2r – 2v. I wondered for a long time why God has preferences, why all souls don’t receive an equal amount of grace. I was surprised when I saw Him shower His extraordinary favours on saints who had offended Him, for instance, Saint Paul and Saint Augustine, and whom He forced, so to speak, to accept His graces. When reading the lives of the saints, I was puzzled at seeing how Our Lord was pleased to caress certain ones from the cradle to the grave, allowing no obstacle in their way when coming to Him, helping them with such favours that they were unable to soil the immaculate beauty of their baptismal robe. I wondered why poor savages died in great numbers without even having heard the name of God pronounced.
Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.
And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to Lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when He looks down at his feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.
10v. I remember a dream I must have had around that age and it is still deeply imprinted on my imagination. I dreamed one night I went to take a walk all alone in the garden. When I reached the foot of the steps leading to the garden and which have to be climbed to get into it, I stopped, seized with fright. In front of me, near the arbor, there was a barrel of lime and on this barrel two frightful little devils were dancing with surprising agility in spite of the flatirons they had on their feet. All of a sudden they cast fiery glances at me and at the same moment appeared to be more frightened than I was, for they jumped from the barrel and went to hide in the laundry that was just opposite. Seeing they weren’t so brave, I wanted to what they were going to do, and I went up to the window. The poor little devils were there, running on the tables, not knowing what to do to hide from my gaze. Sometimes they approached the window, looking out to see if I was still there and seeing me there they began running like madmen. This dream, I suppose, has nothing extraordinary about it, and still I believe God permitted me to remember it in order to prove to me that a soul in the state of grace has nothing to fear from demons who are cowards, capable of fleeing before the gaze of a little child!
49r. He, who cried out in his mortal life: “I thank you, Father, that you have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them to babes”, willed to have His mercy shine out in me. Because I was little and weak He lowered Himself to me, and He instructed me secretly in the things of His love. Ah! Had the learned who spent their life in study come to mm, undoubtedly they would have been astonished to see a child of fourteen understand perfection’s secrets, secrets all their knowledge cannot reveal because to possess them one has to be poor in spirit!
56v – 57r. The Blessed Virgin made me feel it was really herself who smiled on me and brought about my cure. I understood she was watching over me, that I was her child. I could no longer give her any other name but “Mama”, as this appeared ever so much more tender than Mother.
57r. I prayed Our Lady of Victories to keep far from me everything that could tarnish my purity; I was fully aware that on a voyage such as this into Italy I could easily meet with things capable of troubling me. I was still unacquainted with evil and so was apprehensive about making its discovery. I had not yet experienced that to the pure all things are pure, that the simple and upright soul sees evil in nothing since it resides only in impure hearts, not in inanimate objects.
64r – 64v. I had offered myself, for some time now, to the Child Jesus as His little plaything. I told Him not to use me as a valuable toy children are content to look at but dare not touch, but to use me like a little ball of no value which He could throw on the ground, push with His foot, pierce, leave in a corner, or press to His heart if it pleased Him; in a word, I wanted to amuse little Jesus, to give Him pleasure; I wanted to give myself up to His childish whims. He heard my prayer.
At Rome, Jesus pierced His little plaything; He wanted to see what there was inside it and having seen, content with His discovery, He let His little ball fall to the ground and He went off to sleep. What did He do during His gentle sleep and what became of the little abandoned ball? Jesus dreamed He was still playing with His toy, leaving it and talking it up in turns, and then having seen it roll quite far He pressed it to His heart, no longer allowing it to ever go far from His little hand.
66r – 66v. I always had to find a way of touching everything. At the Holy Cross Church in Rome, we were able to venerate several pieces of the true Cross, two thorns, and one of the sacred nails. The nail was enclosed in a magnificent golden reliquary which did not have a glass covering. I found a way of placing my little finger in one of the openings of the reliquary, and could touch a nail bathed in the blood of Jesus. Really, I was far too brazen! Happily, God, who knows the depths of our hearts, was aware that my intention was pure and for nothing in the world would I have desired to displease Him. I was acting toward Him like a child who believes everything is permitted and looks upon the treasures of its Father as it own.
80v. Oh! How happy I was to hear those consoling words! Never had I heard that our faults could not cause God any pain, and this assurance filled me with joy, helping me to bear patiently with life’s exile. I felt at the bottom of my heart that this was really so, for God is more tender than a mother.