Notebook 96 True Life in God 993 Lord God, I always feared the praises of people on me and I always wondered how these things affected You; all the while I tried to guard myself against this worldly fervour because from the beginning You made me understand my utter wretchedness and how I was the least of them all; Your Words were like a hammer hammering in my soul, engraving them on my heart; now and then, You reminded me of my nothingness and that if I dared lift my chin even for just a moment, I would lose Your Heart and all the divine graces too. In Your exuberant Love You held me close to Your Heart and protecting me in this way You made me understand You, and that by remaining a nothing You would take so much pleasure in this effacement, because You would do ALL and be ALL! From my very early childhood the devil used to appear to me like a growling black dog ready to tear me into pieces, but Your all-powerful action protected me; Your constant Presence guarded me, leading me in this divine union of Your Heart, remaining indissolubly united with the Godhead. Led then by such an indescribable way that to this day it appears to me as a dream .... Spouse of souls, I love You! behold this Heart which chose you, it is the same that was pierced .... you have tasted it, felt it, heard it; still, My own and My child, our work is not finished because My Blood is continuing to stream out of My Heart in rivers; You are my only Good. What can I do for You? listen and write: many of My ministers have laid My Vineyard waste and My sheep are scattered; many of them have reduced My House into a ruin, a desolation .... and they know it; there is no peace among them and they know it; I am disappointed with them and this is why they do not want to hear Me; can their vows rid them of their sin? No, my Lord, I believe not, for sin is sin. they should observe My ways and repent; then, like a scent of myrrh their perfume will rise up and perfume My House; I, then, will cultivate My sons1 and will wait with delight for their fine harvest; 2I confide My Ministers to you .... your Maker will hear your prayers; intercede for them; pray and ask the Father whose forbearance is long to forgive them; do not delay .... do you not know that even your child-like babblings are heard by the Father and graciously He responds to them? He has granted you so many favours; your advantage being ever so weak, and your very wretchedness makes Him stoop from His Throne; Lord, I offer to You my will and all that would give more glory to Your Name; You are my Royal Banquet; bringing and giving food to the poor is Our delight; remain in close union to My Heart and listen to its pulsations .... ic; 1Ministers or shepherds. 2Suddenly our Lord turned to me and when He said: ‘I confide My ministers to you ...’ I felt as though He took off His back the whole Church He was carrying and placed it on my back.