Our Lady of Grace Monastery, 23715 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

Newsletter No. 70 August 17th, 2016

Dear Friends,

We are in the middle of the Year of Mercy, which is a good time to quote a few texts about Divine Mercy from Mother Louise Margaret’s writings. The following are taken from her Intimate Notes, as translated by Rev. Patrick O’Connell in “The Love and Service of God, Infinite Love,” Tan Books and Publishers, 1987.

“The idea of Infinite Mercy has dominated my soul today. I have seen it divinely creative. On the days of creation, when the foundations of the earth did not exist, God, Infinite Love, created everything by His Word. God spoke and everything was made. Holy Scripture represents to us the adorable Trinity performing its work of love.

“The Father speaks the creative word; the Word arranges all things, and, as infinite Wisdom, He finds His complacence in the midst of creation. The Holy Spirit, by His divine warmth, disposes the waters of the earth for fertility. The Word, at the first hour, under the form of Divine Wisdom, with infinite grace, created from nothing the multitude of beings. With the Father and the Holy Ghost, He causes life to shoot forth, and every creature assumes its being and its form under the breath of Love.

In the days of Redemption, God in a certain manner makes a new creation, not material, but purely spiritual; and it is again by His Word that He wills to operate and produce. It is no longer then under the form of Divine Wisdom, but under that of Divine Mercy, that the Word is Creator.

“Having become incarnate in Jesus, Infinite Mercy no longer creates out of nothing, but out of fallen man, beings of justice, ways of holiness, new purities, children of God. Oh! These creatures of mercy! Still more beautiful, more worthy of the Wisdom and Love of God than those which appeared at the commencement of time.

“Divine Mercy rejoices in the midst of them, and as Divine Wisdom found its complacence in the midst of its work, so Divine Mercy takes its delight in the midst of the souls which it purifies and saves” Intimate Notes 1907.01.25 (P. 12f).

“Outside Itself Infinite Love takes different forms in order that we may be able to recognize it. One of the forms of Love, the most attractive for our sinful souls, is Mercy. Mercy is a form of Love adapted to us sinners, but it is truly Love, Infinite Love, always the same, uncreated, eternally living and operating.

“Mercy is creative, in as much as it creates a new purity in the repentant soul. It is mediatory, in as much as it places itself between sin and Divine Justice, and brings repentant Love and pardoning Love together. It is redemptory, in as much as it ransoms the soul from sin, and delivers it by purifying it. It is illuminating, in as much as it, and it alone, at the same time enlightens and shows the misery of the sinner and the goodness of God. It is glorifying, because it is mercy which gives heaven to men, and by their salvation gives glory to God” Intimate Notes 1905.10 (P. 13). Let us go on now to Mother Louise Margaret’s autobiography:

“For our mistress it was not the same. Her spirit, naturally inclined to see evil in everything, retained still more deplorable impressions of me and her ways of acting toward me only grew more difficult. Several months later, in June I believe, I was working one day in the painting studio when I heard a ring. I immediately ran to the bell and saw our Mistress, who was motioning me to the novitiate floor. When I got to her, she asked me what I was doing and she told me to leave my work there and to follow her to our cell where she wished to speak to me. I followed her, expecting from the expression on her face that a new storm was gathering. As soon as we arrived at our cell she exploded. Our Mistress kept me on my knees for an hour and a half before her, all the while reproaching me with the strangest things, accusing me of the most extraordinary things.

“They were so extraordinary in fact that I could not understand anything and did not find in my conscience any trace of all this. She told me among other things that I was troubling the whole Community, that I was doing so much evil that she would lock me up in our cell so that I would not have any more communications with any Sister, that this was permitted by the rule, and a thousand other similar things. I admit that, however much I was embarrassed to see our Mistress in such a state of agitation and to hear her thus overwhelm me with reproaches, the accusations were so excessive and the words so unmeasured that they did not greatly trouble me.

“I listened with great calm to the end while responding to her questions truthfully and, as she absolutely wanted to make me say that I had done all that she was accusing me of, I finished by responding with all the humility and sweetness of which I was capable: ‘Sister, my conscience does not reproach me with any of this. Nevertheless, because Your Charity thinks so, I very humbly confess my fault!’ Then I kissed the ground according to the rule, I got up still with extreme tranquility and, showing her all the signs of respect due to her authority, I made a profound bow and accompanied her respectfully all the way to the stairs.

“The depth of my soul was not troubled by these continual jolts, but I suffered very much from them, and all the more because the fear of lacking in charity kept me from saying anything about all this to Fr. Toupin, which put me in a very embarrassing state of inhibition and closure with him. I did say something to Our Mother, without however daring to say to what point our Mistress’s way of acting was painful to me.

“Our Lord was all my help and he kept pressing me interiorly to be very patient, very submissive and not to complain. In spite of his divine help I nevertheless suffered much for the time being and I needed to call up all my natural energy to not let anything show in the continual occasions of mortification that presented themselves.

“Things were so when about two months later, in the month of August I believe, our Mistress gave me the correction followed by a slap in the face after Holy Mass, which I have already talked about in the notebook of temptations. I talked about how my pride revolted interiorly, how the demon used this to give me the temptation to abandon my vocation, and how my divine Master, always attentive to help me, got me to discover the danger and led me to entrust all to our good Mother. I opened my heart completely to her, I spoke to her in all simplicity of the difficult ordeals in which I found myself for the last year, I told her of my sufferings held in for a long time. She was good like a mother and revived my courage with a vigorousness of spirit which was habitual with her and which I liked very much in her.

“At the same time I made my annual retreat. I was suffering and my soul was weary. Jesus fortified me with the divine balm that runs down from his cross. It was during this retreat that his divine face appeared to me: it was crowned with thorns and all bloody, but a smile illumined its features. It was in the afternoon in our rood-loft cell. I believe I wrote the account of this grace and the movements of this retreat in the notebook of that time. Our Mother told me to continue dealing outwardly with our Mistress as before; to be always submissive and respectful to her, but not to tell her anything about my interior. During this retreat, therefore, I did not open myself to anyone except our mother and in the one interview that our Mistress gave me I spoke only of general and exterior things.

“Regarding Fr Toupin I would indeed have liked to open my whole heart to him and seek strength and light in his fatherly counsels, but I had such fear of lacking in charity by revealing the dealings of our Mistress that I did not say anything to him. There resulted an inhibition, a closing up that had never existed between Fr. Chaplain and me and this state of constraint increased my interior suffering.

“I found out later that our good Mother had told him everything; my trials, my temptations, the slap in the face and Jesus’ graces, and I was happy. Fr. Toupin, on the spur of the moment, however, said nothing to me. It was not until six months later that I realized that he knew about everything. He was extremely delicate with my soul: in fact I would say he pushed it too far away.

“Often I would have needed help to discover what was going on in me: the timidity, an excessive fear to drag my neighbor into my confessions and perhaps to cause misjudgment of our Mistress, and a kind of confusion that made me want to keep hidden within the most intimate depths of my soul the graces I was receiving from the good Master; all that and the majestic gravity, however good, of Fr. Toupin kept me from opening my heart and I suffered greatly from this sometimes. One time I said to Fr. Chaplain, I don’t remember anymore the occasion: ‘Father, you knew that? Why didn’t you ever speak to me about it?’ ‘Ah,’ Fr. Toupin answered, ‘it is necessary to be so delicate with souls!’

“Without doubt it is necessary to be delicate; but sometimes one has such a great need of help! O.S. [Our Savior -ed.] drew me particularly during this retreat to follow him on the way of his suffering; but to follow him with love, in smiling at the cross. One day I saw interiorly three large black crosses, which were presented to me and I was told at the same time that all three awaited me one after another in the coming year.

“During the several weeks that followed the retreat my relations with our Mistress were most difficult. She had been doubtlessly grieved at not receiving any confidence or any of my written pages; except for a small paper on which I had noted in a few lines the general resolutions of the retreat. Her face was somber, her words short; often in fact when I came to ask some permission I did not receive any answer, not even a sign. Finally a month later on the feast of St. Michael 1 our Mother withdrew the care of the novitiate from Sister M. Aloysia and gave it to Sr. M. Emmanuel, our present mother.

“The first weeks this beloved Sister maintained reserve with me. I suffered under this, but after our first meeting our good Mistress, finding me the same as she knew me as postulant and novice, confident and simple with her, resumed her maternal attitude toward me, which has never changed since then. Under her direction the novitiate soon resumed its accustomed pace.

“It was two years since I had made profession and during that period I never once felt the habitual sufferings that the emphysematous state of my lungs had given me for a good number of years. I had still suffered from it during my profession retreat; even on the very night before the ceremony, and from that day on I had not suffered. At first I thought this was only a momentary remission; but as the months passed and no suffering reappeared, I thought that perhaps I had been cured. Two years passed and having told our Mistress Emmanuel about it, she told the infirmarian, who was greatly surprised. This disease was known to be incurable. The two agreed that I be examined by a doctor under some pretext in order to find out from him what the case was.

“During the winter of ’95 I caught the flu along with almost the whole community. It wasn’t serious; nevertheless before visiting the others of our sisters more seriously ill, the doctor was also brought to my cell. After he had ascertained that it was nothing, Sr. Infirmarian said to him: “We would like to know what has happened to sister’s emphysema. Please check for yourself. He did so gladly and prepared to auscultate me. Knowing I was cured, I was laughing up my sleeve. After a moment the Doctor began talking as if to himself: “It’s incredible, there is nothing.” “Nothing!” I said to him, “Oh Doctor, check well.” He continued to examine me and added, “It is extraordinary. There is nothing anymore.” “But you yourself told me, Doctor, that this disease never heals. What has become of it? He looked at me with an expression of terror and at the same time of fury. “It has disappeared,” he answered me brusquely. And when I tried to get more out of him, he grabbed his cane and hat and, without saying a word to me, left in a huff.

“On the stairway Sr. Infirmarian tried to question him about the cure he had just certified. He did not answer a word, contrary to his usual way, and when he got to the door he said good-bye brusquely with a nod of the head and left. Good Doctor, he was no friend of the supernatural and when he ran into anything unexplainable to his human science, he would lose his footing and did not find anything better to get out of his predicament than to get angry!

“Thus Jesus, my very sweet Master, had cured me, and that without my even praying for it. He had delivered me from a sickness that I had carried for many long years and that I could have carried for a long time still without dying; from which I really suffered much from time to time and which, while not depriving me of the blessing of embracing religious life and of following its exercises, would have rendered the work and the teaching quite difficult at times. Jesus’ ways are mysterious. In curing me of this infirmity, He did not intend to take away from me the blessing of suffering nor of making me capable to devote myself to hard physical work, something I would very much have liked to do.” (To be continued, God willing)

Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Rev. Vergil Heier, C.M.M.

1 September 29th.

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Lady of Grace Monastery,
23715 Ann Arbor Trail,
Dearborn Heights,
MI 48127
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