A Mother's Spiritual Diary

 Relatives and Friends

"The Lord made me undergo painful humiliations by my sisters-in-law. He willed that I appear in their eyes as useless and not very agreeable. No matter what I did, I never could please them. This went on for many a year, but with God's grace I managed to control myself… This torment was quite beneficial for me, the more so since my husband often agreed with them. This resulted in my being able to forget about myself and brought me to think I was capable of nothing neither in my relations with others, nor with myself. When I spoke, no matter at what cost at first, because of my pride, I always praised my sisters-in-law, even before my own husband and my father and mother-in-law, blaming myself. Thanks to God, I thus overcame my pride. I never let my husband have the least suspicion of the slight difficulties I felt on the part of his family. I did so, not out of virtue of course, but to maintain peace. I offered this up to the Lord. In the course of time this manner of behavior owned me, on his part, a great unmerited esteem.

"My father-in-law always liked me very much. For a long time he had not frequented the sacraments. I begged him to do so and made arrangements for him to go to confession. God granted me this grace and a short time later, he suddenly died.

"My mother-in-law admitted much later that at the beginning of my marriage she did not like me at all, but later, she felt great affection for me. This was true. She took my part even against her husband. She came looking for me and I spoke to her of God, teaching her as well as I could how to meditate. She was such a pure and simple soul and so good, though uneducated. She profited from everything. I was broken-hearted at her death. At first she did not frequent the sacraments, but later she began to do so and became very fervent, marked by her suffering (Aut. 1, 152-154).

"ln the evening, at nightfall, I went to the church of St. John of God and there, close to the tabernacle, I emptied my heart close to Jesus. I offered Him my children, my husband, those of the household, asking Him for light and prudence for carrying out my duties" (Aut. 1, 156-157).

Her life was spent normally among the duties of her household and her social obligations, without being able to avoid unforeseen circumstances.

"One day, I had to go and visit a priest. On returning in the evening I was taken by surprise as there was no carriage nor trolley in sight. I was very upset and the time parsed on. I decided to return on foot. I thought of several directions I might take. I did not know the way, and went into a shop to ask directions . Without my being able to avoid him, a man came out who frightened me. He offered to guide me. He came very close to me smelling of wine. We went along together ever moving on. Aware of the risk I ran, I commended myself to the Blessed Virgin. It was night. My husband had invited a friend for supper and here I was so far away! My God! I did not know where I was going to wind up. Never in my life had I felt such anxiety in a matter like this. At last, the Holy Virgin heard me. On turning onto a street, a trolley was coming along. I did not know in what direction I was going. I broke away from his embrace as he tried to stop me. I jumped onto the trolley. I was saved!" (Aut. 1, 42-43).