The New Commandment
On May 13, 1995, Jesus said to Nancy, “Be little and serve. True greatness comes in serving in a little way. If you do not understand the Little Way, I invite you to learn about My saint, My little Therese.”
The Blessed Mother told Nancy, “Please, when suffering comes to you, offer it up to my Son.”… Then Nancy saw St. Therese the Little Flower appear. “Follow her little way,” said the Blessed Mother. Nancy saw St. Therese appear again.
What did the Blessed Mother mean during the vision of St. Therese, when She said, “Follow her little way,”? Her “little way” is something we should all be able to imitate. St. Therese learned to live with difficult people. Even in her convent there was a nun who was very old and St Therese volunteered to help. The old nun could not walk and St. Therese had to hold her up and bring her in and out of the chapel, in and out for meals and daily prayer. The elderly nun was very difficult to care for. St. Therese was either going too fast or too slow or pushing or something. The difficult older nun was always criticizing her. However, St. Therese loved her and tried to please Jesus inside that nun. That is part of her “little way”, the sacrifices she offered for Jesus to please Him in helping the difficult people. She went out of her way to help those that other people would shun. St. Therese saw Jesus, hungry for love, living in the difficult and wounded people. She knew what she did for the least of His children, she did for Him. This is how we love as Jesus loves.
In her autobiography, “Story of a Soul” [see Bibliography], St. Therese describes in her own words her “little way” of the new Commandment of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” She explains how she carries this commandment further. She said, “Oh Jesus, I know it, love is repaid by love alone, and so I searched and I found the way to solace my heart by giving you love for love.”
She said, “This year God has given me the grace to understand what charity is; I understood it before, it is true, but in an imperfect way. I had never fathomed the meaning of these words of Jesus: ‘The second commandment is like the first: you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ [Mt 22:39]. I applied myself especially to loving God, and it is in loving him that I understood my love was not to be expressed only in words, for: ‘It is not those who say: ‘Lord, Lord!’ who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of my Father in heaven’ [Mt 7:21]. Jesus has revealed this will several times or I should say on almost every page of his gospel. But at the last supper, when he knew the hearts of his disciples were burning with a more ardent love for him who had just given himself to them in the unspeakable mystery of his Eucharist, this sweet Savior wished to give them a new commandment. He said to them with inexpressible tenderness: ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ [John 13:34-35].
“How did Jesus love his disciples and why did he love them? Ah! it was not their natural qualities which could have attracted him since there was between him and them an infinite distance. He was Knowledge, eternal wisdom, while they were poor ignorant fishermen filled with earthly thoughts. And still Jesus called them his friends [John 15:15]. He desires to see them reign with him in the kingdom of his Father, and to open that kingdom to them he wills to die on the cross, for he said: ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ [John 15:13].
“When meditating upon these words of Jesus, I understood how imperfect was my love for my sisters. I saw I didn’t love them as God loves them. Ah! I understand now that charity consists in bearing with the faults of others, in not being surprised at their weakness, in being edified by the smallest acts of virtue we see them practice. But I understood above all that charity must not remain hidden in the bottom of the heart. Jesus has said: ‘Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house’ [Matthew 5:15]. It seems to me that this lamp represents charity which must enlighten and rejoice not only those who are dearest to us but ‘to all in the house’ without distinction.
“When the Lord commanded his people to love their neighbor as themselves [see Lv 19:18], he had not as yet come upon the earth. Knowing the extent to which each one loved himself, he was not able to ask of his creatures a greater love than this for one’s neighbor. But when Jesus gave his apostles a new commandment, his ‘This is my commandment’ [John 15:12], as he calls it later on, it is no longer a question of loving one’s neighbor as oneself but of loving him as ‘as I have loved you’ and will love him to the consummation of the ages.
“Ah! Lord, I know you don’t command the impossible. You know better than I do my weakness and imperfection; you know very well that never would I be able to love my Sisters as you love them, unless you, O my Jesus, loved them in me. It is because you wanted to give me this grace that you made your new commandment. Oh! how I love this new commandment since it gives me the assurance that your will is to love in me all those you command me to love!
“Yes, I feel it, when I am charitable, it is Jesus alone who is acting in me, and the more united I am to him, the more also I do love my Sisters.
“Love is repaid by love alone. Yes, my Beloved, this is how my life will be consumed. I have no other means of proving my love for you other than that of strewing flowers, that is, not allowing one little sacrifice to escape, not one look, one word, profiting by all the smallest things and doing them through love. I desire to suffer for love and even to rejoice through love; in this way I shall strew flowers before your throne.”
Jesus said to Nancy, “See My love first, then see My suffering. If you see My suffering first and not My love, then you have missed My reason for coming. If you look at My suffering or your own suffering without seeing My love first, then how will you be able to understand anything about My passion or be able to endure your own suffering.”
Jesus told us through Nancy, “Love Me as I love you. This call goes out to all mankind, to walk the way of the cross. The cross is your way to Heaven. The cross is your victory over the evil one.”
St. Therese lived the commandment of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you” [Jn 15]. She did as Jesus said at the last supper, “Do this in remembrance of Me” [Luke 22]. She sacrificed her self in love for her neighbor, the difficult nun. In this way, she gave her neighbor, who was hungry for love, the sacrificial love of Jesus, living in her. At the same time, she returned love to Jesus living in her neighbor.
After we feed on the Bread of Life at Mass [the sacrificial love of Jesus] we should want to return love to Jesus. We should recognize Him in our neighbor, or the beggar, that the people passed by after Mass in the Vision of the Beggar, message #964.
Jesus is calling all mankind to love Him the way He loves us. When we do that, we’ll have peace and direction to our life. Loving the way He does calls for a self giving, self sacrificing love. We can only do that by being joined to the cross and Jesus told us, “I am the Cross.”