Love, Jesus, is that not the best reward of all your generosities? And then, too, I love you. Yet, it is not for your benefits alone, but because you are my Jesus. I love You because You are the sole object worthy of my love. I love You because You are Goodness itself. I love You because You have promised, You have sworn not to abandon me ... I love You, oh Lord, for an infinity of reasons.
Where could I seek happiness if not with You, oh Jesus? So many times you have offered it to me. Does it not seem to you that my heart is a little hard? Who could have, if not You, kindled in it a few flames of love?
Do You believe, oh Jesus, that my heart is a suitable place of rest for You? Are You comfortable there? Are You contented there? Yes, Jesus, I am happy ... oh Jesus, when my heart will no longer be on earth, but in heaven, what glory for You! How the Angels will rejoice!
Do You fear, Jesus, that in Your absence I shall change my sentiments? No, never! Do You remember, Lord, that when, at times, I was on the point of falling You communicated to me an extraordinary strength? Do You remember that sometimes I came to You in tears, sometimes penetrated with repentance ... and that you showed Yourself always the same to me? Oh Jesus, why would I love You solely because of Your gifts and why would I not love You because of this cross? Oh cross, make a little place for me beside Jesus! But what singular love You have bestowed on me! Quick, Jesus, embrace me, but with the same fire which has consumed You!
Oh Love, Infinite Love! Oh, despoil me of this flesh. Withdraw me from this body, or leave me, because I can stand it no longer. My body, oh Lord, can no longer bear this continual weakness. Take me away from this world, or leave me ... oh Love, Infinite Love! I shall never be separated from Your love, no, never! Oh Love! Oh delights of Love! Oh Love which delights me so much and which torments me still more! Oh Love, love of Jesus, I shall never cede you to anyone! What little love I possess I shall not part with it not even in favor of the Saints of Heaven, nor for you, creatures of earth. This little love is mine. I do not want any to surpass me in the love of Jesus. Oh Love, Infinite Love! See your Love, oh Lord, it penetrates into my very body ... When shall I unite myself to You Who on earth can operate such a union of Love? I can stand it no longer, I am weakening! May I die, and may I die of love. What a beautiful death, oh Lord, victim of Your love, victim for You!
Moderate, oh Jesus, moderate Your love. If not I shall end by being consumed ... Oh Love, oh Infinite Love! oh Love of my Jesus. Make Your love penetrate me entirely; I do not ask anything else. My God, my God, I love You. Perhaps I love You too little, oh Jesus! Are You not satisfied?
But, then, grant me what can come only from You; grant that I may love You more and more. I ought to love You with an extreme love.
I have declared Lord, that You have suffered for me and for sinners. Yes, it is enough. May I carry, henceforth, Your cross on my shoulders!
Gemma experiences the “dark night of the soul”
Towards the end of her life, a spirit of depression and confusion engulfed Gemma as God withdrew from her all the consolations of prayer and devotional love that she had experienced before. During this period there were no more visions of Jesus or visits from her Angel. She no longer heard the words of Jesus spoken directly to her heart. All she could feel was the total confusion of doubt. anxiety, fear and depression. Her visitors seemed to see in her broken spirit, the final attitude of the dying Christ: "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
During her hours of loneliness, Gemma communicated with the Blessed Mother by writing her letters. This one, found after her death, stated: "Mother, my frail existence here drags on, always fighting, but I am contented, and between fear and hope I abandon myself to God .... My life burns down and is day by day consumed. But the spirit? Oh, my God! I cry out, I call aloud in the midst of much suffering, I turn to Jesus promising him love: but Jesus is hidden, he no longer seems to love me, or very little .... Oh Mother, pray for me: tell Jesus that I will be good and obedient. But I want to go soon to paradise if he wills it. Bless me - I am, Poor Gemma."
Writing to Father Germanus she says –“Now I am alone, abandoned, Father I want to suffer; Nobody can console me, for Jesus is no more with me. But you tell Jesus that I am His, and forever I shall be His. If He wishes to flee from me, I shall always follow Him. I hope that He will return soon. Will He?”
Here are some words of Gemma while she was rapt in ecstasy during these painful months of seeming abandonment by God.
"Is it true, You are leaving me, Jesus? Already I notice Your withdrawal. What will become of me? But why, Jesus, do you not answer me? In what have I offended you? And what is the use of living if I lose You? How many times must I repeat that I love You more than my life, and that for You I despise it? But do You not see it? For I have renounced all others. Oh what is then, Jesus, the motive which leads You to abandon me? Come, tell me Jesus, how have I offended You? Is it that I have not preserved my heart pure enough?
"Then, Jesus, you are abandoning me? When I shall see You no more, when I shall hear Your voice no longer, do not forget my poor soul . . . Think of it, Jesus, help it in its moments of trial . . . You see, my Saviour, how weak is my virtue, when You shall have abandoned me entirely, when I shall feel Your presence no longer, when no longer I shall feel Your Divine Blood circulate in my veins ... what shall I do? ...
Thankfully these “dark nights” that purify the soul pass. Let us continue with Gemma’s expressions of ardent love.
“What do You ask of me, my God? Already I have given all to You. What do You desire, oh Jesus, what do You desire so ardently? Do You desire my love? I give it entirely to You. But who can love you sufficiently? No one ... No one ...
Oh Jesus . . . oh Jesus . . . What are these strong attractions which unite me so powerfully to you? Is it Your heart which beats so near mine? . . . What power there is in Your heart! Explain it to me, Jesus. How is it that this poor soul does not escape from its prison to go to heaven and rejoice in Your Divine Presence? It can resist no longer . . . every morning I hear Your beloved voice . . . I taste such ineffable sweetness . . .
Jesus, You ask only love from me; and I, in order to love You, ask much love also, for I have not enough. See, Jesus, when, in the morning, I feel Your presence in Communion, I am conscious of myself no longer. And, Jesus, who would have thought that your heart would join its beatings to those of mine? Ohl Grant me the summit of happiness, grant me the consolation that I ask of You; repeat the sweet words which You said to me Sunday. When, Jesus, will You become my Heavenly Spouse?
I am burning, Jesus. What happiness for me if I were entirely embraced with Your pure love! Oh Jesus, I implore Your mercy, but I do not ask for Your delights which I do not deserve at all. It would be sufficient, oh Jesus, to be nourished with Your heavenly bread. Leave me, Jesus, I plunge myself in the abyss of Your love.
Oh Jesus, truly You are all mine? No, nothing can please me here on earth. Allow, allow that this morning my heart becomes separated . . . It feels itself as if crushed beneath the weight of your benefits ... But why, Jesus, do I remain always so imperfect? Speak to me clearly, You cannot be pleased with me.
At least should not so many visits stimulate my heart? Oh my Angel, help me. Do not leave me idle in the midst of so many graces, you who have always borne with me with so much patience.
Yes, I am happy, oh Jesus, because I feel my heart beat with Yours; I am happy because I possess You.
Oh dear torments of Jesus! Precious prayers ... sweet protestations! Speak, Jesus, speak; tell me what You did during Your mortal life. And at the time of Your Ascension, tell me what did You do? What was the occupation of Your heart? If I look at this very loving heart, oh Jesus, it appears surrounded with numerous gold arrows of love. And You, Jesus, Who ask for my love, what need have You for it? You are so ardently loved by the Angels! Ah! I know, it is not necessity which urges You to solicit my love. Oh my Jesus and my God, how little I love You! Grant that I may love You more and more; as much, as much as possible ... Jesus, Jesus, I praise You; but supply what is lacking to my praises. I offer You to Your Divine Father ... I have nothing; offer Him, oh Jesus, the love of Your heart . . .
I am Yours, yes. Do not fear, oh Jesus, that I will be snatched from You ... Grant that I may love You, that I may love you always more. Some time or another, Jesus, you will cause my death by making Your heart beat within mine.
The bonds of Your love are so strong that I cannot free myself from them. Give me back my liberty once more. I shall love You everywhere and I shall seek You always. Oh! What have you done to me, my Jesus? What have You done to my heart, that it seeks You unceasingly and sighs constantly after Your presence? I cannot prevent it. It is captivated by You, by You, Father, so good ...
You love me, Jesus, and would I not love You? What marvelous tenderness of a God toward His poor creature.....Jesus, when shall I be able to unite myself to You in order to be no longer separated from You? Break without delay the chain which unites me to my body ... in order that I experience no longer the torment of Your absence ... When will it be, Jesus? Help me, and You will see that I shall finally love You with a love that is sincere, active and very ardent.
I shall remember always all Your benefits, oh Jesus. This remembrance will stimulate my love . . . this divine flame, Jesus; I shall keep it always in my heart. Oh Jesus, it is You alone that I wish to love. I belong no longer to myself. I am Yours.
Do You agree, Jesus? Make room for me, yes, I would like to be, Jesus, surrounded by Your divine flame.
…You are burning, Saviour, and I am consumed. . . grace . . . purify . . . What are You, my God? You are a flame. And would You not like my heart to become a flame also?
Oh! I have found the fire which destroys all sin; I have found the ardor which disperses all lukewarmness; I have found the flame which destroys all my passions!
I cannot understand, Jesus, how You, Who are so glorious in Heaven, can come to conceal Yourself in my heart. Oh! ... in this heart, cause a flame to come down and consume my sins. Oh Jesus, grant me a taste of Your paradise only for an instant. Oh holy angels, I can do nothing ... You, at least, proclaim the love of Jesus! See, Jesus, I am surrendering to Your holy love . . "