from St Faustina's Diary 1685 (61)
During Holy Hour today, I asked the Lord Jesus if He would deign to teach me about the spiritual life, Jesus answered me. "My daughter, faithfully live up to the words which I speak to you. Do not value any external thing too highly, even if it were to seem very precious to you. Let go of yourself, and abide with me continually. Entrust everything to Me and do nothing on your own, and you will always have great freedom of spirit. No circumstances or events will ever be able to upset you. Set little store on what people say. Let everyone judge you as they like. Do not make excuses for yourself, it will do you no harm. Give away everything at the first sign of a demand, even if they were the most necessary things. Do not ask for anything without consulting Me. Allow them to take away even what is due to you - respect, your good name - let your spirit rise above all that. And so, set free from everything, rest close to My Heart, not allowing your peace to be disturbed by anything. My pupil, consider (62) the words which I have spoken to you".
Sent to me by C. and this is for me, K, J, and Z. I am getting in prayer that some places I have visited I shall never see again. The world is changing very fast. What is hard for me to give up is the idea of not walking on a certain seashore, or not seeing dear, dear friends. For some reason, and I may be wrong, I have this sense about Malta, one of my "second homes". I love the Mediterranean Sea. It is in my soul. I have watched it in all types of weather. Part of me hopes my hunch is wrong, but usually, when these things come upon me, they become real. I have to let go of that lovely island, which I know so well now after five stays.
At this time, I am praying to St. Joan of Arc and St. Joan of France, being led to their places of intercession by two completely different sources across the world. I am also praying to Marie Adele Garnier again....the short play I wrote on her life is below. Here is a lovely painting of St. Joan of France and the Blessed Mother, Jesus, and St. Francis.
Join me in prayer to them. And, my prayers to John Hardon for a complete cure of asthma may be becoming more obvious. He had asthma, and that is why I have been praying to him since September.
All things happen in God's time.
This play is written as a half-hour voice-over for a DVD format. Quotations marks are on the exact words of Mother Marie Adele.
The voice is that of Mother Marie Adele Garnier, Mother Mary of St. Peter. One must have a French accent for this play.
Title: Mother Marie Adele Garnier, Mother Mary of St. Peter, Foundress of Tyburn
All in One Act with Ten Scenes: Scene One
First Act: Scene One, London overlooking Hyde Park
Mother Adele as a very old nun is saying goodbye to the world and waiting for the Bridegroom
She has asked her nuns to come around her but they are not there yet. The room is grey but peaceful, like a black and white dream. She is sitting in a half bed, half chair. She is old but peaceful. It is 1924.
Mother Marie Adele is thinking these thoughts: Voice-over
Mother Marie Adele: The day is dark for June. But, the day mirrors the darkness of Calvary, when the storms blew across Golgotha at the death of My Lord. I have left notes and letters, like clues for my dear daughters, hoping they will understand the path I had to follow all these years. My dear daughters have been called to come to me for a blessing.
I hope my life has taught my children here that Love is All. I hope the Love of my Savior and King has led them to accept the Cross. What does this mean to them? What does this mean to the hundreds of people who pass by Tyburn on this street daily in London? What do they understand of sacrificial love?
But, I have prayed and suffered for each one of them, and for my confreres in France. Ah, France, you have left your throne to false gods, to the silly pursuits of these modern times. I shall never see your blue skies and roses again.
Mother picks up a book and a rosary…she is pensive.
The day is gloomy and reminds me of a day long ago in France, when I wrote a letter to dear Father Lemius, I was in Villeneuve-sure-Yonne.
How can I share with all these in my care the necessity of perseverance? I wrote to Father on that day? I pray I have been an example of the way of penance, all for the Bridegroom, Who I await.
Scene Two, younger Adele in French room at a writing desk. She is in a simple habit, not the Benedictine one of her first scene. She is very animated and eager in her face and demeanor.
Mother Marie Adele Voice-over reads letter, and she writes and stops, and writes again.
“But, I think of heaven-I think of the work and the suffering which is absolutely necessary for us. That night I felt this call, always more forcible, more pressing, to a total renunciation, to a complete abnegation, to the acceptance, loving, eager, without regret or bitterness, of all possible sacrifices for the glory and the consolation of His divine heart…..
They must know that they themselves count for nothing. And, that if they wish to work perseveringly and seriously for the sanctification of their souls, they must sacrifice themselves in everything and always for the glory of God, immolate themselves absolutely for the Sacred Heart, in order to win souls for Him. For our dear France, so guilty, but above all so deeply to be pitied; for England, whither the Sacred Heart calls us; for the Church, the beloved Bride of Christ; for His vicar, our beloved Father. For the honour and the cult of Mary Immaculate….to live a life of suffering out of love…”
We are at the mercy of the French Government with the Associations Law, an infamous attempt to stop new orders and seize land…we had to wait to declare ourselves a religious community and all I had worked for under the guidance of my excellent spiritual advisors, all, seemed to be coming to naught. I thought perhaps we would go to 40 rue de la Barre, or Belgium, but to England, land of martyrs.
But, leave we must, and Monsieur Audollent is sent from our dear Cardinal de la Vergne, the Father of this order, to Cardinal Vaughan. I must be ever patient, resting in the Sacred Heart. Ah, poor Archbishop Guibert, buried in the Basilica, we must leave him and all our memories. Such is the Dark Night of the Soul, when God strips all. And yet, my Beloved knows I belong to Him and all my daughters belong to Him. And, I recall the day the Cardinal said “This is from God”, ratifying my vision of permanent Adoration, and unity two great devotions, that of the Eucharist and that of the Sacred Heart. “This if from God.”
(A monstrance on an altar appears in the French room and the sun begins to shine everywhere.)
Over and over again, I faced this anxiety and pain. But, few knew why. The call of the nun is the call of the Bridegroom and yes, I am a Bride, but unlike so many called before, the Teresas, the Catherines, I had ecstasy and then pain. Most are called to the unitive state of being one with God after the Dark Night. But, for me, there was another dimension, another working of God’s grace in the world. I shall try and explain.
Scene Three: The room in Tyburn with the dying Mother Marie Adele.
Mother Marie Adele: Montmarte, how we loved the hill of the martyrs, and yet, God called us, through His Eucharistic Heart to this country, this place of martyrs, this Tyburn. Montmarte, now filled with the beautiful Basilica, which I perhaps will never see again.
That perhaps was the second lowest time in the growth of our dear community. I cannot speak of the worst, the attacks of the evil one directly on my young nuns. We endured and would have stayed in the shadow of Montmarte. We, like the children of the Diaspora, were forced out. But, I did not want us to be separated. Remember, Dear Lord, how my heart ached. How I did not want to leave my beloved France, where in secret we had our little clothing ceremony, at Levallois-Perret, with dear Father Balme, who called us the la graine de moutarde. We were so small, so small.
But, God sent me good advisors, as He always did, to guide us across the Sleeve to this place.
A few nuns with suitcases appear in the background at a port like Dover. They are greeted by other nuns.
But, I trusted, trusted in the darkness that this monstrous law would not touch us. Cardinal Vaughan responded to our request to come here…so long ago it seems…to adore The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus in the heart of London.
I shall never forget my Alice Andrade…soon to be my Mother Mary Agnes, as God will make her superior for a while… la graine de moutarde.
Again, at Vllenueve-sur-Yonne, they are in a rose garden by the house-but earlier and Marie Adele is in French 19thcentury middle-class civilian clothes. Alice is much younger. They meet and embrace, soul sisters for life.
She was with me from 1896, and when we saw each other, she cried out to me “My Mother”. And I cried “My Daughter.” So we were bound in the love of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. She was 23 and I was 58. How odd that I thought I was old. Now, I am old. But, the journey of my life of perfection seems so short, so short.
Would we have started out knowing all the hardships? Does a married couple in love and happy think of the cruelties of life to come? No, we only think and feel love. Mother Agnes and I wrote almost daily when apart, and she has kept all of those letters. Someday, my daughters will read and wonder at the boldness of our undertaking in such a hostile environment as the Eldest Daughter of France had become…so sad, so melancholy. But, we are the mustard seed in England, in this soil made fertile with the blood of Edmund Campion, Robert Southwell, Anne Line Oliver Plunkett and so many others.
Scene Five: The room in Tyburn again.
The Tyburn Gallows, the Tyburn Tree, appears behind her and stays until all the nuns are gone.
She is interrupted by the nuns coming in and she blesses them. They all bow their heads in prayer but leave again, each bowing to her as they leave.
Mother Marie Adele continues: What I could not tell Mother Agnes for a long time was that the Bridal Love ended in a call to become a Victim Soul. How does one explain a call to be a victim for others, for England, for France, for the clergy, even for my nuns? Can they see the love through the willing suffering of a soul which gives up all comfort for the sake of others?
I have another memory, one of my times of trying so hard to listen to the Will of God in my life, as that is all I ever wanted was His Will. How many long years, when I was a governess, did I beg my Bridegroom that only His Perfect Will would be done in my life? All for love.
I was in the Convent of Marie Reparatrice, in Paris, and I was in torment. I think it was 1876, so long ago. Staying in the community for eight days, in a little Nazareth, I was trying to understand how I could fulfill the Will of my Beloved. How could I, no one in the world, show the world His love in the Eucharistic Heart?
Scene Six: The room fades away and it is a little, simple nun’s cell in France, with one wooden chair, one bed, a crucifix.
On the way, I had seen close by, a house, and my heart started to pump wildly. It stood out from the rest and I had the great sensation that I would be returning to Montmarte. And, I remember the number, 42.
Marie Adele is sitting in a plain chair when a nun bursts in and the scene continues in these words….nun does all the things Mother Adele describes in this passage from one of her letters.
But, on the way back, I stopped at LeMans and stayed again with the Reparatrices. The nuns gave me a little room in which to rest, when suddenly, an old nun came into the room. Then, she surprised me greatly. She came over to me and embraced me, saying, “Oh, it is you! I had begged Our Lord so much to let me see you again. I have something to tell you, but I could not have suspected that you were here! I mistook the door, I ought to have visited the retreatant who is in the next room. But, since it is Jesus who has led me here, I must speak to you on his behalf.”
“Taken aback, I made her sit down. Then I could not contain myself any longer. I threw myself into her arms, sobbing, and said to her, My Mother, oh my Mother, I beg you, tell me if it is Jesus who is calling. Yes, she replied, it is Jesus who will you to be a victim of His Eucharistic Heart. He wishes me to tell you this. Bewildered, overwhelmed, I no longer knew what was to become of me. The kind Mother said to me, Be happy, calm yourself, Jesus is calling you, have no doubt about this….Some time ago, a holy Religious from the south of France…wrote to me that Jesus was asking for victims consecrated to His Eucharistic Heart, that He thirsted for them, that He marked them out in the world and that they must be brought to Him…On reading her letter, your image then rose before me with such clarity and with so great an assurance of the Will of Jesus for you, that no doubt remained in my mind. From that moment, I have been begging Jesus day and night to make us meet again. It is He who allowed me to come to the wrong door.”
Her words created a brilliant light in my heart and mind. No longer could I doubt. I knew I was destined to return to Montmarte. Amazingly, for my timidity was gone completely, I had no fear, no fear of the future to which God was calling me.
Scene Seven: Back in the room at Tyburn. Mother Adele is in bed, with a nun beside her. Mother is very ill.
Her thoughts continue: But, I did not know, when the Dear Lord of my heart called me that day to be, first His fiancé and then, His bride, what suffering this would mean.
How could I understand the Passion of Christ without experiencing it and how could I be joined in love to Him unless He led me to Calvary.
My way has not been easy, as I have had an independent spirit. This is a gift from God which must be crushed by love and love alone, but when Christ asked me to join Him in suffering, how could I say no.
As a younger person, I had ecstasies of love and contemplation, His gifts to His Bride, but now, I must rest in “grace that comes from the torture of Christ”.
The young nun wipes the head of Mother Adele and lifts her up to give her water. Mother Adele looks at her deeply and blesses her. A large crucifix, like the one at Tyburn on the stairs going up in the enclosure, appears behind her bed. Then, she sees all the nuns going about their work, cleaning, cooking, gardening, keeping watch in front of the Monstrance.
Her thoughts continue: When the torture of the Cross passes, I am calm again, but how can I explain all this love to these young ones? I have told them that if they follow the Rule of St. Benedict and allow themselves to be perfected, they will be led by Christ, through His Eucharistic Heart into the Unitive State. Now, on my death bed, I await this last movement into unity. I offered myself by the Vow of Victim in 1893 on March 31st, Good Friday, at three, with my spiritual director l’Abbe Courtois’ approval, and now, 31 years later, I am finally coming to the consummation of that love.
“Jesus….showed me that for this I had to attain very great purity of heart, soul, mind and body, so that the victim—who would also be priest with Jesus, would be not defiled”.
Such abandonment is barely understood, but our Father Benedict knew this and his Rule shows us the way.
Jesus finally told me that He was calling me to the interior priesthood, offering up daily, constantly all for and in and through Him. There is a mystery here I cannot explain. Do they know? Can they see? How can I explain suffering for others? How can anyone explain what happened on Calvary?
Some think kneeling in front of the Eucharist in the Monstrance must be a peaceful experience. It is not. It is joining with the moment of the death of God.
Mother puts her hand on the arm of the young nun and looks at her intensely.
So like the martyrs of Montmarte and Tyburn, I agreed so long ago to martyrdom. But, I did not know it would last so long. Such sanctification is in the daily, little things, as well as the great suffering of illness. How long, oh Lord, how long? “Pray for me so that I might be faithful to love the Cross always and not desire to be freed from it.”
I have one more, dear, dear memory.
Scene Eight: Mother Adele is in full habit and writing to her new spiritual director. She is very happy, and serene. The day is bright, as it is August, and she is sitting in a garden with a writing desk on her lap. She looks at the ring on her finger. She is smiling and looks beautiful in her face.
It was many years since I had been asked by Christ to make the mystical marriage, but I had been called to sacrifice myself and was reminded of the words of St. Paul in Romans. I wrote to my new spiritual father Abbot Marmion, our guide in so many things to come. In this letter, I told him of my double life, “It is as if in me there are two persons, one who is suffering terribly, who believes that everything is finished and that it cannot bear for long the torment of its anxieties and responsibility. And then, another that is sustained by God, by faith, accepting everything, who abandons herself to all, who, seeing with certainty that she can do nothing except rely on God and pray to Him, dwelling in peace adoring and blessing with all her heart and all her soul with an immense love and intense joy, the Lord her God, the Master infinitely great, powerful and wise…It is difficult to give an account of a state so complex, as a double life, one life natural, physical and moral, also sensitive to a certain extent, it is really pitiable, but at the same time a supernatural life, high, living of love, of conformity and of abandonment to divine Good Pleasure…”
A light covers Mother Adele and the entire room is bleached with this light. Her habit turns into a wedding dress for a moment and then back to her habit. At the end of the scene, a sun appears over a picture on the wall of the Tridentine Mass, Mother Adele’s Mass. But, she gets up and kisses the picture of the sun.
As I told Abbe Courtois years ago, God approaches me as light, a penetrating, gentle light, but that is gone now, as I am back in the darkness of Golgotha, but not for long.
How many other souls are there who are called to this bridal love and who may not answer? They do not because they know not love. But, if they would only come to the Eucharist, to Adoration, to Tyburn, these gentle souls would find love, as He is here.
I tell my daughters that “The Mass has become like the sun of my life.” This is the Sun of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. But, there are many mysteries in the world, and my acceptance of suffering for others is one. I am sure there are many called to this type of existence. How many answer yes? Even the apostles fell asleep in Gethsemane. I cannot fall asleep into mediocrity or complacency. For the sake of my Lord, my God, my All.
Scene 9: All the nuns are with Mother Marie Adele as she is dying. They are singing the Salve Regina, and the room is full of the same white light as in the last scene.
Mother Adele thoughts again: It is June 17th, my last day on this earth, in this place. I have just told Mother Agnes that I am happy. On this same day, in 1887, 37 years ago, I wrote out my first complete sacrifice to the Divine Will.
Nuns sing and the room is filled with light. The Tyburn Altar to the Martyrs is seen and then the Eucharist at Tyburn, and finally, the Eucharist on all the altars of Tyburn around the world, Columbia, Peru, Scotland, Ireland, Rome, Nigeria, New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador…. All the faces of the multicultural order are seen. And, then, the grave of Mother Marie Adele at Tyburn with follows…with a young nun kneeling in front…fade out.
Mother Marie Adele’s thoughts continue: There were others before me who understood this mysterious of love-St. Teresa of Avila, whose Spanish passion is so different yet like my own. St. Rita, St. Francis, St. Therese, our newest flower, and more who are being called. Did I succeed in sharing love? Will they continue in this love? Will more come?
Mother Marie Adele repeats the opening lines: The day is dark for June. But, the day mirrors the darkness of Calvary, when the storms blew across Golgotha at the death of My Lord. I have left notes and letters, like clues for my dear daughters, hoping they will understand the path I had to follow all these years. My dear daughters have been called to come to me for a blessing.
Scene Ten: Mother Agnes is in the garden of Tyburn. The voice of her and Mother Marie Adele are in her mind;
Mother, are you happy? Oh, yes, I am so happy with God!...and with my children.”
Then, Mother Agnes reads this prayer:
Father, all powerful and ever-living God, we give you glory, praise and thanks for the life and virtue of your beloved daughter, Marie-Adele Garnier. Filled with the riches of your grace, and preferring nothing to the love of the Heart of Jesus Christ, she devoted her whole life to the adoration, praise and glory of your Name: she sacrificed herself by prayer and penance for the unity and holiness of your Church; she loved her neighbor with a charity full of humility and compassion. Above all, she found the Sun of her life in the Holy Mass, and so was consumed with zeal for liturgical worship and Eucharistic Adoration, and abandoned herself with all her heart to your most Holy Will is all things.
In your mercy Lord, hearken to our prayer: “Glorify your Servant Mother Marie-Adele Garnier, that your Servant may glorify You.”
We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reign with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end. Amen.
(Bibliography on request.)