Yes, this is a practice of The Flame of Love. God has given us each moment that marks our lives. Like all questions of love, how are we using the time we have been given? For ourselves or others? The Flame of Love calls us to pour out our lives for others.
I write after just reliving the Passion of our Lord this Palm Sunday. By the end of the gospel reading, we look upon Him and He has given everything – everything for our salvation and the salvation of our brothers and sisters. There is nothing left – no clothes, no money, no time, no breath. He has poured Himself out completely for our salvation.
How seriously do we take the words of the Unity Prayer we pray? Remember, this is not our prayer to Jesus for Him to join us on our way; it is His prayer to us for us to join Him to the love of Calvary:
May our hands gather in unity; may our thoughts be as one.
Jesus: “You know that you must always gather with Me. Now, here in this silence, you can gather with Me; also, in the quiet of the night, while you are watching. I teach you so you learn and teach others how to gather souls. The will of the soul is love, and love can do everything. You must just desire with all your strength. May our thoughts be always in unison – to save souls from eternal damnation. Only in this way can you lessen My cruel sorrow.”The Spiritual Diary (first edition); Elizabeth Kindelmann; p.82
“Do you know how much My Soul suffers because souls are lost? May our hands gather in unity.”
By the time you read this, we will be in the middle of Holy Week. We will see Jesus give us His very body and blood to save us on Holy Thursday and once more relive His complete pouring out of Himself for our salvation on Good Friday. Are we walking with Him? Are we gathering with Him? Have we ceased from living for ourselves, spending our time on what we want, and given our life completely over to the salvation of souls? This is what Jesus asks of us:
Jesus: “My daughter, be faithful with all your strength in bringing sinners to Me. Give no thought to anything else. Always look into My eyes and see My sorrow for souls.”ibid.; p.22
Jesus: “you must continually battle for souls. Outside of this, My little one, do not waste your strength on anything else.”ibid.; p.216
Jesus: “Desire to share in My work of Redemption! Let this be the supreme goal of your lives, the most valuable gift that you can bring to Me. Take advantage of every opportunity and every means to save souls.”ibid.; p.185
Jesus: “Each night, My little one, ask yourself what you have done for the coming of My Kingdom. Never be content with yourself. There is no room on earth for self-satisfaction.”ibid.; p.75
Let’s focus on that last phrase – no room for self-satisfaction. Guilt is not the way I wish to motive so I write this not to play on our guilt but to give perspective. When we stand before the Lord and He asks, “You knew my children were hurtling toward eternal damnation and you were called to save them and how much TV did you watch?” how are we going to answer? Our time is our life. Are we choosing to spend our time for ourselves or do we pour out our lives for others?
Let us be wise here for seeking the salvation of souls can take many forms. Perhaps your spouse or children will not answer your invitation to join you in prayer and the only way you can stay involved in their lives to keep them face to face with salvation is to watch TV with them, or play a round of golf, or go shopping. But let it not be what you want; let it be what works for salvation – including sometimes giving up our prayer to bring the face of salvation to others. The principle of love is that our time, like our money, is always for others.
Elizabeth was asked to do this to an extreme:
My daughter-in-law asked me to get her some medications for her sick son. I had to wait more than an hour for the medicine… While waiting, a newspaper article caught my eye… I started to read a few lines when the Lord Jesus made a gentle request.ibid.; p.218
Jesus: “My little sunflower, help even more to free the suffering souls. I always share with you My eternal thoughts. Realize that even this short time is useful. If you put aside the newspaper article, you can help suffering souls come into My presence.”
On the other hand, it is not extreme; it is normal because it is what Jesus did and does.
Perhaps it would be helpful to think of it this way: think of prayer as our default state. In other words, in every moment, we can be praying for the salvation of souls so anything else we choose to do needs to be justified as more important than that. There can be many things that are:
- Cooking dinner
- Repairing the house
- Spending time with the children
- Helping a neighbor
- Spending some time to recharge so that you can keep serving and praying
This list is not exhaustive, just illustrative. The point is to ask ourselves about each use of our time: is what I’m about to do more important than praying or acting for the salvation of souls? If not, why am I doing it?
Once again we see why the Flame of Love devotion is such a powerful outpouring of grace. It makes love very practical and reaches to every breath of our lives. Each breath, each moment is an opportunity to love and this is what Jesus asks us to do if we truly want to walk in complete union with Him.
Do we really mean what we pray? “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. . . Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” I John 3:16,18 NASB Brothers and sisters, let us not spend our time on what we want to do for ourselves. Rather, let us completely dedicate ourselves to the salvation of souls; let us pour out our lives for others.
Jesus: “Have I not asked you many times to renounce yourself? You must do this moment by moment. You cannot stop doing this even for a short time. I am your way and your life. Everything passes away, only your work for souls remains.”ibid.; p.188
Quotations from the Diary
p188: I was with the Sister that had been assigned to me. She was listening to one of her favorite concerts on the radio. When she had a task to do, she gave me the hearing device saying that I should listen. Immediately, I became absorbed in the beauty of the music. After a few minutes, the Lord spoke some soft words.
Jesus: “Do you not think that during these occasions I am jealous of you? What did I tell you? That there will not be one hair between us!”
His words dominated my soul and drowned out the beauty of the music. He continued imploring me.
Jesus: “Listen to My heavenly words through art and musical beauty of the world also. Renounce yourself and your own entertainment. Think about how I work within you, My little sister, and do not allow any passing diversion into your soul. Take good care to not dispel the recollection of your soul by the makings of petty worldly artists. For you, only one thing is necessary, your uninterrupted sharing in My work of Redemption. Let this be your diversion! Do not say that I am very strict. Have I not asked you many times to renounce yourself? You must do this moment by moment. You cannot stop doing this even for a short time. I am your way and your life. Everything passes away, only your work for souls remains.”
p41: Jesus: “Let your sacrifices always be fervent. I would like to increase my graces in you. However, to do that, I need greater acceptance of sacrifices. Accept My plea, be very humble and renounce every pleasure which does not serve Me. Renounce the reading of frivolous books, the hearing of your favorite music, and the seeking to be among others. On your walks, think only of My sacred Passion.”
p16: Jesus: “My daughter, renounce yourself. I keep insisting on this because you can only share in My work of Redemption if you live united to Me at every moment. There must be no interruption . . .”
p64: Jesus: “. . . . If a fire breaks out in a place, people come from everywhere so there is as little damage as possible. Then why do you not put out Satan’s fire? You let the flame of hell carry out its destruction. Woe to you who look with cowardice, because you are responsible. You close your eyes and let souls be damned.”
p66: Jesus: “You know, do you not, that I invited you to My private war camp? Do not be attracted by the passing comfort of this world. The coming of My Kingdom must be your only purpose in life. My words will reach a multitude of souls consecrated to Me. Trust! My grace will be with you and I will help all of you in a miraculous way.”
(The Lord’s words sounded very harsh in my soul. I was very surprised as I never heard but sweet words from Him.)
Jesus: “Do not be surprised, My little Carmelite, if you hear My severe voice in the depth of your soul. I do this with love. Do not be lovers of comfort or cowards. Do not allow yourselves to be convinced and do not make others believe that everything is meaningless. Everything has meaning! It is easier to wait for the end of a storm rather than to confront the tempest and to save souls. You do not need more examples or more explanations. Give yourselves to the work. If you do nothing, you abandon the earth to Satan and to sin. How can I wake you up? Open your eyes and see the deadly danger that claims victims all around you and which threatens even your own souls.”
p176: Mary: “To whom, do you think, will I ask to render an account for having set up obstacles? If someone among you was to set up obstacles, defend my Flame of Love with all your might.
You must dedicate yourselves to blind Satan. The coordinated forces of the entire world are necessary to accomplish this. Do not delay because someday you will be called to account for the work entrusted to you, for the fate of a multitude of souls. I do not want even one soul damned. Satan will be blinded inasmuch as you work against him.”
Here the Blessed Virgin added that the responsibility will fall not only on the priests, but on all those who, seeking their comfort, did not enroll in the fight to blind Satan.
Mary: “Put immediately into action the outpouring of graces of my Flame of Love. To your group, I give a wonderful strength to all and to each one in particular. Your responsibility is great but your work will not be in vain. There must not be a single soul missing in this common effort. The soft light of my Flame of Love will light up, spreading fire over the entire surface of the earth. Satan, humiliated and reduced to powerlessness, will not be able to exercise his power. However, do not seek to prolong these birth pangs.”
p267: Just as I was meditating on how to imitate the example of the saints, the Lord Jesus began to instruct me.
Jesus: “My little one, you can see why, from the very beginning, I asked you to renounce yourself. I asked this many times because you can only share in My work of Redemption if you live totally united with Me at every moment. I now repeat to you these words that long ago you returned to me as a prayer: ‘Do not spare any effort, My little one, know no limit. Do not remove yourself from My work of Redemption for even one instant. If you did, I should feel that the love you have for Me has lessened. How much I desire your love.’ Today also, these words have to be continuously present. This is how you can imitate the saints. On this, all the cooperators in My work of Redemption agree, no matter the circumstances of their lives. I do not change this condition for anyone called to follow Me: let him take up his cross and follow Me. Now you can see that there is not one saint that you cannot imitate. It is sure that I place you in different circumstances, but the requirement is one and the same.”
p229: Jesus: “You are My beloved. Do not let your thoughts wander. Think only of Me, because it grieves Me if you don’t. If I correct you, do not be upset. You know how it pleases Me that you are always attentive to My divine words. Even a minute is a long time for Me if you spend it on something else. I will help you so that I, and nothing else, fill your thoughts.
Do not let any creature come between us. My Elizabeth, My beloved, receive My divine words. Gather them in a bouquet. Write them down, so that others can realize that they can only possess God if they come far away from all earthly noise. Do not believe that this is impossible because you are a living proof. I placed you in a family setting, so others could see how they can and ought to live. You serve both the family and God at the same time.”
p261: Jesus: “Why do you wonder that I cannot renounce you or any soul. Did I not shed all the drops of My Blood for you, for all? My will is to save everyone. Elizabeth, you also must will it with all your strength at every moment of your life.”
p166: At lunch, the magazine “Vigilia” fell into my hands. I began to read an article. Then the Lord silently made His voice heard.
Jesus: “Put it away! Did you forget that I wanted you to renounce all distracting literature? Let your life be one of contemplation, prayer and sacrifice. It would hurt Me if you do not want to be a true Carmelite. Is renunciation difficult? Don’t worry, I will repay you.”
I repented of what I did and quickly began to work while adoring Him.
Jesus: “Love only Me and serve Me even more. . . “
p224: During my little chores on Sunday afternoon, a newspaper fell into my hands. I began to read an article on Spanish customs. After I read a few words, the Lord Jesus said:
Jesus: “I have reserved you totally for Me and you have accepted this by repeating on many occasions your surrender to Me. Now, despite all this, you prefer this reading that distracts you. This is not good, My Elizabeth. May be you do not receive all what you need from Me? Why do you want to know more than you need for your eternal salvation? I do not demand this from others with such strictness, but you are My preferred one. You did not make yourself worthy. I, God, thought you worthy of your call. Even one instant is too much for you to be occupied with something else. My love does not rest. May our thoughts be in unison!”
Flame of Love Basics Series: Complete Dedication To The Salvation Of Souls