9th February 1946.
It is occasionally possible to catch glimpses of parts of the Dead Sea, which lies to the south of the place where the apostles are with the Master, from a group of mountains, which seem intent on rising more and more. And, I would say, every phase of their effort is marked by a rough chain of rocky hills, with sheer sloping sides, severed by narrow valleys similar to gigantic slashes and crowned with wild peaks. It is not possible to see the Jordan and its peaceful fertile valley, or Jericho or other towns. One can see nothing but mountains rising towards Samaria, and the gloomy Dead Sea through the narrow gorge between two acuminated mountains. Down in the valley there is a stream flowing from west to east towards the Jordan. There is loud screeching of hawks and croaking of ravens in the bright blue sky. Many birds are chirping among the branches of the wild slopes. The winds whisper as mellow as flutes among the gorges, carrying remote scents and noises, or overwhelming those which are near, according to whether they are light or strong. An odd harness-bell is heard now and again from the road, which must be down in the valley. One can also hear the bleating of sheep grazing on the tablelands and the noise of water dripping from rocks or murmuring in torrents. But the season is good, dry and mild, the mountain sides are covered with bright flowers standing out against the emerald green of the grass, and bunches of flowers and festoons hang from tree trunks and branches and the sight of the place is most pleasant.
The faces of the thirteen men gathered there are very happy, shining with a supernatural happiness. The world has been forgotten... It is remote...
Their spirits have recovered from many shocks, they are once again in the halo of God, that is, in peace. And peace is visible on their countenances. But the rest is over, and Jesus tells them so. And Peter repeats his prayer of Mount Tabor: « Oh! Why do we not stop here? It is beautiful to be here with You!»
« Because there is work awaiting us, Simon of Jonah. We cannot be only contemplative. The world is waiting for our teaching. The workers of the Lord cannot stop when there are fields to be sown.»
« Then... since I become a little good only when I live apart as now, I will never be able to... The world is so great! How shall we be able to work it all and then concentrate on You before dying?»
« You will certainly not work it all. It will take hundreds and hundreds of years. And when a part has been worked, Satan will go there to spoil what has been done. It will thus be a continuous work lasting until the end of the world.»
« Well, then, how shall I be able to be ready to die?» Peter is really depressed.
Jesus reassures him embracing him and says: « You will have time. It does not take long. An act of perfect concentration is sufficient to prepare you to appear before God. And you will have all the time you need. In any case you must realise that by fulfilling the will of God one is always preparing to die in holiness. If God wants you to be active and you obey, you are preparing better by obeying than you would by retiring among the most solitary rocks to pray and meditate. Are you convinced?»
« Certainly! You say So! So what shall we do?»
« Go along the roads in the valley. Gather together those who are waiting for Me and preach the Lord and Faith until I come.»
« Are You remaining alone here?»
« Of course. Be not afraid. You can see that at times evil is of some help to good. Elijah here was fed by crows. We can say that fierce vultures fed us.»
« Do You think that it was a kind of beginning of conversion?»
« No. But charity, although it was urged by the consideration that by treating us generously, they would put us in a situation not to betray them...»
« But we would not have betrayed them!» exclaims Andrew.
« No. But the wretched thieves do not know that. There is no spiritual feeling in them, laden as they are with crimes.»
« Lord, You were saying that charity... What were You going to say?» asks John.
« I wanted to say: the fact that they treated us charitably will be rewarded, at least among the better ones. The conversion, which did not take place now, may work slowly, but it can take place. That is why I said to you: “Do not refuse their offerings.” And I accepted them although I smelt the stench of sin in them.»
« But You did not eat any...»
« But I did not mortify the sinners by rejecting them. They had initial good feeling. Why destroy it? That torrent down there, does it not originate in the spring that trickles from that crag? Always remember that. It is a lesson for your future life, when I shall no longer be among you. If in your apostolic travels you should come across criminals, do not behave like Pharisees, who despise everybody, and they do not consider that they should despise themselves first, corrupt as they are. But approach them with great love. I would like to be able to say with “infinite love.” Nay, I say so. And that is possible, although man is “finite, limited” in his acts and actions.
Do you know how man can possess infinite love? By being so united to God, as to be all one with God. Then, as the creature disappears in the Creator, it is the Creator Who really acts, and He is infinite. And My apostles must be like that, all one with their God through the power of love, which is so close to the Origin as to dissolve in it. It is not the way in which you speak, but the way is which you love, that will convert hearts. Will you find sinners? Love them. Will you suffer because of disciples who go astray? Try to save them through love. Remember the parable of the lost sheep. Oh! forever and ever it will be the sweet appeal made to sinners. But it will also be the definite order given to My priests. With every artifice, with every sacrifice, at the cost of losing your own lives in the attempt to save a soul, you must patiently go and look for those who are lost and bring them back to the Fold. Love will give you joy. It will say to you: “Be not afraid.” It will give you such a power to expand all over the world, as I did not possess Myself. No longer is the love of future just people to be set as a seal on the heart and on the arm, as the Song of Songs says. But it is to be set in the heart. It must be the spur urging souls to all actions. And each action must be superabundance of charity, which is no longer satisfied with loving God or one's neighbor only mentally, but it enters the lists against the enemies of God, to love God and neighbor concretely, also through material deeds, which lead to wider and more perfect actions aiming at the redemption and sanctification of brothers.
Through contemplation one loves God, through action one loves one's neighbor, but the two loves are not separated, because there is one only love, and loving our neighbor we love God Who orders this love and gave us our neighbor as a brother. Neither you nor future priests will be able to say that you are My friends, if your charity and theirs is not entirely devoted to the salvation of souls, for whom I became incarnate and for whom I will suffer. I give you the example of how one must love. But you and those who will come after you, must do what I do. The new time has come. The time of love. I have come to cast this fire to hearts and it will grow greater after My Passion and Ascension, and it will inflame you when the Love of the Father and of the Son descends to consecrate you to your ministry.
Most Divine Love! Why do You delay in consuming the Victim, in opening the eyes and ears, in loosening the tongues and limbs of this flock of Mine, so that they may go among wolves and teach that God is Charity, and that he who has no charity is a brute and a demon? “Oh! come, most sweet and strong Spirit, and inflame the other Christs to them, like Me, that is, anointed by love, active for love, holy and sanctifying through love.”
Blessed are those who love, because they will be loved, and their souls will never stop singing to God together with the angels until they will sing the eternal glory in the light of Heaven. So be it for you, My friends. Now go and do with love what I told you.»