavenly Papa react to the abuses against His son? How does He react to the cruelty of His children toward each other? Jesus answers His offender: “Why do You strike me?” He asks me the same. It breaks my heart, because all that I see in those eyes is love and concern for me!

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