Established in 1996, the Readers’ Group is a non-profit organisation, based in Melbourne, Australia, which retails publications of Maria Valtorta’s writings and offers audio-tapes and other supporting materials, to its members and to other interested persons. Bulletins and Supplements are sent to members at 3-monthly intervals. The latest Bulletin and Supplement, plus a Catalogue of books and other items, will be forwarded free on request - by surface mail to Australian readers, and by e-mail to inquirers from outside Australia.

 

 

   

SIX YEARS OF LETTERS

FROM READERS’ GROUP MEMBERS

(From Australia unless otherwise shown)

 

 

 

EARLY READERS’ GROUP DAYS - AND THE POEM

 

The Company of the Divine

            Thank you so much for the invitation to join in your Maria Valtorta Readers’ Group.  When I read your literature I knew I had been put in touch with someone who loves and admires Maria Valtorta’s works as much as I do (or even more, if that is possible).

            I cannot tell you how much intense emotion I felt as I read The Poem  the first time.  I have now read the English version 3 times, and the Passion even more, and each reading lifts me from my rather mundane existence into the company of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the other hundreds of real human beings that people the pages.  I find especially beautiful and divine the sermons of Jesus - they would have to be of divine origin!  But every scene, every event, every word, every emotion, is beautiful beyond description…

            I have also read all Maria’s published works (magnificent of course), and re-read her autobiography several times.  I cannot know enough about her and the magnificent writings she produced with the guidance of her beloved Jesus.

                                                   ROSE MARY RHODES, Carlingford N.S.W.

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Closer to Jesus and Mary

            I was given a copy of your recent bulletin regarding the Maria Valtorta writings, and I can honestly say there was nothing I needed more to convince me of the hand of God being in these writings.

            Only recently a friend was telling me she had been advised against reading or promoting The Poem, and this saddened me greatly, as I have been reading the fifth volume over the past few weeks, during my hour in the Chapel first thing each morning.  As a result I feel drawn so much closer to Jesus and His Holy Mother, and one can really feel part of the experiences…

            The bulletin has so greatly impressed me, and… I will continue to promote Maria Valtorta far and wide among friends…

SISTER M.V., N.S.W.

 

Fruits for an Anglican

            My friend Eva Richter loaned me two bulletins of the Readers’ Group which I was delighted to know of...

            For me, The Poem has been a significant part of my spiritual journey and has given depth of understanding to my reading of the Gospels…  I started out very skeptically checking and cross-referencing every scrap that I read against a Bible dictionary, Bible atlas, and the Gospels themselves.

            I remember very early in my reading, I was telling my brother-in-law (he is a member of the Uniting Church, I worship with the Anglican Communion) of this amazing book I had found, but also expressed my reservations about the aspects which I could not validate.  He asked me what had been the fruit of this book in my life, so I told him of the increased depth of my prayer-life and increased search of the Scriptures.  His very dry comment: “good fruit, keep reading” seemed to be the turning point for me.  From that point I could totally accept that the Holy Spirit had led me to these volumes.

NOLA CHAMBERLAIN, Northam, W.A.

 

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A Witnessing of Love

            Over the past eleven years, my life has been turned upside down…            A personal test in Faith - most definitely;  the right to question - most probably;  a reason to give up - possibly.

            The response to my simple based Faith, my belief in my God, my heart-spoken prayer - a simple but often repeated message to “Build My Church” ... I knew that Jesus did not mean me to take His word literally - so what did He mean?  Where to begin?  More anguish, frustration, prayer, and above all more perseverance and trust were needed.

            I came across some pages stapled and entitled “The Nativity, the Shepherds, and the Three Wise Men - Extracts from Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God”.  Within a few days I was totally in love with my new discovery.  I would read parts and the tears would begin to flow.  The lump in the throat would become so big I thought it would choke me.  I would seek out my wife, and fighting back the tears, would re-read the parts to her before we would both, with tears streaming down her cheeks, sit and reflect on the parts of the story we had just completed.

            My wife was so impressed that she bought the first volume as a Christmas present, then the second for my birthday, and so on for subsequent volumes throughout the year.  I opened the first page on Christmas night, and am currently more than half way through the third volume.

            Whilst I walked a lonely road to an unknown destination, lost, confused and somewhat downhearted, I met this Man, Who was walking in the opposite direction with some others following Him.  He looked at me with such big, beautiful blue eyes.  He smiled at me and said: “Come, follow Me and help build My Church, My Name is Jesus.”

            I have followed Him, through this three-dimensional book, across the plains of the Holy Land, in the boats on Galilee, in the various synagogues of Jerusalem and other places.  I have followed Him through the countryside, visiting places I have never heard of or could not even pronounce.

            I have met so many people, both good and bad.  I have witnessed miracles firsthand and listened spellbound to His sermons and parables.  I have shed tears with Jesus, experienced anger at Judas, felt the love of Mary and John, and laughed with Peter and Thomas.  I have spent Retreat times with Jesus and His apostles.  I have prayed with them, been dispatched on mission work with them (hurrying back to report to Him and share my successes and failures with those of the apostles), and I have witnessed Jesus pray to His Father.

            I have spent just over two years of His public life with Him and I know Him intimately.  I love Him so much.  I want to give Him my shoulder to cry on, my chest to lean on, my arms to rest in, my heart to love Him, my soul to relieve Him, and my life to do with what He wills.

            I follow Him every day.  By following Him I simply love Him, and by showing His daily life I am able to touch people in an intimate way, in the same way that I have watched Jesus touch people.

            In the ministries in which He has led me - the youth, the sick, the aged and the grieved, I simply act as an extension of the Jesus that I follow and know so well.

            Yes, my Lord, I will “Build Your Church”.  I now know now because You are showing me firsthand.  You show me how to love my neighbour, my friends, even my enemies.  You show me pure Charity, pure Love.  You teach me, by your example, the way You want me to act towards others.  I bless You for the day we met on the road, for Your invitation to follow You, and for the opportunity to get to know and love You so much ...

BARRY WHATELEY, Mulgrave, VIC.

            (Barry finished Volume 5 on Christmas Day, exactly a year after he started Volume 1.)

 

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A Gift to Live Up To

            … Over 63+ years of convent life, I have read many books of Christ’s life among us, but none came up to The Poem.  As soon as I finish Volume # 5 I go back to Volume # 1 and start again.  So far I have probably read them all at least seven times.  These days I alternate with the Bible (as Our Lady asked us to read the Bible).  When I first came to the Passion of Our Lord in Volume # 5, I just couldn’t read it all – too realistic and too terrible – but now I read it all, and don’t rush through as I did at first.  My excitement at finding this wonderful life of Jesus made me hurry up and start again, but now I take it slowly.

            All people who lived during the hundreds of years before The Poem missed a lot, so we who are given this gift of The Poem have a lot to live up to…I’ll keep the group in my prayers.

SISTER M.C., South Australia.

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A Shared Learning

            My mother and I first read The Poem of the Man-God a few years ago.  My mother, being a speed reader, has gotten through (the five volumes) at least three times.  She says her favourite is the first on Our Blessed Mother.

            We each were reading our own particular volume, and each night we would read aloud three of four chapters – which lead us to discussion and a clearer understanding of Our Lord’s teachings.  Some of it was very daunting, and at times we felt like children who had gotten into trouble and had lessons to learn.  But there was always the Love.  We experienced all emotions, and (thanks to God) we never doubted the writings.

            Although we had conflicts from outside, we trusted in Him, and stumbled along on our spiritual life.

            I have also read The Book of Azariah which I also found helpful, even though it sat on a shelf for a while before I was ready to read it.  This was very hard going, because I was made aware that even the smallest transgression wounds Jesus.  The End Times frightened me, and made me aware of His Majesty and Power.  But I love the Poem.  He is there.

            TINA SPOONER, Woomera, S.A.

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Enthusiastic, and Alive

            …These books have given me so much confidence to speak out.  I love having the Jehova’s Witnesses around – and if I’m needed to say anything on morals or values (or re-incarnation, evolution, astrology etc.), I’m often quoting The Poem.  I listen, then say: “yes, I see your point, but I see it like this…”  My whole personality changes.  I become enthusiastic, alive – isn’t it wonderful!

EVA RICHTER, Northam, W.A.

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SOME MORE RECENT LETTERS

 

The Poem

            The Poem has changed my life forever. Just over a year ago, I knew nothing about religion - until my mother-in-law lent me her copy. The joy my soul received, and the intimate friendship I have formed with Jesus and Mary, have enriched my life beyond words.

            The beautiful visions are imprinted in my heart. I feel I’ve walked each mile with Jesus, while He lovingly caresses my soul with wisdom.

            I suffered deep agony after losing the love of my life, Mark, in an accident - while five months pregnant with our daughter Grace. The Poem is the only thing that kept me alive through this pain. Each time I read it, another lesson of love filled me with peace and hope - to trust in Jesus, and in eternal life….

            I will eternally be a child of God, and I hope that others have the opportunity to be touched by these beautiful books.                          

JANET BARIOLA, Healesville, Vic.

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Maria Valtorta and the “Divine Mercy”

            Thank you for the radio interview cassette… I had so many tears in my eyes, I was soaked - literally. I cried when you told the story of the little boy admiring Jesus so beautifully (little Michael - Vol. 3, pages 751-5 and 760)… I’ve read many books, but none are like Maria Valtorta’s - who makes you feel you are there and watching the scene. And it’s the same feeling - hearing it. It does something to your heart and soul - it uplifts, humbles, and nurtures it…

            At age 33 - the same age as Our Lord’s Passion… I had a tumor removed from my head and face. I trusted in Him, and wasn’t afraid either way. As a matter of fact, I was never more alive and happy - despite the atrocious pain for a continuous 24 hours. After that operation, my soul was hungry to love Our Lord, and He gave me the books of Maria Valtorta. I always say: “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened” etc.

            My “conversation” had begun at 30, when I was given the picture of Our Lord’s Divine Mercy - “Jesus, I trust in You”. I stopped dead in my tracks and nearly passed out, but couldn’t. Imagine trying to explain it to a priest if I did - it was too private. The description Saint Faustina gives of Our Lord is the same as Maria Valtorta’s - precisely….

            There is another similarity between Saint Faustina and Maria Valtorta: Saint Faustina’s “Diary” was also on the Index of Forbidden Books - for 20 years! It seems that the “works” must go through their passions, as well as God’s instruments… We can only hope and pray that one day, too, Maria Valtorta’s works will be recognised and blessed. I say to Our Lord: “Jesus, I trust in You”, to help these works be made more known and accepted by the Church.          

CAROL PREVEDELLO, Chiswick, N.S.W.

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The Notebooks

 

            I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying The Maria Valtorta Notebooks 1943...  The more I read the work, the more I find answers to all the questions I would like to ask Jesus if I could.  I feel He has anticipated my doubts, fears, wonderings and my need for clarity on many aspects of my spiritual journey - so wonderfully.  I am amazed…

            I do hope your efforts to bring the writings of Maria Valtorta to as many as is possible exceeds beyond all expectations, for the souls of all those who might be benefited, encouraged and uplifted.

DALE GORDON-STEWART, Donvale, Vic.

 

            Thank you for the 1943 and 1944 Notebooks. They are truly a great treasure, and an endless source of contemplative material.

EWA WALLIS, Wauchope, N.S.W.

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Messages of Hope

            … I find when I open Notebooks 1943 that there are passages that catch my attention, and it is as though I had never read them before.  So I re-read, and gain greater insights every time.

            I marvel at the numerous interventions of Jesus and Mary – with messages of hope, warning and encouragement for these times.  We are in good hands, and how loved we are by them both.  This year of 1999 will be an auspicious year, with rapid changes…

CELINE RYAN, Stokes Valley, New Zealand

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A Catalyst for Change

            I have finally finished Vol. 5 (whew!) and now plan to restart the entire work!  It'll be like watching a movie for the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) time - knowing all the details causes you to view things from a different viewpoint, enabling you to glean something completely different with each view.  I've read this comment frequently but have to agree that Maria's work has been the most profound I have ever read, and has been the catalyst for a TREMENDOUS and wonderful change (more like an explosion!) in my spiritual life.  Oh!!  God is so good.

JAN FERGUSON, Louisiana, USA

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A Challenge to Grow

I just finished reading the hard part of the Passion… It has really made me think thoughts such as when I sin, how God looks upon how He required His Son to pay for our sins. Wow!  I can only imagine if God's wrath were upon me, due to the sins I have committed in order to for Him to require His Son's death and suffering and abandonment.  If God told me at my death "Out of a torturous love I required my Son's death for you...to save you, and you were too proud to accept even this."  I would fully understand hell at that moment!  I hope I will always grow in His love!           

CHRIS FOELDI, Missouri, USA.

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Treasured Possession

            The bulletins contain pearls of wisdom!  I have started reading Notebooks 1943 – every word is finding a home in my heart…  What a special, blessed day you shared with us in Boyanup… (and the) honest open sharing which touches the hearts of others as we are all such broken people…  I too had a conversion experience, and thank God every day for the gift of faith in Him.

            Maria Valtorta’s books have been a most treasured possession (which have) helped me very much on my faith journey, and others who have borrowed my books…

ELLY GILROY, Eaton, W.A.

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THE BULLETINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

I found that as I read the excerpts compiled in the Supplement: “Peace, Agitation and Discernment”, I wanted to go back to some of these passages and put the excerpt in context.  The compilation did a beautiful job of giving deeper insight into the fundamental rule for discernment of spirits, as in The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.  

FATHER AL WINSHMAN S.J., Boston, U.S.A.

 

            Thank you for Bulletin #16 – How they are multiplying! – and each one a valuable presentation.  The insights into Purgatory (and the importance of relieving those waiting there) were most enlightening…  I want to place my request for Notebooks 1945-50 when it is available…

BYRON MOSS, Koonorigan, N.S.W.

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…It's always a good day when a bulletin arrives. I immediately put everything else away and read every word of it. There is always so much to reflect on, so much spiritual food. It also gives a sense of renewal, to be connected with those who share the same faith and beliefs, and often the same thoughts and insights. The Maria Valtorta readers are a real family, always sustaining each other. So a heartfelt thanks for keeping us all together.

SHELAGH GOONEWARDENE, Burwood, Vic.

 

            I have found [the bulletins] arousing the great interest I have always had in Maria Valtorta’s writings… Not least of which is the present account of Judas’ behaviour which has always fascinated me. May God continue to bless this great work…

BRO. FABER, Wewak, Papua-New-Guinea

 

            Thank you for the latest Bulletin, which I always look forward to. [It has] just wonderful information and revelations by Jesus about how He loved Judas, which I had not even thought about. So it’s good for me to learn more…

LOUISE DOWMAN, Feilding, New Zealand.

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THE PILGRIM’S GUIDE

… In the name of Jesus and Mary I wish to thank you for your efforts in your publications of your newsletter and the Pilgrim’s Guide, to help the reader in assessing these writings.

BISHOP DANYLAK,  Rome, Italy.

 

What a shock I got when I picked it up.  I stopped what I was doing, and looked at the reference to Joachim and Anne… How you have put it all together is beyond me…     

I am about to start Volume 1 for the third time, but it will take longer to read – it will be more enjoyable because I will be referring to the Guide as I read.

KEVIN DONNELLY, Tamworth, N.S.W.

 

This work has been a torrent of inspiration for me, particularly the Biblical section, which opens a new understanding and much deeper insight to the Bible.      

 

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JEAN-MARIE D’AUTEUIL, Quebec, Canada.

 

The “Pilgrim’s Guide” brings to life the Scriptures.  I have often found them hard to study, but with this wonderful Guide I can find whatever volume I want (in the daily Mass readings), and I feel so delighted, that it deepens my desire to know Jesus more, and to love Mary and Jesus and dear St. Joseph.  The apostles’ distinct personalities come to life, and I can relate to them -–especially the impetuous Peter.  It gives one hope… What a treasure!

GERDA HUGHES, Mullumbimby, NSW.

 

             I spent yesterday studying the “Pilgrim’s Guide - I loved it, and am astounded (at the) work that went into it.

            I’ve started reading Vol. 1 to my 10-year-old daughter this week, and that prompted an immediate research (Vol. 1, p. 38): the Child Mary requesting the story of Gabriel and Daniel, where Christ is promised. So now, I’ve read the book of Daniel!…                         

JUDY DAWSON, Moree, NSW

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I'm going to attempt to explain why I think the 'Guide' is great, and very, very important.

The 'Guide' to Maria Valtorta's Poem, is without a doubt 'THE CONCORDANCE'  for the monumental work and masterpiece of Maria Valtorta's Poem of the Man-God. This 'Guide' is an irreplaceable aid… for any serious lover or student of the Poem. The 'Guide' helps the reader find words or passages effortlessly and quickly — whereas without it, it would take hours or days. It guides students, priests, or readers to find specialized topics and issues for projects, studies and for 'guidance' in our Lord's words and lessons. The 'Guide' also helps to further prove the genuineness of Maria Valtorta's visions and works, by just glancing at it and seeing the wealth of scripture passages covered. It further demonstrates the loving divine Mercy the Lord has shown to us in The Poem of the Man-God, by giving this to us, and to future generations. 

'It is a beatitude — for the Beatitude;

it is the gift — for the Gift;

it is the guide to the light — to the Guiding Light'.

I hope this explains how I feel about the incredible work given to all of us, and how important it is.

CAROL PREVEDELLO, Wishart, N.S.W.

 

            (The second edition of this “Guide”, has now been superceded by an expanded and improved third edition)

 

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THE AUDIO TAPES

 

            I have discovered the most wonderful way for my two young children to learn about Jesus and Mary…  Turn the TV, Video, Radio, Computer or Nintendo off!  Play the audio tapes No. 2, No. 1 (Side 2), No. 6 or No. 7 while they are quietly playing.

            If your child finds Mass boring, play the Sunday Gospel readings (tape series 5 and 9).  They will have a greater understanding and see more meaning to the Gospel.

            What a beautiful way for our children to know and love Jesus and Mary.      More tapes for children at their level of understanding are much needed.  If we start them young, even before they can read, the seeds will be planted.  They will be little gifts of God for life…

            A suggestion:  I love your tape on the Stations of the Cross.  What better way for people to have a deeper meaning and understanding of the Rosary, than a tape for each of the 3 sets of Mysteries.  A tape would help one have a mental picture, while meditating on the mysteries.  If the Spirit moves you, may it be done!  Again another way for young kids to know what they are praying, when saying Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary etc. – instead of empty words without understanding…  Food for thought!  (Indeed it was, see below. – Ed.)

 

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GORDANA NICHOLLS, Upper Orara, N.S.W.

 

            Since becoming almost blind, 5 years ago, I was truly missing the reading of Holy Scripture, especially the Sunday Gospels, (as I had) particularly found that by reading them beforehand, I gained so much more from the priest’s homily.

            Now that I receive your (monthly Sunday Gospel) tapes, I have discovered a richness and depth of Faith beyond anything that I have ever experienced before.  I have a greater love for the Holy Trinity and for Mary the Mother of God, and realise what a depth of Faith and Love was Her symbol: “Yes”.

            I can now more easily and readily offer my own little “yes” to whatever the Lord chooses to send to me, and accept it with more praise and thanksgiving.  I sincerely pray that many more people will avail themselves of the rich source of spiritual inspiration which your tapes provide.

 

            (It was Carmel’s prompting that led to the taping of these Sunday Gospels.– Ed.)

 

            The “Stations Of The Cross” is most appreciated and is about as powerful as it gets.  I was praying you would bring the Magdalene in at the end, where she pleads with Mary, and you did, and it was a perfect, perfect ending.  If you ever have to re-record, I like the reading where it mentions Longinus coming to attention as Christ was dying.  That, too, brought tears to my eyes…

I just keep listening to the “Mary” and “Stations” tapes, over and over. They really are powerful. Looking forward to getting my next order...  Please don't change them, they are really, really great      

ED FORD, Scottsdale, U.S.A.

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THE GOSPEL MEDITATED ROSARY

            (This project was completed in mid-December 1999.  On each of the three tapes, passages describing the relevant five Mysteries – directly from Maria Valtorta’s writings – are interspersed between the “Our Fathers” and the “Hail Maries” of the 5 decades.  An accompanying booklet contains the total scripts, and like the Pilgrim’s Guide, has wire binding for opening flat. Here is some of feedback.)

 

            Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the recording for the Rosary… It was a wonderful experience for me, and I feel privileged to have been there.  I know that I will always pray the Rosary differently now – it has a much more deep and intense meaning for me…                                                    

PAM YOUNG, Frankston, Vic.

 

Both Mum & I have listened to all three Rosary Tapes and they are just wonderful!  Some readers may not have the time to re-read The Poem, so these tapes are a lovely way to re-visit those special moments in Jesus' & Mary's lives, and to refresh our memories as well… I trust many people will benefit…  Our Lady will also benefit because people will be praying a much richer Rosary, with more concentration…

 

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CARMEL TANNA, Homebush, N.S.W.

 

Words cannot express the experience of walking those steps with Jesus and Mary… The Sorrowful Mysteries and Glorious Mysteries are a sneak preview to Volume 5; however, the story is known - it is the details and emotions that speak to me, and increase my love and honor for our God.

THERESA TOWNSEND, California, U.S.A.

 

            I find the Rosary tapes wonderful - you feel as though you are there, which is how I feel reading Maria Valtorta’s books of The Poem.  How truly blessed we are to have her books.

JUNE FUERY, Wodonga, Vic.

 

            I am very grateful for the Gospel-meditated Rosary.  I used the First Sorrowful Mystery at the parish Holy Hour last night (eve of First Friday), and people were touched.

FR. TOM O’NEILL S.J., Singapore.

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The meditations on the Holy Rosary are just so beautiful. The more lines I pray, my soul steps into the picture - I feel I am in that journey with Jesus and Mary. My spirit is travelling with them in every word, in every thought, in every deed, in every joy, and in every sorrow. And I feel I am giving Our Mother a little comfort by making this journey with her.

INES CAMPOS, Casula, N.S.W.

(Ines died on 13th March 2001. The 13th day of the month was very special to her.)

 

THE LITTLE BOOKLETS

[The booklets produced by the Readers’ Group serve three main purposes:

1.      As “tasters” and stepping stones to Maria Valtorta’s books - for people who might feel intimidated by their very size (The Poem in particular), and wary of making a commitment to such extensive reading;

2.      As opportunities (for those who have already “taken the plunge”) to re-visit and dwell on particular and much-loved themes;  and

3.      To serve a particular need - such as dealing with forgiveness and other “unfinished business”; learning how to know, love and follow Jesus, Mary and Joseph more; appreciating the value of suffering; understanding the nature of prayer, and fulfilling marriage and family roles more effectively.]

 

I've been thinking about… how these booklets would keep people from buying The Poem. It could be the opposite. It could lead them to The Poem… Once they get a small taste of what it all contains, perhaps this would lead them to the "complete" thing…

When Maria is known and read, wow!, what a source from which to draw. Many to whom I've given the booklets have been so appreciative, and continue to say how much they have helped… The thing I like most about them is that they center on one topic. It gives one a chance to continue thinking in that area.

 

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ED FORD, Scottsdale AZ, U.S.A.

 

“The Prayer Life and Teachings of Jesus and Mary”

            (Many letters have come about this booklet. One NSW mother ordered one for each of her nine children..)

            …I read the whole booklet on the first night I received it in the mail. Its readings have greatly improved my prayer life…

LEONE BROWN, Upper Taylors Arm, NSW.

 

“What Greater Love?”

            …I find “What Greater Love?” a marvelous help for prayer and contemplation. The references included are heart-warming - especially the effect of the betrayal of Judas on our Saviour…

New readers would have to be gradually encouraged [by the booklets], and the faithful [would be] enthused more than ever.

ANNE DEVELIN, Terrigal, NSW

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“Forgiving, and Being Forgiven”

(The Three Little Spiders - A True Story)

 

       Some time ago, when I was completing the final assembly of this booklet, I realised that I couldn’t fit it all into the 32 pages allocated in my computer program. So I decided to delete the second part of the last passage - “On Not Judging”.

       A little later I suddenly noticed a tiny little spider, hanging down from the ceiling and wriggling its legs, right between my eyes and the computer screen. Fascinated by this, I rang my friend Christine, and said that there could be a message in this little event.

       When we finished our conversation, I went back to the computer. A few minutes later the same little spider was back again. It must have returned to the ceiling, moved across about nine inches, come down, and now was almost touching my glasses. A message, for sure!

       I rang Christine again. She told me that after my first call she went into the bathroom and had a similar visit from another tiny little spider! We each picked up our Bible and found a passage at random. But neither passage seemed to be relevant, and I was left, mystified.

       36 hours later, in bed, the word: “thread” came to my mind. Was this the missing link? I went to the computer and, would you believe, that word was in that part of the passage I’d deleted from booklet! The first part of “On Not Judging” was still there, describing Maria’s vision of the large bronze door and the light behind it - from Notebooks 1943, pages 28-9. This first part concluded with:

“I understood in that Light that we must love everyone, not judge anyone, forgive everything, and live through God alone. Two years have passed, but I still see that brilliance…”

The second part, quickly restored into the (first edition) booklet’s inside back cover - ended with Jesus’ words:

“If I had not halted you with my ‘Do not judge’ - making you reflect that even in someone apparently less suited to being an instrument of God, God might be present - you would have broken, with your violence, what I had knotted together: a silk thread destined to become a ship’s hawser, with cables of superhuman charity and human affection…

“Go in peace. Your Jesus does nothing without a perfect purpose.”…

       This story has two sequels. The first happened during a recent “valtortling” trip. Coorparoo in Brisbane was the first stop, and while talking on a quite unrelated subject, a tiny spider walked across my notes. Another message for me, of course: “tell the ‘spider’ story”, which I’ve done many times since. The passage “On Not Judging” is a vital component of a vital story. When I am judging, I am not forgiving. But when I forgive, and am not judging, all good things become possible.

       The second sequel has been the production of a new edition of the Forgiving, and Being Forgiven booklet, which has been improved by:

·         the inclusion of the parables of The Lost Sheep and The Prodigal Son;

·         a new cover with the painting of Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son, plus a very telling “bookmark” inside;  and

·         spiral binding - much easier to read and stay open.

I hope and pray that its circulation will be far and wide. A God-given “bonus” has already been the discovery of opportunities for delivery of this booklet into the prison systems, in certain countries.

 “Elizabeth”, who works with a support team in a NSW prison, recently phoned through a moving story of a very positive reaction, when she showed her group some advance copies of the new edition of the Forgiving… booklet. She had to beg for the return of one of the ten copies she arrived with, for herself. -  DDM

 

I intend to relate your “spiders” incident to my prayer group at the next meeting. How the Lord can work in riddles, so as not to infringe on our free will. I wish He would be blunter sometimes - yet then again maybe not.

My heart leaps when your envelopes arrive… They get me going again…

JIM STEBBING, Drysdale, Vic.

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“Marriage and Family Life - with Jesus, Mary and Joseph”

 

Thank you for the booklet on Marriage. I remember reading in the 1st volume of the Poem, the beautiful love of Joachim and Anne, and the love between Mary and Joseph. So beautiful that my tears are to be found on the first 250 pages.

Fr. T. M., NSW

 

            When I returned from my home leave in Ireland, I was so grateful to find “Marriage and Family Life…), [which] strikes me as a very useful booklet to hand to engaged couples who come along to arrange their wedding. It will deepen and steady them in their prayer, for and with each other. It seems to be particularly good printing (I have examined it with a magnifying glass), with nice smooth paper on the cover.

FR. TOM O’NEILL S.J., Singapore

 

“The Strength and Value of Woman”

I had a woman come up to me this morning after Mass all excited about “The Strength and Value of Woman”. She said she was going to get more of them. Boy, was she ever excited.

ED FORD, Scottsdale AZ, U.S.A.

 

AND FINALLY…

From a Foundation Member

I am delighted to see more and more people falling under the spell of Maria’s gifted writings. It is gratifying to see the spread of Maria’s works world-wide. As one of your foundation members… I pray that more and more people will come to read and experience the real joy of reading these magnificent works of literary excellence. May Jesus and His Blessed Mother bring many more into “the fold”. In the beginning, people used to scoff when I mentioned The Poem etc. Not now, they listen with interest.

ROSE MARY RHODES, Carlingford, NSW.

 

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