Monday, January 31, 2011

PRAYER OF RELEASE FOR FREEMASONS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS

By Fr. John Hampsch, C.M.F.


PRAYER OF RELEASE FOR FREEMASONS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS

If you were once a Mason or are a descendant of a Mason, we recommend that you pray through the following prayer from your heart. Don’t be like the Masons who are given their obligations and oaths one line at a time and without prior knowledge of the requirements. Please read it through first so you know what is involved. It is best to pray this aloud with a Christian witness or counselor present. We suggest a brief pause following each paragraph to allow the Holy Spirit to show any additional issues which may require attention.

“Father God, creator of heaven and earth, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ your Son. I come as a sinner seeking forgiveness and cleansing from all sins committed against you and others made in your image. I honor my earthly father and mother and all of my ancestors of flesh and blood, and of the spirit by adoption and godparents, but I utterly turn away from and renounce all their sins. I forgive all my ancestors for the effects of their sins on me and my children. I confess and renounce all of my own sins. I renounce and rebuke Satan and every spiritual power of his affecting me and my family.

I renounce and forsake all involvement in Freemasonry or any other lodge or craft by my ancestors and myself. I renounce witchcraft, the principal spirit behind Freemasonry, and I renounce Bxphomer, the Spirit of Antichrist and the curse of the Luciferian doctrine. I renounce the idolatry, blasphemy, secrecy and deception by Masonry at every level. I specifically renounce the insecurity, the love of position and power, the love of money, avarice or greed, and the pride which would have led my ancestors into Masonry. I renounce all the fears which held them in Masonry, especially the fears of death, fears of men, and fears of trusting in the name of Jesus Christ.

I renounce every position held in the lodge by any of my ancestors, including “Tyler”’ “Master”, “Worshipful Master”, or any other. I renounce the calling of any man “Master”, for Jesus Christ is my only master and Lord, and He forbids anyone else having that title. I renounce the entrapping of others into Masonry and observing the helplessness of others during the rituals. I renounce the effects of Masonry passed on to me through any female ancestor who felt distrusted and rejected by her husband as he entered and attended any lodge and refused to tell her of his secret activities.

1st Degree

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the First or Entered Apprentice degree, especially their effects on the throat and tongue. I renounce the Hoodwink, the blindfold, and its effects on emotions and eyes, including all confusion, fear of the dark, fear of the light, and fear of sudden noises. I renounce the secret word BOAZ, and all it means. I renounce the mixing and mingling of truth and error, and the blasphemy of this degree of Masonry. I renounce the noose around the neck, the fear of choking and also every spirit causing asthma, hay fever, emphysema or any other breathing difficulty: I renounce the compass point, sword or spear held against the breast, the fear of death by stabbing pain, and the fear of heart attack from this degree. In the name of Jesus Christ I now pray for healing of..(throat, vocal cords, nasal passages, sinus, bronchial tubes etc) for healing of the speech area, and the release of the Word of God to me and through me and my family.

2nd Degree

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the second or Fellow Craft degree of Masonry, especially the curses on the heart and chest. I renounce the secret ~words JACHIN AND SHIBBOLETH and all that these mean. I cut off emotional hardness, apathy, indifference, unbelief and deep anger from me and my family. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray for the healing of … (the chest/lung/heart area) and also for the healing of my emotions and ask to be made sensitive to the Holy Spirit of God.

3rd Degree

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the third or Master Mason degree, especially the curses on the stomach and womb area. I renounce the secret words MAHA BONE, MACHABEN, MACHBINNA and TUBAL CAIN, and all that they mean. I renounce the Spirit of Death from the blows to the head enacted as ritual murder, the fear of deaths, false martyrdom, fear of violent gang attack, assault, or rape, and the helplessness of this degree. I renounce the falling into the coffin or stretcher involved in the ritual of murder. I renounce the false resurrection of this degree, because only Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life! I also renounce the blasphemous kissing of the Bible on a Witchcraft oath. I cut off all spirits of death, witchcraft and deception and in the name of Jesus Christ I pray for the healing of…(the stomach, bladder, womb, liver, and any other organs of my body affected by Masonry), and I ask for a release of compassion and understanding for me and my family.

Holy Royal Arch Degree

I renounce and forsake the oaths taken and the curses involved in the Holy Royal Arch Degree of Masonry, especially the oath regarding the removal of the head from the body arid the exposing of the brains to the hot sun. I renounce the Mark Lodge and the mark in the form of squares and angles which marks the person for life. I also reject the jewel or talisman which may have been made from this mark sign and worn at lodge meetings. I renounce the false secret name of God, JAHBULON, and the password, AMMI RUHAMAH and all they mean. I renounce the false communion or Eucharist taken in this degree and all the mockery, skepticism and unbelief about the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. I cut off all these curses and their effects on me and my family in the name of Jesus Christ, arid I pray for…(healing of the brain, the mind etc.)

18th Degree

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the eighteenth degree of Masonry, the Most Wise Sovereign ‘Knight of the Pelican and the Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom. I renounce and reject the Pelican witchcraft spirit, as well as the occult influence of the Rosicrucians and the Kabbala in this degree. I renounce the claim that the death of Jesus Christ is a “dire calamity”, and also the deliberate mockery and twisting of the Christian doctrine of Atonement. I renounce the blasphemy and rejection of the deity of Jesus Christ, and the secret words IGNE NATURA RENOVATUR INTEGRA and its burning. I renounce the mockery of the communion taken in this degree, including a biscuit, salt and white wine.

30th Degree.

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the thirtieth degree Masonry, the Grand Knight Kadosh and Knight of the Black and White Eagle. I renounce the password, “STIBIUM ALKABAR”, and all it means.

31st Degree

I renounce-the oaths taken and the curses involved in the thirty-first degree of Masonry, the Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander. I renounce all the gods and goddesses of Egypt which are honored in this degree, including Anubis with the ram’s head, Osiris the Sun god, Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, and also the moon goddess. I renounce the Soul of Cheres, the false symbol of immortality, the Chamber of the dead and the false teaching of reincarnation.

32nd Degree

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the thirty-second degree of Masonry, the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. I renounce Masonry’s false Trinitarian deity AUM, and Its parts; Brabma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. I renounce the deity of AHURA-MAZDA, the claimed spirit or source of all light and the worship with fire, which is an abomination to God, and also the drinking from a human skull in many Rites.

York Rite

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the York Rite of Freemasonry, including Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, Royal Master, Select Master, Super Excellent Master, the Orders of the Red Cross, the Knights of Malta, and the Knights Templar degrees. I renounce the secret words of JOPPA, KEB RAIOTH, AND MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ. I renounce the vows taken on a human skull, the crossed swords, and the curse and death wish of Judas of having the head cut off and placed on top of a church spire. I renounce the unholy communion and especially of drinking from a human skull in many Rites.

Shriners (America only-doesn’t apply in other countries)

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses and penalties involved in the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. I renounce the ‘piercing of the eyeballs with a three-edged blade, the flaying of the feet, the madness, and the worship of the false god Allah as the god of our fathers. I renounce the hoodwink, the mock hanging, thy mock beheading, the, mock drinking of the blood of the victim, the mock dog urinating on the initiate, and the offering of urine as a commemoration.

33rd Degree

I renounce the oaths taken and the curses involved in the thirty-third degree of Masonry, the Grand Sovereign Inspector General. I renounce and forsake the declaration that Lucifer is God, I renounce the cable-tow around the neck. I renounce the death wish that the wine drunk from a human skull should turn to poison and the skeleton whose cold arms are invited if the oath of this degree is violated. I renounce the three infamous assassins of their grand master – law, property and religion — and the greed and witchcraft involved in the attempt to manipulate and control the rest of mankind.

(All participants should now be invited to sincerely carry out the following:)

1. Symbolically remove the blindfold (hoodwink) and give to the Lord for disposal.

2. In the same way, symbolically remove· the veil of mourning.

3. Symbolically cut and remove the noose from around the neck, gather it up with the cable-tow running down the body, and give it all to the Lord for His disposal.

4. Renounce the false Freemasonry marriage covenant, removing from the 4th finger of the right hand the ring of this false marriage covenant, giving it to the Lord to dispose of.

5. Symbolically remove the chains and bondage of Freemasonry from your body.

6. Symbolically remove all Freemasonry regalia and armor, especially the Apron.

7. Invite participants to repent of and seek forgiveness for having walked on all unholy ground, including Freemasonry lodges and temples, including any Mormon or other occult / Masonic organizations.

8. Symbolically remove the ball and chain from the ankles.

9. Proclaim that Satan and his demons no longer have any legal rights to mislead and manipulate the person(s) seeking help.

Holy Spirit, I ask that you show me anything else which I need to do or to pray so that I and my family may be totally free from the consequences of the sins of Masonry, Witchcraft, Mormonism, and Paganism.

(Pause, while listening to God, and pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.)

Now, dear Father God, I ask humbly for the blood of Jesus Christ, your Son, to cleanse me from all these sins I have confessed and renounced, to cleanse my spirit, my soul, my mind, my emotions, and every part of my body which has been affected by these sins, in Jesus’ name!

I renounce every evil spirit associated with Masonry arid Witchcraft and all other sins, and I command in the name of Jesus Christ for Satan and every evil spirit to be bound and to leave me now, touching or harming no one, and go to the place appointed for you by the Lord Jesus, never to return to me or my family. I call on the name of the Lord Jesus to be delivered of these spirits, in accordance with the many promises of the Bible. I ask to be delivered of every spirit of sickness, infirmity, curse, affliction, addiction, disease or allergy associated with these sins I have confessed and renounced. I surrender to God’s Holy Spirit and to no other spirit all the places in my life where these things have been. I ask you, Lord, to baptize me in your Holy Spirit now according to the promises in your Word. I take to my self the whole armor of God in accordance with Ephesians Chapter Six and rejoice in its protection as Jesus surrounds me and fills me with His Holy Spirit. I enthrone you, Lord Jesus, in my heart, for you are my Lord and my Savior, the source of eternal life. Thank you, Father God, for your mercy, your forgiveness, and your love. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.“

This prayer is taken from Unmasking Freemasonry – Removing the Hoodwink by Selwyn Stevens, published by Jubilee Publishers, PO Box 36-044, Wellington 6330, New Zealand. Copying of this prayer is both permitted and encouraged provided reference is made to where it comes from.

NOTE: The Internet contains this prayer and much more on Freemasonry. Do a search on “Freemasonry” or “Unmasking Freemasonry”

May God bless you and protect you today and all days…..

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spiritual Warfare Prayer Against Satan and Every Force of Evil

Spiritual Warfare Prayer

By Fr. John Hampsch, C.M.F.

Make the Sign of the Cross

My sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus, and I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus out of the hands of Satan. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is cleansing me now and keeping me clean from all sin. I am justified and made righteous by the blood of Jesus. I am sanctified, set apart for God by the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus now covers me and protects me against all evil. The blood of Jesus, sprinkled in Heaven, now speak on my behalf. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus out of the hand of the enemy, out of the hand of the devil. I belong to Jesus Christ, God’s Son, in my spirit, my soul, my body. I desire Jesus to be my Lord. I am redeemed by His Blood shed on the cross for me, and because of the blood, Satan has no more power over me, he has no more rights over me, he has no more place in me. According to the Word of God, he is over-come by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony.

I submit to God. I resist Satan, and he must flee from me, for the Bible says, “These signs shall follow those that believe in the Name of Jesus, they shall cast out evil spirits.” I am a believer, and these signs shall follow me in the Name of Jesus. In His Name I expel all evil spirits. I command them to leave. I loosen myself from them according to the Word of God in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ by His power. I command every force of evil, every devil, demon or evil spirit never to assail me or anyone again, for the duration of their existence. I bind every force of evil by the power of Jesus coming through me, and I remand every force that is not of God. I remand it to the Feet of Jesus to be dispatched by Him as He sees fit. I call upon all the Heavenly court, the angels and saints of Heaven to intercede, especially the Virgin Mary who was prophetically assigned to crush the head of the serpent, St. Benedict, the patrons of exorcists, St. Michael the Archangel, the arch enemy of the devil, and all the militant angels under his dominion to come against the enemy. I bind him with their intercession and the power of Jesus. I bind him forever.

Thank you, Lord, for freeing me, for “when the Son of Man makes you free, you are free indeed.”

Glory be to the Father…..

Make the Sign of the Cross.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Loughner's Pro-Abortion Atheism is Covered-up by Media

Chicago Atheism Examiner: "Loughner no more represents the atheist movement than Hitler represented Catholicism or bin Laden Islam."

http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-chicago/atheists-should-be-quick-to-condemn-loughner

"Another classmate, Lydian Ali, recalled the incident as well.

"'A girl had written a poem about an abortion. It was very emotional and she was teary eyed and he said something about strapping a bomb to the fetus and making a baby bomber,' Ali said."

Here's the Times' version: "After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a 'terrorist for killing the baby.'"

So that's how the Times transformed Loughner from a sicko laughing about a dead fetus to a deadly earnest pro-life fanatic. (Never believe a news story written by Eric Lipton, Charlie Savage or Scott Shane of The New York Times -- or for simplicity, anything in the Times.)

I wouldn't have mentioned Loughner's far-left world view immediately after a tragedy like this, but now that liberals have opened the door by blaming Loughner's politics, they better brace themselves.

http://townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2011/01/12/liberals_seek_ban_on_metaphors_in_wake_of_arizona_shooting/page/full/

By Ann Coulter


Chicago Atheism Examiner

Atheists Should Be Quick to Condemn Loughner
January 13th, 2011 11:03 am CT

With tragedy, especially on a national scale, comes the requisite blame game. It goes without fail that the media and pundits have to talk about something so why not capture the ratings bonanza of a hot topic like a murder rampage by dissecting and disseminating the rationale (or lack thereof) of what is purportedly (based on all evidence up to this point) a deranged member of society?

The problem that lies herein is that to pinpoint a singular institution or point of thought that sent Loughner to such extremes not only diminishes the full spectrum of what actually occured on that fateful day but simplifies what cannot and should not be simplified. To generalize Loughner's motives would also lead to generalizations about whatever or whoever we are blaming. Furthermore, if these generalizations were true, we wouldn't be mourning over a single incident but thousands. This alone should give us all pause before citing the singular cause of his actions.

Loughner's actions were not the sole artifact of political rhetoric nor his taste in literature or music, nor his social upbringing. Secular-minded citizens should also make it their cause to denounce that his alleged atheism was a factor in his decisions. As obvious as this may sound, we must remind the religious world that millions of atheists and agnostics go through their entire life without harming a single living person. Loughner no more represents the atheist movement than Hitler represented Catholicism or bin Laden Islam.

We cannot allow the underbelly of bias and fear to rise up against one another when faced with a tragic incident as occurred in Arizona. We have to remember that Loughner was a single wave in an ocean of good decent citizens, and that we, as a collective (regardless of our political persuasion, social standing or worldview), all share the mindset that his actions were despicable, reprehensible and deserves no encouragement. Let us all be quick to condemn them and remind ourselves that he is an exception (an unfortunate exception) in our society and not the norm.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Atheists Should Be Quick to Condemn Loughner - Chicago atheism | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-chicago/atheists-should-be-quick-to-condemn-loughner#ixzz1B2VoY61N

http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-chicago/atheists-should-be-quick-to-condemn-loughner

Ann Coulter

Liberals Seek Ban on Metaphors in Wake of Arizona Shooting

After the monstrous shooting in Arizona last week, surely we can all agree that we've got to pass Obama's agenda immediately and stop using metaphors.

At least I think that's what the mainstream media are trying to tell me.

Liberals instantly leapt on the sickening massacre at a Tucson political event over the weekend to accuse tea partiers, Sarah Palin and all conservatives who talk out loud of being complicit in murder by inspiring the shooter, Jared Loughner.

Of course, to make their case, they first must demonstrate:

(a) Right-wingers have called for violence against anyone, especially conservative, pro-Second Amendment Democratic congresswomen;

(b) Loughner was listening to them; and

(c) Loughner was influenced by them.

They've proved none of this. In fact, it's nearly the opposite.

Needless to say, no conservative has called for violence against anyone. Nor has any conservative engaged in any "rhetoric" that was likely to lead to violence. Every putative example of "violent rhetoric" these squeamish liberals produce keeps being matched by an identical example from the Democrats.

Sarah Palin, for example, had a chart of congressional districts being targeted by Republicans. So did the Democratic Leadership Committee. Indeed, Democratic consultant Bob Beckel went on Fox News and said he invented the bull's-eye maps.

Similarly, every time liberals produce an example of military lingo from a Republican -- "we're going to target this district" -- Republicans produce five more from the Democrats.

President "whose asses to kick" Obama predicted "hand-to-hand combat" with his political opponents and has made such remarks as "if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun" -- making Obama the first American president to advocate gun fights since Andrew Jackson.

These are figures of speech known as "metaphors." (Do liberals know where we got the word "campaign"?)

It's not that both sides did something wrong; neither side did anything wrong. The drama queens need to settle down.

The winner of the most cretinous statement of 2011 -- and the list is now closed, so please hold your submissions -- is MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who on Monday night recalled Palin's statement, "We're not retreating, we're reloading," and said, I quote, "THAT'S not a metaphor."

Really, Chris? If that's not a metaphor, who did she shoot?

By blaming a mass killing on figures of speech, liberals sound as crazy as Loughner with his complaints about people's grammar. Maybe in lieu of dropping all metaphors, liberals should demand we ban metonyms so that tragedies like this will never happen again.

As for Loughner being influenced by tea partiers, Fox News and talk radio -- oops, another dead-end. According to all available evidence, Loughner is a liberal.

Every friend of Loughner who has characterized his politics has described him as liberal. Not one called him a conservative.

One friend says Loughner never listened to talk radio or watched the TV news. Throw in "never read books" and you have the dictionary definition of a liberal. Being completely uninformed is precisely how most liberals stay liberal.

According to voluminous Twitter postings on Saturday by one of Loughner's friends since high school, Caitie Parker, he was "left wing," "a political radical" "quite liberal" and "a pot head."

If any public figure influenced this guy, my money's on Bill Maher.

But liberals have been so determined to exploit this tragedy to geld conservatives, they have told calculated lies about Loughner's politics.

In the most bald-faced lie I have ever read in The New York Times -- which is saying something -- that paper implied Loughner is a pro-life zealot. This is the precise opposite of the truth.

Only because numerous other news outlets, including ABC News and The Associated Press, reported the exact same shocking incident in much greater detail -- and with direct quotes -- do we know that the Times' rendition was complete bunk.

ABC News reported: "One Pima Community College student, who had a poetry class with Loughner later in his college career, said he would often act 'wildly inappropriate.'

"'One day (Loughner) started making comments about terrorism and laughing about killing the baby,' classmate Don Coorough told ABC News, referring to a discussion about abortions. 'The rest of us were looking at him in shock ... I thought this young man was troubled.'

"Another classmate, Lydian Ali, recalled the incident as well.

"'A girl had written a poem about an abortion. It was very emotional and she was teary eyed and he said something about strapping a bomb to the fetus and making a baby bomber,' Ali said."

Here's the Times' version: "After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a 'terrorist for killing the baby.'"

So that's how the Times transformed Loughner from a sicko laughing about a dead fetus to a deadly earnest pro-life fanatic. (Never believe a news story written by Eric Lipton, Charlie Savage or Scott Shane of The New York Times -- or for simplicity, anything in the Times.)

I wouldn't have mentioned Loughner's far-left world view immediately after a tragedy like this, but now that liberals have opened the door by blaming Loughner's politics, they better brace themselves.

And when I say "brace themselves," I don't mean they need to actually strap themselves into a brace. That's a metaphor, Chris.


Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter is a columnist and author of Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault On America.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting Prayers Answered has these Necessary Conditions

By St. Francis De Sales

All that remains is for us to state the necessary conditions to pray well.
I know indeed that the ancients who treat this matter cite a great many
such conditions; some count 15, others eight. But since this number is so
large, I limit myself to mentioning only three.

The first is that one be little by humility;

the second, that one be great in hope;

and the third, that one be grafted onto Jesus Christ crucified.

Let us speak of the first, which is nothing other than that spiritual
mendicancy of which Our Lord says: Blessed are the mendicant in spirit, for
theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. [Cf. Mt. S:3]. And although some of the
Doctors interpret these words thus: How happy are the poor in spirit, these
two interpretations are not opposed, because all the poor are mendicants
[beggars] if they are not proud, and all mendicants are poor if they are
not avaricious. In order to pray well, then, we must acknowledge that we
are poor, and we must greatly humble ourselves; for do you not see how a
marksman with a crossbow, when he wishes to discharge a large arrow, draws
the string of his bow lower the higher he wants it to go? Thus must we do
when we wish our prayer to reach Heaven; we must lower ourselves by the
awareness of our nothingness. David admonishes us to do so by these words:
When you wish to pray, plunge yourself profoundly into the abyss of your
nothingness that you may be able afterward, without difficulty, to let your
prayer fly like an arrow even up to the heavens. [Cf. Ps. 130:1-2; Sir.
35:21].

Do you not see that nobles who wish to make water rise to the top of their
castles go to the source of this water in some highly elevated place and
then convey it by pipes, forcing it to descend for as great a distance as
they wish it to rise? Otherwise the water would never rise. And if you ask
them how they made it rise, they will answer you that it rises through this
descent. It is the same with prayer; for if you ask how it is that prayer
can rise to Heaven, you will be told that it rises there through the
descent of humility. The spouse in the Song of Songs' astonishes the angels
and makes them say: Who is this who comes from the desert, and who rises
like a column of smoke, laden with myrrh and frankincense and with every
perfume known, and who is leaning upon her Lover? [Cf. Song 3:6; 8:5].
Humility in its beginning is a desert, although in the end it may be very
fruitful, and the soul that is humble thinks itself as being in a desert
where neither birds nor even savage beasts dwell, and where there is no
fruit tree at all.

Let us pass on now to hope, which is the second necessary condition for
praying well. The spouse coming up from the desert rises like a shoot or
column of smoke, laden with myrrh. This represents hope, for even though
myrrh gives off a pleasant odor, it is nevertheless bitter to the taste.
Likewise, hope is pleasant since it promises that we shall one day possess
what we long for, but it is bitter because we are not now enjoying what we
love. Incense is far more appropriate as the symbol of hope, because, being
placed upon fire, it always sends its smoke upward; likewise, it is
necessary that hope be placed upon charity, otherwise it would no longer be
hope, but rather presumption. Hope, like an arrow, darts up even to the
gate of Heaven, but it cannot enter there because it is a virtue wholly of
earth. If we want our prayer to penetrate Heaven we must whet the arrow
with the grindstone of love.

Let us come to the third necessary condition. The angels say that the
spouse is leaning upon her Lover; we have seen that for the last condition
it is necessary to be grafted onto Jesus Christ crucified. The [Divine]
Spouse praised His spouse, saying that she was like a lily among thorns.
She, in turn, answered Him: My Lover is like an apple tree among the trees
of the woods; this tree is completely laden with leaves, flowers and fruit;
I shall rest in its shadow and receive the fruit which falls into my lap
and eat it, and having chewed it, I shall relish it in my mouth, where I
shall find it sweet and agreeable. [Cf. Song 2:2-3]. But where is this tree
planted? In what woods will we find it? Without doubt it is planted on
Mount Calvary, and we must keep ourselves in its shadow. But what are its
leaves? They are nothing other than the hope that we have of our salvation
by means of the death of the Savior. And its flowers? They are the prayers
that He offered up to His Father for us [Cf. Heb. 5:7]; the fruits are the
merits of His Passion and Death.

Let us remain then at the foot of this Cross, and let us never depart from
there, so that we may be all saturated with the Blood which flows from it.
St. Catherine of Siena once had an ecstasy while meditating on the Passion
and Death of Our Lord. It seemed to her that she was in a bath of His
Precious Blood, and when she came to herself she saw her dress all red with
this Blood, but others did not see it. We, too, must never go to prayer
without being similarly bathed; at least it is necessary to be thus bathed
in the morning at our first prayer. St. Paul, writing to his dear children
[Cf. Rom. 13:14], told them to be clothed with Our Lord, that is to say,
with His Blood.

But what is it to be clothed with this Blood? Do you not know that we say:
There is a man clothed in scarlet; and scarlet is a fish. That garment is
made of wool, but it is dyed in the blood of the fish. [Cf. Oeuvres, vol.
VIII, p. 144]. In like manner, even though we are clothed with wool, by
which it is understood that we perform good works, these good works--though
from us--have neither worth nor value if they are not dyed in the Blood of
our Master, whose merits render them agreeable to the Divine Majesty.

When Jacob wished to obtain his father Isaac's blessing, his mother made
him prepare a kid in venison sauce because Isaac liked it. [Cf. Gen. 27:
9-29]. She also made him wear the skins of the kid on his hands, because
Esau, the elder son to whom the blessing belonged by right, was all hairy.
She even made Jacob wear the scented garment destined for the eldest son of
the home. She led him thus to her husband, who was blind. When Jacob asked
for the blessing, Isaac felt his hands and cried aloud: Ah, but I am in
such pain! The voice I hear is that of my son Jacob, but the hands I feel
are those of Esau. And having smelled the scented garment, he said: The
good fragrance that I have savored has given me such delight that I give my
blessing to my son. So too we, having prepared this spotless Lamb [Cf. 1
Pet. 1:19] and having presented Him to the Eternal Father to satisfy His
taste, when we ask for His blessing He will say, if we are clothed with the
Blood of Jesus Christ: The voice that I hear is Jacob's, but the hands
(which are our evil deeds) are those of Esau; nevertheless, because of the
delight with which I savor the fragrance of his garment, I give him My
blessing. Amen.
http://www.theworkofgod.org/Library/Sermons/F_Sales.htm#THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER March 29, 1615

Monday, January 03, 2011

How do I get my Prayers Answered?

St. Gertrude’s Unlimited Confidence

Blind trust in God’s mercy, unlimited confidence in His love, is one of the secrets to obtain sanctity. The Holy Fathers have always taught that the measure of our hope and confidence is the measure of the graces which we receive from heaven. They have realized that, through our unreserved confidence, God is most honored and glorified. Nothing will be denied to an unlimited confidence. Our Lord revealed: “It is impossible that anyone should not receive all that he has believed and hoped to obtain. It gives Me real pleasure when men hope great things from Me and I will always grant them more than they expect.”

Saint Gertrude understood that confidence is the key which opens the treasures of the infinite mercy of God. To her confidence alone she attributed all the gifts she received, and she invited all to place boundless confidence in our Savior in order to receive from Him immeasurable graces. “All that I have received,” she affirmed, “I owe to my confidence in the gratuitous bounty of God.” Yes, Gertrude knew that Jesus is an infinite Treasure placed by the Eternal Father at the disposition of all, and that it is His supreme delight, as Savior, to distribute His gifts to those who trust in Him. He frequently complained to the beloved of His Heart of man’s want of confidence.

To a religious who had long prayed in vain for a particular favor, Jesus revealed how pleased He was with Gertrude’s boundless trust in His goodness. “Why dost thou not act like Gertrude, My chosen virgin?” Our Lord inquired of the nun. “She is so firmly established in My Providence that there is nothing which she does not hope for from the plenitude of My grace. Therefore, I will never refuse her anything.” Alas! we creatures have too little knowledge of God’s kindness, love, and mercy! Our distrust arises because we compare God with ourselves. Oh, that all hearts would realize that Jesus is all love, all mercy. He has treasures of grace for all, but few come to bear them away by means of their confidence.

In all things, Gertrude had recourse to Jesus as a child has to its mother. Nothing, in her eyes, was too trivial to be recommended to Him. On one occasion, having lost a needle in a pile of straw, she besought Him to find it for her. “O dear Jesus,” she said, “vainly, indeed, would I search for this needle. It would be lost time. Please get it for me Thyself.” Extending one hand, and turning away her head, she immediately found the needle between her fingers.

Again and again, Our Lord encouraged this confidence so dear to Him. “O Jesus, what should I add to these prayers to make them yet more efficacious?” Gertrude once asked. Turning to her with a countenance full of sweetness, Our Savior replied, Confidence alone easily obtains all things! . . . Once when St. Gertrude was troubled with temptations, she implored the Divine assistance. Our Lord, in His exceeding mercy, spoke thus to her: “Anyone suffering from human temptations, who flees to My protection with firm confidence, belongs to those of whom I can say: ‘One is My dove, My chosen one out of thousands, who has pierced My Heart with one glance of her eyes.’ And this confidence wounds My Heart so deeply that were I unable to relieve such a soul, it would cause My Heart a sadness which all the joys of heaven could not assuage . . . The confidence that I truly have the power, the wisdom and the goodness to aid a soul faithfully in all her miseries, is the arrow which pierces My Heart, and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her.”

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Saint Gertrude the Great


St. Gertrude is one of the greatest and most wonderful saints in the Church of God. Holy Church has distinguished her from all others of her sex by adding to her name the honorable title, “the Great.” Saint Gertrude is the diadem, the queen-flower of the Benedictine Order, the most beautiful lily among the holy virgins who flourished during the glorious middle ages. For hundreds and thousands of pious Christians, St. Gertrude has become a guide in the spiritual life, a teacher of the most intimate spirit of prayer and familiar intercourse with God. Who can enumerate the hosts of elect souls that have obtained union with God through the pious reading and consideration of her writings? Countless numbers of the blessed jubilantly praise and extol this privileged, favored virgin in whom Our Lord takes His special delight.

St. Gertrude was the herald of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—that sacred cult which has become so dear and which has proved a fountain of consolation and graces to millions of Christians. Our Divine Savior repeatedly disclosed to her His Divine Heart, the furnace of love, as though for her sake He could not await the time decreed by His eternal wisdom for the revelations of his Heart. Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the special characteristic of St. Gertrude’s piety. The mystery of mercy and love contained in that Divine Heart had been revealed to her by the Son of God Himself four centuries before it became an object of special devotion to the Church at large. St. Mechtilde, a contemporary of St. Gertrude, and also a Benedictine, shared with St. Gertrude this glorious privilege. Thus the Heart of Jesus had long been an object of adoration and love to the sons and daughters of St. Benedict when, in the 17th century, it pleased God to procure for It, through St. Margaret Mary, that more solemn worship with which It is now surrounded. One thing is particularly remarkable in the life of St. Gertrude, the like of which cannot be found in the life of any other saint: it is the extraordinary promises made to her by our Savior in favor of those who venerate her.

Testimonies of Gertrude’s Sublime Sanctity

Even during St. Gertrude’s lifetime, Our Lord revealed her sublime sanctity to many holy souls. Once He addressed these words to a person bound to the saint by the bonds of a holy friendship:

She for whom thou prayest is My dove who has no guile in her, for she rejects from her heart, as gall, all the guile and bitterness of sin.
She is My chosen lily which I love to bear in My hands, for it is My delight and My pleasure to repose in the purity and innocence of this chaste soul.
She is My rose whose fragrance is full of sweetness, because of her patience in every adversity and the thanksgiving which she continually offers Me, which ascend before Me as sweetest perfume.
She is that spring flower which never fades; and I take pleasure in gazing upon her, because she keeps and maintains continually in her breast an ardent desire, not only for all virtues, but for the utmost perfection of every virtue.
She is a sweet melody which ravishes the ears of the blessed, and this melody is composed of all the sufferings she endures with so much constancy.

To another person our Divine Savior thus praised the favorite of His Heart: “I have borne her (Gertrude) in My arms from her infancy. I have preserved her in her baptismal purity and innocence, and she, by her own free choice and will, has given herself to Me entirely and forever. As a recompense for the perfection of her desires, I, in return, have given Myself entirely to her. So pleasing is this soul to Me that when I am offended by men I often enter her heart to repose, and I make her endure some pain of body or of mind, which I inflict on her for the sins of others. She accepts this suffering with the same thanksgiving, humility and patience as she receives all that comes from Me, and offers it to Me in union with My sufferings. Thereby she appeases My anger and obliges My mercy to pardon, for her sake, an immense number of sinners.”

Jesus showed to another soul a precious stone, the beauty of which cannot be described. “This jewel,” said Our Lord, “I always wear as a pledge of My affection for My spouse. By its brightness the whole celestial court knows that there is no creature on earth so dear to Me as Gertrude, because there is no one at this present time amongst mankind who is so closely united to Me by purity of intention and uprightness of will. There is no soul still bound by the chains of flesh and blood whom I am so disposed to enrich with My graces and favors. There is no soul who refers to My glory alone the gifts received from Me, with such sincerity and fidelity as Gertrude . . . You can find Me in no place where I delight more, or which is more suitable for Me, than in the Sacrament of the Altar, and after that, in the heart and soul of Gertrude, My beloved.”

Jesus Himself condescended to reveal to St. Mechtilde: “I have united My Heart so closely to Gertrude’s soul by the ties of My mercy, that she has become one spirit with Me.”

A similar revelation was made about the same time to another saintly person. Our Savior said that Gertrude would become still more perfect and would attain to so intimate a union with God that her eyes would see, and her lips would speak only what God willed, and all her other senses would be equally submissive to Him.

Gertrude in the Sacred Convent-Garden

In the year 1261, Gertrude, then a mere child of five years, entered the cloistered convent of Helfta, in Germany. This convent had been founded but a few years previously. The community was composed of angelic religious, who with unsullied hearts and childlike faith conversed with Jesus in the most intimate love. An old cloister chronicle relates:

“From the foundation of this religious community, its members led an uninterrupted angelic life for almost ninety years. The Lord Jesus was so familiar with persons of this convent that they conversed with Him as with their dearest Lord and Bridegroom, as a friend speaks to a friend. Also the entire heavenly host had a particular joy and exultation in this blessed community of religious.”

Yes, the secluded community at Helfta was Our Lord’s holy family. Entirely separated and detached from the world, those pious virgins surrendered themselves, soul and body to their Divine Master, whom in holy love and innocence they had chosen as their Spouse from their tenderest years. They knew that He was really and truly present in their little church in the Blessed Sacrament, just as He is in heaven. From this faith sprang their love for the Divine Office. With burning love their hymns of praise resounded day and night. How those noble virgins loved silence and recollection! The sweet voice of their Beloved attracted them to loving meditations and affectionate intimacy. As industrious bees draw honey from flowers, so those angelic souls flew to the great, beautiful Eucharistic Flower, immersed their whole being into the depths of Its infinite love, and extracted from It the honey of celestial joy.

Words failed them to express the sweetness and kindness of their Lord, the inexpressible delights of His Heart! If holy obedience hindered them from visiting their Beloved, the Lord sought them instead. Everywhere the Heavenly Bridegroom found His chosen souls and held tender converse with the loved ones of His Heart. In them was fulfilled our Savior’s promise: “If any one love Me . . . My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23).

In this sacred convent-garden, Gertrude flourished as a resplendent white lily. “I delight so much in her,” said Jesus, “that I have chosen her as My abode. All that others see and love in her is My work; and whoever loves My work in her, loves Me. I have decreed that she stand alone, without friends or relatives, that none may love her from ties of relationship, but that I Myself may be the sole cause of her being loved and esteemed.”

The Wonderful and Privileged Life of St. Gertrude

Truly, this little convent-maid, whose birthplace, parentage and ancestry have remained shrouded in obscurity, became, in the bloom of her youth, the loving confidante of the Divine Master. Gertrude had won not only the Heart of God, but the wonderful charms and innocence of her refined disposition soon made her a favorite also among the pious sisterhood. “She was,” states a religious of that community, “wise and prudent of mind, far beyond her age; clever and full of gentle grace. In school she quickly out-stripped her companions. It was marvelous to see how easily she mastered the sciences. Despite Gertrude’s cheerful, open disposition, however, she did not care to take part in play. She preferred, if permitted, to withdraw into the dark, silent church, and there, by the glimmer of the perpetual light, to converse with the heavenly Playmate of her pure childish soul. It was thus Gertrude grew from childhood to womanhood, full of loving innocence.”

When Gertrude had reached the proper age, she answered the call of heaven which beckoned her to the venerable Order of St. Benedict. Like the great Patriarch, she, too, was to be filled with the spirit of all the just. Worldly science and heavenly knowledge were freely imparted to her. The Lord crowned her with the diadem of His richest and most precious graces, but upon her heart He impressed, as the sacred liturgy so significantly expresses it, the seal of His Divinity. Gertrude had now reached her twenty-fifth year. Her piety and her many eminent qualities of mind and heart combined to make her the ornament and the treasure of the monastery of Helfta. On the 27th of January, 1281, she was favored for the first time with a vision of her ardently loved Bridegroom. In her own charming words we give the account of this great event of her life:

“Since the preceding Advent my heart had been filled with an indescribable longing and unrest, whose salutary effects were to give me a disgust for the frivolities and levity of youth. This was the first step of Thy love in preparing my heart for Thyself . . . I was in the dormitory, just at the beautiful hour of evening twilight. According to the rule, I inclined toward an aged Sister in token of respect. Raising my head, whom should I behold but Thyself, O my Beloved, my Redeemer, the most beautiful among the children of men! Thou didst appear as a most charming youth, who in a friendly and pleasant manner didst approach me.

“Standing before me, Thou didst say in accents of indescribable sweetness: ‘Thy salvation is at hand! Why art thou consumed by grief?’ Then I felt myself transported to the choir and heard these wonderful words: ‘I will save thee and deliver thee; fear not. Thou hast sucked honey amidst thorns, but return now to Me—I will inebriate thee with the torrent of My celestial delights.’

“Thou didst open Thy arms invitingly. I endeavored to approach—but, lo! a great hedge of sharp thorny bushes barred the way. Dismayed, I stood there, bewailing my sins and defects. In a moment, Thou, O Lord, didst extend Thy hand to me, and immediately I was beside Thee and reposed on Thy Heart. My gaze fell upon Thy hands and feet, and I saw, good Jesus, those five glorious Wounds with whose Blood Thou didst pay the ransom of the whole world. “From this moment,” adds the saint, “I commenced to taste only Thyself, O my God. With new spiritual joy I began to follow in Thy footsteps, and I found Thy yoke sweet and light.” Though hitherto Gertrude had been very pious and a model of religious observance, after the above mentioned grace she considered the previous time lost, and believed that, as the prodigal son, she had just returned to her God. From this hour she discontinued all secular studies.

One book alone became very dear to her, and its contents daily engraved themselves more deeply upon all the powers of her soul: it was the Holy Scripture. To meditate thereon was her greatest delight. God taught her heart to penetrate the most hidden sense of the Inspired Books. She possessed a wonderful facility to use texts from the Holy Scripture to comfort and refresh all who came to her, according to each one’s need.

How Our Lord loved His chosen bride! He poured abundant graces in ever-increasing fullness into Gertrude’s heart. The humble virgin herself declares: “Thou hast so often melted my soul by loving caresses that if I did not know the abyss of Thine overflowing condescension, I should be amazed were I told that even Thy Blessed Mother received such extraordinary marks of tenderness and affection.” That which filled and animated her interior could not remain concealed. The warmth and fervor which emanated from her was poured out upon all her associates. The Perfect Spouse of Christ It seems Our Lord raised Gertrude in a short time to that degree of perfection where the soul has no other will, no other thought, no other life, than Christ. This was certainly indicated by the mysterious grace of Our Lord’s exchanging His Heart for hers. From this union sprang the sublime virtues which distinguish this incomparable virgin. She was remarkable, above all, for an unlimited abandonment to the Divine will, a love for God’s decrees, even the most severe, a perfect peace of heart, boundless desires for the glory of God and the salvation of the world, and that holy, evangelical liberty which is extolled as the noblest inheritance of the true children of St. Benedict.

Gertrude’s heart sought God alone, and found Him everywhere. To please Jesus in all things was the one aim of her life. A saintly person once prayed earnestly that he might know what virtue attracted Our Lord’s greatest complacency in His well beloved spouse, Gertrude. Our Savior deigned to respond: “Her liberty of spirit. This priceless gift includes the deepest self-knowledge and love of God, and leads the soul to the heights of perfection. It disposes the heart of Gertrude to receive, at every moment of her life, graces of inestimable value, and prevents her from attaching her heart to anything which could either displease Me or impede My work in her soul.”

Jesus was her all—her constant thought day and night. Every movement of her body and soul was offered to God and directed to His glory. Unceasing union with her Beloved was Gertrude’s life. Yet she did not neglect her exterior occupations. The happy manner in which she combined active labor with interior union was once manifested to Saint Mechtilde. This saint beheld Jesus seated on an elevated throne in the church. St. Gertrude was actively engaged in exterior occupations, walking to and fro. But her countenance was always steadfastly fixed upon the Lord and she seemed to drink in with burning ardor the graces which flowed to her from His Most Sacred Heart. At the same time she appeared to fulfill her exterior duties with utmost zeal. St. Mechtilde was amazed at this vision.

“Behold,” said Our Savior, “such is the life which Gertrude, My beloved, leads before My face. She walks ever in My presence, never losing sight of Me for an instant. She has but one desire: to know the good pleasure of My Heart. As soon as she has ascertained this, she executes My will with care and fidelity. Her whole life is an unbroken chain of praise consecrated to My honor and glory.”

The sanctity of Gertrude’s soul diffused itself even over her bodily faculties and irradiated her whole being. She seemed to the exterior eye, like one from a higher world. An indefinable charm hallowed her countenance, which at times transformed itself into a mysterious, superhuman beauty. Gertrude’s life became daily more supernatural; at times she received Divine directions and profound illuminations, whose inspiration seemed to carry her spirit into the fathomless depths of the Divinity; again she was transported into heaven to anticipate its delights, to enjoy its beauty. Often, in holy ecstasies, she was vouchsafed the most delightful intercourse, not only with her Heavenly Spouse, but also with the Blessed Virgin, her Mother and protectress. Gertrude had her favorites among the beatified friends of God, and frequently the saints came to converse with her. A special attraction drew her toward Saint John, the disciple of love, to whom she bore so striking a resemblance. Her spiritual Father, St. Benedict, was honored by her with the most filial affection, and he, on his part, rewarded her piety with marks of true paternal tenderness. He chose her to reveal to the faithful the promise he had made, to give special aid at the hour of death to all those who, during life, should have rejoiced with him in the graces that attended his blessed death. St. Gregory the Great, St. Augustine and St. Bernard were particularly dear to St. Gertrude. She loved with a love of preference St. Agnes, the tender spouse of the Divine Lamb, the virgin-martyr, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Mary Magdalen.

All the extraordinary graces received from God and the many tokens of love from His saints were no detriment to Gertrude’s humility. She, the marvelously beautiful celestial flower in this barren terrestrial garden, was in her own eyes nothing but a “withered blade of grass.” The more the bright rays of Divine Light flooded her soul, the meaner and viler did she seem to herself. “O Master,” she once exclaimed, as she walked through the field, “Thou dost work no greater miracle than this, that the earth supports me—me, an unworthy sinner!” “Ah!” whispered the voice of her Beloved immediately, “with joy should the earth offer to bear thy footsteps, since the whole heavens await with inexpressible impatience the happy hour when thou wilt tread its precincts!”

St. Gertrude’s Unlimited Confidence

Blind trust in God’s mercy, unlimited confidence in His love, is one of the secrets to obtain sanctity. The Holy Fathers have always taught that the measure of our hope and confidence is the measure of the graces which we receive from heaven. They have realized that, through our unreserved confidence, God is most honored and glorified. Nothing will be denied to an unlimited confidence. Our Lord revealed: “It is impossible that anyone should not receive all that he has believed and hoped to obtain. It gives Me real pleasure when men hope great things from Me and I will always grant them more than they expect.”

Saint Gertrude understood that confidence is the key which opens the treasures of the infinite mercy of God. To her confidence alone she attributed all the gifts she received, and she invited all to place boundless confidence in our Savior in order to receive from Him immeasurable graces. “All that I have received,” she affirmed, “I owe to my confidence in the gratuitous bounty of God.” Yes, Gertrude knew that Jesus is an infinite Treasure placed by the Eternal Father at the disposition of all, and that it is His supreme delight, as Savior, to distribute His gifts to those who trust in Him. He frequently complained to the beloved of His Heart of man’s want of confidence.

To a religious who had long prayed in vain for a particular favor, Jesus revealed how pleased He was with Gertrude’s boundless trust in His goodness. “Why dost thou not act like Gertrude, My chosen virgin?” Our Lord inquired of the nun. “She is so firmly established in My Providence that there is nothing which she does not hope for from the plenitude of My grace. Therefore, I will never refuse her anything.” Alas! we creatures have too little knowledge of God’s kindness, love, and mercy! Our distrust arises because we compare God with ourselves. Oh, that all hearts would realize that Jesus is all love, all mercy. He has treasures of grace for all, but few come to bear them away by means of their confidence.

In all things, Gertrude had recourse to Jesus as a child has to its mother. Nothing, in her eyes, was too trivial to be recommended to Him. On one occasion, having lost a needle in a pile of straw, she besought Him to find it for her. “O dear Jesus,” she said, “vainly, indeed, would I search for this needle. It would be lost time. Please get it for me Thyself.” Extending one hand, and turning away her head, she immediately found the needle between her fingers.

Again and again, Our Lord encouraged this confidence so dear to Him. “O Jesus, what should I add to these prayers to make them yet more efficacious?” Gertrude once asked. Turning to her with a countenance full of sweetness, Our Savior replied, Confidence alone easily obtains all things! . . . Once when St. Gertrude was troubled with temptations, she implored the Divine assistance. Our Lord, in His exceeding mercy, spoke thus to her: “Anyone suffering from human temptations, who flees to My protection with firm confidence, belongs to those of whom I can say: ‘One is My dove, My chosen one out of thousands, who has pierced My Heart with one glance of her eyes.’ And this confidence wounds My Heart so deeply that were I unable to relieve such a soul, it would cause My Heart a sadness which all the joys of heaven could not assuage . . . The confidence that I truly have the power, the wisdom and the goodness to aid a soul faithfully in all her miseries, is the arrow which pierces My Heart, and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her.”

St. Gertrude’s Special Graces

Of the many favors bestowed by the Lover of virgins on His spouse, we may single out four of special importance. The first grace, Gertrude never mentions definitely. She always calls it the great grace, and when she attempts to speak of it, her heart immediately overflows with praise and gratitude toward the Divine Giver. From a careful study of her life, however, it is easy to surmise that this grace was the impression of Our Lord’s Sacred Wounds upon her heart. It was through ardent desire and constant prayer that Gertrude received this marvelous grace. During the winter after Our Lord’s first visit, she
found this very beautiful prayer in honor of His Passion.

“O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, grant that I may aspire towards Thee with my whole heart, with yearning desire and with thirsting soul, seeking only Thy sweetness and Thy delights, so that my whole mind and all that is within me may ardently sigh to Thee, who art our true Beatitude. “O most merciful Lord, engrave Thy Wounds upon my heart with Thy most Precious Blood, that I may read in them both Thy grief and Thy love; and that the memory of Thy Wounds may ever remain in my inmost heart, to excite my compassion for Thy sufferings and to increase in me Thy love. Grant also that I may despise all creatures, and that my heart may delight in Thee alone. Amen.”

“This prayer,” writes Gertrude, “pleased me very much. I memorized it and recited it frequently. One afternoon, during the same winter . . . I suddenly became conscious that Our Lord had deigned to hear me. I felt, O my God, how Thou didst imprint on my heart Thy adorable Wounds, even as they are on Thy Sacred Body. Notwithstanding my exceeding unworthiness, Thy infinite bounty has even to this hour preserved therein the impression.”

It is certain that, as a result of this sacred stigmata, Gertrude suffered excruciating pains the remainder of her life. These pains were inexpressibly alleviated, however, by the new relationship she had contracted with her most tenderly loved Jesus, through love and mutual suffering. Of the second grace, frequent mention is made in her book of revelations. This event occurred during Advent, seven years later, while she was in church assisting at Holy Mass. Gertrude thus describes the favor: “After I had received the Sacrament of Life, I saw a ray of light, like an arrow, dart forth from the Sacred Wound in Thy right Side, on the Crucifix . . . It advanced toward me and pierced my heart. Then Thou didst say to me: ‘May the full tide of thy affection rise to Me, so that all thy pleasure, thy hope, thy joy, thy grief, thy fear and every other feeling may be sustained by My love!’ ”

During the last year of her life, our saint listened to the discourses of a Dominican Father who spoke most impressively on the love of our Heavenly Master. “Love is like an arrow,” he said, “whatever we shoot with it, we may call our own!” Gertrude’s heart glowed with vehement love when she heard these words. “Ah!” she exclaimed in the ardor of her love, “who will grant me that I may obtain such an arrow! Immediately I would transpierce Thee, the Only-beloved of my heart, that I might possess Thee eternally!” Scarcely had she uttered these words when she beheld her celestial Spouse. He carried a golden arrow in His hand, and said: “Thou didst desire to wound Me; but I have a golden arrow with which I will pierce thee so that thy wound may never heal.”

The arrow sank deeply into her heart and wounded her soul in three ways: First, by rendering all earthly pleasures distasteful, so that nothing in this world would afford her soul enjoyment or consolation. Secondly, by exciting an ardent desire in her soul to be united to God, so that she felt she could not breathe or live apart from Him. Thirdly, by so transfixing her soul as almost to separate it from her body, and overwhelming her with the torrent of Divine delights. As the third special grace, we may regard the interchange of hearts between Our Lord and St. Gertrude.

Writing of this, our saint says: “Thou hast granted me Thy secret friendship, by opening to me the sacred ark of Thy Deified Heart in so many different ways as to be the source of all my happiness. Sometimes as a special mark of our mutual friendship, Thou didst exchange It for mine!” After the ineffable revelation during which Jesus exchanged His Heart for hers, the holy virgin felt her Divine Spouse live and love within her. This interchange of hearts conceals operations of grace beyond our understanding. The transforming and deifying visit of the Infant Jesus to Gertrude’s heart may be called the fourth special favor of our saint. Her own account of this grace is exquisitely beautiful: “It was the anniversary of the blessed night of Our Lord’s Nativity. In spirit, I tried to fulfill the office of servant of the glorious Mother of God when I felt that a tender, new-born Infant was placed in my heart. At the same instant, I beheld my soul entirely transformed. Then I understood the meaning of these sweet words: ‘God will be all in all’ (1 Cor. 15:28). My soul, which was enriched by the presence of my Beloved, soon knew, by its transports of joy, that it possessed its Spouse. My thirst for Thee was satisfied by these words: ‘As I, in My Divinity, am the figure of the substance of My Father, so also shalt thou be the figure of My substance in My Humanity. As the sun communicates to the air its own brightness and light, thus will I deify thy soul, penetrating it with the rays of My Divinity to prepare thee for the closest union with Me.’ ”

God not only granted inexpressible graces to St. Gertrude herself, but He also promised great graces to all who, after her death, should venerate her. Glorious Promises Even during her life, Saint Gertrude’s prayers were miraculously answered. Through her intercession, many were delivered from long and serious illnesses. Others were admonished in their dreams to disclose their troubles to her, and were delivered from their afflictions. Our Lord once said to her:— “If anyone, being oppressed by sorrow and grief, humbly and sincerely seeks consolation in thy words, he will not be deceived in his desires; for I...

Taken from Saint Gertrude the Great by TAN Books & Publishers, Inc.