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Stealing for Jesus

Chi Papas

References in this article are hyperlinked to their original source.  Click here to read the original Word version of this article with the references footnoted.

The life of a visionary and locutionist is a tough one. They have pressures to face that the rest of us can't even imagine. For starters - especially with people who see and hear more than one person who isn't there - when the ringing sound goes off in their head, they have to remember to ask, "Who is it?" Otherwise they might end up putting the message down on the wrong legal pad. And then that heavenly person might just get real ticked off.

Then there's the problem of getting the divine so-and-so to show up on time. I mean, if hundreds of people have turned out to see you perform, and your invisible friend is nowhere to be seen - or should we say, nowhere to be heard, - lots of people might get upset. And then you'd have to release an out-of-sequence blurb-from-the-beyond just to get them to show up again at the next scheduled event.

We shouldn't forget that visionaries and locutionists need to be tastefully attired, but not so overdressed that they take attention away from their invisible friend. Elegant, yet simple; fetching yet dignified - those are the goals to strive for.

The perennial problem is how to keep the messages jazzed up so people keep coming back - or better yet so they keep buying your books. The modern day visionary and locutionist just can't wait to get into print every single word that their invisible friends dictate to them. Old-fashioned visionaries like St. Catherine Labour told their confessors about their experiences and gave them permission to talk to the local bishop, but otherwise forbade them to reveal their identities. St. Catherine kept her identity secret until a couple of months before she died, forty-six years after she saw the Blessed Mother, and even then, she only told her superior. St. Bernadette Soubirous was just a girl at the time she saw the Blessed Mother. If the apparition had not requested the building of a public chapel, and if the local pastor had not asked for the mysterious lady's name, no one would have imagined that it was the Mother of God who had appeared to the young girl. In contrast, modern-day visionaries and locutionists just can't seem to avoid the limelight. Whether it's giving speeches at conventions, holding book-signings, or staging their own prayer events, you run into them just about everywhere you turn.

The visionary or locutionist who wants to get into publishing of course has to contend with production deadlines. Publishers like to sign contracts, and visionaries have to deliver. Otherwise the public that needs a steady diet of these kinds of books are going to go somewhere else for their fix.

We can just feel for the situation that Gianna Talone Sullivan must have found herself to be in by early March of 1991. Already a successful author with two volumes of the I Am Your Jesus of Mercy series, she was under the gun to produce a third manuscript of these messages that Jesus had supposedly been dictating to her for the previous two and half years. Volume I had contained an astounding eighty-three lessons, and Volume II another fifty-three. It was now March 2, 1991, and Jesus needed to dictate just two more messages to finish off the manuscript. But strange as it might seem Jesus didn't seem to be in a dictating mood. That's when the visionary's eyes happened to land on an old copy of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis - a spiritual classic that has been constantly in print since the 1300s. "Ah," she must have said, as she landed on chapter 49 Figuring she could always improve on the dusty text, even as she pretended that Jesus just dictated these very words to her that day, the visionary started to write down the twenty-second "dictation" for Volume III.

[Original text] Imitation of Christ, Chapter XLIX:

"Son, when thou perceivest a yearning after eternal bliss to be poured into thee from above, and that thou longest to go from the tabernacle of the body, that thou mayest behold my glory without any shadow of change, open wide thy heart, and with all thy affection draw in this holy inspiration.

Render fullest thanks to the divine goodness, which deals so condescendingly with thee, which mercifully visits thee, ardently excites thee, and powerfully raises thee up, that thou fall not by thine own weight down to things of earth.

For it is not by thine own thought or endeavour that thou attainest to this, but only by the condescension of heavenly grace and divine regard, that thou mayest advance in virtues and greater humility, and prepare thyself for future conflicts, and labour with the whole affection of thy heart to cleave unto me, and to serve me with a fervent will."

["Dictation"] Jesus of Mercy, 3:22:

"My dear child, when you perceive a longing of heavenly desire and wish to contemplate My brightness, enlarge your heart; and with all of your affection, seek after and embrace this holy inspiration. Give thanks to My Father Who deals so favorably with you, Who is merciful, Who gives you His power, Who raises you up, Who gives you graces of bliss, and Who ardently incites you lest you fall (by your own neglect) into worldly desires and carnal affection. For it is not through your own merit that you attain the bliss of His blessings. It is through Our Divine visitations and heavenly graces that you may grow in Our Holiness and in the virtue of humility. It is so you will take steps to prepare yourself and to be able to face the conflicts of your heart, to serve Me, and to remain close to Me with a loving fervor."

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IOC, XLIX:

"Son, the fire often glows, but the flame ascends not without smoke.

So also the desires of some are ablaze after heavenly things, and yet they are not free from the temptation of carnal affection.

Therefore they are not acting purely for the honour of God in asking of him so earnestly.

And such is often thy desire, which thou wouldest have me to believe will be so urgent. For that is not pure and perfect which bears some taint of self-interest."

JOM, 3:22:

"Remember, I have said that the fire will burn, but the flames will not ascend without smoke! This is because My people have initially the true desire for heavenly graces, but their days are broken with many distractions, weakened with delights, tormented with want, and entangled with egotistical vanities and tedious temptations. My people are full of sorrows and misery because they are defiled with sin and become bitter. Therefore, when they come to Me with the prayerful intentions of their heart, it is not totally pure because they are infected with self-interest in their petitions. Such is the case with you, for petitions which are not selfless are neither pure nor perfect."

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IOC, XLIX:

"Ask not what is delightful and convenient for thee, but what is pleasing and honourable to me ; for if thou judgest rightly, thou oughtest to prefer and follow mine appointment rather than thine own desire, and before any thing desired.

I know thy desire, and I have heard thy many groanings.

Thou wouldest be in the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Already thou dost delight in thine eternal home and in the heavenly country, full of joy; but thine hour has not yet come ; rather is there yet another time, a time of war, and toil, and trial."

JOM, 3:22:

"Do not ask what is pleasing or desirable to you, but what garment of praise and honor it is for Me. Seek beyond your desire; for I know your desire, and I hear your sighs! Pray that whatever your wish is, God will be glorified in you. You want what is good and comforting. You desire to abound in joy and peace, but this is not yet the time!"

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IOC, XLIX:

"Thou wishest to be replenished with the highest good, but thou canst not now attain it. It is I ; wait for me, saith the Lord, till the Kingdom of God come. Thou must yet be tried upon earth and exercised in many things.

Consolation will from time to time be given thee, but to be fully satisfied shall not be granted thee.

Take courage therefore, and be strong as well in doing as in suffering things repugnant to nature.

Thou must put on the new man and be changed into another man.

Thou must oftentimes do that which thou willest not, and let alone that which thou willest."

JOM, 3:22:

"This time is one of inner war and trials. You attempt to attain such a peace, but you cannot, for there are many things in which you are yet to be exercised. Therefore, take courage!

To be a faithful servant of God, you must deny your very self and be broken in all things. You must go against your own inclinations!"

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IOC, XLIX:

"That which is pleasing to others will go forward ; that which thou wouldest have will not succeed.

That which others say will be hearkened to; what thou sayest will be esteemed as nought.

Others will ask and will receive ; thou wilt ask and not obtain.

Others will be great in the mouths of men ; but none will speak of thee.

Others will have this or that office; but thou wilt be accounted fit for nothing.

Nature will sometimes repine at this, and it will be no small matter if thou bear it with silence.

In these and many such-like things, the faithful servant of the Lord is wont to be tried, how far he has been able to renounce and break himself in all things."

JOM, 3:22:

"At what others shall do pleasing to them, you shall not succeed.

Where others will receive great esteem from man, you shall not be noticed.

When others speak and listen, no regard shall be given to what you say.

How far can you deny yourself for love of Me?

In this you will be tried in order to break you of your self-interest!"

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IOC, XLIX:

" But weigh well, my son, the fruit of these labors, how quickly they will end, and their exceeding great reward ; and thou wilt not thence have trouble, but a strong solace to thine endurance.

For instead of this little will thou now of thine own accord forsakest, thou shalt for ever have thy will in heaven.

For there thou shalt find all that thou hast wished for, all that thou canst desire.

There the wealth of all good will be thine without fear of ever losing it.

There thy will, being always one with mine, will desire nothing either out of thyself or in thyself.

There no one will resist thee, no man will complain of thee, no man hinder, nothing stand in thy way ; but all things thou desirest will be present there together, and shall refresh thy whole affection and fill it to the full.

There I will give thee glory for the affronts thou hast endured; the garment of praise for sorrow; and, for the lowest place, a royal throne for all eternity.

There will the fruit of obedience come forth, there will the toil of penance rejoice, and humble subjection will be gloriously crowned."

JOM, 3:22:

"But blessed be the one who lets go of all created things and, through fervor of spirit, crucifies the lust of his flesh. Remember, the fruits of your labor will pass, and your suffering will be comforted and greatly rewarded for holding yourself in contempt for My good pleasure and honor alone! For what little you have here on earth, you will have great in Heaven! There I will give you glory for the amount of suffering you have endured and give you My garment of praise and love for your sorrow. There you will be seated next to Me at the royal throne for being seated at the lowest place now! There you shall rejoice for your penance and be crowned."

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Having bitten the bullet, it was now fair game to go to her library to seek "inspiration" for Jesus' future dictations. March 25 was the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Church celebrates Mary's, "Yes," to the angel and Jesus own conception. The twenty-fifth chapter of the Imitation jogged the imagination of "Jesus," and so commenced his latest "dictation" to Gianna.

IOC, XXV:

"Son, I have said : Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you.

Peace is what all desire; but not all care for those things which make for true peace.

My peace is with the humble and meek of heart; Thy peace shall be in much patience.

If thou wilt hear me and follow my voice, thou wilt enjoy much peace.

What, then, shall I do?

In every thing attend to thyself, what thou art doing and what thou art saying; and direct thy whole intention to this, that thou mayest please me alone and neither desire nor seek any thing apart from me."

JOM, 3:23:

"My dear child, I have told My people, "My Peace I give you, not as the world gives peace, but as I give to you." Do not mix the peace of the world with the Peace of God. Those who hear My voice, follow Me and seek after My Way. Do not focus on the journey of others. Do not be preoccupied with what others are saying or doing."

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IOC, XXV:

"As for the sayings or doings of others, judge nothing rashly, and busy not thyself with things not committed to thy care; and so it may come to pass that thou be little or seldom disturbed.

But never to feel any disturbance at all, nor to suffer any grief of heart or body, belongs not to this present life, but is the state of everlasting rest.

Think not therefore that thou hast found true peace if thou feelest no burden ; nor that then all is well if thou hast to withstand no adversary; nor that thou hast attained to perfection if all things are done according to thine inclination.

Neither then think thyself any thing great nor imagine thyself to be especially beloved if thou experience great devotion and sweetness ; for it is not in such things that a true lover of virtue is known, nor does the progress and perfection of a man consist in these things."

JOM, 3:23:

"Focus on Me and how you may please Me. You will seldom be disturbed if you look toward Me, and so judge not the intentions of others. However, in your journey with Me, do not think that you will not be troubled or burdened with interior suffering or external suffering, for this is the way of the world in which you live. Do not think that if you suffer, you cannot have My Peace. Do not think that if you are loved by others, you are in a state of peace in union with Me. Do not think that if your devotion and prayer are of sweetness, you are especially a beloved one; for this is not the case with My true disciples who are rich in My virtue. I have said progress, not perfection!"

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IOC, XXV:

"In what, then, O Lord?

In offering thyself with thy whole heart to the will of God ; in not seeking the things that are thine, whether in little or great, in time or in eternity.

So that with the same equal countenance thou mayest continue the giving of thanks both in prosperity and in adversity, by weighing all things in an equal balance."

JOM, 3:23:

"There is little progress for the man who thinks he is walking in perfection! Therefore, do not think you have gained true peace if you feel no adversity. Do not think you have gained perfection if things go according to your wishes and desires. My Peace is not the peace the nature of man knows! Focus all your attention on Me. Offer all of yourself to Me, and do not seek to gain anything of this world or the next. Maintain a balance of all joys and sorrows. Seek only Me, and do not weigh your heart heavily on either your sadness or your happiness."

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On November 11, 1991, the locutionist was taking a "dictation" on humility, when a proverb from Chapter 7 of the Imitation "coincidentally" found its way into her text.

IOC, VII:

"It is better to have little knowledge with humility and small understanding than great treasures of learning with a vain self conceit."

JOM, 4:8:

"It is better to have little knowledge and weak understanding than the hopes of gaining knowledge and wallowing in self-conceit."

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Two days before the end of 1991, a passage from an old Franciscan classic, The Golden Sayings of Brother Giles of Assisi, by some inexplicable means, got rearranged and appeared as the twelfth lesson of Volume 4 of Jesus' "dictations." Perhaps Brother Giles' sayings sat on Gianna's book shelf alongside the Imitation?

BGA, XX:

"The more a religious is held beneath the yoke of obedience for the love of God, so much the greater fruit will he reap; and the more a religious is obedient and subject to his superior for the honor of God, so much the more is he poor and free from his sin in comparison with all the other men of this world. "

JOM, 4:12:

"My dear one, today I wish to tell My people something about obedience. Those, who humble themselves under My yoke in obedience to their superior, are obedient to Me. Those who humble themselves initially under My yoke, and then lift their heads to go out on their own in disobedience to their superior, are exemplifying a hidden pride that has been seeded deep within them."

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BGA, XX:

"A religious who desireth to live according to his own will desireth to go into hell fire.

So long as the ox holdeth its head beneath the yoke it filleth the granaries with grain, but the ox not holding its head beneath the yoke but running about wandering seemeth to itself to be a great lord, but the granaries are not filled with grain.

The great and the wise humbly put their heads beneath the yoke of obedience, and the foolish withdraw their heads from beneath the yoke and will not obey.

A mother sometimes nourisheth and maketh much of her son who after he hath grown up doth not obey his mother on account of his pride, but mocketh and spurneth her.

I esteem it greater to obey a superior for love of God than to obey the Creator Himself, giving some command in person.

He who placeth his head beneath the yoke of obedience, and afterward that he may follow the path of perfection withdraweth his head from beneath the yoke of obedience - this is a sign of great hidden pride.

Good habits are the way to all good, and bad habits are the way to all evil."

JOM, 4:12:

"It is better to be obedient to your superior in the good works of God than it is to be directly obedient to Me! Evil can deceive through your hidden pride to expose yourself. It is like anyone who has the initial desire to do good works and serve Me through obedience, but then he or she decides to go off on his or her own and plays God! Always be obedient to your religious advisor. This will keep you pure and poor in sin. The ox, who works under the supervision of his superior, may gather grain for the barn when his head is buried in the yoke. The ox, who lifts his head from the yoke, may gather much grain, but will not have the barn in which to store the grain."

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By the end of January, it was time to sit down to the writing desk once again. And once again, Jesus needed an "assist." Gianna found it once more in the Imitation, chapter 36. If Jesus was going to continue to play hard to get, the locutionist was going to have to play hard ball, pick out some savory passages, and stick more words into his mouth.

IOC, XXXVI:

"Son, cast thy heart firmly on the Lord, and fear not the judgment of man, when thy conscience assures thee of thy piety and innocence.

It is good and blessed to suffer thus; neither will this be grievous to an humble heart, and one that trusts in God more than in itself."

JOM, 4:13:

"My dear one, I wish for My people to focus continually on Me; not only when times are good, but when they suffer with mishaps. The heart is humble when you do not allow the conscience to give testimony of your innocence! This will not grieve the humble heart because he trusts in Me more than in himself."

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IOC, XXXVI:

"Many say many things, and therefore little trust is to be placed in them.

Neither is it possible to content all.

Though Paul endeavoured to please all in the Lord, and made himself all things to all men, yet he counted it a very small thing that he should be judged by the judgment of men.

He laboured for the edifying and salvation of others as much as in him lay, and as he was able; but he could not prevent being sometimes judged or despised by others.

Therefore he committed all to God who knew all, and defended himself by patience and humility against the tongues of those who spoke evil, or thought and uttered vain and false things of him as they pleased.

However, he answered them sometimes, lest his silence might give occasion of scandal to the weak.

Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a mortal man? To-day he is, and to-morrow he appears no more.

Fear God, and thou shalt not tremble at the terrors of men.

What can any one do against thee by words or wrongs? He hurts himself rather than thee; nor can he, whoever he be, escape the judgment of God.

See thou have God before thine eyes, and strive not with complaining words.

And if at present thou seemest to be overcome and to suffer a confusion which thou hast not deserved, be not angry at this, and do not lessen thy crown by impatience ; but rather look up to me in heaven, who am able to deliver thee from all confusion and wrong, and to reward every man according to his works."

JOM, 4:13:

"My dear one, you cannot satisfy all people! Focus on your own journey with Me, and I will make you righteous in Me. I wish for all My people to be at peace, even in the anguish they experience from others. Remember, I am your Jesus of Mercy Who will protect you and give you Peace. If there are those who speak evil tongues against you, then commit them in prayer to Me, and wait with patience and humility. Speak less! Listen more! Your actions will speak for your words; and I, your Jesus, will protect you and calm all hearts in time.

There is no harm that anyone can do by causing injury through words. They only hurt themselves! Never be afraid of the mortal man, but put your trust in Me. Be patient and humble. Look to Me, your Jesus, and I will deliver you from your confusion. There is no need to justify yourself! Remain silent, prudent, and always discern in prayer when they turn against you. Silence speaks. Unless your silence would lend to an occasion of scandal to the weak, remain quiet and watchful, yet, always loving; but put to rest any fruitless fears."

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Then, not being able to restrain herself, Gianna added a summary in the usual idiosyncratic and repetitious style of "Jesus."

"Think for one moment of what I have said. The Truth is: My words penetrated right from your thoughts immediately to the core of your heart and imbedded into a safe place, the place of My Heart in yours, My Heart in all My people.

As My people grow on their journey, they need to be watchful that their spirituality does not deceive them in vanity, or they only become thieves to themselves! I love all My people, My little one, and I do not want to see them use wasteful energy in anguish over controversies man can create.

Peace to you and all. Ad Deum."

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On February 22, 1992. "Jesus" was back to being his chatty yammering self - at least insofar as Gianna was able to record. The familiar convoluted and bizarre sentences were back. The pious fluff was there too, and the endless talking in circles. But Gianna sensed she needed to add a little something flavorful to the soup. Once more the Imitation came to the rescue.

IOC, VII:

"Son, it is more profitable for thee and safer to hide the grace of devotion, and not to be elevated with it, nor to consider it much; but rather to despise thyself the more, and to be afraid of it as being given to one unworthy. Nor does advancement in the spiritual life consist so much in having the grace of consolation, as in bearing the withdrawal of it with humility, resignation, and patience "

JOM, 4:14:

"My dear one, it is more profitable to hide the grace of your devotion than to esteem it through exalting yourself! Remember, the progress in your spiritual journey does not consist of the grace of consolation, but instead, of bearing the desire for it with humility and patience!"

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Then, something else in chapter 7 caught her eye.

IOC, VII:

 "Those who are as yet new and inexperienced in the way of the Lord may be easily deceived and brought to ruin if they rule not themselves by the counsel of the discreet. But if they would rather follow their own judgment than believe others who have experience, their end will be full of peril, that is if they still refuse to be withdrawn from their own conceits."

She was pretty much an expert in finagling other people's writing by this point, so she wrote,

JOM, 4:14,

"Those who are novices should be careful to be discreet and silent, lest they fall into deceit. It is better to be quiet and in a state of solitude than to see yourselves through your own eyes of wisdom, seldom allowing yourselves to be governed by others. "

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Her biggest "borrowing" to date occurred on May 17, 1992, when hundreds of Brother Giles' words were magically transformed into those of "Christ." The following are the words as Gianna originally found them.

BGA, VI:

"Whatever a man doth, whether good or evil, he doth it unto himself; thou oughtest not therefore to be scandalized if anyone do thee harm, but thou oughtest to have compassion because of his sin.

Bear patiently the injuries done thee by thy neighbor for God's sake, for thy neighbor's sake, and for thine own sake.

In so far as one is ready to bear tribulations and injuries for God's sake, so great is he before God and not more; and in so far as one is cowardly in bearing tribulations and sorrows for God's sake, so much the less is he before God and he doth not know what God is.

If someone speaketh ill to thee, help him. If one speaketh well to thee, refer it to God; thou oughtest however to help him so that if he speaketh ill to thee thou mayest speak worse of thyself.

If thou wouldst do thy part well, do thy part ill and the part of another well: that is, praise the deed and word of another and reprove thine own; and if thou wouldst do thy part ill, do the contrary. When therefore any one contendeth with thee, lose if thou wouldst win: for in the end when thou thinkest to have won, thou wilt find that thou hast lost. The way of loss is therefore the way of salvation.

We are not good bearers of tribulation, because we are not good seekers after spiritual consolations; for he who would labor faithfully in himself and above himself, and for himself will bear all things sweetly.

Do injury to no one; and if any one do injury to thee, bear it patiently for the love of God and the remission of thy sins. For it is much better to bear one grievous wrong for the love of God without any murmuring than to feed one hundred paupers for many days, and to fast daily for many days, even till the heavens are starry. What doth it profit a man to despise himself and to afflict his body in fasts and prayers and watchings and disciplines, and not be able to bear one injury from his neighbor by reason of which he would receive a far greater reward than for those things which he sustaineth of his own accord: and this is the reason why insult offered trieth latent pride.

To bear tribulations without murmur purifieth the sins of men more than the shedding of tears.

Blessed is he who ever keepeth before his eyes his own sin and the benefits of God, and who patiently beareth every trial and tribulation, for he hath reason to hope for great consolation.

Blessed is he who doth not ask or desire any consolation under heaven from any creature.

A man ought not to expect a reward from God if he is humble and quiet, only whilst he is well satisfied in all things.

He that keepeth his sins ever well before his eyes shall not give way in any trial.

Every good which thou hast, thou oughtest to receive from God, and every evil from thy sin, for if one man had done, or were to do all the good that all men in the world have done, are doing, and will do yet, if he were to look well into himself, he would find himself ever contrary to his own welfare.

A certain Brother said to him : 'What shall we do, if great tribulations should come in our time?' Brother Giles answered : ' If the Lord should rain stones and rocks from heaven they would not harm us, if we were such as we ought to be.' If a man were such as he ought to be, evil would for him be turned to good. For just as in one having a bad will, good itself is distorted into evil, evil is changed into good. For all great goods and the great evils are from within man and cannot be seen.

The worst demons run after great infirmity and great labor and great hunger and at great wrongs done to anyone.

If thou wouldst be saved, ask not that justice be done to thee by any creature.

Holy men do good and suffer evil.

If thou knowest that thou hast offended the Lord thy God, the Creator and Lord of all things, know that it is meet that all should persecute thee and avenge the injury thou hast done to thy Lord.

Thou oughtest to bear patiently injuries and wrongs done to thee by all creatures, because thou hast not justice against any one since thou art worthy to be punished by all. It is a great virtue for a man to overcome himself. If thou overcomest thyself, thou overcomest all thine enemies and attainest to every good.

It is a great virtue if one suffereth himself to be overcome by men, for such a man is the lord of this world.

If thou wouldst be saved, strive to be without hope of all consolation that any mortal creature can give thee, because the falls which occur from consolation are greater and more frequent than those arising from tribulation."

Condensing, and rearranging Brother Giles' thoughts like furniture in a crowded apartment, Gianna's pen then recorded the following "dictation" from Jesus. Her task was rendered all the more complicated by the need to chop up Brother Giles' words into dozens of fragments and re-arrange them in a new and improved way for the sake of the "dictation."

BGA, VI,:

 "Bear patiently the injuries done thee by thy neighbor for God's sake, for thy neighbor's sake, and for thine own sake."

JOM, 4:18:

"I wish tonight, My little one, to continue on the topic of patience. I have mentioned patience before, but now I wish to speak further on the subject. I wish for My people to bear their tribulations with patience. Bear the offenses against you for God's sake, your neighbor's sake and the sake of yourself. Whatever good or evil you do, you do for or against yourself!"

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BGA, VI:

"Whatever a man doth, whether good or evil, he doth it unto himself; thou oughtest not therefore to be scandalized if anyone do thee harm, but thou oughtest to have compassion because of his sin."

JOM, 4:18:

"Have compassion on those who do evil against you. Have compassion on their sins. If they do good, offer it to God. If they do bad, pray for them, have compassion and try to help them."

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BGA, VI:

"If someone speaketh ill to thee, help him. If one speaketh well to thee, refer it to God; thou oughtest however to help him so that if he speaketh ill to thee thou mayest speak worse of thyself." When therefore any one contendeth with thee, lose if thou wouldst win: for in the end when thou thinkest to have won, thou wilt find that thou hast lost. The way of loss is therefore the way of salvation. Do injury to no one; and if any one do injury to thee, bear it patiently for the love of God and the remission of thy sins."

JOM, 4:18:

"If someone speaks ill of you, bear it with patience and help him by speaking worse of yourself. When someone competes with you, lose if you want to win! The way of salvation is in the way of losing. If someone offends you, bear it patiently for the love of God and in remission of your sins. Do not offend anyone! Bear patiently without complaining."

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BGA, VI:

"Blessed is he who ever keepeth before his eyes his own sin and the benefits of God, and who patiently beareth every trial and tribulation, for he hath reason to hope for great consolation. Blessed is he who doth not ask or desire any consolation under heaven from any creature. Holy men do good and suffer evil. What doth it profit a man to despise himself and to afflict his body in fasts and prayers and watchings and disciplines, and not be able to bear one injury from his neighbor by reason of which he would receive a far greater reward than for those things which he sustaineth of his own accord: and this is the reason why insult offered trieth latent pride."

JOM, 4:18:

"You are blessed, those who keep their sins and the goodness of God before their eyes. Do not expect God to reward you. Blessed are you who do not seek consolation from man or seek justice! Remember, holy men do good and suffer evil. It is far greater to suffer and bear patiently an offense against you than to fast and mortify yourself. What good would it do to fast and then seek justice for an offense, even if invalid or not true?"

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BGA, VI:

"To bear tribulations without murmur purifieth the sins of men more than the shedding of tears. It is a great virtue for a man to overcome himself. We are not good bearers of tribulation, because we are not good seekers after spiritual consolations; for he who would labor faithfully in himself and above himself, and for himself will bear all things sweetly. If thou overcomest thyself, thou overcomest all thine enemies and attainest to every good. If a man were such as he ought to be, evil would for him be turned to good. For just as in one having a bad will, good itself is distorted into evil, evil is changed into good. For all great goods and the great evils are from within man and cannot be seen."

JOM, 4:18:

"Those who bear their tribulations with patience always keep their sins before their eyes, and therefore, are not weakened. It is a great virtue to overcome yourself. Look at yourself and continually work in yourself, on yourself and for yourself, seeking spiritual consolations. If you overcome yourself, you will be able to overcome your enemies. Just as good can be twisted into evil, evil can be turned into something good! This is all in man. Man has within himself things that only God sees, and so, can do good as well as bad, contingent on free will.

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BGA, VI:

 "If thou wouldst be saved, ask not that justice be done to thee by any creature. If thou knowest that thou hast offended the Lord thy God, the Creator and Lord of all things, know that it is meet that all should persecute thee and avenge the injury thou hast done to thy Lord. Blessed is he who doth not ask or desire any consolation under heaven from any creature. Thou oughtest to bear patiently injuries and wrongs done to thee by all creatures, because thou hast not justice against any one since thou art worthy to be punished by all. If the Lord should rain stones and rocks from heaven they would not harm us, if we were such as we ought to be. The worst demons run after great infirmity and great labor and great hunger and at great wrongs done to anyone."

JOM, 4:18:

"Therefore, I say to not seek justice or a reward when someone has done an injustice or offense against you. You all have sin and the right to be purified. The quicker you embrace patience, the less you will suffer, and you will be saved. Look to God, and seek only God, not reward or consolation from anyone under Heaven. Do not complain. If you are weak in patience and complain, the more you will be burdened. Fight against vices and treat tribulations and humiliations with patience. Bow under holy obedience, and the task will be easier for you.

I tell you this because if you are in a state of love, compassion, and patience, no matter what destruction were to happen, you would not be harmed. It would not hurt you. The devils try harder to disgust you when you endure with patience or labor fighting insults with kindness. You are being saved, and they wish for you to live in their own disgust. Whatever man does to you, he does to himself; so be compassionate on his sins, and be patient."

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Maybe the most disappointing single event in the whole series of Jesus' "dictations," occurred on June 28, 1992. The place was Jerusalem. You would think that with Jesus having been crucified in the city, and with his having come back from the dead in the city, he would have had something to tell Gianna. But no deal. Once more, it was Thomas Kempis who came to the rescue with his Imitation of Christ. This time Gianna's eyes fell on Chapter 6. First of all, the chapter as it appears in the original

IOC: VI:

"The glory of a good man is the witness of a good conscience.

Keep a good conscience and thou shalt always have gladness.

A good conscience can bear very much, and is exceeding joyful in the midst of adversity.

A bad conscience is always timid and uneasy.

Sweetly wilt thou rest if thy heart blame thee not.

Never be glad but when thou hast done well.

The wicked have never true gladness, nor feel peace within ; because there is no peace or the wicked, saith the Lord.

And if they shall say: We are in peace, evils will not come upon us, and who shall dare to hurt us ? believe them not ; for the wrath of God will arise on a sudden, and their deeds shall be brought to nought, and their thoughts shall perish.

To glory in tribulation is not hard to him who loves ; for so to glory is to glory in the cross of the Lord.

That glory is short-lived which is given and taken by men.

The glory of the world is always accompanied by sorrow.

The glory of the good is in their consciences, and not in the mouths of men.

The gladness of the just is from God and in God, and their joy is in the truth.

He who desires true and everlasting glory values not that which is temporal.

And he that seeks after temporal glory or does not despise it from his heart, shows himself to have little love for that which is heavenly.

That man has great tranquility who cares neither for praises nor dispraises.

He will easily be content and in peace whose conscience is clean.

Thou art not more holy if thou art praised, nor worse if thou art dispraised.

What thou art, that thou art; nor canst thou be said to be greater than God sees thee to be.

If thou considerest well what thou art within thyself, thou wilt not care what men may say of thee.

Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart.

Man considers the actions, but God weighs the intentions.

To do always well and to hold self in small account is a mark of an humble soul.

To refuse comfort from any creature is a sign of great purity and of inward trust.

He that seeks no outward testimony for himself, plainly has committed himself wholly to God.

For not he who commendeth himself, saith blessed Paul, is approved, but he whom God commendeth.

To walk with God within, and not to be held by any affection without, is the state of an interior man."

As she had done so recently with the lengthy passage from Brother Giles, Gianna had to chop up this chapter into many little pieces and reassemble them before she got the "dictation" just right.

IOC, VI:

"Keep a good conscience and thou shalt always have gladness. He will easily be content and in peace whose conscience is clean."

JOM, 4:21:

"My dear one, take down My words now for My people. A good conscience is one which brings joy in God. It is your glory when your conscience is clear! It is not in what is in your words, but what is in your heart. Speech does not reflect the interior. He, who has a clear conscience, will be content and at peace with himself."

------------------------------

IOC, VI:

"Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart. Man considers the actions, but God weighs the intentions. What thou art, that thou art; nor canst thou be said to be greater than God sees thee to be. If thou considerest well what thou art within thyself, thou wilt not care what men may say of thee. That glory is short-lived which is given and taken by men. The glory of the good is in their consciences, and not in the mouths of men. Thou art not more holy if thou art praised, nor worse if thou art dispraised."

JOM, 4:21:

"My Father sees what is within. Man looks upon the actions and speech of men, but it is I Who weighs the intentions of the heart. It is the interior of the heart which will ultimately speak the actions in truth, but what man does not see on the outside does not mean it is not seen by the Eyes of God interiorly. Also, what man sees through actions exteriorly does not reflect in its totality inwardly! Man may not praise you, but this does not mean you are worse or less holy. Likewise, if you are praised by man, this does not mean you are holy!"

------------------------------

IOC, VI:

"To refuse comfort from any creature is a sign of great purity and of inward trust. To do always well and to hold self in small account is a mark of an humble soul. He who desires true and everlasting glory values not that which is temporal. And he that seeks after temporal glory or does not despise it from his heart, shows himself to have little love for that which is heavenly."

JOM, 4:21:

"My point today, child, is this: Walking with Me interiorly and refusing comfort from man, without seeking consolation or affection, is the state of an interior confidence and purity. To do your best, yet to hold yourself in little account, will solidify union of a humble state. If you seek after the glory of this world, you have little love for what is heavenly."

------------------------------

IOC, VI:

"The wicked have never true gladness, nor feel peace within; because there is no peace for the wicked, saith the Lord. That man has great tranquility who cares neither for praises nor dispraises."

JOM, 4:21:

"Keep a good conscience. Clean yourself before the temple, and you shall have joy. Remember, the wicked cannot have joy or peace because there is no joy or peace in the wickedness of evil. The projects of the evil will only perish. True peace and joy can only be sustained in Me, and I rest in the humble, pure and clean hearts. A clean conscience is one which examines itself continuously to wash, to sift and to rinse and clean for a resting place for its Master. This means that great tranquillity of the heart will not seek affection of man's praises or dispraises, but will look to God for His Face to behold.

With all this cutting and pasting, it's a cinch that Gianna didn't get to take in much of the Jerusalem night life that evening. But the locutionist had the satisfaction of knowing that she had put together a "dictation" on the subject of a good conscience that any "god" would be proud of.

We have taken a light-hearted approach thus far to Gianna's repeated "borrowings" from the writings of others. It would have been bad enough if, like a high school kid who left a reading assignment for the last minute, she had "borrowed," the words of some obscure article, used them in her report, and hoped the teacher wouldn't figure things out. But this wasn't a high school term paper. Gianna was in the midst of pretending that she was receiving messages directly from the beyond, and that it was Jesus Christ Himself on the sending end.

We owe an eternal debt of gratitude to William A. Reck, whose book Dear Marian Movement appeared in 1996. On pages 139 and 140 of this volume, he records his dismay in learning that word-for-word extracts from the Imitation of Christ had been placed into the mouth of Jesus in the I Am Your Jesus of Mercy series. It is to be regretted that this knowledge was not spread far and wide, since it would have spared the Emmitsburg area much contention in the years to come, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore much bother.

How do we know which passages were "borrowed," and which are original "dictation"? For starters, Gianna's "mystical" writing style is er um "unique." Somewhere along the line she got the idea that "mystical" messages must be rambling, stream-of-consciousness concoctions that make no rational sense. They must also be highly emotive; they must quote Scripture every once in a very great while; and they must be highly repetitious. In contrast, the Jesus of the Bible (the REAL Jesus) is anything but disjointed and repetitious. He is forceful. He is master of his message. He does not play "touchy-feely" with his audience. In the I Am Your Jesus of Mercy series, as soon as the rambling disjointed Jesus gives way to passages that are more or less coherent, we can be fairly certain that we have just stumbled onto another "borrowed" text.

Gianna's "borrowings" occurred long before the existence of the Internet as we now know it - and also before such classics as the Imitation of Christ and the Golden Sayings of Brother Giles were digitized and placed online. Being apprised of Mr. Reck's discovery, and after isolating the "borrowed" sections of the "dictations," it becomes a relatively easy thing to locate the original texts on which Gianna felt she had to improve. All we need do is make educated guesses as to which vocabulary words she just had to recycle in her new-and-improved versions of the old masters.

Let us be clear here. The issue at hand is plagiarism, a word that Webster defines as, "to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source." This is not merely a matter of having a stray sentence come to mind, and inadvertently placing it into a larger work. The examples cited in this study show that Gianna devoted great attention to reworking the ancient texts - as much to eliminate the "thees" and "thous" as to make it harder for the Truth to be discovered.

If a cadet at any of the US military academies gets caught plagiarizing, it means the end of his or her military career. Such behavior is a breach of the Honor Code and will not be tolerated. How much more grievous must we consider plagiarism when the writer is treating Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as nothing more than her personal sock puppet? Besides filling up hundreds of pages with her repetitious fantasies and placing them in Jesus' mouth, she reworks passages from ancient authors to give her "Jesus" an air of authority that she surely realized he thus far lacked. Webster defines "blasphemy" as, "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God." Let the reader decide whether or not the contemptible behavior we have just studied rises to that thresh-hold!

We are also supposed to believe that Our Blessed Mother was appearing to Gianna this whole time and saw nothing wrong with literary theft - she who in time and eternity is the ever sinless Virgin.

Gianna's distinctive writing style runs right through everything "mystical" that she offers us. Whether it is "God the Father," "Our Lady of Emmitsburg," or "Jesus Christ," Gianna has nothing to serve up but the same rambling prose, the same watery soup.

In the past, after OLOE has said something particularly outrageous, and her flock started to murmur, she has provided "spin" for her earlier message and "cover" for the visionary. We should not be surprised if, after news of the visionary's plagiarism becomes broadly known, OLOE does not tell us that this is all old news in heaven, and that Gianna was forgiven long ago for her excess of enthusiasm. "God the Father," might even thunder a denunciation against those who think that something irregular happened here. But these are old tricks very old and very tiresome tricks.

It is well past the time when the curtain should have come down on Mrs. Sullivan's stage act. Thus far, her adoring public has managed to ignore an authoritative decision on the part of the Archdiocese Baltimore that Gianna is absolutely not seeing the Blessed Mother. They have ignored the plain fact that Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - reviewed the findings of the archdiocesan commission and commended their work. They have allowed OLOE to validate her own apparitions, in spite of the fact that the individual who transmits the messages as well as their validations is the exact same person. Perhaps now, after being presented with irrefutable evidence that this visionary is not what she pretends to be, her public will finally stop worshiping at the feet of a false and empty god.

"How much more grievous must we consider plagiarism when
 the writer is treating Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
 as nothing more than her personal sock puppet?"


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