As to the extraordinary revelations, in order that I might not become conceited I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and keep me from getting proud. Three times I begged the Lord that this might leave me. He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection.”
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
“If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.”
“It is better not to burden ourselves with a multitude of prayers and pious practices but rather adopt only a few and perform them with love and perseverance in spite of opposition from the devil, the world, and the flesh.”
“Can the path, rocky ground, and thorny ground become good soil? Without a doubt, with effort. I would venture to say that on any given day you and I may look at our hearts and find that the soil has changed. As in the natural world, the garden of our heart needs constant care if it is to be fruitful. May God give us the grace to work this garden so that it may bear fruit for Him now and in eternity.”
“I can’t just sit around and wait for enthusiasm to strike with the sunrise. I’m supposed to do something to produce faith-filled joy right now: give thanks, sing praise, proclaim God’s love and faithfulness, pluck the harp, play the lyre, or as the case may be, break out my dancin’ shoes. The concrete decision to make a joyful noise was a perfect antidote to my sluggish senses and the self-pity of wintertime.”
When this is all over, then there will be a life of blessedness in Heaven. My freedoms were taken away from me in this life, chief among them the freedom to make my own choices about how to live my life; but also my freedom to work, to have a family, to be healthy, to pursue what I most wanted, the Catholic priesthood, and last but not least, even the freedom to be myself in many ways — and so I know I will have a glorious and never-ending freedom in the age to come. To anyone who is newly diagnosed with mental illness, or to anyone who cares for someone who is, I have this to say: Never give up. It will get better. I cannot promise you anything but the most difficult of roads, but God has entrusted you with this burden because you can bear it, and bear it well for Him; and He has something very good in store for you at the end of a lot of chapters that will make all of this more than worth your while. When this is all over, you and I will be able to say together: we wouldn’t have had it any other way.