Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Sister Saint-Pierre and the work of reparation : a brief history by the Very Rev. P. Janvier ... Translated by Miss Mary Hoffman Chapter 5. Her Prayers For France.
THE year 1846 had dawned upon the world, and yet there was no outward indication that the ardent wishes of Sister Saint-Pierre would be realized. On the 23d of January she was favored with a communication which she hastened in tears to make known to the Mother-Prioress. These are the fearful words the Divine Saviour used : " The face of France has become hideous in my Father's eyes, and she provokes his justice. To obtain mercy for her, offer him the Face of his Son, in whom he takes complacency. Unless this be done she will feel the weight of his wrath in well-merited chastisements. The Holy Face of her Saviour is her salvation. Behold the proof of my goodness to France, who only repays me with ingratitude." Henceforth, docile and frightened, the pious Sister began to say this prayer, which she continually repeated:
"Eternal Father, we offer thee the Adorable Face of thy well-beloved Son for the honor and glory of thy Holy Name and for the salvation of France."
It was now with great anguish that she received new lights. Those warnings of God and the apparent impossibility of seeing his commands obeyed filled her with sorrow and desolation. " My poor heart," she says, " is pierced by a sword of grief. Again has our Blessed Lord centred all the faculties of my soul upon his precious thorn-crowned Head and his Adorable Face, which is made a butt for the outrages of the enemies of God and. his Church. Again have I heard his sorrowful plaints, 'that he seeks souls to atone for the outrages inflicted upon him, and to heal his Divine Wounds by applying to them the wine of compassion and the oil of charity."
Four days later the Divine Master made known to his servant that two persons had rendered him signal service during his Passion: the first, as already mentioned, was the pious Veronica, who glorified his humanity by wiping His Adorable Face on the painful road to Calvary; the second was the " good thief," who from his cross, as from a pulpit, openly defended the Saviour's cause and confessed his divinity, blasphemed by the other thief and the hardened Jews. He presented both as models in the Work of Reparation—Veronica to those of her own sex who are called to defend his cause, not by preaching, but by wiping his Holy, August Face with the veil of prayer, praise, and adoration ; and the " good thief '* as the special model of men and the ministers of his Church, who are called upon to publicly defend the honor of God and to proclaim his glory before those by whom it is outraged. To St. Veronica our Lord gave the impression of his divine features; to the ' ' good thief" an immediate entrance into his celestial kingdom. And he promised the Sister to be no less munificent to those who by their "prayers, words, adorations, or writings defended his cause; he will defend their cause before his Father in heaven and give them his kingdom." And he enjoined her to make these promises known to all, adding: " If you keep these things hidden, without speaking of them, you will commit an injustice." In another communication the Lord urged her to offer herself as a victim for the sins of France. " Pray for her," said he; " immolate yourself for her. I give you anew my Face: offer it to my Father to appease his justice. Ah! if you but knew its power, its virtue.
And wherefore ? Because I have taken upon my Head all the sins of mankind, in order that my members may be spared. Therefore offer my Face to my Father, for this is the means of appeasing him." And he added: "I desire the Work of the Reparation; rest assured it will be firmly established, but the fruit you bear is not yet matured."
In the mission assigned to the daughter of Carmel we see the salvation of France closely linked with the "Work of Reparation ; hence for both our Lord offers the same exterior signs, the same efficacious means—namely, the cultus of his Adorable Face. Such is the subject of the following communication: " My daughter, I take yon for my steward and anew place my Holy Face in your hands, that you may unceasingly offer it to my Father for the salvation of France. Use to advantage the divine talent which in my Holy Face I entrust to you. By so doing you will obtain the conversion of many sinners. Nothing that you ask in virtue of this offering will be refused you. Ah! if you but knew how pleasing to my Father is the sight of my Face." Again, displaying to her the boundless treasures of the infinite merits of his life and Passion, the loving Saviour added: " My daughter, I give you my Face and my Heart, I give you my Blood, I give you my "Wounds; draw from them and pour out upon others; buy freely, for my Blood is the price of souls. Oh! what sorrow for my Heart to behold remedies which have cost me so dearly despised by men. Ask of my Father as many souls as I have shed drops of blood in my Passion."
The prayers of Reparation seemed to the Sister a wall which protected France against the shafts of divine justice; a hundred times daily she offered to God the Adorable Face of Jesus.
Another communication, made on the 27th of January, 1847, binds together
two excellent devotions which in the "Work of Reparation .occupy an essential place. " Our amiable Saviour," says the pious Carmelite, "has made me hear his sighs upon his unappreciated love in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar from the lack of faith among Christians, and he has happily bound my heart and mind at his feet, in order that I may bear him company in this abandonment by adoring his Most Holy Face hidden under the Eucharistic veil. Yes, it is by this august Sacrament that Jesus, our Saviour, wishes to communicate to souls the virtue of his Most Holy Face, which is there more dazzling than the sun. And he has promised me anew to imprint on the souls of those that honor it his Divine Likeness."
Then suddenly our Lord gave to her mind a clear perception of the connection existing between his Most Holy Name and His Adorable Face. "He made me understand," says she, "by a comparison as simple as it is appropriate, how the impious, by their blasphemies, attack his Adorable Face, while the faithful glorify it by the homage and praise they render to his Name and his Sacred Person.
" Behold a man, distinguished for his name and merits, in the presence of his enemies; they do not lift a hand against him, but they heap insults upon him, treat him with contempt, and call him by injurious epithets instead of the titles that justly belong to him. Observe now the face of this injured man; does it not seem that all the opprobrious words uttered against him by his enemies are reflected there and make him suffer a veritable torment? See how his face burns with shame and confusion. Is not the ignominy inflicted upon it harder to bear than physical tortures in other parts of his body? This is a faint picture of the Face of our Lord outraged by the blasphemies of the impious!
" Let us represent to ourselves this same man in the presence of his friends, who, hearing of the insults he has received, hasten to console him by treating him according to his dignity, paying homage to the greatness of his name, and addressing him by all the titles due his exalted rank; does not the face of that man express the sweetness of these praises? Happiness rests upon his brow and beams on his radiant countenance, joy sparkles in his eyes, and a smile is on his lips. In a word, his faithful friends have cured the burning anguish of that Face outraged by his enemies ; glory has taken the place of opprobrium. This is what the friends of Jesus do by the Work of Reparation; the glory they render to his Name rests on his august brow and rejoices his Most Holy Face in a special manner in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar."
In our days the crimes which most outrage our Lord in his Sacraments spring from secret societies. They are designated to the Sister under the general name of Communists, as being the greatest enemies of the Church and France. " He has commanded me," she says, "to make war against these wicked men, who for the most part were born in that Church of which they are now the declared enemies. He has given me to combat them the arms of his Passion, his Cross, and the other instruments of his tortures. i My daughter,' said he, 'they have dragged me from my Tabernacles, they have profaned my Sanctuaries and laid hands on the anointed of the Lord. Have they not committed the crime of Judas ? Have they not sold me for money? Let not this knowledge be without fruit. I make it known to you in order to animate you for the combat. March towards them with the simplicity of a child and the courage of a valiant soldier.'" And the virgin of the cloister repeated with the prophet: " Let God arise and his enemies be dispersed, and let all that hate him flee from before his Face."
This was in 1847. The governments of the period did not appear to be uneasy about the intriguing of these enemies of social order who have since over-turned thrones and brought confusion to Europe. " Alas ! " said the pious Carmelite, unable to restrain her tears, " days of wrath are approaching, and yet this Work of the Reparation, which I have borne for nearly four years under sorrows that God, alone can know, has not appeared. O my God! arise; it is thy cause as well as ours ; we pray thee to defend France with the protection of thy Holy Face, and grant her mercy for the glory of thy Adorable Name. Yes, enlightened from on high, I firmly believe that on this Work of Reparation depends the future of France. I see it always linked to France as the means of salvation that God in his infinite mercy has
chosen for her. Wherefore I would give the last drop of my blood to obtain its establishment, for then the Lord would be appeased and innumerable souls would be saved"