One morning in particular, after Communion, He gave me a light so clear about the great Love He had for me, and about the fickleness and inconstancy of creatures, that my heart was so convinced as to be incapable, from that time on, of loving anyone. He taught me the way how to love people without detaching myself from Him—that is, by looking at creatures as images of God, in such a way that, if I received good from creatures, I was to think that God alone was the Prime Author of that good and that He had used the creature in order to send it to me; so my heart would be bound more to God. If then I received mortifications, I was to look at them also as instruments in the hands of God for my sanctification; so my heart would not remain huffy with my neighbor.
In this way, it happened that I would look at all creatures in God. Whatever fault I might see in them, I would never lose esteem for them. If they mocked me, I felt obliged, thinking that they were allowing me to make more gains for my soul; if they praised me, I received these praises with contempt, saying: “Today this, tomorrow they may hate me,” considering their inconstancy. In sum, my heart acquired such freedom, that I myself cannot explain it.
When the Divine Master freed me from the external world, then He put His hand into purifying my interior, and through an interior voice He told me: “Now we are alone— there is no one left who may disturb us. Aren’t you happier now than before, when you had to content many upon many? You see, it is easier to content one alone. You must consider as if you and I were alone in the world; promise Me to be faithful, and I will pour such and so many Graces into you, that you yourself will be amazed.”
Then He continued, telling me: “I have made great designs upon you, as long as you correspond to Me—I want to make of you a Perfect Image of Me, beginning from the moment I was born up to My death. I Myself will teach you, little at a time, the way you will do it.”
And it happened in this way: every morning, after Communion, He would tell me what I was supposed to do during the day. I will say everything briefly, because after so much time it is impossible to say everything. I don’t remember for sure, but it seems to me that He told me that the first thing which was necessary in order to purify the interior of my heart, was the annihilation of myself—that is, humility. And He continued, telling me: “See, so that I may pour My Graces into your heart, I really want to make you understand that by yourself you can do nothing. I AM very much wary of those souls who attribute what they do to themselves, wanting to make of My Graces as many thefts. On the other hand, with those who know themselves, I AM generous in pouring My Graces in torrents. Knowing very well that they can attribute nothing to themselves, they are grateful to Me, they hold it in that esteem which befits it, and they live with the continuous fear that, if they do not correspond to Me, I may take away from them that which I gave, knowing that it is not something of their own. All the opposite in the hearts which reek of pride. I cannot even enter into their hearts because they are so swollen with themselves that there is no space in which to put Myself. The miserable ones take My Graces into no account, and they go from fall to fall, up to their ruin. Therefore, on this day I want you to make continuous acts of humility; I want you to be like a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, who can move neither a foot to take a step, nor a hand to work, but expects everything from his mother. In the same way, you will stay close to Me like a baby, always praying Me to assist you, to help you; always confessing to Me your nothingness—in sum, expecting everything from Me.”
I tried to do as much as I could to content Him—I would make myself littler, I would annihilate myself, and sometimes I reached the point of feeling my being as almost undone, in such a way that I could not work, nor take one step, or even one breath if He did not sustain me. Also, I saw myself as so bad, that I was ashamed of being seen by people, knowing myself as the ugliest—as, in reality, I am still. So, as much as I could shun people, I shunned them, saying to myself: “O! if they knew how bad I am, and if they could see the Graces that the Lord is giving me (for I wouldn’t tell anything to anyone), and that I am always the same—O! how horrified they would be with me.”
Then, in the morning, when I would go again to Communion, it seemed that in coming into me He made feast for the contentment He felt in seeing me so annihilated. He would tell me other things about the annihilation of myself, but in ways that were always different from the previous time. I believe that He spoke to me not once, but hundreds of times; and if He had spoken to me thousands of times, He would have always new ways to speak about the same virtues. O! my Divine Master, how wise You are—had I at least corresponded to You!
I remember that, one morning, while He spoke to me about the same virtues, He told me that because of lack of humility I had committed many sins, and that if I had been more humble, I would have kept closer to Him and I would not have done so much evil. He made me understand how ugly sin is—the affront that this miserable little worm had made to Jesus Christ, the horrendous ingratitude, the enormous wickedness, the harm that had come to my soul. I was so dismayed, that I did not know what to do in order to repair. I did some mortifications, I asked for more from the confessor, but few were given to me, so they all seemed shadows to me, and I did nothing but think about my sins, though clinging more and more to Him. I had such fear of moving away and of doing worse than before, that I myself cannot express it. When I was with Him, I did nothing but tell Him of the pain I felt for having offended Him. I kept asking for His forgiveness, I thanked Him for having been so good to me, and I said to Him from the heart: “See, O Lord, the time I have lost, while I could love You.” So, I was unable to say anything but the grave evil I had done.
Finally, one day, reprimanding me, He told me: “I do not want you to think about it. When a soul has humbled herself, convinced of having done wrong, and has cleansed her soul in the Sacrament of Confession, and is ready to die rather than offend Me—it is an affront to My Mercy, it is a hindrance to drawing her close to My Love, because her mind is always trying to roll in the past mud. She also prevents Me from letting her take flights toward Heaven, because she is always with those ideas wrapped within herself, if she tries to think about it. And then, see, I no longer remember anything; I have perfectly forgotten about it. Do you see any rancor or shadow on My part?”
And I said to Him: “No Lord, You are so Good.” But I felt my heart split with tenderness.
“Well then, are you the one who wants to carry these things on?”
And I: “No, no, I don’t want to.”
And He: “Let us think about loving and contenting each other.”
From that time on, I did not think about it so much; I did as much as I could in order to content Him, and I prayed that He Himself would teach me what I should do in order to repair for the time past. And He said to me: “I AM ready to do what you want. See, the first thing that I told you I wanted from you was the imitation of My Life; so, let us see what you lack.”
by the Little Daughter of the Divine Will Luisa Piccarreta