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Chapter 132 - The Lord and the beggar-woman.
132,1. When we were already close to Emmaus we met again another beggar who started to shout very pitifully, saying that she – as we noticed – was a very poor widow and mother of two children that she had to carry laboriously on her arms from place to place so that she could receive enough alms to buy the most urgent food for her and the two children, and pleaded that we should not let her go empty handed.
132,2. I said to her: “But why are you shouting so wildly? We are not deaf and we can also do something for you if you bring forward your need in a more modest and quiet way.”
132,3. The woman said: “Lord, I have done that but the heart of most people became hard as stone and deaf, and they never take notice of the modesty of poverty. Only with noisy emotion it is sometimes possible to receive meager alms from somebody, and this is the reason why I have asked You so loudly.”
132,4. I said: “You really are poor and therefore I do not reject you, but what I do not like is that you prefer to beg instead of going to work. Because look, you are not yet 30 years old, you are strong and healthy and you still can work to earn your bread for yourself and your twins. But you prefer to beg instead of going to work, and so you have studied your profession quite well to lure out alms from the simple people of the world. But this kind of display of poverty is to Me of no value, only the clear truth counts. Besides that, I also have to tell you something else.”
132,5. The woman said: “Well dear Friend, I really should not know what else You still have to tell me.”
132,6. I said with a friendly serious voice: “Oh dear woman, still a lot and of many things. I want to help you indeed if you will correct yourself and sin no more. If you will not do that, then I surely will also not help you. And even if you would shout a 100 times louder than you have shouted this time, I still would never listen to you. Now understand Me well what I will say to you:
132,7. Look, you are carrying a package at your back. What is hidden in there? Well, in it you are carrying your dress made of Persian silk that cost you 1 pound of pure silver at the time when you still were prosperous. When you come into an inn you put your twins to sleep. After that, you put on your nice dress, then you look like a very attractive and well-developed woman, and as a foreigner you try to sell yourself to somebody. As soon as the new day comes, you then look exactly as you look now, and you are shouting at people to receive alms. Now tell me whether according to you, this can be right for God and men. However, I still do not condemn you in this, but I am asking for your own opinion. Speak. What can you reply to Me on this?”
132,8. At these words of Mine the insolent beggar became completely embarrassed and she did not know what she had to reply on this.
132,9. After a short while in which she regained the calmness in her somewhat frivolous mind, the beggar said: “But Lord, I still have never seen nor spoken to You anywhere. How can You know that? Some of Your investigators must have reported that. Yes, yes, unfortunately this is how it is, but what can a poor lonely widow do, if now and then in her need she is dealing with some things that indeed cannot be agreeable to God? But because of that, the poor widow that I know is by far not bad. Look only at the women of the Pharisees, of the scribes and also even of the Levites, who still have to be always clean, then You will find a lot of other reasons to admonish them instead of me who by need am often tormented in such a way that You cannot easily imagine. Besides, I openly confess that You have said the whole truth about me, but please help me, then I will never more try to use such miserable ways to provide for my needs. Friend, to judge and to punish is easy, but nobody wants to help.”
132,10. I said: “Really, I do not want to judge you and even less to punish you, even if I have the power to do so, but your mistake is, that you do not like so much the somewhat harder work, but instead you prefer an immoral and useless life. And that is the reason why you are now so poor and miserable. This I have shown you, so that you seriously would change your life, because God does not help such doubtful hearts. Have you never in all earnest turned trustingly to God for help?”
132,11. The woman said: “Oh Friend, stop talking about this deaf and merciless God of the Jews, because people like us prefer to be heard by a stone instead of Your God. When I cry for alms, then people are at least noticing me – although they still are so merciless – and they give me some money for food, but Your God however, is even more deaf than a stone.”
132,12. I said: “Oh surely not, God is not at all like that, but you never really knew God, you did not believe in Him and you even less loved Him, and therefore you have never seriously turned to Him with a good request to help you out of your need. However, for this reason God has afflicted you, so that in this affliction you would search God. And where you are expecting it the least, God comes to you to truly help you, and still you say that God would be more hard and deaf than a stone.
132,13. Look, in this way you are committing a great injustice to God, and still He does not judge you for that, but He wants to help you, body and soul, so that also your soul would not perish forever.
132,14. When you were still unmarried and your parents were still living, you were a very honest and also a very faithful God-fearing child, and God and your parents had a great pleasure in you. You became mature, and a very kind man asked you for marriage and he took you for his wife. But being a wife, you soon became very different from what you were as a child.
132,15. You did not love your husband, you also turned hard towards your parents and you blamed them that they gave you to a man that you could not love. For this reason your parents, who were already old and sick, were so much consumed by sorrow that they died. Then you became even more unfriendly to your husband, so that he also became weak, went to drink, and so he also became poor, got sick and he died, and so you became a poor widow.
132,16. God allowed this oppressive poverty to come over you because you first broke God’s commandment that commands the children to honor and to love their parents, so that they would live long and would be prosperous on Earth, and secondly because you did not love your kind husband who was granted to you by your parents. You gave him one bitter hour after another.
132,17. Since then, 1 year went by and you still did not consider looking into your faults and feeling sorrow for it, and ask God for His forgiveness. And still, you say that God is more hard and deaf than a stone, that He feels no mercy for a human being, even if he prays to Him persistently. Well, what do you think now about God’s mercilessness?”
132,18. Full of remorse the beggar said: “Lord, whoever You may be, truly God has brought You on my way. You have opened my eyes and now I know what to do: I will sell this miserable dress in my package and with that money I will buy a penance robe, because if I will not have done penance for my sins, God cannot answer any of my prayers.”
132,19. I said: “The penance robe will not take away your sins, but your silk dress you can sell indeed and buy bread for it. Your beggar garment is already in many ways a penance robe. Be remorseful in it and do not commit any more sins in the future, then also your old sins, that you cannot undo anymore, will be forgiven by God.”
132,20. The beggar said: “Friend, tell me now also who You are, because You know my way of life so well. Tell me also what I should do, so that God would forgive my sins. Are You perhaps a priest or a prophet or even an Essene, of whom they say that of each man who comes to them, they know precisely what he has done and achieved, and that they also are releasing all men’s sins, cure diseases and even can wake up the dead? This I really would like to know, in order to show You the honor that You deserve.”
132,21. I said: “This I do not need from you. Just do what I have advised you, then you will honor Me in the best way, whoever I may be. Now go your way in peace.”
132,22. Then she said thanks for the lesson. Furthermore Agricola and also the 3 Indians gave her alms and she continued her way to Jerusalem. We also moved further on and came close to the walls of Emmaus.
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