The Way of Love for the Lord
Chapter 19. Jesus who appeared to me during confession (May 26, 1981)
I had worked as a volunteer helper for the charismatic renewal movement even from the time I was a catechumen. Since then many people had begun to take interest in me and speak well of me but at the same time I also received misunderstandings, envy, jealousy and slander ceaselessly from some of the volunteer helpers.
One of them, Ms. M was truly against me in every way and tried to stop me, demanding what is unimaginable from a common-sense point of view which caused me not to understand her sometimes. However, I made up my mind to regard her as my benefactor who would lead me to humility. I offered up everything, including the prayer of life, for her as sacrifices and penances.
One day, I came to serve as a leader for the old women group in the seven-week seminar on the charismatic movement. During ordinary times I was a leader of the young group as I was the youngest among the leaders. Ms. M, who used to take charge of the elderly suddenly said that she would not do it. As I always loved old women, I volunteered to take charge of them.
The main subject in the old women group was about conflicts with their daughters-in-law. Whenever I had conversations with them, I connected everything to the love of God, praying that the Lord might personally melt their hearts that had been hardened, arid and wounded by the conflicts with theirdaughters-in-law, kindle the fire of love in them, and heal them thoroughly.
Theirice-cold hearts came to melt like snow does in spring and before I knew it, all the fifteen women in my group began to be inflamed slowly with love. They liked the seminar very much. “I am delighted and pleased with this seminar.” “At first I considered giving up this time but as I heard you speak, I realize every single thing you’ve said is truly right.” “You can say that again! It is very nice coming here.” “Yes, what else can this be other than the calling from the Lord?”
Soon after, there was a discussion amongst the leaders where Ms. M spoke up with a heated anger. It turned out that a daughter-in-law belonging to Ms. M’s group had spoken something about her mother-in-law who belonged to my team. I did not know the details. Ms. M began to get angry with me to the extent of raging against me as if I were the mother-in-law.
I pondered, ‘What should we do as leaders? Is it not our duty that if they are in conflict with each other, we should help them reconcile with each other, and if they have negative thoughts, we should help them to build positive thinking?” I thought that she got angry because she could not stand the sight of me. So I asked for her forgiveness from the bottom of my heart.* “I’msorry.
If I made a mistake, please scold and correct me.” After that, I met thedaughter-in-law belonging to Ms. M’s group and succeeded in persuading her to reconcile with her mother-in-law.
On another day Ms. M said, “When the old women come to this seminar at night, it’s so obvious that they will doze off. Let us tell them not to come.” I said, “Please don’t stop them from coming. I will take charge of them.” She retorted, “Julia, what on earth do you know? I knew them better than you, for many times till now I was in charge of them.”
I asked the president of the seminar to take necessary measures so that the old women could come at night. I shared with them about the love of God. Thus, on the last night of the seminar all of them hugged each other like innocent children, danced and shed tears of joy. The old women and their daughters-in-law who had been in conflict achieved reconciliation, embraced eachother and wept.
They asked each other for forgiveness and shared the true loveof the Lord. To my surprise, Ms. M fumed at me, saying, “What’s all this fuss about? Do you have a party?” She shot an angry look at me.
‘I thought that she will also be pleased if she sees them reconcile with each other and share the Lord’s love.’ Her unexpected response made my heart ache but I quickly offered this pain up to the Lord. ‘Oh, Lord! You sent me a benefactor to make me humble lest I be arrogant or conceited.’ I gave thanks to God and I prayed for her. ‘Oh, Lord! Grant Your immense Love, Mercy and Grace to her so that she may not ignore old women but instead, take good care of them.’
Then, I went to confession because I thought, ‘The one who was supposed to make God’s love known got angry and fumed at me. All this happened because of me. So this is my fault.’ Ascribing everything bad to me, I asked for forgiveness in confession. The priest in the confessional said, “You made a good confession. I have never heard anyone confess like you. In fact that was not your fault but I wish you to keep the good heart of putting the blame onyourself forever.”
He granted me absolution. At that very moment, it suddenlybecame bright in the confessional and I saw Jesus standing behind the priest. Jesus, who was wearing an ivory robe and a red mantle, acted the same way as he did. When he blessed me, Jesus gave me a blessing the exact same way.
That was the first time I had ever seen Jesus do like that. As I was so astonished, I stayed quite a while motionless in the confessional even after the priest went out. Then, I heard the voice of the Lord.
“My beloved little soul! As you blame no one in the burning Love of My Sacred Heart and totally offer up everything by always lowering and emptying yourself with a heart of true love for your neighbours, I am truly and greatly consoled whenever I see your humble love. Your great love and the humility of lowering yourself fill up again and again the abyss that lies between My Greatness and your nothingness.”
* “It was my fault”
Even when we are hit with a flying rock while standing still or walking in the street, we do not blame the person who throws the rock but practice charity towards them by realizing that it is my fault because I am hit by being there. If we practice this by blaming ourselves only, the devils of division will give up and run away.