Sentiments of the Soul
A letter to Jesus
ďSentiments of a SoulĒ opens with this letter, dated19th February 1942. It is a vibrant document, perfectly composed, written as a consequence of Fr Pinhoís recent departure and certainly collected by Fr Umberto in 1944. It is a cry rising from the midst of a storm. But the nobility, the touch of excellence in the sentiments expressed, Alexandrinaís unlimited trust in Jesus and her determination are as strong as always.
Balasar, 19th February, 1942.
My good Jesus
I feel that my heart is torn in pieces by pain. Have You further blows to inflict on me? May your will be done. Nailed on the cross with You, dripping blood and in great agony, I see myself and I feel that I am abandoned by everybody. I canít live in the world. I am afraid.
Jesus, come quickly, come, take me to Heaven. Men try to distract me, always pulling out from under me anything that could relieve me or give me comfort. They took my spiritual father, they forbade him to write to me, and me to write to him. Let me, at least, my Beloved, find relief with You. I am alone in the middle of a storm which shows no sign of abating.
I open my poor heart to You, only You know how to read what is written on it with pain and blood, only You can understand and evaluate my suffering. The world doesnít know how to, men donít understand anything. Let me repeat to You what You said to your Eternal Father:
"Forgive them, my Jesus, because they know not what they do!" They are blind, the divine light fails to reach them: enlighten them all and give all of them Your love.
O Jesus, all my forebodings have been right. Can they still forbid me to receive You in the Sacrament? O my God, that would be the last straw, that would take my life if You, with your divine power, didnít preserve it.
They may say what they say, and do whatever they do, but they will never be able to deprive me of this intimate union with You.
To steal Jesus in the Eucharist from me, yes, I have no doubt that they wish to do that; to take the richest of treasures that I love, that I love above all things, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, never, never the will men achieve that: to do that they would need to arrange that I lived without a heart and without a soul.
Impossible! Let the whole power of the world come, may be all of it against me: but will such a power separate me from this infinite greatness, from this infinite love? Never! Only sin, only that can do such thing.
But I fully trust in You; it is from You, my Jesus, that I hope for everything, however there is a feeling in my soul that almost persuades me that I am mistaken: I feel that I donít feel You, I feel that I canít expect anything from You because of my awful misery.
How great is my confusion! How great is my faintheartedness!
Arise me, my Jesus, help me, nailed as You are to the cross, help me to climb up all the painful way to the Calvary. On each step I climb I want to leave this written with the blood that runs from my wounds:
It is for Jesus that I suffer, it is to give to Him souls that I walk here!
Jesus, Jesus, I donít see Heaven, all that blue sky hides from me, I have lost it, they stole from me everything that was life. I only feel pain, I only feel and see death. I donít have anyone I can appeal to: I can only call on You and my Heavenly Mother.
Poor me! How many times in my pain have I not dared to look at You!
Hear me always, even if I do not call You; ask my Heavenly Mother to help me, give me all the strength of Heaven!
Every sound I hear reminds me of my dear spiritual father. Will he come? What a life of illusion!
All the thoughts that come to my mind during this awful suffering are arrows which pierce my heart, they are scourges which tear my body and my soul to pieces. What wrong did I do, what crime did I commit?
O my Jesus, if it was not for your love, if it was not the burning wish of saving souls for You, I would refuse everything. I wanted to love You very much, never to offend You, to gain Heaven, but I didnít want the crucifixion, I did not want to hear your sweet and tender voice on the earth, I didnít wish to see your divine Image, either painful or glorious: I had all eternity to contemplate You and to hear You speaking.
Forgive me my confidences, Jesus. You see that only with You am I able to unburden myself.
Since You chose me for pain, since you appointed me for such a martyrdom, here I am your victim, your slave; Jesus, do with me what You will.
Your blessing, my Beloved. Ask my Heavenly Mother to bless me and protect me. I am your most unworthy daughter,
February 20, 1942
Jesus, I come to meet You. Where are you? Why am I not able to find You? At least listen to my sorrows. If you fail me, I have nobody else. Did You see me this morning nailed on the cross in great agony, with my eyes raised to the Heaven which I felt, and saw, disappear without a smallest hope of seeing it return, or of my being able to enter it? What great sadness for me to see everything lost and without remedy!
After coming down from the cross, I began the ascent to Calvary. I was so weak as I went, so exhausted! I walked with my face almost on the ground; here and there I fell, I wounded myself painfully: I was bleeding. What fear, what a dreadful fear it was that to be constantly reminded that in a little while I would be crucified without help from any source on this earth! But your divine love helped me: You came to meet me.
ó "My daughter, human strength fails you; have courage, divine strength will never fail you.
Calvary is the path of my elected ones, Calvary is the path of my spouses, Calvary is the path of my crucified ones. It is through Calvary that I grant forgiveness to sinners, it is through Calvary that I give love to hearts.
Courage, courage, my dear! Your Jesus, your Celestial Mother and your spiritual Father accompany you and help you in an intimate union!"
Thank you, my Jesus.
Enlivened by your sweet words I went to Gethsemane. I never met You there, but your divine power was victorious in me. I felt at the beginning that the uncouth soldiers in Gethsemane would arrest me. I felt that later Judas would come with venom on his lips. I felt in my body the kicks they would give me later, when they dragged me with ropes. I had in my heart your feelings when You saw before you all the sins and crimes of the world. If only, with all these sufferings, all souls were saved! But oh, how many are lost because they do not take advantage of my suffering! O Jesus, I felt my body was bathed in blood, with the clothing that clung to it and the clothing that dragged on the ground. But worse, much worse still, was the suffering of your delicate and divine body. In the flogging and crowning of thorns You always sheltered me. In the refuge and support of holy and pure love, I felt my soul to be inebriated and in quiet and peace I rested for some time.
Later our Heavenly Mother came to take me on Her lap, She bound me in Her arms and caressed me. During all this agony, I had to call for You and for Her many times. Frightened with grief, abandoned, and completely exhausted, I had no strength to walk. All the time I invoked Heaven, but in vain. The abandonment was total; that I should suffer alone on the cross had to be. In this painful agony a lance was thrust into my heart; it was necessary that I feel all that pain before expiring. Poor me, poor humanity that does not know how You suffered, Lord Jesus!
After the crucifixion, it seems that I continued to live alone. I was reminded of the withdrawal of my spiritual Father.
Another proof of your infinite love, my Jesus: You arranged it so that the Doctor not only took care of easing the pain of my body, but also that he eased the deep pain of my soul. You, Who know everything, used him to prepare my heart to receive the final coup.
Thank you, my Jesus, I do not know what else to say. Let me repeat with You: my soul is sorrowful even unto death. I lost the light, I lost everything.
Your blessing and your forgiveness, my love.
February 27, 1942
Jesus, give me your divine strength, I want my pain but without your strength Iíll never be able to face it. May my heart cry night and day if You will it, but put joy into my eyes, and laughter on my lips. Let your holy love, and the love of souls, be the foundation of my penance.
I am like a little dove in the air that beats its wings day and night; it has no place to settle, your power supports it. If You fail it, its strength fails, it cannot continue its flight, it falls on earth, it has nobody to feel sorry for it.
Jesus, I am wandering in the air, I am being destroyed by the storm; I am the most unworthy of your little daughters, without light and without refuge.
O Jesus, I did not know that I still had much to give You. How vast is my ignorance! I thought I had given everything to You; I made a mistake: You came now to make the last harvest. Reap all, reap quickly and then reap me for Yourself.
I gave my Spiritual Father definitively to You on the 20th, until such time as You wish to give him back to me. I gave all correspondence that I had from him to You on the 24th; it had lighted the way which guided me to You. You have seen how great the sacrifice was, not by any commitment that I had to the letters, but that they were asked from me during days of such great pain. When I took them in my hands and, to unite all, I tied them with a white ribbon, did You hear, my Love, what I said? Jesus gave them to me, Jesus took them. When I gave them in order never to see them again. it seems that all my body shuddered. But wishing to make myself strong, I ever murmured: is not my Jesus worthy of much more? Everything is little to Him who loves me so much and gave everything for me; everything is little to save souls for Him.
After that, I ordered my portrait to be taken from the wall. Little or nothing can be taken into account in regards to this, my Jesus, I didnít have much esteem for it, I could willingly ask for it to be thrown into the fire. The pain it caused me was only because I saw that even that was being taken, which until then had served as a base for making the innocent suffer. My Jesus, it costs me as much to serve as an instrument of suffering for one as for the other! Look upon the whole of my sacrifice and fill your divine eyes with compassion.
My crucifixion is next, Jesus. See me on the cross nailed with You, my eyes raised to heaven, which I no longer see, always crying: Jesus, Jesus, why did You abandon me? I am alone; all the aid of Heaven and earth fail me. I accept everything to console you, I accept everything, I suffer everything so that the gates of hell may be closed.
(After the crucifixion)
My good Jesus, You always stay with me, You are always fortifying me with your divine grace and strength. You encouraged me saying:
― My daughter, my love-crazed girl, it is in your crucifixion that the salvation of many souls lies. It is in your great pain that my consolation lies and in your complete immolation that my glory lies. My complete joy is in your Calvary. Courage, courage! Jesus, with your heavenly Mother and your beloved Father, will not fail you. You have the divine grace in you.
I walked to Gethsemane. Human agonies and sadness cannot compare with Yours. How much You suffered for my love. Did I dare to deny anything to You? Oh, no, my Jesus, no! Give me strength so that I am not guilty of such ingratitude.
The darkness of Gethsemane was appalling. The sufferings were dreadful. The sins of the world were the direst weight that pressed upon my heart and yours. It was sin, sin alone was the cause of all the suffering, it was sin that I felt ripping my veins; it was sin that took from me heaven, leaving me in the greatest abandonment, forcing me to sweat blood. It was sin, sin alone that was the executioner throughout all your passion. How much do I owe You, my good Jesus, for suffering in me and for associating Yourself with me. I could not resist any longer, and your divine voice whispering to me:
― You, my daughter, always have the love of your Jesus before you.
O my love, I feel the strength of my body and of my soul ebbing day by day, moment by moment,! Only with You being crucified in me will I be able to overcome. I live no longer, Jesus, everything in me is death. I have been plagued, I was crowned with thorns, I rested in your divine Heart; I clutched it with love to mine: to fasten You forever, not to separate myself any longer from You was what I wished.
I had some short moments in which You let your divine Grace fall on me and some of the little rays of your Love heated my heart. When I rested in my heavenly Mother, She joined Her blessed lips to mine and stayed that way throughout the time of my rest.
These are not consolations, my Jesus, and You know that they were taken from me, they are the aids You gave me, without which my crucifixion was impossible.
I went to Calvary. At each step I felt myself falling on the earth, losing my life. I was nailed on the cross; the blood was dripping from the wounds as from fountains. The insults that I heard hit my whole body. The pain in my heart made me so anxious that it seemed to me to rise in my chest to open up. To call for You, to cry to heaven Ė everything was useless. Only darkness and abandonment, only mortal agony.
O my Jesus, the crucifixion passed, it is already midnight and on the summit of Calvary I stay with open arms, nailed to the cross, in the saddest and darkest of nights, always crying: 'O Heaven, O Heaven, O Heaven, why did you abandon me! O earth that despised me and hate me.
My cry is lost in a world of abandonment; my echo is lost in a world that has no end. I am alone, Jesus, shivering with cold and hunger. I am blind, I lost the light. Will it not exist in the world, my Love? It is all darkness, it is all blindness. Join, my Jesus, to this hard pain the pain that causes me to be saying these things, the lack of my dear Father. Jesus, Jesus, allow everything but scandal; I do not want You to be offended, much less by what concerns me. Forgive everyone, forgive me and give me your blessing, Jesus.