Reverend Father, good evening.
I had already consulted you some time ago.
But now I would be pleased if you would answer these questions again:
God, once, at the time of the “Old Testament”, was “at home” in the midst of His people, and in the affairs of this people. His presence was tangible, consisting of miracles, wonders, direct interventions, punishments, etc. Even His voice was heard.
Now it seems to me that this is no longer the case. Now His “presence” seems to be represented by Mary at most, in some apparition, true or presumed, which sometimes happens.
Even the action of the Holy Spirit is hardly perceivable in the vicissitudes of mankind.
Therefore there is no longer a concrete, visible life in close contact with God in the daily life of of His present people.
Isn’t that true? Isn’t it for this reason that people believe less and less in God?
Thank you and best regards.
The Father’s answer
1. Yes, God sometimes manifested himself in the Old Testament in a magnificent way by means of the so-called theophanies and also with prodigious interventions such as those you mentioned.
In the New Testament, after his direct manifestation through Jesus Christ, his presence among us is less impressive and terrifying but it is more continuous and no less powerful.
2. I could say that His presence among us is the prolongation of his incarnation through which He came among us meek and humble of heart.
In adoration before the tabernacle, one immediately understands that no one is meeker and humbler than Him.
Presenting himself like this, he keeps on silently saying to each of us: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest”.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your life” (Mt 11:28-29).
3. How many wonders the Lord continues to work through the Eucharist! He usually performs them in a silent way. I think of three graces obtained by Saint Therese of the Child Jesus through the Mass. The first concerned herself. She had fallen into a disease that was leading her to death.
Here is what she writes: “One day I saw Dad enter Mary’s room where I was lying: he gave Mary several gold coins with an expression of great sadness, and told her to write to Paris and ask for Masses at Our Lady of the Victories so that She would heal his poor little daughter.
Well, on the day when the celebration of the novena of Masses was concluded, May 13, 1884, Therese saw Our Lady smiling at her and while she was smiling at her she felt instantly healed.
She writes: “Suddenly the Holy Virgin appeared beautiful to me, so beautiful that I had never seen such a beautiful thing, her face radiated ineffable goodness and tenderness, but what penetrated my whole soul was ” the marvelous smile of Our Lady”.
Then all my sufferings vanished, big tears wet my cheeks, but they were tears of joy without shadow
Ah, I thought, “the Holy Virgin smiled at me, how happy I am!” But I won’t tell anyone, because otherwise my happiness would disappear” (The Story of a Soul p. 94 ).
4. The second grace: the conversion of a criminal sentenced to death. It is Enrico Pranzini, thirty-one years old, from Alessandria. He had slit two women and a girl in order to steal. The event took place on March 17, 1887. His trial ended on July 13 of the same year with a death sentence. He was guillotined on the following 31 August.
And here is how she herself narrates what she achieved through the Eucharist:
“I heard about a great criminal, who had been sentenced to death for horrible crimes, everything suggested that he would die in impenitence.
I wanted at any cost to prevent him from falling into hell, and in order to reach my aim, I used all imaginable means; aware that I could do nothing by myself, I offered the good Lord all the infinite merits of Our Lord, the treasures of the Holy Church, finally I begged Céline to have a Mass said according to my intention, not daring to ask for it personally for fear of being forced to confess that it was for Pranzini, the great criminal.
I didn’t want to tell Céline either, but she asked me such tender and pressing questions that I confided my secret to her; far from making fun of me, she asked me to help me convert my sinner; I accepted with gratitude, because I would have wished all creatures united with me to implore the grace in favor of the guilty.
I felt in my heart the certainty that our desires would be satisfied; but, to encourage myself and continue to pray for sinners, I told the good Lord that I was sure of his forgiveness for the unfortunate Pranzini: and that I would have believed this even if he had not confessed and had not given a sign of repentance, so much trust I had in the infinite mercy of Jesus, but that I only asked him for a “sign” of repentance for my simple consolation..
My prayer was answered in every detail!
Despite the prohibition that Dad had placed us on reading newspapers, I did not think we were disobeying by reading the news about Pranzini.
The day after his execution I found the newspaper “La Croix” in my hands. I opened it with anxiety, and what did I see? Ah, my tears betrayed my emotion, and I was forced to hide. Pranzini had not confessed, he had climbed onto the gallows and was about to pass his head into the lugubrious hole, when suddenly, taken by a sudden inspiration, he turned around, grabbed a Crucifix that the priest presented to him, and kissed three times the Divine Wounds ! Then his soul went to receive the merciful sentence of Him who says: “There will be more joy in Heaven for a single sinner who does penance than for ninety-nine righteous who do not need it …” (Story of a Soul , h135).
Therese, also later did not forget Pranzini and, at Carmel, as soon as she had some chance of doing it, she had a Mass celebrated for the one she called “my first son” ”.
5. And here is the third grace: it was the entrance to Carmel of the fourth sister, Céline
A nun who had some influence in the monastery was totally against it.
But one day, when the difficulties seemed insurmountable, Therese wrote: “I said to Jesus during the thanksgiving: ” You know, my God, how ardently I desire to know if Dad went directly to Heaven, I am not asking you to speak to me, but give me a sign “.
If Sister A.d.G. allows Céline to enter Carmel, or at least does not place obstacles, it will be the answer, that Dad went straight to you “.
That sister, you know, my dear Mother, found that there were already too many of us three, and consequently did not want to admit another one, but God, who holds the hearts of creatures in his hand and directs them as He wishes, changed the dispositions of this nun; she was the very first person I met after thanksgiving: She called me in an amiable tone, told me to go up to her, and spoke to me about Céline with tears in her eyes.
Ah, how many reasons I have to thank Jesus who knew how to fulfill all my desires “(Story of a Soul, 234)
6. Perhaps you also have experienced several times how powerful the action of Jesus is in the Eucharist, in the Holy Mass.
He is always there, in the tabernacle, eager to perform ever greater wonders.
It would be enough if we were of greater good will and open the door of our heart longer and more willingly.