Diary of Saint Gemma Galgani -Part 3 of 4
Sunday, August 5, 1900
Today, Sunday, I prayed to my guardian Angel to grant me the favor of going to tell Jesus that I would not be able to do a meditation because I did not feel well; I would do it that evening. But that evening I had no desire; I went to bed and made preparations for meditation but collected myself only internally. My head did not take off; I stayed this way for an hour. Indeed, I should add that the Sunday meditation is always on the Resurrection, actually on Heaven; but Jesus makes it clearly known to me that he does not wish me to do that meditation just yet, because my mind immediately rushes to some principal point in his Passion. Let his will be done.
Monday, August 6
Here I am at August 6th. The days pass and here I am always in the same
This evening my guardian Angel, while I was saying evening prayers, approached me and tapping me on the shoulder he said: "Gemma, why such disinclination for prayer? This distresses Jesus." "No," I answered, "it's not disinclination: but for two days I have not been feeling well." He responded:
"Do your duty with diligence and you shall see that Jesus will love you even more." For a moment he was silent and then he asked: "And Brother Gabriel?" "I don't know." "How long is it that you haven't seen him?" [St Gabriel Possenti CP –editor] "A long, long, long while." "Then tonight Jesus will send him." "Really? Tonight no, I would be disobeying: at night my confessor is opposed." Oh with how much desire I would have wanted him! but I also wanted to obey. I prayed to send him in the daytime and soon, so that I could write that letter to Father Germano. I urged my guardian angel to go to Jesus and ask permission to spend the night together with me. He immediately disappeared.
I had finished prayers: I went to bed. When he had gotten permission from Jesus to come, he returned; he asked me: "How long has it been since you last prayed for the souls in Purgatory? Oh my daughter, you think of them so little! Mother Maria Teresa is still suffering, you know?" It was since morning that I had not prayed for them. He said he would like me to dedicate every little pain I suffered to the souls in Purgatory. "Every little penance gives them relief; even yesterday and today, if you had offered a little for them." I answered with a bit of astonishment: "My body was hurting; and do bodily pains relieve the souls in Purgatory?" "Yes," he said, "yes, daughter: even the smallest suffering gives relief." So I promised that from that moment onward I would offer everything for them. He added: "How much those souls suffer! Would you like to do something for them tonight? Do you want to suffer?" "Doing what?" I said. "Is it the same suffering Jesus did on Good Friday?" "No," he answered, "these are not Jesus' pains, yours will be bodily pains." I said no, because except for Thursday and Friday Jesus does not want this; the other nights He wants me to sleep. But since the souls in Purgatory, and in particular Mother Maria Teresa, are so dear to my heart, I told him I would gladly suffer for an hour.
These words satisfied him, but he saw clearly that in doing so I would have been disobedient, so he let me sleep.
This morning, when I awoke, he was still beside me; he blessed me and went away.
Tuesday, August 7
During the day yesterday my guardian Angel promised me that in the evening I would be able to speak with Brother Gabriel. The long-awaited evening arrived; in the beginning I was sleepy, then an agitation came over me, enough to frighten me. But since Jesus was about to grant me this consolation, either before or after the consolation, He gives me some suffering. Jesus be always blessed.
Still, in undergoing this agitation I saw no one, I mean the devil; it's just that I felt very ill, but it lasted only a short while. Quickly I calmed down; suddenly I felt completely collected and then almost immediately it happened like usual; my head took off and I found myself with Brother Gabriel. What a consolation that was! For obedience I was not allowed to kiss his vestment and I restrained myself. [obedience to her Confessor who at that time ordered her not to touch any of the heavenly visitors –editor] The first thing I did was ask him why he had stayed so long without visiting me. He answered that it was my fault. Of this I was sure because I am very bad.
How many beautiful things he told me about the convent and he said them with such force that it seemed to me his eyes sparkled. On his own, without my asking: "Daughter, within a few months, amidst the exultation of almost all Catholics, the new convent will be founded." "What do you mean, in a few months?" I said, "if there are still 13 months to go." "That's a few," he responded. Then, smiling, he turned to one side and knelt, clasped his hands and said: "Blessed Virgin, look: here on earth is the competition for propagating the new institute; come on, I beg you, make the abundance of celestial gifts and favors shower on all those who take part. Increase their strength, increase their zeal. It will be entirely your gift, oh Blessed Virgin."
He talked as if Our Lady of Sorrows were next to him; I could see nothing, but with such force, with such expression did he say those words that I remained amazed; it seemed like his head also had taken off.
Now I should speak about Father Germano, but my confessor said no, because ...
I also spoke of my poor sinner; he smiled, always a good sign. Finally he left me, filled with consolation. [Gemma was always beseeching her heavenly visitors for the conversion of some soul or another. She called them "my poor sinners" -editor]
Wednesday, August 8
Now we come to this morning. A little while after leaving the confessional, a thought came to me; thinking to myself that my confessor made too little of my sins, I was disturbed. To calm me down, my guardian Angel approached; I was in church and he pronounced these words out loud: "But tell me, who do you want to believe, your confessor or your head? Your confessor, who has continuous light and assistance, who is highly capable, or else yourself, who has nothing, nothing, nothing of all this? Oh what pride!" he said, "you want to become the teacher, guide, and director of your confessor!" I did not think further; I made an Act of Contrition and then went to Holy Communion.
Thursday, August 9
Today also, after having sustained with the help of God a battle with the enemy, a very strong one, my guardian Angel came reproaching me, and with great severity said: "Daughter, remember that in failing in any obedience, you always commit a sin. Why are you so reluctant in obeying your confessor? Remember also, there is no shorter or truer path than the one of obedience."
So why all this today? It was my fault. I would deserve even worse, but Jesus always shows me mercy.
Alas, what disgust I experience this evening! Since early morning I have felt so tired, but it's all laziness, bad will; still I want to overcome it, with the help of God.
It is Thursday and therefore I feel very strange; on Thursday evenings I always feel this way. Yes, suffer, suffer for sinners, and particularly for the poor souls in Purgatory, and in particular for ... And I know well why this laziness so early in the day. The other evenings it came upon me a few hours later. It was because today my guardian Angel told me that tonight Jesus wanted me to suffer a few extra hours, precisely two hours: at 9:00pm it would begin, for the souls in Purgatory, and without my confessor's permission; but usually he does not yell at me, indeed he wishes it, and I am free to do it.
Last night, around 9:00pm, I began to feel a little ill; I was quick to bed but I had been suffering already for a while: my head ached beyond measure and any movement I made caused me terrible distress. I suffered for two hours, as Jesus wished, for Mother Maria Teresa; then with great pain I undressed and got into bed and began to pray. It was very painful but in Jesus' company one would do anything!
Friday, August 10
My guardian Angel said the previous evening that I was allowed to keep the thorns in my head until 5 : 00 in the afternoon on Friday; it was true, because around that time I began to collect myself completely; I hid myself in the Franciscan church and there Jesus came to me again to remove them; I was alone the whole time. How he showed me that he loved me! He encouraged me anew to suffer and he left me in a sea of consolation.
But I must say that many times, in particular on Thursday evenings, I am overcome with such sadness at the thought of having committed so many sins, they all come back to me: I am ashamed of myself, and I feel afflicted, so afflicted. Even last night, a few hours earlier, this shame came over me, this grief, and I find a little peace only in that bit of suffering Jesus sends me, offering it first for sinners, and in particular for me, and then for the souls in Purgatory.
How many consolations Jesus gives me! In how many ways he shows me his love! They are all things of my head; but if I obey, Jesus will not permit me to be deceived. Thursday evening He promised that in these days when Mrs. Cecilia was away, He would not leave me without my guardian Angel. He gave me the Angel last night and from then on he has not left me for even a moment.
This I have observed many times, and I have not spoken of it even with my confessor, but today I tell all. When I am with other people, my guardian Angel never leaves me; however, when I am with her [Cecilia Giannini], the angel immediately leaves me (I mean to say that he does not show himself anymore, except to give me some warnings); the same thing happened today: he never left my side for a minute; if I have to speak, to pray, to do something, he lets me know. May Jesus not allow me to be deceived.
This thing so astounds me that it obliged me to ask of him: "How is it that when Mrs. Cecilia is with me, you never stay around?" He answered like this: "No person, other than she, knows how to take my place. Poor girl," he added, "you are so little that you always need a guide! Fear not, for now I shall do it, but obey, you know, because I could easily ... "
I went to confession; I told this to my confessor (I had also written to him about it); so he explained what I did not understand, so now I understand everything.
Saturday, August 11
It's Saturday; I'm going to Holy Communion. What shall I do? Whatever, I
shall obey. If only I could obtain a little visit from my Mom [Blessed Virgin Mary -ed]. But no, I remember the sin I committed last night. It's true that this morning I confessed myself immediately, but alas, the Blessed Virgin does not forgive so easily, especially with me. She wants me to be perfect.
It's Saturday evening, my God! What punishment! It's the biggest punishment you can give me, depriving me of a visit from Most Holy Mary, and it's precisely around Saturday that I always fall into many omissions.
Sunday, August 12
Sunday has arrived. What indifference, what dryness! Still, I do not want to
abandon my usual prayers.
Wednesday, August 15, Feast if the Assumption if Mary into Heaven
I remained in this state of dryness and the absence of Jesus until today, Wednesday. Since Friday I've heard nothing. My confessor assures me this is a punishment for my sins or to see if I can stay without Jesus, and to stimulate me to love him more. I have been alone throughout, I mean without Jesus. My guardian Angel has not left me for even a second; yet, how many omissions, how many faults even in his presence! My God, have mercy on me! I always went to Communion but Jesus was like He wasn't there anymore. But would Jesus wish to leave me alone even today on such a great holy day? I received communion with much more consolation, but without feeling Jesus. I prayed a lot these days, because I want a grace from Jesus.
Today Mother Maria Teresa should go to Heaven; I hope so. But how will I know? I can't collect myself unless I am in a safe place. Today my guardian Angel will stand guard at my door.
Here I am at 9:15 of this great day. I feel the usual internal collection; I prayed to my guardian Angel to stand guard so that no one should see me; I hid in a room for the nuns.
Oh, not much time passed before collection was followed by rapture. (Whoever reads this should not believe anything, because I could very well be deceived; may Jesus never permit such a thing! I do so for obedience, and I oblige myself to write with great disgust.)
It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: "Gemma," she said after some moments, "do you know me?" I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: "I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so, so much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness."
All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself.
Then she added: "Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering." And in so saying she caressed me and then went away.
Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints'.
From that moment I suffered constantly because until about 11:00pm I could not be alone. I felt inside me a certain sense of collection, a desire to go and pray, but how to do it? I couldn't. How many times I had to insist! Finally I had the longed-for permission, and I went to my Mom; although they were only a few moments, they were precious moments!
Because of my bad behavior, Jesus did not permit the Blessed Virgin to come as She always did, smiling, but instead very sad (and I was the cause). She reproached me a little but cheered up about one thing (that I think here it would be better not to say), and this thing also gave great consolation to Jesus! And in fact it was to reward me for this thing that She came, but as I said, in a serious mood; She said a few words, among them: "Daughter, when I go to Heaven this morning, I shall take your heart with me."
In that moment I felt as if She approached ... removed it from me, took it with Her, in Her hands, and said to me: "Fear nothing, be good; I shall keep your heart forever up there with me, always in my hands." She blessed me hurriedly and in going away She pronounced these words as well: "To Me you have given your heart, but Jesus wants something else as well." "What does he want?" I asked. "Your will," She answered, and vanished.
I found myself on the ground but I know exactly when that happened; it was when She began to approach me and remove my heart.
Although these things frighten me upon first appearance, still at the finish I always end up being in infinite consolations.
Thursday, August 16
Here I am at Thursday. The usual disgust descends upon me; fear of losing my soul comes over me; the number of my sins and their enormity, all open up before me. What agitation! In these moments my guardian Angel suggested in my ear: "But God's mercy is infinite." I calmed down.
Early in the day the pain in my head began; it must have been around 10:00. When I was alone I threw myself on the bed; I suffered some but Jesus was not long in appearing, showing me that He also suffered greatly. I reminded him of the sinners for whom He Himself urged me to offer all my little aches to the Eternal Father on their behalf.
While I was with Jesus and suffering, and He suffered also, a strong desire came upon me, almost impossible to resist. Jesus realized this, and asked me: "What do you want me to do?" And I immediately: ''Jesus, have pity, lighten Mother Maria Teresa's torments." And Jesus: "I have already done so. Do you wish anything else?" He asked. That gave me courage and I said: ''Jesus, save her, save her." And Jesus answered like this: "On the third day after the Assumption of my Blessed Mother, she will be released from Purgatory and I will take her with me to Heaven."
Those words filled me with a joy such that I do not know how to express it. Jesus said a number of other things; I also asked why after Holy Communion He did not allow me to taste the sweetness of Heaven. He answered promptly: "You are not worthy, oh daughter," but He promised that the next morning he would do it.
How could I pass the time until morning? It's true, only a few hours remained but for me they were years; I didn't close my eyes in sleep; I was consumed, I wanted morning to come immediately: in a word, that night seemed like forever to me, but finally morning has come.
Friday, August 17
Jesus, as soon as he arrived on my tongue (the cause so often of so many sins), made Himself felt immediately. I was no longer in myself but Jesus was in me; He descended to my breast. (I say breast, because I no longer have a heart; I gave it to Jesus' Mom.) What happy moments I spent with Jesus! How could I return His affections? With what words could I express His love, and for this poor creature? Yet He did deign to come. It's truly impossible, yes, it is impossible not to love Jesus. How many times He asked me if I love Him and if I truly love Him. And do you still doubt it, my Jesus? So, He unites ever more closely with me, talks to me, says He wants me to be perfect, that He too loves me very much and I should reciprocate.
My God, how can I make myself worthy of so many graces? Where I cannot reach, my beloved guardian Angel will take my place. May God never let me deceive myself nor others.
I spent the rest of the day united with Jesus; I suffer a little but no one sees my suffering; only from time to time does some lament come forth but, my God, it is truly involuntary.
Today it took very little, indeed nothing, for me to collect myself: my mind was already with Jesus and I immediately went in spirit as well. How affectionate Jesus showed Himself to be today. But how He suffers! I do what I can to diminish the anguish and I would do more if I had permission. He came near today, lifted the crown from my head, and then I did not see Him replace it as usual on his head; He held it in His hands, all his wounds were open, but they did not drip blood as usual. They were beautiful.
He usually blesses me before leaving, and in fact He lifted his right hand; from that hand I then saw a ray of light shine forth, much stronger than a lamp. He kept his hand raised; I remained fixed in watching it, I could not get enough of Him. Oh if! could make everyone know and see how beautiful is my Jesus. He blessed me with that same hand He had raised, and He left me. After this happened to me, I wanted to know the meaning of the light that shone from his wounds, in particular from his right hand, the one he blessed me with. My guardian Angel said these words to me: "Daughter, on this day Jesus' blessing has showered an abundance of graces upon you."
Now that I am writing this he approached me and said: "I urge you, my daughter, always to obey, and in everything. Reveal everything to your confessor; tell him not to neglect you but to keep you hidden." And then he added: "Tell him that Jesus wants him to have much more concern toward you, that he give you more thought, because otherwise you are too inexperienced."
He repeated these things even after I had written them; he said them many times, when I was awake, and I felt as if I actually saw him and heard him speak. Jesus, may your holy will always be done.
But how I suffer for the obligation to write certain things. The disgust I felt initially, instead of diminishing keeps growing enormously, and I am enduring deathly anguish. How many times today I tried to find and burn all my writings. And then? You maybe, oh my God, You would like me to write also about those hidden things, that You let me know out of your goodness, in order always to keep me low and humble me? If you wish, oh Jesus, I'm ready to do even that: make Your will known. But these writings, of what benefit are they? For your greater glory, oh Jesus, or to make me fall into more and more sin? You wished me to do so, and I did. You think about it. In the wound of your sacred side, oh Jesus, I hide my every word.
Saturday-Sunday, August 18-19
During Holy Communion this morning Jesus let me know that tonight at midnight Mother Maria Teresa will fly to Heaven. Nothing else for now.
Jesus promised to give me a sign. Midnight has come, nothing yet; now it's 1:00am, still nothing; toward 1:30 it looked to me like the Blessed Virgin would come to give me news, since the hour was approaching.
After a little while in fact I thought I saw that Mother Teresa was coming, dressed as a Passionist, accompanied by her guardian Angel and by Jesus. How she had changed since that day I first saw her. Laughing, she approached me and said she was truly happy and was going to enjoy her Jesus in eternity; she thanked me again and added: "Tell Mother Giuseppa that I am happy and set her at ease." She made a sign several times with her hand to say goodbye and together with Jesus and her guardian angel she flew to Heaven around 2:30am. That night I suffered a lot because I too wanted to go to heaven, but no one thought to take me.
The desire Jesus had nurtured in me for so long finally was satisfied; Mother Teresa is in heaven; but even from heaven she promised to return to see me.”
Click Here for the Diary of St Gemma -Part 4 of 4