Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity, a Poor Clare of Jerusalem, has left us an extraordinary diary of our Lord's words, as they were spoken to her. This remarkable manuscript is revealed in the book "The Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity" published by Tan books, copyright 1981. Edited by her Confessor, Rev. Silvere Van Den Broek, O.F.M. Availible from Tan books here.
Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity (Louisa Jaques) was born in 1901 in Pretoria, Transvaal to French-Swiss Protestant parents. Her mother died while giving birth to her. Her father, who was a Protestant missionary, took her back to Switzerland with her two elder sisters, and there they were brought up by her Aunt, whom she calls her "little mother". She was raised Protestant in an average christian home.
Her crisis of faith and call to the religious life
On February 13, 1926, at age 25, Louisa had a terrible crisis of faith. Concerning this she writes:
"There is no God-what people say about Him is nothing but a farce-life is not worth living." Such was the conclusion which I had been forced to reach after a long series of unavailing sacrifices and conflicts: "There is no God!" It made me feel utterly crushed, nailed to the bed on which I had just lain down. I was not able to cry or say a word or make a gesture-I felt annihilated. My friend had just turned out the light. There was silence. It was not altogether dark because there was snow outside. Yes, I felt despair. Oh, to die, to die ...
And then, just as I was repeating to myself:
"There is no God," I saw the shadowy form of a woman coming into the room through the casement as through a French-window. She approached quickly and noiselessly. There she stood, near the foot of my bed, without touching it. She had wide sleeves, and her hands were crossed inside them. I could not see her face because she seemed to have a sort of cowl on her head, something I had never seen before. She may simply have had her veil lowered. She was tall and straight-out of breath and panting as if she had been running, and from time to time she turned her head towards the window by which she had entered, as though someone were waiting for her outside. It seemed to me that she wore a plain cord as a belt. She had no cloak. Her robe fell straight. I believe it was dark brown, but I may be mistaken. I saw an outline rather than specific details. "
"...The nun who came near to my bed in that way frightened me very much. I thought it was death in person who had come for me! It was not a ghost or an illusion. It was a human being. I could have touched her. I saw her breathe and turn her head. I was petrified with fear. I was just able to turn my head to the other side and shut my eyes, so that I would no longer be able to see her. She must have stayed part of the night, for later when I awoke after having dozed awhile, it seemed to me that she was still there. I quickly closed my eyes again in order not to see her any more! She said nothing-yet a ray of light had penetrated into my despair: "Before losing all hope in God, there is still one thing I can do: I will go and pray in a convent. I will go when my aunt, my little Mother (she who brought us up), no longer needs me-and when my father dies-there is no use causing him that sorrow."
"The decision was taken, in my mind and in my will. Henceforth, I kept some plain underclothing in the bottom of a trunk, and never touched it: it was set aside for the time when I would enter the convent. That was definitely settled.-But I did not say a word about it to anyone. The next morning all I said to my friend was that during the night I had seen a statue at the foot of my bed-a nun. "
"Was it a vocation? It was the exclusive cause of an irresistible attraction towards the cloister, which was not thought out, but experienced. It changed my life. How many times have I wished that I had not that attraction which cost me so many journeyings and so many sacrifices! It was the will of God. I could have escaped from it, because I did not at all see it as the will of God, which I was seeking in a groping way. But then I would have lost an inner peace deep within myself.-A peace without which I could not live. "
Thus began her difficulty spiritual journey into the Catholic church and later into religious life as a Poor Clare Nun. Eventually, she began being guided by an "Inner Voice", Who was full of love and concern for her, and who led her,little by little, into a greater union with Him. Asked by her spiritual director to faithfully write all the words that our Lord spoke to her, thankfully we now have a most edifying and inspirational treasure of spiritual direction as given to us by our Lord Himself.
Words of our Lord to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity
"To find Me, to know Me, to receive Me, then to come to Me -that is the only meaning of every life. All activities, all zeal are subordinate to that, and have only the value of means, in the measure in which they lead to Me. I am the Alpha and Omega, your God and your All. How is it then that in so many lives, I am accepted and treated merely as something supplementary?
"People come to Me in distress, beseeching... and I always, always give...Where are those who love Me simply because I am the Savior, because I am your God and your All?..because I am the Alpha and the Omega...?"
"Oh, if you would leave Me to act; I would wonderfully transform each one of your lives. But you oppose Me by your desires, your tastes, your resistance. My omnipotent Love is limited by the limit of your generosity.
At least, do not you resist, My little daughter; be generous to the end ... "
“My enemies are lying, especially that lack of sincerity which paralyzes so many souls, because they will not acknowledge to themselves their most hidden intentions; carelessness and ignorance due to laziness; agitation, disorder; noise: noise of words, noise of selfish desires, the noise that men invent to distract themselves and to forget Me. My friends are: truth; sincerity; silence; order, and that respect which discovers Me in all creatures."
(November 6,1941) "You should believe what I say; why do you doubt? Have I ever deceived you on even one single occasion? Yes, believe Me, in spite of all appearances; then your soul will be free and happy."
"Those who love Me a little, have a little confidence in Me. Those who love Me much, have great confidence in Me. Those who place no limit to their love have a confidence in Me without bounds or limit. I cannot disappoint them. You honor Me more by the confidence you show Me than by all that you could give Me. And notice, I respond at once by putting joy into the heart that honors Me with confidence."
"As I am happy, yes, happy to show you the marks of My Passion -see how your God has loved you! -Will you not also be happy to show Me the marks of your love...? "Oh, if you knew how I long for you! Not to reproach you, but to overwhelm you with joy in showing you the marks of My love... "
"People have a false idea of Me. They take Me for a master who distributes his favors at his caprice and who enforces His will. Do you understand that I enforce nothing? I am powerless before your liberty. It is I who beg for your love. Look at Me gasping for breath upon the Cross; behold My royalty! I have expiated your sins, but I do not even force you to believe it. I show you My Passion -does it speak to you? -and I wait. Behold My Divinity; -an indefatigable patience. Throughout the centuries I await souls. I never refuse them. Ask to know Me better.
Do the same with your life. Make reparation; expiate; love without asking for anything in return; and wait patiently until you too are loved. Never refuse to give love. It is I whom you honor and serve so tenderly; I have such need of it."
“I passed through the world doing good-I brought peace, order, kindness, an easy kindness. I healed the sick; I forgave sins; I gave joy, true joy, tranquil joy. I brought the Beatitudes. I revealed God. It is because men do not know Him that they do not love God. You must reveal God. That is charity.”
"I am sought as so far away, whereas I am so near. You have only to descend into your heart and listen. Do you understand how much I am with you, in you? As soon as you call me, I answer. I am always present. What do you lack?"
"Happy are the families and convents that have sick members! Because by being visited, the sick safeguard the practice of gentleness and patience; they expiate; they bear My likeness, the image of Christ suffering in His Church. To comfort them in the spirit of faith is to perform a work of reparation in the Church -the reparation I expect from those who love Me. A house where there are no sick runs the risk of living more for itself than for Me. I am always more sensitive, more active where there is suffering, because there I am welcomed, I am listened to...”
"Just as storms are necessary in nature, so are they necessary in every living soul. Do not lose your serenity on account of those who are being tried. Pray for them; offer the sufferings of My Passion and some acts of self-denial, some self-imposed sufferings for them."
"I ask only for love. Ah, what are you doing about it?... Give Me your heart -your whole heart. And do you not also wish to give Me your life? I desire it, I have need of it. It is such a great thing to belong to Me! What does anything else matter to you? Be full of joy at belonging to Me. I want you to be altogether Mine!"
"Love, love your Sisters. Love your Superiors much; they have need of it. But in silence...."
"The pettinesses of the cloister are inevitable, but those who love Me take no notice of them. Your real cloister, without boundaries, is My Heart; it is your refuge and your cradle. It is always open; it is always awaiting you. It will give you joy, strength, meekness, love. For I wish you to be joyous and strong, irresistibly loving, and very meek."
"Am I not enough for You? Is it not sufficient for you to know that your Jesus loves you?”
"Oh, how full I am of compassion! and how I desire -I need- the generosity of some to make reparation for others. It is love that makes reparation"
"I love you because you are so, so wretched. Do you not feel how much I love you? I love you because you cannot do without me, and because I long to see you happy; I love you because I have given my life for you."
"Do not be disturbed at repeating to your Father [spiritual director –editor] what I say to you; there is nothing extraordinary in it. I speak to each soul; if there are some who do not hear Me, it is because they do not listen to Me. There must be a profound silence, because My Voice is soft. The soul must be freed from all engrossing thoughts; I must be loved in spirit and in truth -the whole being must be in the truth. Yes, it is I who speak to you; why do you not believe Me? Have I ever deceived you? All that I have told you has come to pass."
"You have too many little things: give them away, simplify your belongings -to just what is necessary. Leave to others what is unnecessary, the care of trifles. As for yourself, love Me! I wish you to be poor, altogether Mine.”
"The Saints attracted many souls to My Church by the radiance of their sanctity. You cannot do that. It does not matter. Give Me everything; I will use what you give Me to attract many souls to My Church."
(Good Shepherd Sunday, 2nd Sunday after Easter, 1940). "Make Me a present, My little fiancee, of all the unnecessary words you do not speak, of every object that is not indispensable, that you can do without, even if allowed, of all weariness, suffering, that others will never guess, and which you will hide, to prove your love to Me, and because I have such need of your gifts!"
(April 27, 1940. Holy Communion). "Kindness .. Indulgence ... Keep your soul free and trans¬parent, above the troubles, cares, and misunderstandings which the cloister produces... Teach, only by example. Silence, silence in the Heart of your God."
(After my Profession, August 29th 1940; “You are Mine- you are altogether Mine ... Do not go away. Stay with Me, in Me who never leave you. I have waited so long for you. This is the only reality: I love you and I take care of you. And that is for now and for eternity.”
"If you give Me nothing, I am not able to do the good which I leave to your initiative. Give Me the tiny seed of your sacrifices, of your efforts; I will make it fruitful. But give Me the seed. Do not lose a moment, not a single occasion of offering to Me all that I send you. My grace does not leave you for an instant: welcome it. I want My heaven to fill your soul, your cell, your convent."
"I am happy because you have come at last. I await many others like yourself in My Church, in My house. To attract them, do all that I tell you."
"The future is Mine, what do you fear?"
'The night, the night of faith when I am alone.'
"I have given you My Mother to enlighten your way. Look at Her, the Morning Star."
Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity died a holy death at the age of 41 on 25 June 1942 in the Poor Clare convent in Jeruselem. ~Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity, pray for us!
"Yes, I have made Myself so truly your Brother that I have willed that you should have the same Father as I, and that my Mother should become your Mother. Love does not keep for Itself those whom It loves; It gives them away."