Dear Crusaders of Africa,
I am happy to send these few words to you all who live so far away on another continent.
I would firstly like to thank you for all the prayers, Holy Communions and sacrifices that you have already offered. Only God knows the exact number. He sees everything and He has a very good memory. But, if I may use the image, God prefers to use a weights-scale rather than a calculator.
I would like to help you understand today that Our Blessed Lord looks especially at the love with which you perform all your actions. The number is important, of course, and that is why you should count them on the treasure sheet you send in, at the end of each month. However, their weight is more important than the number: a single sacrifice offered with much love is worth more than fifty sacrifices made with little love.
Here is another example to help you understand. Look at these bottles that are in front of you and count them: one, two, … five. Very good. But look inside the bottles: they are either empty or only half full. What a shame! If these five bottles were filled to the brim with a wonderful perfume, they would be much better, don’t you think? And I am sure you have guessed what it all means: the wonderful perfume that must fill these bottles is the love with which you say your prayers or you receive Jesus in your heart, in Holy Communion, and with which you offer your sacrifices.
My dear crusaders, I encourage you to be generous, and generous especially in the love of what you do! Don’t forget that the hidden sacrifices, the ones that only Jesus sees, are the sacrifices that He prefers. He really loves those hidden sacrifices because they have the beautiful smell of our love for Him: like when we stop playing as soon as our mummy calls us (and not at the third or fourth time she calls…); like when we do our best to finish our homework perfectly, or when we resist turning around in the chapel to see who dropped their missal; or when we don’t get angry after our little sister comes and messed up our game, or even when we take a second helping of peas, simply because we do not like them at all…
If you make such sacrifices, which will sometimes cost you a lot, and you say in your heart to Jesus: “O my Jesus, I am doing this because I love you”, nobody around you will notice anything, but it will be as if you offered to Our Blessed Lord a golden vase filled with the perfume he prefers: the beautiful perfume of your love for Him.
So, my dear Crusaders, be generous! Multiply those hidden sacrifices made with love and which have such a great value in the eyes of God! Do them for the Catholic Church, for priests, for vocations in your country and for the conversion of poor sinners. And I’m sure that Jesus, who loves children very much, will listen to your voice. Don’t forget that I’m counting on you!
May 11, 2019
Don Davide Pagliarani