WHAT WOULD you do if you started receiving vibrant love messages? Perhaps by post, email or as texts. What if these messages were of the type: “Do you not feel how much I love you?” or “I love you because you cannot do without me and because I long for you to be happy” or “You are mine – you are altogether mine… Do not go away. Stay with me, in me, who will never leave you. I have waited so long for you. This is the only reality: I love you and I take care of you.” Would you be frightened or flattered by them?

Well, these warm, romantic love messages were sent to a certain Louisa Jaques, whose true-to-life story is written in a passionate book called, The Life and Message of Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity.

Louisa was born in 1901 in Pretoria, South Africa, to French-Swiss Protestant parents. Her mother died while giving birth to her, so her father, who was a missionary, took her back to Switzerland with her two older sisters to be raised by an aunt.

At the age of 25, because of her poor health, and her first disappointing work and romantic experiences, she went through a terrible crisis of faith. During this particular moment in her life, she wrote in her diary, “There is no God – what people say about him is nothing but a farce – life is not worth living.”

One night, while she was in bed and repeating to herself the sentence “There is no God,” she had a vision of a woman she had never seen before enter her room. The woman was dressed in a habit with a cord around her waist. Louisa saw that it was a nun, and a ray of light penetrated into her despair. She said to herself, “Before losing all hope in God, I will go and pray in a convent.”

Thus began her difficult path into the Catholic Church, a 12-year-long journey that eventually led her to the Poor Clares in Jerusalem. Those 12 years were an uphill journey in which Jesus called her to himself in every imaginable way possible.

In Milan, Italy, Louisa served as a governess in a number of wealthy families, and in the meantime sought entry into various religious congregations, but she was rejected by every community she turned to – no one seemed to want her. It was like a treasure hunt where the treasure is never found. Louisa, however, never gave up hope.

When reading this episode in her life the following passage from the Song of Solomon comes to mind, “Where has your beloved gone, o fairest among women? Which way has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?” (Song 6,1)

It was only at the age of 37, when perhaps she had lost all hope, that, on a trip back to Europe from South Africa, Loiusa found her beloved. She found him in Jerusalem, the Holy City, where she entered the Convent of Poor Clares and took the name of Sister Mary of the Trinity. Here she began to be guided by an ‘inner voice’ that was full of love and concern for her, a voice that led her, step by step, into ever greater union with him.

Asked by her spiritual director to faithfully write down all the words that Our Lord spoke to her, we now thankfully have an exceptional, edifying and inspirational treasure trove of love messages from Our Lord himself.

It is not easy for us, with our limited human faculties, to understand God’s love. Comprehension in this domain can only come through God’s grace, as in the case of Sister Mary of the Trinity. In order to obtain grace, Pope Francis advises us to turn to the Holy Spirit, so that God may ‘grant’ us “the grace to draw closer, at least a little bit, in order to understand this love and have the desire to be embraced and kissed with that boundless love.”

Lent begins on the 10th of this month. This is a time of penitence and purification, but it is also a time of conversion, that is, of rediscovering God’s love. God comes towards us, he waits for us along our path to him in such a way that it is impossible not to see him. And he calls each one of us by name; let’s move towards him!

Updated on October 06 2016