7 January 1919
Yesterday evening, our dear Father invited all of us to make a pact with the Lord–the same pact he himself had made: to study for one and to learn for four. During our meditation this morning, he re-emphasized the importance, foundations and conditions for this pact and once again invited us to make it. He spoke ardently and with a conviction that was very persuasive. The foundations [of this pact] are:
trust in God, who has promised to grant wisdom to those who ask him (he offered us the examples of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez and the Curé of Ars); God’s pleasure with those who trust in him; the will of God that this House exist and flourish, and the impossibility for us to study as much as is ordinarily needed to learn.
Our dear Father said that trust is lacking in the world and that he has not yet found it in anyone…. Those who trust everyone and everything except God are stupid and crazy and will spend a long time in purgatory after death.
Trust is the first means for learning and we offer it as a challenge to all our students, who [are able to] study only a quarter of the time necessary. Therefore those who enter [the House] from the seminary must strip off all the ideas they acquired in the seminary because our knowledge is the result of what we study. Those who enter straight from home must strip off the ideas they acquired at home.
The importance of the pact: we must take it seriously, otherwise we will lose esteem for it, like using gold to make nails for shoes…. The pact will give a boost to our study, which at this point has reached a very low level. With the pact, we will make progress and work miracles.
This is true. God will not fail us! Putting the pact into practice will prove it: we must believe this!
1. Trust in God; use time well. Those who have enough faith to believe that they will be able to study four for one by means of the pact should make it. Those who don’t have this faith should not make it, but these people should not even be studying in our House.
2. Use well the time allotted for study: promise to do this and then do it. If not, the pact is worthless.
3. Promise to use what we learn solely for the Good Press and the glory of God–a serious promise that should be kept even if it requires sacrifice and results in less income.
If these three conditions are not conscientiously met, then the pact is worthless.
Our dear Father invited all of us to make this pact with the Lord, saying he had already done so and experienced its results, but he left us completely free. God would be faithful. On our part, let us not fail to carry out any of these conditions. With this intention, during the holy Mass we prayed the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, the Veni Creator, and three Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s (one for each condition).
Before the Hail Mary’s, our dear Father recited the formula of the pact and asked us to repeat it in our hearts.
Wisdom comes from God. In a single instant he can infuse us with more wisdom than that acquired over many years, like he did with the Magi. God is independent of time and books: trust. The wisdom of God is just and true. God has done everything well. Not the wisdom of Kant, Carducci, Rousseau and others like them. “Let anyone accept this who can” (Mt. 19:12).
When our Father speaks about trust in divine Providence, he is no longer preaching a sermon. His words are inflamed, dictated by the promptings of his heart. [The line of thought is] sometimes disconnected, but persuasive.
(From the Diary of Joseph T. Giaccardo)