Army of Heaven
Luisa, in the Divine Will, speaks the meaning and glories of the Cross for sinners:
“The Cross, suffered by You, freed me from the slavery of the devil, and espoused me to the Divinity with an indissoluble bond. The Cross is fecund and gives birth to Grace in me. The Cross is Light, It disillusions me of what is temporal, and reveals to me what is eternal. The Cross is fire, and reduces to ashes all that is not of God, to the point of emptying my heart of the tiniest blade of grass that might be in it. The Cross is coin of inestimable value, and if I have, O Holy Spouse, the fortune of possessing it, I will be enriched with eternal coins, to the point of becoming the richest in Paradise, because the currency that circulates in Heaven is the Cross suffered on earth. The Cross, then, makes me know myself; not only this, but It gives me the knowledge of God. The Cross grafts all virtues into me. The Cross is the noble pulpit of the uncreated Wisdom, that teaches me the highest, the finest and most sublime doctrines. So, only the Cross will reveal to me the most hidden mysteries, the most secret things, the most perfect perfection, hidden to the most erudite and learned of the world. The Cross is like beneficent water that purifies me; not only this, but It administers to me the nourishment for the virtues, It makes them grow, and only then does It leave me, when It brings me back to Eternal Life. The Cross is like celestial dew, which preserves and embellishes for me the beautiful lily of purity. The Cross is the nourishment of Hope. The Cross is the beacon of operating Faith. The Cross is like hard wood, which preserves the fire of Charity, keeping it always lit. The Cross is like dry wood, which dispels and puts to flight all the smokes of pride and of vainglory, producing the humble violet of humility in the soul. The Cross is the most powerful weapon that offends the demons, and defends me from all of their claws. Therefore, the soul who possesses the Cross is the envy and admiration of the very Angels and Saints, and the rage and indignation of the demons. The Cross is my Paradise on earth, in such a way that if the Paradise of the Blessed up there, is of delights, the Paradise down here is of sufferings. The Cross is the chain of most pure gold that connects me to You, my Highest Good, and forms the most intimate union which can possibly be given, to the point of making my being disappear. And It transforms me in You, my Beloved, to the point that I feel lost within You, and I live from your very Life.”
Jesus to Luisa, on silencing our interior:
“All nature invites one to rest; but what is true rest? It is the interior rest and the silence from all that is not God. Look at the stars, twinkling with tempered light, not dazzling like the sun; the sleep and the silence of all nature, of men and also of animals – they all look for a place, a den, in which to be in silence and rest from the tiredness of life. If this is necessary for the body, much more is it necessary for the soul to rest in her own center, which is God. But in order to be able to rest in God, interior silence is necessary, just as exterior silence is necessary to the body in order to peacefully fall asleep. But what is this interior silence? It is to silence one’s own passions by keeping them in their place; it is to impose silence on desires, on inclinations, on affections – in sum, on all that does not call upon God. Now, what is the means to reach this? The only means, and absolutely necessary, is for the soul to undo her own being and reduce herself to nothing, just as she was before being created; and once she has reduced her being to nothing, she must take it again in God.
Jesus on how to overcome passions:
This morning my adorable Jesus was not coming. So, not seeing Him come, I said: ‘What am I still doing in this state, if the object that held me captured does not come any more? It is better if I finish it once and for all.’ As I was saying this, my sweet Jesus came for a little while, and told me: "My daughter, everything is in repressing the first motions; if the soul is attentive in this, everything will go well; but if she is not, at the first motions which are not repressed, passions will come out and break the divine fortress which surrounds the soul like a hedge in order to keep him well-guarded, and to move away from him the enemies which always try to lay traps for her, and to harm the poor soul. However, if as soon as she perceives it, she enters into himself, humiliates himself, repents, and remedies it with courage, the divine fortress closes again around the soul; if on the other hand she does not remedy it, the divine fortress, broken as it is, will let all vices rush in. Therefore, if you want the fortress not to leave you alone even for one instant, be attentive to the first motions, thoughts and words which are not upright and holy, because once the first ones have escaped you, it is no longer the soul that reigns, but rather, passions dominate."
~~~When Adam & Eve made their grievous error, they were immediately rendered naked, exposed, unprotected. The description of the effects of the first mortal sin are perennially recognizable to sinners. The weak one when greeted in the moment of offense against Heaven, receives the awful retraction of grace, the taking away of what our Lord calls above, the protecting divine fortress.
Maybe we have read these words from Genesis dozens of times. Have we ever peered so plainly into their astonishing accuracy?! The pure act of taking, rewards the sinner with a dreaded sense of stupidity, amnesia, aloneness, followed by a helpless inability to “undo” or “redo” and then, as grace recedes, grim, feeble self-fending.
Awful as that feeling is, God more amazingly waits, to make us right, set us about anew in freshness and favor, the divine fortress around us again restored. Use of the sacrament of confession can be part of “remedy thyself”. And while grace reclaims us in that precious sacrament, there is usually a period of healing in the body that is not painless, and which reinforces to us that sin is not worth the rigor of recovery.
And so, having been taught the secret, we pray to enact the method:Jesus, King, Savior, Everything, be merciful to poor sinners. Jesus let us desire and possess the ability to pray against the first motions of seduction. Allow us by Your grace to pre-empt every first lurk of seduction. Let us topple the flesh Jesus, let the angel man overcome the carnal man. Let the impossible occur Jesus, the ancient sin be conquered in us by Your purity and chastity. Jesus Your Strength is our safety, Your strength is sobriety! Jesus I invoke Your silence to fill my interior, to blot out phantasm and lust. Let Your grace work in us o Jesus, Amen!