St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
To St. John we owe a Gosple, three Epistles and the Apocalypse, with the most beautiful pages on the Divinity of the Word made flesh; for this reason he is symbolized by the eagle which soars in the heights. On the Cross Our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted His Most Holy Mother Mary to St. John: “Woman, behold thy son.”
St. John only escaped a violent death by the special protection of God, and which made many believe that the beloved disciple would not die. Actually he did not depart this life until all the other apostles had passed away.
The following selections are from the EWTN website on St. John the Apostle and Evangelist (click here to view it in its entirety):
The great love which St. John bore to his God and Redeemer, and which he kindled from his Master’s Divine breast, inspired him with the most vehement and generous charity for his neighbor. Without the sovereign love of God no one can please Him. “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is charity.” [I John 4: 8] “Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us.” [I John 4: 19] This is the first maxim in a spiritual life, which this apostle most tenderly inculcates. The second is that our fidelity in shunning all sin, and in keeping all God’s commandments, is the proof of our love for God, [I John 3, 4, etc.] but especially a sincere love for our neighbour is its great test. “For he that loveth not his brother whom he seeth, how can he love God whom he seeth not?” says St. John. [I John 4: 20]
St. John teaches us that to attain to this heavenly and Christian disposition, to this twofold charity towards God and towards our neighbour for His sake, we must subdue our passions and die to the inordinate love of the world and ourselves. St. John’s hatred and contempt of the world was equal to his love of God, and he cries out to us, “My little children, love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If anyone loves the world the charity of the Father is not in him.”
BOOK OF HEAVEN
From the Writings of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta,
the Little Daughter of the Divine Will
December 4, 1902
Jesus manifests the reasons of His operating.
I was thinking in my mind about this obedience, saying: ‘They are right in commanding me this way; besides, it is not such a great thing that the Lord would allow me to obey in the way wanted by them. So they say: either He should let you obey, or He should tell the reason why He wants the confessor to come to make you come round from that state.’ While I was thinking of this, my adorable Jesus moved in my interior, telling me: “My daughter, I wanted them to find the reason of my operating by themselves, because in my life, from the moment I was born up to my death, everything can be found, since the life of the whole Church is enclosed in it. When compared to some step that can be conformed to my life, the most difficult matters are solved, the most tangled situations are unraveled, and in the most obscure and abstruse ones, such that the human mind almost becomes lost in that obscurity, one finds the clearest and brightest light. This means that they do not have my life as the rule of their operating, otherwise they would have found the reason. But since they have not found the reason themselves, it is necessary that I speak and manifest it.”
After this, He stood up and with empire – but so much that I became fearful – He said: “What is the meaning of that ‘ostende te sacerdoti’ [‘show yourself to the priest’]?” Then, becoming sweeter, He added: “My power extended everywhere, and from any place I was I could operate the most sensational miracles; yet, in almost all my miracles I wanted to be personally present. As for example, when I resurrected Lazarus, I went there, I had them remove the sepulchral stone, then I had him released, and then, with the empire of my voice I called him back to life. In resurrecting the young girl, I took her by the hand with my right hand, and I called her back to life; and in many other things which are recorded in the Gospel, and which are known to all, I wanted to be there with my presence. This teaches the way in which the priest must behave in his operating, since the future life of the Church was enclosed in mine. And these are things that pertain to you, though in general; but your specific circumstance they will find on Calvary. I, priest and victim, lifted up on the wood of the cross, wanted a priest to be present, to assist Me in that state of victim – and he was Saint John, who represented the nascent Church. In him I saw everyone – Popes, bishops, priests and all the faithful together; and while assisting Me, He offered Me as victim for the glory of the Father and for the good outgrowth of the nascent Church. The fact that a priest assisted Me in that state of victim did not happen by chance, but everything was a profound mystery predisposed ab aeterno [from eternity] in the divine mind, intending that when I choose a soul as victim for the grave needs present in the Church, a priest must offer her to Me, assist her for Me, help her and encourage her to suffer. If these things are understood – fine, they themselves will receive the fruit of the work they offer; just like Saint John: how many goods did he not receive for having assisted Me on Mount Calvary? If then they are not understood, they do nothing but put my work amid continuous contrasts, diverting my most beautiful designs.
In addition to this, my Wisdom is infinite, and when It sends some cross to a soul for her sanctification, It does not take that soul alone, but five, ten… as many as I please, so that not one alone, but all others together may be sanctified. In fact, on Calvary I was not alone; in addition to having a priest, I had a Mother, I had friends and also enemies, and on seeing the prodigy of my patience, many of them believed in Me as the God I was, and were converted. Had I been alone, would they have received these great goods? Certainly not.”
But who can say everything He told me, or explain the most minute meanings? I said this the best I could – the way I was able to say it in my roughness. I hope that the Lord will do the rest, by illuminating them so that they may comprehend what I have not been able to manifest well.