“Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts.”-Saint Philip Neri
From Saint Padre Pio’s letter to Anita Rodote, on February 6, 1915:
How good the Lord is to everyone; but He is even more so to those who have a true and sincere desire to please Him in everything, and who fulfill the divine plan in themselves.
You, too, must learn to more greatly recognize and adore the Divine Will in all the events of life. Often repeat the divine words of our dearest Master: “Fiat voluntas Dei sicut in caelo et in terra.” (“May God’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” –Matthew 6:10) Yes, let this beautiful exclamation always be in your heart and on your lips throughout all the events of your life. Say it in times of affliction; say it in times of temptation and during the trials to which Jesus wants to subject you. Say it again when you feel yourself submerged in the ocean of love for Jesus; it will be your anchor and salvation. Do not fear the enemy; he will not launch anything against the little ship of your spirit because Jesus is the helmsman and Mary is the star.
“Resist anything that leads to moodiness. Our prayer each day should be, ‘Let the joy of the Lord be my strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:10b) Cheerfulness and joy were Mary’s strength. This made her a willing handmaid of God. Only joy could have given her the strength to go in haste over the hills of Judea to her cousin Elizabeth, there to do the work of a handmaid. If we are to be true handmaids of the Lord, then we too, each day, must go cheerfully in haste over the hills of difficulty.”–Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
This Divine Spirit is love and asks for love, and rests not in those hearts that love Him not, and do not love purely for God….
There are many souls making nothing but little bundles of hay and straw. Few are they that work precious stones and embrace strong columns.
These bundles of straw and hay are good for nothing except to burn; and when burning, they make a very light fire, which quickly disappears, leaving soot and smoke, but the stones are of infinite value and enrich those who possess them; the columns support the high buildings and those who embrace them. The bundles of straw indicate those persons who attend to the performance of many manual works with vanity and for human ends….
There are many persons working all their lives, but, as they do not work for God, they derive therefrom nothing more than a light splendor of human glory, which soon passes away, leaving their hearts full of regret and pain, and they find no reward for it in the next life. The Divine Spirit rests but little in these persons; but He comes down in great fullness and rests in those souls that work precious stones of solid and real virtues, of humility, despisement of self and everything created, poverty, purity, and resignation of their will to God and the superiors….
The souls embracing strong columns are governed by them, and their edifice will never shake or fall; for, when working for God with purity of intention, neither tribulation, nor distress, nor any creature can ever overthrow their constancy, as they are strengthened by the Divine Spirit and their operations remain forever, because they are founded on the Divine Truth….
Do not make bundles of straw, but enrich yourselves with these valuable stones, embrace the strong pillars, if you wish the Divine Spirit to rest in you.
This Divine Love and pure Spirit will not rest by any means in those souls that possess cutting tongues, as He hates and very much abhors a backbiting tongue, and departs and flees from it. It is true that this Divine Spirit comes down, for, being communicative, He would like to give Himself to all; but He does not stop, not knowing where to rest.
He rests for a moment in those souls that make bundles of straw, but He does not stop at all where there are cutting tongues. Harm not thy neighbor, as God commanded that we should love him as ourselves, and it is too great an evil to touch him. He is the pupil of God’s eye; and the eye is so delicate an organ that the least wisp of straw offends it. He who offends his neighbor offends God. Of the neighbor’s faults we cannot, we must not speak, except with the intention of doing him good, and with those who can remedy the evil; whatever else is spoken of is murmuring….
I would like to be able to go throughout the whole world and get all the souls in my hands, and I would exert myself so much with the divine help that I would root out all these biting teeth. Ah! if creatures could see and understand fully how much God hates these tongues with teeth, no one would be found that would dare to murmur.
If God hates murmuring in every creature, He cannot, He will not, tolerate it at all in the Religious and Spouses consecrated to Him. Some Religions (Religious Orders) are like well-cultivated gardens decked out with beautiful trees, odoriferous flowers, and leafy plants, on account of the exact observance and the beautiful order that are found therein.
Other Religious Orders are like ugly forests compared to the former, because in them, there is no order of religious observance; nevertheless, in these the Divine Spirit rests a little, as there are no murmuring tongues there; and, on the contrary, He comes to the others and passes on without stopping, because the spirit of hypocrisy which dominates them, rather than truth, leads them frequently to the vice of backbiting. But woe, woe to them because God will permit the light they possess to be turned into darkness if they do not pull out these teeth, and He will give His light to other Religions.
O perverse tongues, what wonder of iniquity are you, that you suffice to overthrow all the good of a Religion! O my souls, beware of putting on these teeth, and thank Divine Goodness that at present not one among you is stained with this vice.
“Is your love for your neighbor guided by My love? Do you pray for your enemies? Do you wish well to those who have, in one way or another, caused you sorrow or offended you? Know that whatever good you do to any soul, I accept it as if you had done it to Me.”-Jesus, in private revelation given to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (Diary #1768)