Friday, August 19, 2005

O, Lord, I have come to do Thy will!

In 1904 many people who were familiar with the Daughters of the Heart of Jesus (founded in 1872) by Mother Mary of Jesus (Marie Deluil-Martiny) wanted to participiate in the work of expiation which the Daughters practiced. By 1909, Pope Pius X gave his blessing to the work of "The Association of Victim Souls in Union with the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary." He placed his name at the head of the list of members and granted various indulgences and privileges. Later, Popes Benedict XV and Pius XI blessed and encouraged the association.

By 1924 there were over 160,000 laity, religious, and clerics who joined the effort in making oblations and offering their daily sufferings in the work of redemption, and in following the holy conditions of membership. A Benedictine priest, the Very Rev. Joseph Kreuter of St. John's Abbey encouraged the association's continuation into the mid-twentieth century. While there seems little to no information on the existence of the association, at least in active form among laity today, the foundress of the Daughters was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 22, 1989.

There are obviously religious communities which carry on the work of offering sufferings as victim souls along with other apostolates, but it is my prayer that the work of the earlier assocation could be revived, updated, and continued today. To this end, I ask the intercessions of the Very Rev. Kreuter and Blessed Marie of Jesus Deluil-Martiny. I pray for Jesus to guide and approve this work, if He desires me in whatever way to promote the cause of victim souls, and for the Blessed Virgin Mary to purify the attempts and lead all to Jesus in these efforts.

This was written several days ago. Since then, the work has progressed slowly but steadily on a small book which will hopefully help people more clearly understand the need and role of victim souls in our world today. A venerable priest just wrote and expressed his insistence that what the Church needs now is victim souls making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Priests need the power of offered suffering and sacrifice; lay people need it; and the Bishops need it. The conversion of the world must come through the Church, and without any means to "do" things physically to change matters, we can "do" things spiritually--using our physical sufferings and making even small sacrifices for the good. This work of victim souls is actually turning suffering and sacrifice into prayer. Intention is the important beginning and end to this work: the intention must be of love and for love of God and through Him for the love of others.

We can do this! O Lord, I have come to do Thy will!

More hours of prayer in the chapel, keeping Jesus company, has been a magnificent gift to lifting me out of near-despairs. When it got down to what more could I sacrifice bodily--my toes?--did I realize that I must do all I can to enter into interior prayer. I don't know how, and it will take God's grace, but I must start by being physically and mentally and spiritually present before Him in His Tabernacle as much as possible. Of course, one must not neglect duty to others; but in my case, I can always manage more discipline to be with Him in solitude and prayer, directly face-to-face in the chapel. What I mistakenly thought would be a kind of sacrifice, in putting in more time at the chapel, has ended up being a gift of peace and even more energy and time.

Now, I might not be able to write as frequently on this blog for awhile--to which anyone who reads it might find great relief! I am writing daily on the little book, and then I must learn how to develop a web page. My writing needs to be less rambling and on personal experiences, at least in this little book. It will be more readable and shorter, I pray!

May Jesus and Mary and all the angels and saints and the holy souls in purgatory and all of you please pray for me to do the best I can for God. I will offer prayers and this effort for all of your physical and spiritual lives and growth in holiness.


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