Garabandal. Sacrifice. Offer everything to God
Offer everything to God
For penance someone once gave us these sorts of belts to wear around our waists.‡ ‡(A cilice [a wire-type belt with sharp metallic points to irritate the skin.] It was a priest who gave them to Conchita, Mary Loli and Jacinta, but not Mari Cruz, because he felt that she was smaller and frailer than the others. Reportedly, Jacinta's mother would not allow her to wear the belt. It was designed for discomfort and the girls wiggled in it to draw the Virgin's attention. Conchita admits that the Virgin said, “This is not what I mean by penance.” See further references to penance in Chapter 10.) During this apparition, we were pulling at our waists so that the Virgin would realize that we were uncomfortable. The Virgin told us to take the belts off, that we should do our chores and accept the problems of everyday life.
I don't know what the Virgin meant. I understand it to mean that we should live life from moment to moment, offering everything to God. All people, in their families and in their jobs. Each one knows how to be good because I believe each person has his or her own conscience. God speaks to each one through his or her own conscience. I'm sure each person knows when he or she does something good or something bad.
Closer to God through penance
Yes, that was the belt the Virgin instructed me to remove. However, later on, my spiritual adviser permitted me to wear it. Once I was under his care, I was totally obedient to him. To me, he now spoke as the Virgin herself. Later on, the mother superior, in the convent school I was attending, told me to remove it. So of course I did. I feel closer to God when I am doing penance. Then, I had no penance at all. Today I have all to do to keep up with my everyday duties. I know you don't agree with this type of penance, but you should realize that God gives different callings to each person. I certainly don't believe that everyone should harm himself, but a little discomfort keeps you closer to Jesus. When you are under careful supervision, I think it is all right.
Good deeds done for Christ's sake
Mark my words, only good deeds done for Christ's sake brings us the fruits of the Holy Spirit. All that is not done for Christ's sake, even though it be good, brings neither reward in the future life nor the grace of God in this life. That is why our Lord Jesus Christ said: “He who does not gather with Me scatters” (Luke 11:23).