|Dedication, Introduction & Index|
THE VINE AS THE HEART OF GOD
Small branch, always remember well that you are of God, that you are in God, and that you are for God.
"I have come to cast fire on the earth, and what do I wish for except that it be set aflame." (S. Luke 12:49).
The Venerable Father Francis Olimpio, a Theatine, tells us that in the whole world there is nothing that makes the fire of Divine Love burn more intensely in the hearts of men than the Sacrament of the Altar.
Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament showed himself to St. Catherine of Sienna; He was like a furnace of love from which there poured torrents of flame, and these spread themselves over the whole world.
The Saint was astounded that so many men could continue to live without being set on fire in the very midst of these flames of love that God poured out upon them.
My Jesus, set me on fire with love of you. Do not let me breathe, nor think of anything, nor seek for anything, nor wish for anything: but only for the love of you. I would be truly happy if this holy fire of yours would utterly consume me―and as the years of my life pass on, it would completely purge from my heart all unruly love of the things of earth.
O my Jesus, Divine Word of God, I see you upon the altar completely sacrificed: brought to nothing, destroyed, for love of me. You have become a sacrifice, a Victim for my love; there is only one right thing for me to do―to make an offering of my whole being to you.
Yes, my God, to you who are the Lord and Ruler of all, this day I make a sacrifice of all my soul: my intellect, my will―everything in my life. This sacrifice of mine is a poor one indeed, but I unite it to the priceless sacrifice that Jesus Christ, your Son and my Saviour, offered to you the Eternal Father―that sacrifice which He made on the Cross when He was on earth, and which He renews every day on the altar in so many places.
Receive this sacrifice of mine through the merits of Jesus; give me grace to repeat it every day of my life, and to die making a complete sacrifice of myself to your glory. I want to lay down my life for you―this was the great grace given to so many martyrs. But if I am not worthy of a grace so great as this; at least let me sacrifice my life by accepting that death which you will send me.
This, then, is the grace that I wish for, O my God―I want to die with the intention of giving glory to you and of pleasing you. I offer to you the sacrifice of my life; and of my death, whatever it be, and whenever it may come.
Aspiration―My Jesus, may I die for the love of you!
Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.
A VISIT TO MARY
EVERYTHING THROUGH MARY
EVERYTHING THROUGH MARY
The Good Shepherd
Entrusted the Care of His flock to His Mother.
O Most Sweet Lady, with your own St. Bernard once more let me call you "The whole reason of my hope." And with St. John Damascene let me say, "In you I have put all my hope." The pardon of my sins, perseverance until death, and finally liberation from Purgatory―all these you will obtain for me. All that work out their salvation obtain salvation through you. Your office then O Mary, is to save me. This is what St. Bonaventure says "The one you wish to be saved will be saved." Will then to save me and I shall be saved." Since you save everyone who calls on you, look down on me, O Mother, as I call on you and say
Aspiration―"Salvation of those who call upon you, save me." (St. Bonaventure).
Prayer After Each Visit