13th March 1945.
Today Jesus is with the nine remaining disciples, as the other three have left for Jerusalem. Thomas, who is always cheerful, is therefore engaged both with his vegetables and with other more spiritual tasks, while Peter, Philip, Bartholomew and Matthew look after the pilgrims, and the others go to the river to baptize. A real baptism of penance, owing to the bitterly cold wind!
Jesus is still in His comer in the kitchen, while Thomas bustles about, but is very quiet so as to leave the Master in peace, when Andrew comes in and says: « Master, there is a very sick man, who I think should be cured at once because… They say that he is insane, because they are not Israelites. We would say that he is possessed. He howls, bawls and writhes. Come and see him Yourself. »
« I am coming at once. Where is he? »
« He is still in the field. Can You hear that howling? It's him. It sounds like a beast, but it's him. He must be rich because he is accompanied by a well dressed man and he was taken out of a magnificent wagon by many servants. He must be a heathen because he curses the gods of Olympus. »
« Let us go. »
« I am coming to see him, too » says Thomas, who is more curious to see than worried about his vegetables.
They go out and instead of going towards the river, they turn their steps towards the fields, which separate this farmstead (as we would call it) from the steward's house.
Some sheep browsing in a meadow become frightened and scatter in all directions. The shepherds and a dog – it is the second dog which has appeared in my visions – endeavor in vain to gather them together. In the middle of the meadow there is a man who is bound fast, but nevertheless he jumps like a madman and utters frightful cries, which increase more and more as Jesus draws near.
Peter, Philip, Matthew and Nathanael are standing nearby, perplexed. There are also some other people there, all men, because the women are afraid.
« You have come, Master? See what a fury he is! » says Peter.
« It will soon be over. »
« But… he is a heathen, You know? »
« And what does that matter? »
« Eh!… because of his soul!… »
Jesus smiles slightly and proceeds. He reaches the group around the madman, who is becoming more and more agitated.
A man, clearly a Roman by his dress and his clean-shaven face, comes away from the group and greets:
« Hail, Master. Your fame reached me. You are greater than Hippocrates in curing and greater than Aesculapius’ simulacrum in working miracles for sick people. I know. That is why I have come. My brother, see him? Insane because of some mysterious disease. No doctor understands it. I went with him to Aesculapius' temple. But he came out worse than before. At Ptolomais I have a relative, who sent me a message by a galley. It said that there is One here Who cures everybody. And I came. What a dreadful journey! »
« It deserves a reward. »
« But, mind. We are not even proselytes. We are Romans, faithful to our gods. You call us heathens. We come from Sybaris, but we are now at Cyprus. »
« It is true. You are heathens. »
« So… there is nothing for us? Your Olympus rejects ours or is rejected. »
« My God, One and Trine reigns, one and alone. »
« I have come in vain » says the disappointed Roman.
« Why? »
« Because I belong to another god. »
« Souls are created by One God Only. »
« Soul?… »
« A soul. The divine thing that is created by God for every man. A companion in lifetime, it survives after lifetime. »
« And where is it? »
« In the depth of one's ego. But, although as a divine thing it is inside the most sacred sanctuary we can say of her – and I say her and not it, because she is not a thing, but a true being worthy of full respect – we can say that she is not contained but contains. »
« By Jove! Are You a philosopher? »
« I am Reason united to God. »
« What You said made me think that You were… »
« And what is philosophy, when it is true and honest, but an elevation of human reason towards the infinite Wisdom and Power, that is towards God? »
« God! God!… I have that poor wreck there who upsets me. But I am almost forgetting his state to listen to You, Divine One. »
« I am not divine as you understand the term. You call divine who is superior to man. I say that that word is to be given only to him who is from God. »
« Who is God? Who has ever seen Him? »
« It has been written: “Hail, You who formed us! When I describe human perfection, the harmony of our body, I celebrate your glory.” It was said: “Your bounty shines in the distribution of your gifts to all those who live, so that every man might have what is necessary. And your wisdom is revealed by your gifts, and your power by the fulfillment of your will.” Do you recognize these words? »
« If Minerva assists me… they are of Galen. But how do You know them? I am dumbfounded!… »
Jesus smiles and replies: « Come to the true God and His divine spirit will indoctrinate you in the “true wisdom and piety, which is to know yourself and worship the Truth.” »
« But that is Galen again! Now I am certain. Besides being a doctor and a magician, You are also a philosopher. Why don't You come to Rome? »
« I am neither a doctor, nor a magician, nor a philosopher, as you say. But I am the Witness of God on the earth. Bring Me the invalid. »
They drag him there, while he howls and writhes.
« See? You say that he is insane and that no doctor can cure him. It is true. No doctor: because he is not insane. But one of the infernal gods, I say so for you, a heathen, has entered him. »
« But he does not have the python spirit. On the contrary, he only tells false things. »
« We call him “demon”, not python. There is a speaking one and a dumb one. One that deceives by means of seemingly true reasons, and one that is only mental derangement. The former is more complete and dangerous. Your brother is possessed by the latter. But now he will get rid of it. »
« How? »
« He will tell you himself. » Jesus orders: « Leave the man! Go back to your abyss. »
« I am going. My power is too weak against You. You expel me and gag me. Why do You always beat us?… » The spirit has spoken through the lips of the man, who then collapses exhausted.
« He is cured. Release him without any fear. »
« Cured? Are You sure? But… I adore You! » The Roman is about to prostrate himself.
But Jesus does not allow him. « Raise your spirit. God is in Heaven. Worship Him and go towards Him. Goodbye. »
« No. Not so. At least accept something. Allow me to treat You like Aesculapius' priests. Allow me to hear You speak… Allow me to speak of You in my fatherland… »
« Do so. And come with your brother. »
His brother is looking around himself, amazed, and he asks: « Where am I? This is not Cintium! Where is the sea? »
« You were… » Jesus commands silence with a gesture and says: « You were suffering from a high temperature and they brought you to a different climate. You are now better. Come. »
They all go; but they are not all equally moved, because in the large room some admire, others criticise the recovery of the heathen. Jesus goes to His place, with the Romans in the very front of the crowd.
« I hope you do not mind if I quote a passage of the Kings. It is said that when the king of Syria was about to declare war on Israel, there was a great honorable man at his court, a leper, whose name was Naaman. A young girl of Israel, who had been captured by the Syrians and had become his slave, said to him: “If my lord went to the prophet who is in Samaria, he would certainly cure him of his leprosy.” Upon hearing that, Naaman asked the king's leave and followed the girl's advice. But the king of Israel was greatly irritated and said: “Am I perhaps God that the king of Syria should send invalids to me? This is a trap to make war against us.” But when the prophet Elisha was informed of the incident, he said: “Let the leper come to me and I will cure him and he will know that there is a prophet is Israel.” So Naaman went to Elisha. But Elisha did not receive him. He only sent word to him: “Wash yourself seven times in the Jordan and you will be cleansed.” Naaman got angry, because he thought he had gone such a long way for nothing and indignant as he was he was about to leave. But his servants said to him: “He only asked you to wash yourself seven times, and even if he had ordered you to do much more, you should have done it, because he is the prophet.” Naaman then surrendered. He went, washed himself and was cured. Overjoyed he went back to the servant of God and said to him: “Now I know the truth: there is no other God on the whole earth. There is only the God of Israel.” And since Elisha would not accept any gift, Naaman asked him to be allowed to take as much soil as would enable him to make sacrifices to the true God on soil of Israel.
I know that you do not all approve of what I have done. I also know that I am not obliged to justify Myself with you. But since I love you with true love, I want you to understand My gesture and learn by it, so that all feelings of criticism and scandal may vanish from your souls.
We have here two subjects of a pagan country. One of them was ill and they were told by a relative, certainly through the words of an Israelite: “If you went to the Messiah of Israel, he would cure the sick man.” And they have come to Me from very far. Their confidence was greater than Naaman's, because they knew nothing of Israel and the Messiah, whereas the Syrian, being of a nearby country and in continuous touch with the slaves of Israel, already knew that God is in Israel. The true God. Is it not right therefore that a pagan may now go back to his fatherland and say: “There is truly a man of God in Israel and they worship the true God in Israel”?
I did not say: “Wash yourself seven times.” But I spoke of God and their souls, two things with which they were unacquainted and which bring the seven gifts, like inexhaustable sources. Because the plants of faith, hope, charity, justice, temperance, strength, prudence grow where there is the concept of God and of the spirit, and a desire to reach them. Such virtues are unknown to those who from their gods can only copy common human passions, increased in licentiousness, as pertaining to alleged supreme beings. They are now going back to their country. But rather than the joy of having been granted their request, there is the joy of being able to say: “We know that we are not brutes, and that beyond this life there is a future. We know that the true God is Bounty and He therefore loves us, too, and He helps us to persuade us to go to Him.”
And do you think that they are the only ones to ignore the truth?
A short while ago one of My disciples thought that I could not cure the sick man because he had a pagan soul. What is a soul? From Whom does it come? A soul is the spiritual essence of man. It is the being, created of a perfect age, which invests, accompanies, vivifies the whole life of the flesh and continues to live when the flesh no longer exists, because it is immortal like Him Who created it: God. As there is only One God, there is no such thing as souls of pagans or of non pagans created by different gods. There is only one Power that creates souls: and that is the Power of the Creator, of our one, only, powerful, holy, good God, with no other passion but love, perfect charity, a completely spiritual charity, which I call also a completely moral charity, in order to be understood by these Romans. Because the concept of spirit is not understood by these little children who know nothing of the holy words.
Do you think that I have come only for Israel?
I am the One Who will gather all races under one pastoral staff, the Heavenly one. And I solemnly tell you that the time will soon come when many heathens will say: “Let us have that much that will enable us to consummate sacrifices to the true God, to the one and trine God in our pagan land.” I am the Word of that true God. They are now going. They are more convinced than if I had crushed them with disdain. They have perceived God in the miracle and in My words and they will tell when they go back.
Further, I ask you: was it not fair to reward so much faith? Although disconcerted by the opinion of doctors, and disappointed by useless visits to temples, they still had faith to come to the Unknown One, to the great Unknown One in the world, the One Derided and Mocked at and Calumniated by Israel and say to Him: “I believe You can.” The first chrism to the new mentality is granted to them because they believed. I did not cure them so much of a disease as I did of their wrong faith, because I placed a chalice near their lips and the more they drink of it the thirstier they will become: the thirst for the knowledge of the true God.
I have finished. I say to you people of Israel: have the same faith as they had. »
The Roman draws near with his cured brother: « Well… I no longer dare say: by Jove. But on my honor as a Roman citizen I swear to You that I shall thirst after what You said! But now I must go. Who will give me more to drink? »
« Your spirit, the soul that you now know you have, until the day when a messenger of Mine will come to you. »
« Not You? »
« No… Not I. But I shall not be absent, although I am not present. And just in a little more than two years' time I will present you with a gift which is greater than the recovery of your brother so dear to you. Goodbye, both of you. Persevere in sentiments of faith. »
« Hail, Master. May the true God save You. » The two Romans go away and they can be heard calling the servants with the wagon.
« And they did not even know that they had a soul! » exclaims an old man.
« Yes, father. And they accepted My word better than many is Israel. Now, since they have given such rich alms, let us help the poor people of God with a double and treble measure. And let the poor pray for those benefactors, who are poorer than they are, that they may achieve the true and only wealth, which is to know God. »
The veiled woman is weeping under her veil, which prevents one from seeing her tears, but not from hearing her sobs.
« That woman is weeping » says Peter. « Perhaps she has no money left. Shall we give her some? »
« She is not crying for that. But go and say to her: “Fatherlands pass away. Heaven remains. It belongs to those who have faith. God is Bounty and He therefore loves also sinners. And he helps you to persuade you to go to Him.” Go. Tell her that and then let her weep. It is poison coming out of her. »
Peter goes towards the woman who has already started walking towards the fields. He speaks to her and then comes back. « She started crying louder » he says. « I thought I was going to comfort her… » and he looks at Jesus.
« She is, in fact, relieved. Also joy makes people weep. »
« H'm… Who knows! Well, I will be happy when I see her face. Will I see it? »
« On Doomsday. »
« Divine Mercy! But I will be dead then! And what shall I care to know that? I shall be looking at the Eternal Father then! »
« Start doing that now. It is the only useful thing. »
« Yes… but… Master, who is she? »
They all laugh.
« If you ask that question again, we will go away at once, so you will forget her. »
« No, Master. However, it is enough if You stay… »
Jesus smiles. « That woman » He says, « is the remains of a meal and an early fruit. »
« What do You mean? I do not understand. »
But Jesus leaves him and goes towards the village.
« He is going to Zacharias'. His wife is dying » explains Andrew. « He sent me to tell the Master. »
« You make me angry! You know everything, you do everything and you never tell me anything. You are worse than a fish. » Peter vents his disappointment on his brother.
« Brother, don't get angry. You speak also in my place. Let us go and haul our nets. Come. »
Some go to the right, some to the left and it all ends.