...Suddenly, he heard the voice of Christ, who asked him: "My son, how old am I?" Father John replied, "Lord, You're 33 years old!"

"And you?" Jesus asked.

"I'm 50," Fr. John answered. 

Then the Lord continued: "Why haven't you ever thanked Me? I gave you 18 more years to live. At 33 I had already died."

"Yes, Lord. I'm sorry. Forgive me for never having appreciated these extra 18 years of life You gave me."

"You have spoken well about me John, but you do not know me. Taste Me." (Father John reported that Jesus stressed the words 'Taste Me'.)

"Lord, what do You mean by telling me this?"

"My son, I didn't consecrate you to be a worker. I didn't consecrate you to be an administrator. I consecrated you to be ME. Be Me!"

Father John was dumbfounded when he heard the way Jesus said "Be Me!" Jesus added: "While I was suffering, I felt abandoned, rejected, condemned, and nailed. It was a very painful situation. Now, you know."

...Father John understood a reality that concerns all of us. Before, he was performing one thousand and one works for God, where prayer was dangerously missing. Through his dereliction of a handicapped person, the Lord made him understand that He was expecting from His priest that he would perform the works OF God, rather than FOR God. That is to say, the works that God Himself had prepared for him to realize according to his Divine design.

From Fr. Jacques Philippe:
"This book gives us an opportunity, through a diversity of stories, to see mercy at work in a living and personal way. Mercy is not an abstract idea, it is a reality that has deeply changed and transformed the lives of so many people. The various chapters illustrate how God's benevolent and gratuitous love can burst forth in a human existence and, where sometimes all seemed lost, lead to true resurrections. The strength of this book does not come from speeches, but from living testimonies...
"We love freedom. And yet, somewhat surprisingly, our world does not fully understand the liberating force of forgiveness. We aspire to freedom, but don't always do what is necessary to achieve it! To be truly free, we must forgive. As long as I haven't forgiven someone who has hurt me, I will be stuck in my past, and will remain dependent on this enemy whom I blame and toward whom I feel anger and bitterness. The grudge will take a place in my heart which will prevent me from being free and living to the full. Forgiveness is sometimes difficult; it may seem impossible. Forgiveness is a grace that must be begged for humbly in prayer, and sometimes it takes a lot of time to get there. However, it is absolutely necessary. Whoever does not forgive will never heal completely from the wrong he has suffered and from the wounds that have been inflicted on him. 
"In modern society, we take great care of people who have been victims, supporting them, enabling them to express their pain, to shed light on their suffering, to ensure that they also find the truth and justice to which they are entitled. This is a good thing. However, perhaps we sometimes forget to convey to the victims that they cannot completely recover from their past unless they decide, one day, to forgive. This is not a natural decision to make, it takes courage, but it is necessary in order to find peace, healing and freedom. 
"The ultimate source of all forgiveness is in God, in the infinitely merciful heart of the Father."

Dearest Gospa, what patience you have with us. Do not get tired of us. Please continue to visit us! What would we do without you? Those who reject you would joyfully welcome you if only they knew you. 
Sister Emmanuel +
(Translated from French)

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