I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory. (Notebook I-48)

I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: "O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You."
(Notebook I-186-187)

Pebrero 20, 2018

Master, Teach Us to Pray-Divine Mercy Miracles Meditations


Master, Teach Us to Pray
February 20, 2018. Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Father José LaBoy, LC

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: "In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I am aware that You know what is best for me, and that is why I believe in You. You are more interested in my spiritual well-being than I am, and that is why I trust in You. You always give me Your loving forgiveness in spite of my sins, and that is why I love You.

Petition: Lord, teach me how to pray.

1. Prayer is the Fruit of Silence: Some people like to talk. They demand to be listened to, but they don’t have the same interest in listening. However, you usually can’t listen if you aren’t used to silence. St. Theresa of Calcutta once wrote that prayer is the fruit of silence. Jesus wants us to understand that prayer is more about listening than about talking. When you are with someone who knows much about a topic that interests you, you limit yourself to asking questions and dedicate yourself to listening. Jesus is the revealer of God the Father. That means our main interest in prayer should be asking Jesus, our Lord, about his Father and then dedicating ourselves to listening.

2. God is Our Loving Father: Jesus tells us that God the Father knows what we need before we ask him. Still, we should ask, because in asking we become aware that we have needs that only God our Father can grant us. We learn to ask God what we most need for our salvation. That is why Jesus taught us the “Our Father.” Praying the “Our Father” reminds us that he is the father of all, and therefore every human person is truly our brother. In praying the “Our Father,” we essentially ask for three things: that God have the first place in our lives, that he give us our material and spiritual sustenance, and that he grant us his forgiveness.

3. Forgive in Order to Be Forgiven: Jesus emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. As the First Letter of John reminds us, we are all sinners (cf. 1:8). One of the essential characteristics of Christian life is seeking to encounter Christ’s loving mercy. We can really experience it only when we put it into practice ourselves. We can admire a person who parachutes off a plane, but we won’t understand the experience until we skydive ourselves. We grasp the true meaning of mercy when we forgive others. Our mercy will not be the same as Christ’s: He never sinned, and therefore he forgives us even though we don’t deserve it. If Christ has forgiven us, how can we dare not to forgive others?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I thank You for teaching me to pray to the Father. I don’t always pray as much as I should. Please help me to pray more and better. Please help me to want with all my heart to give God the first place in my life, preferring his will to mine. Help me to treat others as I would like them to treat me, forgiving them when they offend me.

Resolution: I will dedicate a specific time to prayer each day.

Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska

17 At last the time came when the door of the convent was opened for me - it was the first of August [1925], in the evening, the vigil [of a feast] of Our Lady of the Angels. I felt immensely happy; it seemed to em that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving.

18 However, after three weeks I became aware that there is so very little time here for prayer, and of many other things which spoke to my soul in favor of entering a religious community of a stricter observance. This thought took a firm hold of my soul, but the will of God was not in it. Still, the thought, or rather the temptation, was growing stronger and stronger to the point where I decided one day to announce my departure to Mother Superior and definitely to leave [the convent]. But God arranged the circumstances in such a way that I could not get to the Mother Superior [Michael]. I stepped into the little chapel [7] before going to bed, and I asked Jesus for light in this matter. But I received nothing in my soul except a strange unrest which I did not understand. But, in spite of everything, I made up my mind to approach Mother Superior the next morning right afte rMass and tell her of my decision.

32 Another time I heard these words, Go to the Superior and ask her to allow you to make a daily hour of adoration for nine days. During this adoration try to unite yourself in prayer with My Mother. Pray with all your heart in union with Mary, and try also during this time to make the Way of the Cross. I received the permission, though not for a full hour, but only for whatever time was left me after I had carried out my duties.

41 On one occasion I saw a servant of God in the immediate danger of committing a mortal sin. I started to beg God to deign to send down upon me all the torments of hell and all the sufferings He wished if only this priest would be set free and snatched from the occasion of committing a sin. Jesus heard my prayer and, that very instant, I felt a crown of thorns on my head. The thorns penetrated my head with great force right into my brain. This lasted for three hours; the servant of God was set free from this sin, and his soul was strengthened by a special grace of God.

55  1933. Spiritual Counsel Given Me by Father Andrasz, S.J.
First: You must not turn away from these interior inspirations, but always tell everything to your confessor. If you recognize that these interior inspirations refer to your own self; that is to say, they are for the good of your soul or for the good of other souls, l urge you to follow them; and you must not neglect them, but always do so in consultation with your confessor.

Second: If these inspirations are not in accord with the faith or the spirit of the Church, they must be rejected immediately as coming from the evil spirit.

Third: If these inspirations do not refer to souls, in general, nor specifically to their good, you should not take them too seriously, and it would be better to even ignore them.

But you should not make this decision by yourself, either one way or the other, as you can easily be led astray despite these great favors from God. Humility, humility, and ever humility, as we can do nothing of ourselves; all is purely and simply God's grace.

You say to me that God demands great trust from souls; well then, you be the first to show this trust. And one more word-accept all this with serenity.

Words of one of the confessors: "Sister, God is preparing many special graces for you, but try to make your life as clear as crystal before the Lord, paying no attention to what anyone else thinks about you. Let God suffice you; He alone."

Toward the end of my novitiate, a confessor [perhaps Father Theodore] told me: "Go through life doing good, so that I could write on its pages: `She spent her life doing good.' May God bring this about in you."

Another time the confessor said to me, "Comport yourself before God like the widow in the Gospel; although the coin she dropped into the box was of little value, it counted far more before God than all the big offerings of others."

On another occasion the instruction I received was this: " Act in such a way that all those who come in contact with you will go away joyful. Sow happiness about you because you have received much from God; give, then, generously to others. They should take leave of you with their hearts filled with joy, even if they have no more than touched the hem of your garment. Keep well in mind the words I am telling you right now."

Still another time he gave me the following recommendation: "Let God push your boat out into the deep waters, toward the unfathomable depths of the interior life."

Here are a few words from a conversation I had with the Mother Directress [Mary Joseph] toward the end of my novitiate: "Sister, let simplicity and humility be the characteristic traits of your soul. Go through life like a little child, always trusting, always full of simplicity and humility, content with everything, happy in every circumstance. There, where others fear, you will pass calmly along, thanks to this simplicity and humility. Remember this, Sister, for your whole life: as waters flow from the mountains down into the valleys, so, too, do God's graces flow only into humble souls."

62 O life so dull and monotonous, how many treasures you contain! When I look at everything with the eyes of faith, no two hours are alike, and the dullness and monotony disappear. The grace which is given me in this hour will not be repeated in the next. It may be given me again, but it will not be the same grace. Time goes on, never to return again. Whatever is enclosed in it will never change; it seals with a seal for eternity.

91 O my Jesus, You alone know what persecutions I suffer, and this only because I am being faithful to You and following Your orders. You are my strength; sustain me that I may always carry out what You ask of me. Of myself I can do nothing, but when You sustain me, all difficulties are nothing for me. O my Lord, I can see very well that from the time when my soul first received the capacity to know You, my life has been a continual struggle which has become increasingly intense.

Every morning during meditation, I prepare myself for the whole day's struggle. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory; and so it is. I fear the day when I do not receive Holy Communion. This Bread of t lie Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me - it is the Eucharist.

O my Jesus, the misunderstandings are so great; sometimes, were it not for the Eucharist, I would not have the courage to go any further along the way You have marked out for me.

92 Humiliation is my daily food. I understand that the bride must herself share in everything that is the groom's; and so His cloak of mockery must cover me, too. At those times when I suffer much, I try to remain silent, as I do not trust my tongue which, at such moments, is inclined to talk for itself, while its duty is to help me praise God for all the blessings and gifts which He has given me. When I receive Jesus in Holy Communion, I ask Him fervently to deign to heal my tongue so that I would offend neither God nor neighbor by it. I want my tongue to praise God without cease. Great are the faults committed by the tongue. The soul will not attain sanctity if it does not keep watch over its tongue.

94 O my Lord, inflame my heart with love for You, that my spirit may not grow weary amidst the storms, the sufferings and the trials. You see how weak I am. Love can do all.

95 +A Deeper Knowledge of God and the Terror of the Soul.

In the beginning, God lets himself be known as Holiness, Justice, Goodness - that is to say, Mercy. The soul does not come to know this all at once, but piecemeal, in flashes; that is to say, when God draws near. And this does not last for long, because the soul could not bear such light. During prayer the soul experiences flashes of this light which make it impossible to pray as before. Try as it may to force itself to pray as it did before, all is in vain; it becomes completely impossible for it to continue to pray as it did before it received this light. This light which has touched the soul is alive within it, and nothing can either quench or diminish it. This flash of the knowledge of God draws the soul and enkindles its love for Him.

But this same flash, at the same time, allows the soul to know itself as it is; the soul sees its whole interior in a superior light, and it rises up alarmed and terrified. Still, it does not remain under the effects of terror, but it begins to purify itself, to humble and abase itself before the Lord. These lights become stronger and more frequent; the more the soul is crystallized, the more these lights penetrate it. However, if the soul has responded faithfully and courageously to these first graces, God fills it with His consolations and gives himself to it in a perceptible manner. At certain moments, the soul, as it were, enters into intimacy with God and greatly rejoices in this; it believes that it has already reached the degree of perfection destined for it, because its defects and faults are asleep within it, and this makes it think that they no longer exist. Nothing seems difficult for it; it is ready for everything. It begins to plunge itself into God and taste the divine delights. It is carried along by grace and does not take account of the fact that the time of trial and testing may come. And, in fact, this state does not last long. Other moments will soon come. I should add here, however, that the soul will respond more faithfully to divine grace if it has a well - informed confessor to whom it can confide everything.

97 Faith staggers under the impact; the struggle is fierce. The soul tries hard to cling to God by an act of will. With God's permission, Satan goes even further: hope and love are put to the test. These temptations are terrible. God supports the soul in secret, so to speak. The soul is not aware of this, but otherwise it would be impossible to stand firm; and God knows very well how much He can allow to befall a soul. The soul is tempted to unbelief in respect to revealed truths and to insincerity toward the confessor. Satan says to it, "Look, no one understands you; why speak about all this?" Words that terrify it sound in its ears, and it seems to the soul that it is uttering these against God. It sees what it does not want to see. It hears what it does not want to hear. And, oh, it is a terrible thing at times like these not to have an experienced confessor! The soul carries the whole burden alone. However, one should make every effort to find, if it is at all possible, a well-informed confessor, for the soul can collapse under the burden and come to the very edge of the precipice. All these trials are heavy and difficult. God does not send them to a soul which has not already been admitted to a deeper intimacy with Him and which has not yet tasted the divine delights. Besides, in this God has His own plans, which for us are impenetrable. God often prepares a soul in this way for His future designs and great works. He wants to try it as pure gold is tried. But this is not yet the end of the testing; there is still the trial of trials, the complete abandonment of the soul by God.

+ The Trial of Trials, Complete Abandonment - Despair

98 When the soul comes out victorious from the preceding trials, even though it may stumble here and there, it fights on valiantly, humbly calling upon God, "Save me, I am perishing!" And it is still able to fight on.

At this point, however, the soul is engulfed in a horrible night. It sees within itself only sin. It feels terrible. It sees itself completely abandoned by God. It feels itself to be the object of His hatred. It is but one step away from despair. The soul does its best to defend itself; it tries to stir up its confidence; but prayer is an even greater torment for it, as this prayer seems to arouse God to an even greater anger. The soul finds itself poised on the summit of a lofty mountain on the very brink of a precipice.

The soul is drawn to God, but feels repulsed. All other sufferings and tortures in the world are as nothing compared with this sensation into which it has been plunged; namely, that of being rejected by God. No one can bring it any relief; it finds itself completely alone; there is no one to defend it. It raises its eyes to heaven, but is convinced that this is not for her-for her all is lost. It falls deeper and deeper from darkness to darkness, and it seems to it that it has lost forever the God it used to love so dearly. This thought is torture beyond all description. But the soul does not agree to it and tries to lift its gaze toward heaven, but in vain! And this makes the torture even more intense.

If God wishes to keep the soul in such darkness, no one will be able to give it light. It experiences rejection by God in a vivid and terrifying manner. From its heart burst forth painful moans, so painful that no priest will comprehend it, unless he himself has been through these trials. In the midst of this, the evil spirit adds to the soul's suffering, mocking it: "Will you persist in your faithfulness? This is your reward; you are in our power!" But Satan has only as much influence over the soul as God allows him, and God knows how much we can bear. "What have you gotten out of your mortifications," says Satan, "and out of your fidelity to the rule? What use are all these efforts? You have been rejected by God!" This word, rejected, becomes a fire which penetrates every nerve to the marrow of the bone. It pierces right through her entire being. The ordeal reaches its climax. The soul no longer looks for help anywhere. It shrinks into itself and loses sight of everything; it is as though it has accepted the torture of being abandoned. This is a moment for which I have no words. This is the agony of the soul.

102 After some time, one of the sisters came into the cell and found me almost dead. She was frightened and went to find the Directress of Novices who, in the name of holy obedience ordered me to get up from the ground. My strength returned immediately, and I got up, trembling. The Directress recognized immediately the state of my soul and spoke to me about the inscrutable mercy of God, saying, "Do not be distressed about anything, Sister. I command this of you in virtue of obedience." Then she said to me, "I see now, Sister, that God is calling you to a high degree of holiness; the Lord wants to draw you very close to Himself since He has allowed these things to happen to you so soon. Be faithful to God, Sister, because this is a sign that He wants you to have a high place in heaven." However, I did not understand anything of these words. When I went into the chapel, I felt as though my soul had been set free from everything, as though I had just come forth from the hand of God. I perceived the inviolability of my soul; I felt that I was a tiny child.

106 Though these are frightening things, the soul should not be too fearful, because God will never test us beyond what we are able to bear. On the other hand, He may never send us such sufferings, but I write this because, if it pleases the Lord to let a soul pass through such sufferings, it should not be afraid but, insofar as this depends on the soul itself, it should remain faithful to God. God will do a soul no harm, because He is Love itself, and in this unfathomable love has called it into being. However, when I was so tormented, I myself did not understand this.

107 O my God, I have come to know that I am not of this earth; You, O Lord, have poured this profound awareness into my soul. My communion is more with heaven than with earth, though I in no way neglect my duties.

111 When, in the midst of these interior torments, I tried to accuse myself in confession of the smallest trifles, the priest was surprised that I had not committed graver faults, and he said to me, "If you are as faithful as this to God during these sufferings, this in itself is evidence to me that God is sustaining you, Sister, with a special grace, and it is a good thing that you do not understand this." It is a strange thing, nevertheless, that confessors could neither understand me nor set my mind at peace concerning these matters, until I met Father Andrasz and, later on, Father Sopocko.

114 +Oh, how pleasing are the hymns flowing from a suffering soul! All heaven delights in such a soul, especially when it is tested by God. It mournfully sings out its longing for Him. Great is its beauty, because it comes from God. The soul walks through the jungle of life, wounded by God's love. With one foot only it touches the ground.

115 + When a soul has come out of these tribulations, it is deeply humble. Its purity of soul is great. It knows better without need of reflecting, as it were, what it ought to do at a given moment and what to forbear. It feels the lightest touch of grace and is very faithful to God. It recognizes God from afar and continuously rejoices in Him. It discovers God very quickly in other souls and in its environment in general. The soul has been purified by God himself. God, as Pure Spirit, introduces the soul to a life which is purely spiritual. God himself has first prepared and purified the soul; that is, He has made it capable of close communion with himself. The soul, in a state of loving repose, communes spiritually with the Lord. It speaks to God without the need of expressing itself through the senses. God fills it with His light.

The enlightened mind sees clearly and distinguishes the various degrees of the spiritual life. It recognizes [that state] when its union with God was imperfect: where the senses were involved, and the spirit was linked with the senses in a manner-exalted and special, to be sure but not yet perfect. There is a higher and more perfect union with God; namely, intellectual union. Here, the soul is safer from illusions; its spirituality is purer and more profound. In a life where the senses are involved, there is more danger of illusion. Both for the soul and for its confessor, prudence must play a greater part. There are moments when God introduces the soul to a purely spiritual state. The senses dim and are seemingly dead. The soul is most closely united to God; it is immersed in the Deity; its knowledge is complete and perfect, not sporadic as before, but total and absolute. It rejoices in this. But I want to say more about those moments of trial; at those times the confessor must have patience with such a soul. But the soul must have even greater patience with itself.

129 Satan always takes advantage of such moments; thoughts of discouragement began to rise to the surface-for your faithfulness and sincerity-this is your reward. How can one be sincere when one is so misunderstood? Jesus, Jesus, I cannot go on any longer. Again I fell to the ground under this weight, and I broke out in a sweat, and fear began to overcome me. I had no one to lean on interiorly. Suddenly I heard a voice within my soul, Do not fear; I am with you. And an unusual light illumined my mind, and I understood that I should not give in to such sorrows. I was filled with a certain strength and left my cell with new courage to suffer.

132 I must again mention that there are some confessors who seem to be true spiritual fathers, but only as long as things go well. When the soul finds itself in greater need, they become perplexed, and either cannot or will not understand the soul. They try to get rid of the person as soon as possible. But if the soul is humble, it will always profit in some little way or other. God himself will sometimes cast a shaft of light into the depths of the soul, because of its humility and faith. The confessor will sometimes say something he had never intended to say, without even realizing it himself. Oh, let the soul believe that such words are the words of the Lord himself! Though indeed we ought to believe that every word spoken in the confessional is God's, what I have referred to above is something that comes directly from God. And the soul perceives that the priest is not master of himself, that he is saying things that he would rather not say. This is how God rewards faith.

I have experienced this many times myself. A certain very learned and respected priest [probably Father Wilkowski, the sisters' confessor at Plock], to whom I sometimes happened to go to confession, was always severe and opposed to these matters [which I brought up to him]. But on one occasion he replied to me, "Bear in mind, Sister, that if God is asking this of you, you should not oppose Him. God sometimes wants to be praised in just this way. Be at peace; what God has started, He will finish. But I say this to you: faithfulness to God and humility. And once again: humility. Bear well in mind what I have told you today." I was delighted, and I thought that perhaps this priest had understood me. But it so turned out that I never went to confession to him again.

136 And the Lord gave me to know that the whole mystery depended on me, on my free consent to the sacrifice given with full use of my faculties. In this free and conscious act lies the whole power and value before His Majesty. Even if none of these things for which I offered myself would ever happen to me, before the Lord everything was as though it had already been consummated.

At that moment, I realized I was entering into communion with the incomprehensible Majesty. I felt that God was waiting for my word, for my consent. Then my spirit immersed itself in the Lord, and I said, "Do with me as You please. I subject myself to Your will. As of today, Your holy will shall be my nourishment, and I will be faithful to Your commands with the help of Your grace. Do with me as You please. I beg You, O Lord, be with me at every moment of my life."

138 A great mystery has been accomplished between God and me. Courage and strength have remained in my soul. When the time of adoration came to an end, I came out and calmly faced everything I had feared so much before. When I came out into the corridor, a great suffering and humiliation, at the hands of a certain person, was awaiting me. I accepted it with submission to a higher will and snuggled closely to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, letting Him know that I was ready for that for which I had offered myself.

Suffering seemed to spring out of the ground. Even Mother Margaret herself was surprised. For others, many things passed unnoticed, for indeed it wasn't worth paying any attention to them; but in my case, nothing passed unnoticed; each word was analyzed, each step watched. One sister said to me, "Get ready, Sister, to receive a small cross at the hands of Mother Superior. I feel sorry for you." But as for me, I rejoiced at this in the depths of my soul and had been ready for it for a long time. When she saw my courage, she was surprised. I see now that a soul cannot do much of itself, but with God it can do all things. Behold what God's grace can do. Few are the souls that are always watchful for divine graces, and even fewer of such souls who follow those inspirations faithfully.

139 Still, a soul which is faithful to God cannot confirm its own inspirations; it must submit them to the control of a very wise and learned priest; and until it is quite certain, it should remain distrustful. It should not, on its own initiative alone, put its trust in these inspirations and all other higher graces, because it can thus expose itself to great losses.

Even though a soul may immediately distinguish between false inspirations and those of God, it should nevertheless be careful, because many things are uncertain. God is pleased and rejoices when a soul distrusts Him for His own sake; because it loves Him, it is prudent and itself asks and searches for help to make certain that it is really God who is acting within it. And once a well-instructed confessor has confirmed this, the soul should be at peace and give itself up to God, according to His directions; that is, according to the directions of the confessor.

145 Oh, how wretched my soul is for having wasted so many graces! I was running away from God, and He pursued me with his graces. I most often experienced God's graces when I least expected them. From the moment He gave me a spiritual director, I have been more faithful to grace. Thanks to the director and his watchfulness over my soul, I have learned what guidance means and how Jesus looks at it. Jesus warned me of the least fault and stressed that He himself judges the matter that I present to my confessor; and [He told me] that ... any transgressions against the confessor touch Me myself.

When under his direction my soul began to experience deep recollection and peace, I often heard these words in my soul: Strengthen yourself for combat - repeated over and over at various times.

+Jesus often makes known to me what He does not like in my soul, and He has more than once rebuked me for what seemed to be trifles, but which were, in fact, things of great importance. He has warned me and tried me like a Master. For many years He himself educated me, until the moment when He gave me a spiritual director. Previously, He himself had made clear to me what I did not understand; but now, He tells me to ask my confessor about everything and often says, I will answer you through his mouth. Be at peace. It has never happened to me that I have received an answer which was contrary to what the Lord wanted of me, when I presented it to the spiritual director [Father Sopocko]. It sometimes happens that Jesus first asks certain things of me, about which no one knows anything, and then, when I kneel at the confessional, my confessor gives me the same order-however, this is infrequent.

+When, over a long period of time, a soul has received much light and many inspirations, and when the confessors have confirmed the source of these inspirations and set the soul at peace; if its love is great, Jesus now makes it known that it is time to put into action what it has received. The soul recognizes that God is counting on it, and this knowledge fortifies it. It knows that to be faithful it will often have to face various difficulties, but it trusts in God and, thanks to this trust, it reaches that point to which God is calling it. Difficulties do not terrify it; they are its daily bread, as it were. They do not frighten or terrify the soul, just as a warrior who is constantly in battle is not terrified by the roar of the cannon. Far from being frightened, it listens to determine from which side the enemy is launching his attack, in order to defeat him. It does nothing blindly, but examines and ponders everything deeply and, not counting on itself, it prays fervently and asks advice of other warriors who are experienced and wise. When the soul acts in this way, it nearly always wins.

There are attacks when a soul has no time to think or seek advice; then it must enter into a life-or-death struggle. Sometimes it is good to flee for cover in the wound of the Heart of Jesus, without answering a single word. By this very act the enemy is already defeated.

In time of peace, as well, the soul continues making efforts, just as in time of battle. It must exercise itself, and do so with energy; otherwise it has no chance of attaining victory. I regard the time of peace as a time of preparation for victory. The soul must be ever watchful; watchfulness and again, watchfulness. The soul that reflects receives much light. A distracted soul runs the risk of a fall, and let it not be surprised when it does fall. O Spirit of God, Director of the soul, wise is he whom You have trained! But for the Spirit of God to act in the soul, peace and recollection are needed.

146 Prayer.-A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.

147 I recall that I have received most light during adoration which I made lying prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour every day throughout Lent. During that time I came to know myself and God more profoundly. And yet, even though I had the superiors' permission to do so, I encountered many obstacles to praying in such a way. Let the soul be aware that, in order to pray and persevere in prayer, one must arm oneself with patience and cope bravely with exterior and interior difficulties. The interior difficulties are discouragement, dryness, heaviness of spirit and temptations. The exterior difficulties are human respect and time; one must observe the time set apart for prayer. This has been my personal experience because, when I did not pray at the time assigned for prayer, later on I could not do it because of my duties; or if I did manage to do so, this was only with great difficulty, because my thoughts kept wandering off to my duties. I also experienced this difficulty: when a soul has prayed well and left prayer in a state of profound interior recollection, others resist its recollection; and so, the soul must be patient to persevere in prayer. It often happened to me that when my soul was more deeply immersed in God, and I had derived greater fruit from prayer, and God's presence accompanied me during the day, and at work there was more recollection and greater precision and effort at my duty, this was precisely when I received the most rebukes for being negligent in my duty and indifferent to everything; because less recollected souls want others to be like them, for they are a constant [source of] remorse to them.

148 +A noble and delicate soul, even the most simple, but one of delicate sensibilities, sees God in everything, finds Him everywhere, and knows how to find Him in even the most hidden things. It finds all things important, it highly appreciates all things, it thanks God for all things, it draws profit for the soul from all things, and it gives all glory to God. It places its trust in God and is not confused when the time of ordeals comes. It knows that God is always the best of Fathers and makes little of human opinion. It follows faithfully the faintest breath of the Holy Spirit; it rejoices in this Spiritual Guest and holds onto Him like a child to its mother. Where other souls come to a standstill and fear, this soul passes on without fear or difficulty.

149 When the Lord himself wants to be close to a soul and to lead it, He will remove everything that is external. When I fell ill and was taken to the infirmary, I suffered much unpleasantness because of this. There were two of us sick in the infirmary. Sisters would come to see Sister N., but no one came to visit me. It is true that there was only one infirmary, but each one had her own cell. The winter nights were long, and Sister N. had the light and the radio headphones, while I could not even prepare my meditation for lack of a light.

When nearly two weeks had passed in this way, I complained to the Lord one evening that I was suffering so much and that I could not even prepare my meditation because there was no light. And the Lord said that He would come every evening and give me the points for the next day's meditation. These points always concerned His sorrowful Passion. He would say, Consider My sufferings before Pilate. And thus, point by point, I meditated upon His sorrowful Passion for one week. From that moment, a great joy entered my soul, and I no longer wanted either the visitors or the light; Jesus sufficed me for everything. The superiors were indeed very solicitous for the sick, but the Lord ordained that I should feel forsaken. This best of masters withdraws every created thing in order that He himself might act. Many a time, I have experienced such sufferings and persecutions that Mother M. [probably Mother Margaret] herself said to me, "Sister, along your path, sufferings just spring up out of the ground. I look upon you, Sister, as one crucified. But I can see that Jesus has a hand in this. Be faithful to the Lord."

150 + I want to write down a dream that I had about Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I was still a novice at the time and was going through some difficulties which I did not know how to overcome. They were interior difficulties connected with exterior ones. I made novenas to various saints, but the situation grew more and more difficult. The sufferings it caused me were so great that I did not know how to go on living, but suddenly the thought occurred to me that I should pray to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I started a novena to this Saint, because before entering the convent I had had a great devotion to her. Lately I had somewhat neglected this devotion, but in my need I began again to pray with great fervor.

On the fifth day of the novena, I dreamed of Saint Therese, but it was as if she were still living on earth. She hid from me the fact that she was a saint and began to comfort me, saying that I should not be worried about this matter, but should trust more in God. She said, "I suffered greatly, too," but I did not quite believe her and said, "It seems to me that you have not suffered at all." But Saint Therese answered me in a convincing manner that she had suffered very much indeed and said to me, "Sister, know that in three days the difficulty will come to a happy conclusion." When I was not very willing to believe her, she revealed to me that she was a saint. At that moment, a great joy filled my soul, and I said to her, "You are a saint?" "Yes," she answered, "I am a saint. Trust that this matter will be resolved in three days:" And I said, "Dear sweet Therese, tell me, shall I go to heaven?" And she answered, "Yes, you will go to heaven, Sister." "And will I be a saint?" To which she replied, "Yes, you will be a saint." "But, little Therese, shall I be a saint as you are, raised to the altar?" And she answered, "Yes, you will be a saint just as I am, but you must trust in the Lord Jesus." I then asked her if my mother and father would go to heaven, will [unfinished sentence] And she replied that they would. I further asked, "And will my brothers and sisters go to heaven?" She told me to pray hard for them, but gave me no definite answer. I understood that they were in need of much prayer.

This was a dream. And as the proverb goes, dreams are phantoms; God is faith. Nevertheless, three days later the difficulty was solved very easily, just as she had said. And everything in this affair turned out exactly as she said it would. It was a dream, but it had its significance.

268 October 11, 1933.-Thursday.-I tried to make a Holy Hour, but began it with great difficulty. A certain yearning started to tear at my heart. My mind was dimmed so that I could not understand the simplest forms of prayer. And so passed by an hour of prayer, or rather of struggle. I resolved to pray for a second hour, but my inner sufferings increased-great dryness and discouragement. I resolved to pray for a third hour. In the third hour, which I resolved to spend kneeling without any support, my body started to clamor for rest. But I in no way relented. I stretched out my arms and, though I spoke no words, I persisted by sheer will. After a while, I took the ring off my finger and asked Jesus to look at the ring, that sign of our eternal union, and I offered Jesus the feelings I had had on the day of perpetual vows. After a while, I feel my heart inundated with a wave of love. A sudden recollection of spirit, the senses quiet down, and God's presence pervades my soul. I know only this: that it is Jesus and I. I saw Him just as He had appeared to me in that instant after my perpetual vows, when I was likewise making a Holy Hour. Jesus was suddenly standing before me, stripped of His clothes, His body completely covered with wounds, His eyes flooded with tears and blood, His face disfigured and covered with spittle. The Lord then said to me, The bride must resemble her Betrothed. I understood these words to their very depth. There is no room for doubt here. My likeness to Jesus must be through suffering and humility. See what love of human souls has done to Me. My daughter, in your heart I find everything that so great a number of souls refuses Me. Your heart is My repose. I often wait with great graces until towards the end of prayer.

274 Jesus gave me the grace of knowing myself. In this divine light I see my principal fault; it is pride which takes the form of my closing up within myself and of a lack of simplicity in my relations with Mother Superior [Irene].

The second light concerns speaking. I sometimes talk too much. A thing could be settled in one or two words, and as for me, I take too much time about it. But Jesus wants me to use that time to say some short indulgenced prayers for the souls in purgatory. And the Lord says that every word will be weighed on the day of judgment.

The third light concerns our rules. I have not sufficiently avoided the occasions that lead to breaking the rules, especially that of silence. I will act as if the rule were written just for me; it should not affect me at all how anyone else might act, as long as I myself act as God wishes.

Resolution. Whatever Jesus demands of me regarding external things, I will immediately go and tell my superiors. I shall strive for childlike openness and frankness in my relations with the superior.

275 Jesus loves hidden souls. A hidden flower is the most fragrant. I must strive to make the interior of my soul a resting place for the Heart of Jesus. In difficult and painful moments, O my Creator, I sing You a hymn of trust, for bottomless is the abyss of my trust in You and in Your mercy!

299 When, on one occasion, my confessor told me to ask the Lord Jesus the meaning of the two rays in the image,[77] I answered, "Very well, I will ask the Lord."

During prayer I heard these words within me: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls...

These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross.

These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy.

300 +Ask of my faithful servant [Father Sopocko] that, on this day, he tell the whole world of My great mercy; that whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment.

+Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy.

+Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul's distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness.

My Heart rejoices in this title of Mercy.

301 Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.

God and Souls. An Act of Oblation.

309 Before heaven and earth, before all the choirs of Angels, before the Most Holy Virgin Mary, before all the Powers of heaven, I declare to the One Triune God that today, in union with Jesus Christ, Redeemer of souls, I make a voluntary offering of myself for the conversion of sinners, especially for those souls who have lost hope in God's mercy. This offering consists in my accepting, with total subjection to God's will, all the sufferings, fears and terrors with which sinners are filled. In return, I give them all the consolations which my soul receives from my communion with God. In a word, I offer everything for them: Holy Masses, Holy Communions, penances, mortifications, prayers. I do not fear the blows, blows of divine justice, because I am united with Jesus. O my God, in this way I want to make amends to You for the souls that do not trust in Your goodness. I hope against all hope in the ocean of Your mercy. My Lord and my God, my portion-my portion forever, I do not base this act of oblation on my own strength, but on the strength that flows from the merits of Jesus Christ. I will daily repeat this act of self-oblation by pronouncing the following prayer which You yourself have taught me, Jesus:

"O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!"

S. M. Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament
Holy Thursday, during Holy Mass, March 29, 1934.

314 +When I went to the garden one afternoon, my Guardian Angel said to me, "Pray for the dying." And so I began at once to pray the rosary with the gardeners for the dying. After the rosary, we said various prayers for the dying. After the prayers, the wards began to chat gaily among themselves. In spite of the noise they were making, I heard these words in my soul: "Pray for me!" But as I could not understand these words very well, I moved a few steps away from the wards, trying to think who it could be who was asking me to pray. Then I heard the words: "I am Sister ...."[78] This sister was in Warsaw while I was, at the time, in Vilnius. "Pray for me until I tell you to stop. I am dying." Immediately, I began to pray fervently for her, [addressing myself] to the expiring Heart of Jesus. She gave me no respite, and I kept praying from three [o'clock] until five. At five, I heard the words: "Thank you!" and I understood that she had died. But during Holy Mass on the following day, I continued to pray fervently for her soul. In the afternoon, a postcard came saying that Sister ... had died at such and such a time. I understood that it was at the same hour when she had said to me, "Pray for me."

320 Jesus made known to me how very pleasing to Him were prayers of atonement. He said to me, The prayer of a humble and loving soul disarms the anger of My Father and draws down an ocean of blessings. After the adoration, half way to my cell, I was surrounded by a , pack of huge black dogs who were jumping and howling and trying to tear me to pieces. I realized that they were not dogs, but demons. One of them spoke up in a rage, "Because you have snatched so many souls away from us this night, we will tear you to pieces." I answered, "If that is the will of the most merciful God, tear me to pieces, for I have justly deserved it, because I am the most miserable of all sinners, and God is ever holy, just, and infinitely merciful." To these words all the demons answered as one, "Let us flee, for she is not alone; the Almighty is with her!" And they vanished like dust, like the noise of the road, while I continued on my way to my cell undisturbed, finishing my Te Deum and pondering the infinite and unfathomable mercy of God.

325 1934. On the day of the Assumption of the Mother of God, I did not assist at Holy Mass. The woman doctor[80] did not allow me; but I prayed fervently in my cell. After a short time, I saw the Mother of God, unspeakably beautiful. She said to me, My daughter, what I demand from you is prayer, prayer, and once again prayer, for the world and especially for your country. For nine days receive Holy Communion in atonement and unite yourself closely to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. During these nine days you will stand before God as an offering; always and everywhere, at all times and places, day or night, whenever you wake up, pray in the spirit. In spirit, one can always remain in prayer.

330 +Once, the confessor told me to pray for his intention, and I began a novena to the Mother of God. This novena consisted in the prayer, "Hail, Holy Queen," recited nine times. Toward the end of the novena I saw the Mother of God with the Infant Jesus in Her arms, and I also saw my confessor kneeling at Her feet and talking with Her. I did not understand what he was saying to Her, because I was busy talking with the Infant Jesus, who came down from His Mother's arms and approached me. I could not stop wondering at His beauty. I heard a few of the words that the Mother of God spoke to him [i.e., my confessor] but not everything. The words were: I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy and your Mother. And at that moment She stretched out her right hand, in which She was clasping her mantle, and She covered the priest with it. At that moment, the vision vanished.

341 November 5, 1934. One morning, when it was my duty to open the gate to let out our people who deliver baked goods, I entered the little chapel to visit Jesus for a minute and to renew the intentions of the day. Today, Jesus, I offer You all my sufferings, mortifications and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father, so that he may approve the Feast of Mercy. But, Jesus, I have one more word to say to You: I am very surprised that You bid me to talk about this Feast of Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast[81] and so why should I talk about it? And Jesus said to me, And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. Make a novena for the Holy Father's intention. It should consist of thirty-three acts; that is, repetition that many times of the short prayer-which I have taught you-to The Divine Mercy.

392 The Lord God grants His graces in two ways: by inspiration and by enlightenment. If we ask God for a grace, He will give it to us; but let us be willing to accept it. And in order to accept it, self-denial is needed. Love does not consist in words or feelings, but in deeds. It is an act of the will; it is a gift; that is to say, a giving. The reason, the will, the heart-these three faculties must be exercised during prayer. I will rise from the dead in Jesus, but first I must live in Him. If I do not separate myself from the Cross, then the Gospel will be revealed in me. Jesus in me makes up for all my deficiencies. His grace operates without ceasing. The Holy Trinity grants me Its life abundantly, by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Three Divine Persons live in me. When God loves, He loves with all His Being, with all the power of His Being. If God has loved me in this way, how should I respond I, His spouse?

396 My traveling companions were very kind; several women of the Sodality of Mary were in the same compartment with me. I sensed that one of them was suffering greatly and fighting a difficult battle in her soul. l began to pray in spirit for this soul. At eleven o'clock these women went to another compartment for a chat, leaving only the two of us behind in the carriage. I could feel that my prayer was causing this soul's struggle to become even fiercer. I did not console her, but prayed all the more fervently. Finally, the lady turned to me and asked if she was obliged to fulfill a certain promise which she had made to God. At that moment, I received inner knowledge of the promise and replied, "You are absolutely obliged to keep it, or else you will be miserable for the rest of your life. This thought will pursue you everywhere and give you no peace." Surprised at my answer, she opened her soul to me.

She was a schoolteacher. When she was about to take her examinations, she had promised God that if she did well in her examinations she would devote herself to His service; that is, enter a religious congregation. She passed the examinations very well. "But," she said, "when I entered into the hustle and bustle of the world, I no longer wanted to enter a convent. However, my conscience has given me no peace, and despite amusements I am always unhappy."

After a lengthy conversation, she was completely changed and told me that she would immediately take steps to enter a convent. She asked me to pray for her, and I felt that God would be generous with His grace.

429 When I became aware of God's great plans for me, I was frightened at their greatness and felt myself quite incapable of fulfilling them, and I began to avoid interior conversations with Him, filling up the time with vocal prayer. I did this out of humility, but I soon recognized it was not true humility, but rather a great temptation from the devil. When, on one occasion, instead of interior prayer, I took up a book of spiritual reading, I heard these words spoken distinctly and forcefully within my soul, You will prepare the world for My final coming. These words moved me deeply, and although I pretended not to hear them, 1 understood them very well and had no doubt about them. Once, being tired out from this battle of love with God, and making constant excuses on the grounds that I was unable to carry out this task, I wanted to leave the chapel, but some force held me back and I found myself powerless. Then I heard these words, You intend to leave the chapel, but you shall not get away from Me, for I am everywhere. You cannot do anything of yourself, but with me you can do all things.

432 At that very moment, I felt some kind of fire in my heart. I feel my senses deadening and have no idea of what is going on around me. I feel the Lord's gaze piercing me through and through. I am very much aware of His greatness and my misery. An extraordinary suffering pervades my soul, together with a joy I cannot compare to anything. I feel powerless in the embrace of God. I feel that I am in Him and that I am dissolved in Him like a drop of water in the ocean. I cannot express what takes place within me; after such interior prayer, I feel strength and power to practice the most difficult virtues. I feel dislike for all things that the world holds in esteem. With all my soul I desire silence and solitude.

438 June 30, 1935. At the very beginning of Holy Mass on the following day, I saw Jesus in all His unspeakable beauty. He said to me that He desired that such a Congregation be founded as soon as possible, and you shall live in it together with your companions. My Spirit shall be the rule of your life. Your life is to be modeled on Mine, from the crib to My death on the Cross. Penetrate My mysteries, and you will know the abyss of My mercy towards creatures and My unfathomable goodness-and this you shall make known to the world. Through your prayers, you shall mediate between heaven and earth.

476 The next morning, when I entered chapel, I heard these words interiorly: Every time you enter the chapel, immediately recite the prayer which I taught you yesterday. When I had said the prayer, in my soul I heard these words: This prayer will serve to appease My wrath. You will recite it for nine days, on the beads of the rosary, in the following manner: First of all, you will say one OUR FATHER and HAIL MARY and the I BELIEVE IN GOD. Then on the OUR FATHER beads you will say the following words: "Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world." On the HAIL MARY beads you will say the following words: "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world." In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: "Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world." [100]

478 O my Jesus, You know, You alone know well that m heart knows no other love but You! All my virginal love is drowned eternally in You, O Jesus! I sense keenly ho Your divine Blood is circulating in my heart; I have no the least doubt that Your most pure love has entered m heart with Your most sacred Blood. I am aware did You are dwelling in me, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, or ratherIam aware that it is I who it living in You, O incomprehensible God! I am aware that I am dissolving in You like a drop in an ocean. I am aware that You are within me and all about me, that You are in all things that surround me, in all that happens to me. O my God, I have come to know You within my heart, and I have loved You above all things that exist on earth or in heaven. Our hearts have a mutual understanding, and no one of humankind will comprehend this.

486 Jesus, when You come to me in Holy Communion, You who together with the Father and the Holy Spirit have deigned to dwell in the little heaven of my heart, I try to keep You company throughout the day, I do not leave You alone for even a moment. Although I am in the company of other people or with our wards, my heart is always united to Him. When I am asleep I offer Him every beat of my heart; when I awaken I immerse myself in Him without saying a word. When I awaken I adore the Holy Trinity for a short while and thank God for having deigned to give me yet another day, that the mystery of the incarnation of His Son may once more be repeated in me, and that once again His sorrowful Passion may unfold before my eyes. I then try to make it easier for Jesus to pass through me to other souls. I go everywhere with Jesus; His presence accompanies me everywhere.

526 + The 14th. This Thursday, when we were having nocturnal adoration, at first I could not pray; a sort of dryness engulfed me. I could not meditate on Jesus' sorrowful Passion. So I lay prostrate and offered the most sorrowful Passion of the Lord Jesus to the heavenly Father in reparation for the sins of all the world. When I got to my feet after this prayer and walked to my kneeler, I suddenly saw Jesus next to it. The Lord Jesus appeared as He was during the scourging. In His hands He was holding a white garment with which He clothed me and a cord with which He girded me, and He covered me with a red cloak like the one He was clothed with during His Passion and a veil of the same color, and He said to me, This is how you and your companions are going to be clothed. My life from birth to death on the Cross will be the rule for you. Fix your eyes upon Me and live according to what you see. I desire that you penetrate into My spirit more deeply and understand that I am meek and humble of heart.

531 November 24, 1935. Sunday, first day. I went at once before the Blessed Sacrament and offered myself with Jesus, present in the Most Holy Sacrament, to the Everlasting Father. Then I heard these words in my soul: Your purpose and that of your companions is to unite yourselves with Me as closely as possible; through love You will reconcile earth with heaven, you will soften the just anger of God, and you will plead for mercy for the world. I place in your care two pearls very precious to My Heart: these are the souls of priests and religious. You will pray particularly for them; their power will come from your diminishment. You will join prayers, fasts, mortifications, labors and all sufferings to My prayer, fasting, mortification, labors and sufferings and then they will have power before My Father.


(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-17-18, 32, 41, 55, 62, 91-92, 94-95)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-97-98, 102, 106-107, 111, 114-115)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-129, 132, 136, 139, 145-150, 268)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-274-275, 299-301, 309, 314, 320, 325)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-330, 341, 392, 429, 432, 438, 476, 478)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-486)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-526, 531)









Pebrero 19, 2018

Holiness and Community-Divine Mercy Miracles Meditations


Holiness and Community
February 19, 2018. Monday of the First Week of Lent
Father Alex Yeung, LC

Matthew 25:31-46

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ´Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.´ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ´Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?´ And the king will say to them in reply, ´Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.´  Then he will say to those on his left, ´Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.´ Then they will answer and say, ´Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?´ He will answer them, ´Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.´ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Savior and Redeemer. I place all my hope and trust in Your divine heart. United to You, all things are possible — even my holiness. With childlike faith and trusting You without limits, I know that I will experience the triumph of Your grace in my life. I wish to grow in holiness today, so that I will love You, my God, above all else. Amen.

Petition: Lord, help me to appreciate that growth in holiness occurs within a Christian community.

1. Holiness is Essentially Seeking the Good of Others: The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it ‘governs, shapes and perfects all the means of sanctification.’” And quoting St. Therese of Lisieux, it reminds us:

If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn´t lack the noblest of all; it must have a heart, and a heart burning with love. And I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the apostles would forget to preach the Gospel, the martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 826).
In today’s Gospel Jesus grants eternal life to those who did good to others, whom he identifies as his very self. Contrariwise, he sends to eternal damnation those who did nothing to help others, whom he identifies as his very self.

2. Holiness Necessarily Entails a Dedication to the Christian Mission: Hand-in-hand with genuine charity is our sense of Christian mission. There is no genuine holiness apart from a radical orientation toward the spiritual and material good of others. In a word: there is no holiness without mission. As Pope John Paul II reminds us:
The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission. This was the earnest desire of the [Second Vatican] Council, which hoped to be able “to enlighten all people with the brightness of Christ, which gleams over the face of the Church, by preaching the Gospel to every creature.” The Church´s missionary spirituality is a journey toward holiness … (Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 90).

Our times cry out for this kind of holiness, one enflamed by the ardent determination to bring as many of our brothers and sisters as possible to Christ.

3. Holiness Occurs Within the Christian Community: This universal call to holiness and mission is meant to be fostered within the context of a Christian community. We are meant to spur each other on by our devotion, good example, generosity and encouragement.

Dear brothers and sisters: let us remember the missionary enthusiasm of the first Christian communities. Despite the limited means of travel and communication in those times, the proclamation of the Gospel quickly reached the ends of the earth. And this was the religion of a man who had died on a cross, ‘a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles’! (I Corinthians 1:23). Underlying this missionary dynamism was the holiness of the first Christians and the first communities (Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, 90).

Do I strive to build up my family and Christian community with missionary awareness? Do I value the example and help I receive, and do I strive to help others along this same path of holiness?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, make my holiness real. Let it be characterized by a heartfelt, growing and universal love for all people. Let my heart beat in unison with Yours. Open my eyes to all the good that I can do for my brothers and sisters, and don’t allow me to walk away from any opportunity to show this world Your love. Amen.

Resolution: I will take some time today to examine my conscience and honestly assess the spontaneity, depth and extension of my charity towards others, especially those I supposedly love the most.

Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska
Darkness and Temptations 

77 My mind became dimmed in a strange way; no truth seemed clear to me. When people spoke to me about God, my heart was like a rock. I could not draw from it a single sentiment of love for Him. When I tried, by an act of the will, to remain close to Him, I experienced great torments, and it seemed to me that I was only provoking God to an even greater anger. It was absolutely impossible for me to meditate as I had been accustomed to do in the past. I felt in my soul a great void, and there was nothing with which I could fill it. I began to suffer from a great hunger and yearning for God, but I saw my utter powerlessness. I tried to read slowly, sentence by sentence, and to meditate in this way, but this also was of no avail. I understood nothing of what I had read.

The abyss of my misery was constantly before my eyes. Every time I entered the chapel for some spiritual exercise, I experienced even worse torments and temptations. More than once, all through Holy Mass, I had to struggle against blasphemous thoughts which were forcing themselves to my lips. I felt an aversion for the Holy Sacraments, and it seemed to me that I was not profiting from them in any way. It was only out of obedience to my confessor that I frequented them, and this blind obedience was for me the only path I could follow and my very last hope of survival. The priest explained to me that these were trials sent by God and that, in the situation I was in, not only was I not offending God, but I was most pleasing to Him. "This is a sign," he told me, "that God loves you very much and that He has great confidence in you, since He is sending you such trials." But these words brought me no comfort; it seemed to me that they did not apply to me at all.

One thing did surprise me: it often happened that, at the time when I was suffering greatly, these terrible torments would disappear suddenly just as I was approaching the confessional; but as soon as I had left the confessional, all these torments would again seize me with even greater ferocity. I would then fall on my face before the Blessed Sacrament repeating these words: "Even if You kill me, still will I trust in You!" [cf. Job 13:15] It seemed to me that I would die in these agonies. But the most terrible thought for me was the conviction that I had been rejected by God. Then other thoughts came to me: why strive to acquire virtues and do good works? why mortify and annihilate yourself? what good is it to take vows? to pray? to sacrifice and immolate yourself? why sacrifice myself all the time? what good is it - if I am already rejected by God? why all these efforts? And here, God alone knew what was going on in my heart.

93 +A Short Version of the Catechism of the Vows[39]

Q. What is a vow?

A. A vow is a voluntary promise made to God, to carry out a more perfect act.

Q. Is a vow binding in a matter which is the object of a commandment?

A. Yes. The carrying out of an act which is the object of a commandment has a double value and merit; and the neglect of such an act is a double transgression and evil, because by breaking such a vow we add to the sin against the commandment, the sin of sacrilege.

Q. Why do religious vows have such value?

A. Because they are the foundation of the religious life approved by the Church, in which the members bound together in a religious community undertake to strive always for perfection by means of the three religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, observed according to the rules.

Q. What is the meaning of the words, "strive for perfection?"

A. To strive for perfection means that the religious life does not in itself demand that perfection be already attained, but obliges, under the pain of sin, that we work daily to attain it. Therefore, a religious who does not want to become perfect neglects his principal duty of state.

Q. What are "solemn" religious vows?

A. " Solemn" religious vows are so absolute that, in extraordinary cases, only the Holy Father can dispense from them.

Q. What are simple religious vows?

A. These are vows which are less absolute - the Holy See dispenses from perpetual and annual vows.

Q. What is the difference between a vow and a virtue?

A. A vow pertains only to that which is commanded under pain of sin; the virtue goes beyond this and helps in the carrying out of the vow; on the other hand, by breaking the vow we fail in the virtue and do it damage.

Q. To what do the religious vows oblige us?

A. The religious vows oblige us to strive to acquire the virtues and to submit ourselves completely to our Superiors and to the Rules which are in force; thus the religious gives his own person to the Community, renouncing every right over himself and his actions, which he sacrifices to the service of God.

The Vow of Poverty

The vow of poverty is the voluntary renunciation of the right over property or to the use of such property with the purpose of pleasing God.

Q. What objects does the vow of poverty concern?

A. All those goods and those objects which appertain to the Community. We have no longer any right over anything that has been given to us, once it has been accepted, whether an article or money. All these donations and presents, which may have been given us out of gratitude or in any other way, belong by right to the Community. We cannot make use, without violating the vow, of any wages we may receive for work or even any annuity.

Q. When do we break or violate the vow in a matter which entails the seventh commandment?

A. We break or violate it when, without permission, we take for ourselves anything that belongs to the house; when, without permission, we retain something in order to appropriate it; and when, without authorization, we sell or exchange something that belongs to the Community. When we make use of an object for some other purpose than that intended by the Superior. When we give to, or accept from another, anything whatsoever without permission. When by negligence we destroy or damage something. When, in going from one house to another, we take something with us without permission. In a situation where the vow is broken, the religious is bound to restitution to the Community.

The Virtue of Poverty

This is an evangelical virtue which impels the heart to detach itself from temporal things; the religious, in virtue of his profession, is strictly obliged to it.

Q. When do we sin against the virtue of poverty? When we desire something, contrary to this virtue. When we become attached to something, and when we make use of superfluous things. How many degrees of poverty are there and what are they?

A. There are, in practice, four degrees of poverty for one who is a professed religious: to dispose of nothing without the consent of the Superiors (the strict matter of the vow); to avoid superfluities and be content with necessities (this pertains to the virtue); to readily content oneself with things of inferior quality in what concerns one's cell, clothing, nourishment, etc., and to experience this contentment interiorly; to rejoice in extreme poverty.

The Vow of Chastity

Q. To what does this vow oblige us?

A. To renounce marriage and to avoid everything that is forbidden by the sixth and ninth commandments.

Q. Is a fault against the virtue a violation of the vow?

A. Every fault against the virtue is at the same time a violation of the vow, because here there is no difference, as in the case of poverty and obedience, between the vow and the virtue.

Q. Is every bad thought a sin?

A. No, every bad thought is not a sin; it becomes so only when the acquiescence of the will and consent are joined to the consideration of the mind.

Q. Is there anything, over and above sins against chastity, which is detrimental to the virtue?

A. Lack of custody of the senses, of the imagination, of the feelings; familiarity and sentimental friendships are detrimental to the virtue.

Q. What are the means by which this virtue may be preserved?

A. To conquer interior temptations with the thought of the presence of God, and moreover to fight without fear. And for exterior temptations, to avoid occasions. There are, in all, seven principal means: to guard the senses, to avoid occasions, to avoid idleness, to remove temptations promptly, to remove oneself from all - and especially particular friendships, the spirit of mortification, and to reveal all these temptations to one's confessor.

Besides this, there are also five means of preserving this virtue: humility, the spirit of prayer, modesty of the eyes, fidelity to the rule, a sincere devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Vow of Obedience

The vow of obedience is superior to the first two. It is, to tell the truth, a holocaust, and it is more necessary because it forms and animates the monastic body.

Q. To what does the vow of obedience oblige us?

A. By the vow of obedience, the religious promises to God to be obedient to his legitimate superiors in everything that they will ordain in virtue of the rule. The vow of obedience makes the religious dependent on his superior in virtue of these rules for his whole life and in all his affairs. A religious commits a grave sin against the vow every time he disobeys an order given in virtue of obedience and of these rules.

The Virtue of Obedience

The virtue of obedience goes further than the vow; it embraces the rules, the regulations and even the counsels of the superiors.

Q. Is the virtue of obedience indispensable for a religious?

A. The virtue of obedience is so indispensable to a religious that, even if he were to perform good actions contrary to obedience, these would be evil and without merit.

Q. Can we sin gravely against the virtue of obedience?

A. We sin gravely when we scorn the authority or the order of the superior, or when spiritual or temporal harm to the community results from our disobedience.

Q. What faults endanger the vow?

A. To be prejudiced against the superior, or to harbor an antipathy for him - murmuring and criticism, tardiness and negligence.

The Degrees of Obedience

Prompt and complete fulfillment - the obedience of the will, when the will persuades the intellect to submit to the advice of the superior. To facilitate obedience, Saint Ignatius suggests, moreover, three means: always to see God in our superior, whoever he might be; to justify in itself the order or advice of the superior; to accept each order as an order from God, without examining it or reflecting on it. General means: humility. Nothing is difficult for the humble.

96 +Trials sent by God to a soul which is particularly loved by Him.

Temptations and darkness; Satan. The soul's love [for God] is still not such as God would have it. The soul suddenly loses the tangible perception of God's presence. Various defects and imperfections rise up within it, and it must fight them furiously. All her faults lift up their heads, but the soul's vigilance is great. The former awareness of the presence of God gives place to coldness and spiritual dryness; the soul has no taste for spiritual exercises; it cannot pray, either in the old way, or in the manner in which it had just begun to pray. It struggles this way and that, but can find no satisfaction. God has hidden himself from it, and it can find no consolation in creatures, nor can any of these creatures find a way of consoling it. The soul craves passionately for God, but sees its own misery; it begins to sense God's justice; it seems to it that it has lost all the gifts that God had given it; its mind is dimmed, and darkness fills it; unspeakable torment begins. The soul tries to explain its state to the confessor, but it is not understood and is assailed by an even greater unrest. Satan begins his work.

97 Faith staggers under the impact; the struggle is fierce. The soul tries hard to cling to God by an act of will. With God's permission, Satan goes even further: hope and love are put to the test. These temptations are terrible. God supports the soul in secret, so to speak. The soul is not aware of this, but otherwise it would be impossible to stand firm; and God knows very well how much He can allow to befall a soul. The soul is tempted to unbelief in respect to revealed truths and to insincerity toward the confessor. Satan says to it, "Look, no one understands you; why speak about all this?" Words that terrify it sound in its ears, and it seems to the soul that it is uttering these against God. It sees what it does not want to see. It hears what it does not want to hear. And, oh, it is a terrible thing at times like these not to have an experienced confessor! The soul carries the whole burden alone. However, one should make every effort to find, if it is at all possible, a well-informed confessor, for the soul can collapse under the burden and come to the very edge of the precipice. All these trials are heavy and difficult. God does not send them to a soul which has not already been admitted to a deeper intimacy with Him and which has not yet tasted the divine delights. Besides, in this God has His own plans, which for us are impenetrable. God often prepares a soul in this way for His future designs and great works. He wants to try it as pure gold is tried. But this is not yet the end of the testing; there is still the trial of trials, the complete abandonment of the soul by God.

+ The Trial of Trials, Complete Abandonment - Despair

98 When the soul comes out victorious from the preceding trials, even though it may stumble here and there, it fights on valiantly, humbly calling upon God, "Save me, I am perishing!" And it is still able to fight on.

At this point, however, the soul is engulfed in a horrible night. It sees within itself only sin. It feels terrible. It sees itself completely abandoned by God. It feels itself to be the object of His hatred. It is but one step away from despair. The soul does its best to defend itself; it tries to stir up its confidence; but prayer is an even greater torment for it, as this prayer seems to arouse God to an even greater anger. The soul finds itself poised on the summit of a lofty mountain on the very brink of a precipice.

The soul is drawn to God, but feels repulsed. All other sufferings and tortures in the world are as nothing compared with this sensation into which it has been plunged; namely, that of being rejected by God. No one can bring it any relief; it finds itself completely alone; there is no one to defend it. It raises its eyes to heaven, but is convinced that this is not for her-for her all is lost. It falls deeper and deeper from darkness to darkness, and it seems to it that it has lost forever the God it used to love so dearly. This thought is torture beyond all description. But the soul does not agree to it and tries to lift its gaze toward heaven, but in vain! And this makes the torture even more intense.

If God wishes to keep the soul in such darkness, no one will be able to give it light. It experiences rejection by God in a vivid and terrifying manner. From its heart burst forth painful moans, so painful that no priest will comprehend it, unless he himself has been through these trials. In the midst of this, the evil spirit adds to the soul's suffering, mocking it: "Will you persist in your faithfulness? This is your reward; you are in our power!" But Satan has only as much influence over the soul as God allows him, and God knows how much we can bear. "What have you gotten out of your mortifications," says Satan, "and out of your fidelity to the rule? What use are all these efforts? You have been rejected by God!" This word, rejected, becomes a fire which penetrates every nerve to the marrow of the bone. It pierces right through her entire being. The ordeal reaches its climax. The soul no longer looks for help anywhere. It shrinks into itself and loses sight of everything; it is as though it has accepted the torture of being abandoned. This is a moment for which I have no words. This is the agony of the soul.

101 Jesus, You alone know how the soul, engulfed in darkness, moans in the midst of these torments and, despite all this, thirsts for God as burning lips thirst for water. It dies and withers; it dies a death without death; that is to say, it cannot die. All its efforts come to nothing; it is under a powerful hand. Now the soul comes under the power of the Just One. All exterior temptations cease; all that surrounds it becomes silent, like a dying person who loses contact with everything around it: the person's entire soul is in the hand of the Just God, the Thrice-Holy God,-rejected for all eternity! This is the culminating moment, and God alone can test a soul in this way, because He alone knows what the soul can endure.

When the soul has been saturated through and through by this infernal fire, it is, as it were, cast headlong into great despair. My soul experienced this moment when I was all alone in my cell. When my soul began to sink into this despair, I felt that the end was near. But I seized my little crucifix and clutched it tightly in my hand. And now I felt my body separate itself from my soul; and though I wanted to go to my Superiors, I no longer had the physical strength. I uttered my last words: "I trust in Your Mercy!"-and it seemed to me that I provoked God to an even greater anger. And now I was drowned in despair, and all that was left me was a moan of unadulterated pain which, from time to time, tore itself from my soul. The soul is in agony-and it seemed to me that I would remain in this state, because by my own strength I could not emerge from it. Every recollection of God opened up an unspeakable ocean of suffering, and yet despite this there is something within the soul which is drawn to Him, though it seems to her for this only-that she suffer more. The memory of the love with which God formerly surrounded it is still another kind of suffering. His gaze pierces it, and everything within the soul is burned by this gaze.

116 My Jesus, You know what my soul goes through at the recollection of these sufferings. I have often marvelled that the angels and saints hold their peace at the sight of a soul suffering like that. Yet they have special love for us at such moments. My soul has often cried out after God, as a little child who cries as loudly as he can when his mother covers her face and he cannot recognize her. O my Jesus, honor and glory to You for these trials of love! Great and incomprehensible is your mercy. All that You intended for my soul, O Lord, is steeped in Your mercy.

118 The tongue is a small member, but it does big things. A religious who does not keep silence will never attain holiness; that is, she will never become a saint. Let her not delude herself-unless it is the Spirit of God who is speaking through her, for then she must not keep silent. But, in order to hear the voice of God, one has to have silence in one's soul and to keep silence; not a gloomy silence, but an interior silence; that is to say, recollection in God. One can speak a great deal without breaking silence and, on the contrary, one can speak little and be constantly breaking silence. Oh, what irreparable damage is done by the breach of silence! We cause a lot of harm to our neighbor, but even more to our own selves.

In my opinion, and according to my experience, the rule concerning silence should stand in the very first place. God does not give himself to a chattering soul which, like a drone in a beehive, buzzes around but gathers no honey. A talkative soul is empty inside. It lacks both the essential virtues and intimacy with God. A deeper interior life, one of gentle peace and of that silence where the Lord dwells, is quite out of the question. A soul that has never tasted the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others. I have seen many souls in the depths of hell for not having kept their silence; they told me so themselves when I asked them what was the cause of their undoing. These were souls of religious. My God, what an agony it is to think that not only might they have been in heaven, but they might even have become saints! O Jesus, have mercy!

147 I recall that I have received most light during adoration which I made lying prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour every day throughout Lent. During that time I came to know myself and God more profoundly. And yet, even though I had the superiors' permission to do so, I encountered many obstacles to praying in such a way. Let the soul be aware that, in order to pray and persevere in prayer, one must arm oneself with patience and cope bravely with exterior and interior difficulties. The interior difficulties are discouragement, dryness, heaviness of spirit and temptations. The exterior difficulties are human respect and time; one must observe the time set apart for prayer. This has been my personal experience because, when I did not pray at the time assigned for prayer, later on I could not do it because of my duties; or if I did manage to do so, this was only with great difficulty, because my thoughts kept wandering off to my duties. I also experienced this difficulty: when a soul has prayed well and left prayer in a state of profound interior recollection, others resist its recollection; and so, the soul must be patient to persevere in prayer. It often happened to me that when my soul was more deeply immersed in God, and I had derived greater fruit from prayer, and God's presence accompanied me during the day, and at work there was more recollection and greater precision and effort at my duty, this was precisely when I received the most rebukes for being negligent in my duty and indifferent to everything; because less recollected souls want others to be like them, for they are a constant [source of] remorse to them.

163 JMJ The Year 1937
General Exercises

+O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.

+I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors' souls and come to their rescue.

Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors' needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moaning. Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.

+You yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy-if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer-if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.

O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for you can do all things.

173 Satan's temptations during meditation. I felt a strange fear that the priest would not
understand me, or that he would have no time to hear everything I would have to say. How am I going to tell him all this? If it were Father Bukowski I could do it more easily, but this Jesuit whom I am seeing for the first time... Then I remembered Father Bukowski's advice that I should at least take brief notes of the lights sent to me by God during the retreats and give him at least a brief report on them. My God, for a day and a half all has gone well, and now a life and death struggle is beginning. The conference is to start in a half hour, and then I am to go to confession. Satan tried to persuade me into believing that if my superiors have told me that my inner life is an illusion, why should I ask again and trouble the confessor? Didn't MX [probably Mother Jane] tell you that the Lord Jesus does not commune with souls as miserable as yours? This confessor is going to tell you the same thing. Why speak to him about all this? These are not sins, and Mother X, told you that all this communing with the Lord Jesus was daydreaming and pure hysteria. So why tell it to this confessor? You would do better to dismiss all this as illusions. Look how many humiliations you have suffered because of them, and how many more are still awaiting you, and all the sisters know that you are a hysteric. "Jesus!" I called out with all the strength of my soul.

216 We have come to Cracow today [April 18, 1933]. What a joy it is to find myself again where I took my first steps in the spiritual life! Dear Mother Directress [Mary Joseph] is ever the same, cheerful and full of love of neighbor. I entered the chapel for a moment and joy filled my soul. In a flash I recalled the whole ocean of graces that had been given me as a novice here.

241 Love of neighbor. First: Helpfulness towards the sisters. Second: Do not speak about those who are absent, and defend the good name of my neighbor. Third: Rejoice in the success of others.

267 Jesus told me that I please Him best by meditating on His sorrowful Passion, and by such meditation much light falls upon my soul. He who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus. When I meditate upon the Passion of Jesus, I get a clear understanding of many things I could not comprehend before. I want to resemble You, O Jesus,-You crucified, tortured and humiliated. Jesus, imprint upon my heart and soul Your own humility. I love You, Jesus, to the point of madness, You who were crushed with suffering as described by the prophet [cf. Isaiah 53:2-9], as if he could not see the human form in You because of Your great suffering. It is in this condition, Jesus, that I love You to the point of madness. O eternal and infinite God, what has love done to You?...

275 Jesus loves hidden souls. A hidden flower is the most fragrant. I must strive to make the interior of my soul a resting place for the Heart of Jesus. In difficult and painful moments, O my Creator, I sing You a hymn of trust, for bottomless is the abyss of my trust in You and in Your mercy!

278 At the feet of the Lord. Hidden Jesus, Eternal Love, our Source of Life, Divine Madman, in that You forget yourself and see only us. Before creating heaven and earth, You carried us in the depths of Your Heart. O Love, O depth of Your abasement, O mystery of happiness, why do so few people know You? Why is Your love not returned? O Divine Love, why do You hide Your beauty? O Infinite One beyond all understanding, the more I know You the less I comprehend You; but because I cannot comprehend You, I better comprehend Your greatness. I do not envy the Seraphim their fire, for I have a greater gift deposited in my heart. They admire You in rapture, but Your Blood mingles with mine. Love is heaven given us already here on earth. Oh, why do You hide in faith? Love tears away the veil. There is no veil before the eye of my soul, for You yourself have drawn me into the bosom of secret love forever. Praise and glory be to You, O Indivisible Trinity, One God, unto ages of ages!

279 God made known to me what true love consists in and gave light to me about how, in practice, to give proof of it to Him. True love of God consists in carrying out God's will. To show God our love in what we do, all our actions, even the least, must spring from our love of God. And the Lord said to me, My child, you please Me most by suffering. In your physical as well as your mental sufferings, My daughter, do not seek sympathy from creatures. I want the fragrance of your suffering to be pure and unadulterated. I want you to detach yourself, not only from creatures, but also from yourself. My daughter, I want to delight in the love of your heart, a pure love, virginal, unblemished, untarnished. The more you will come to love suffering, My daughter, the purer your love for Me will be.

281     I feel certain that my mission will not come to an end upon my death, but will begin. O doubting souls, I will draw aside for you the veils of heaven to convince you of God's goodness, so that you will no longer continue to wound with your distrust the sweetest Heart of Jesus. God is Love and Mercy.

282     Once the Lord said to me, My Heart was moved by great mercy towards you, My dearest child, when I saw you torn to shreds because of the great pain you suffered in repenting for your sins. I see your love, so pure and true that I give you first place among the virgins. You are the honor and glory of My Passion. I see every abasement of your soul, and nothing escapes my attention. I lift up the humble even to my very throne, because I want it so.

283 I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have nevertheless cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy, O my God and Creator! In spite of my great misery I fear nothing, but hope to sing You a hymn of glory forever. Let no soul, even the most miserable, fall prey to doubt; for, as long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great is the power of God's grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God's action.

287 +My Jesus, when I look at this life of souls, I see that many of them serve You with some mistrust. At certain times, especially when there is an opportunity to show their love for God, I see them running away from the battlefield. And once Jesus said to me, Do you, my child, also want to act like that? I answered the Lord, "Oh, no, my Jesus, I will not retreat from the battlefield, even if mortal sweat breaks out on my brow; I will not let the sword fall from my hand until I rest at the feet of the Holy Trinity!" Whatever I do, I do not rely on my own strength, but on God's grace. With God's grace a soul can overcome the greatest difficulties.

294 +Once the Lord said to me, Act like a beggar who does not back away when he gets more alms [than he asked for], but offers thanks the more fervently. You too should not back away and say that you are not worthy of receiving greater graces when I give them to you. I know you are unworthy, but rejoice all the more and take as many treasures from My Heart as you can carry, for then you will please Me more. And I will tell you one more thing: Take these graces not only for yourself, but also for others; that is, encourage the souls with whom you come in contact to trust in My infinite mercy. Oh, how I love those souls who have complete confidence in Me. I will do everything for them.

296 +O Supreme Good, I want to love You as no one on earth has ever loved You before! I want to adore You with every moment of my life and unite my will closely to Your holy will. My life is not drab or monotonous, but it is varied like a garden of fragrant flowers, so that I don't know which flower to pick first, the lily of suffering or the rose of love of neighbor or the violet of humility. I will not enumerate these treasures in which my every day abounds. It is a great thing to know how to make use of the present moment.

343 True love is measured by the thermometer of suffering. Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of communal life, for the misinterpretation of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans.

Thank You, Jesus, for interior sufferings, for dryness of spirit, for terrors, fears and incertitudes, for the darkness and the deep interior night, for temptations and various ordeals, for torments too difficult to describe, especially for those which no one will understand, for the hour of death with its fierce struggle and all its bitterness.

I thank You, Jesus, You who first drank the cup of bitterness before You gave it to me, in a much milder form. I put my lips to this cup of Your holy will. Let all be done according to Your good pleasure; let that which Your wisdom ordained before the ages be done to me. I want to drink the cup to its last drop, and not seek to know the reason why. In bitterness is my joy, in hopelessness is my trust. In You, O Lord, all is good, all is a gift of Your paternal Heart. I do not prefer consolations over bitterness or bitterness over consolations, but thank You, O Jesus, for everything! It is my delight to fix my gaze upon You, O incomprehensible God! My spirit abides in these mysterious dwelling places, and there I am at home. I know very well the dwelling place of my Spouse. I feel there is not a single drop of blood in me that does not burn with love for You.

O Uncreated Beauty, whoever comes to know You once cannot love anything else. I can feel the bottomless abyss of my soul, and nothing will fill it but God himself. I feel that I am drowned in Him like a single grain of sand in a bottomless ocean.

375 Particular interior practice; that is, the examination of conscience. Self-denial, denial of my own will.

I. The denial of my reason. Subjecting it to the reason of those who represent God to me here on earth.

II. The denial of my will. Doing the will of God, which is revealed in the will of those who represent God to me and which is contained in the rule of our order.

III. The denial of my judgment. Accepting immediately and without reflection, analysis or reasoning all orders given by those who represent God to me.

IV. The denial of my tongue. I will not give it the least bit of freedom; but in one case only I will give it complete freedom; that is, in proclaiming the glory of God. Whenever I receive Holy Communion, I will ask Jesus to fortify and cleanse my tongue that I may not injure my neighbor with it. That is why I have the greatest respect for the rule which speaks about silence.

383 At the beginning of the retreat, I saw, on the ceiling of the chapel, Jesus nailed to the Cross. He was looking at the sisters with great love, but not at all of them. There were three sisters at whom Jesus looked severely, for what reasons I do not know. I only know what a terrible thing it is to meet with such a look, which is the look of a severe Judge. That look was not directed at me, and yet I was paralyzed with terror. I still tremble as I write these words. I did not dare to say so much as a single word to Jesus. My physical strength failed me, and I thought I would not live to the end of the conference. The next day, I saw the same thing again, just as I had seen it the first time, and this time I dared to speak these words: "Jesus, how great is Your mercy!"

On the third day, that gaze of great kindness upon all the sisters, except the three, was again repeated. I gathered up my courage, which drew its force from love of neighbor, and I said to the Lord, "You, who are Mercy Itself, as You yourself told me, I beg You by the power of Your mercy, to look then with kindness at these three sisters as well. And if this is not in accord with Your wisdom, I ask You for an exchange: turn to them the kind look meant for my soul, and let Your severe gaze at their souls be turned on me." Jesus then said to me these words: My daughter, for the sake of your sincere and generous love, I grant them many graces although they are not asking Me for them. But I am doing so because of the promise I have made to you. And at that moment, He turned a merciful look towards those three sisters as well. My heart leapt with joy to see the goodness of God.

549 Work. As poor persons, the nuns themselves will do all the work in the convent. Each one should be glad when she is given some work which is humbling or which goes against her nature, as that will greatly help her interior formation. The superior will often change the sisters' duties, and in this way help them to detach themselves completely from the little details to which women have a great attachment. Truly, I often find it amusing to see with my own eyes souls who have forsaken really great things only to attach themselves to fiddle faddle; that is, trifles. Each sister, including even the superior, shall work in the kitchen for a month. Every one should take a turn at every chore which is to be done in the convent.

571     O my Jesus, Eternal Truth, I fear nothing, neither hardships nor sufferings; I fear only one thing, and that is to offend You. My Jesus, I would rather not exist than make You sad. Jesus, You know that my love knows no one but You. My soul is absorbed in You.

590 When I receive Holy Communion, I entreat and beg the Savior to heal my tongue, that I may never fail in love of neighbor.

692 + O Jesus, I understand that Your mercy is beyond all imagining, and therefore I ask You to make my heart so big that there will be room in it for the needs of all the souls living on the face of the earth. O Jesus, my love extends beyond the world, to the souls suffering in purgatory, and I want to exercise mercy toward them by means of indulgenced prayers. God's mercy is unfathomable and inexhaustible, just as God himself is unfathomable. Even if I were to use the strongest words there are to express this mercy of God, all this would be nothing in comparison with what it is in reality. O Jesus, make my heart sensitive to all the sufferings of my neighbor, whether of body or of soul. O my Jesus, I know that You act toward us as we act toward our neighbor.

My Jesus, make my heart like unto Your merciful Heart. Jesus, help me to go through life doing good to everyone.

700 + Once, when I was very tired and in much pain, I told Mother Superior [Irene] about it and received the answer that I should get used to suffering. I listened to everything that Mother told me, and then I went out. Our Mother Superior has great love of neighbor and especially great love for the sick sisters, as everyone knows. And yet, as regards me, it is extraordinary that the Lord Jesus has permitted that she not understand me and that she test me much in this respect.

704 I spend every free moment at the feet of the hidden God. He is my Master; I ask Him about everything; I speak to Him about everything. Here I obtain strength and light; here I learn everything; here I am given light on how to act toward my neighbor. From the time I left the novitiate, I have enclosed myself in the tabernacle together with Jesus, my Master. He himself drew me into the fire of living love on which everything converges.

742 My daughter, if I demand through you that people revere My mercy, you should be the first to distinguish yourself by this confidence in My mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.

I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first-by deed, the second-by word, the third-by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy. Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy, and I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. O my Jesus, You yourself must help me in everything, because You see how very little I am, and so I depend solely on Your goodness, O God.

+ Particular Examen
Union with the merciful Christ. With my heart I encompass the whole world, especially countries which are uncivilized or where there is persecution. I am praying for mercy upon them.

791 Hide me, Jesus, in the depths of Your mercy, and then let my neighbor judge me as he pleases.

856 During the morning meditation, I felt an aversion and a repugnance for all created things. Everything pales before my eyes; my spirit is detached from all things. I desire only God himself, and yet I must live. This is a martyrdom beyond description. God imparts himself to the soul in a loving way and draws it into the infinite depths of His divinity, but at the same time He leaves it here on earth for the sole purpose that it might suffer and die of longing for Him. And this strong love is so pure that God himself finds pleasure in it; and self-love has no access to its deeds, for here everything is totally saturated with bitterness, and thus is totally pure. Life is a continuous dying, painful and terrible, and at the same time it is the depth of true life and of inconceivable happiness and the strength of the soul; and because of this, [the soul] is capable of great deeds for the sake of God.

861 Particular examen: remains the same; namely, to unite myself with the Merciful Christ (that is; what would Christ do in such and such a case?) and, in spirit, to embrace the whole world, especially Russia and Spain.

General resolutions.
I. Strict observance of silence - interior silence.
II. To see the image of God in every sister; all love of neighbor must flow from this motive.
III. To do the will of God faithfully at every moment of my life and to live by this.
IV. To give a faithful account of everything to the spiritual director and not to undertake anything of importance without a clear understanding with him. I shall try to clearly lay bare to him the most secret depths of my soul, bearing in mind that I am dealing with God himself, and that His representative is just a human being, and so I must pray daily that he be given light.
V. During the evening examination of conscience, I am to ask myself the question: What if He were to call me today?
VI. Not to look for God far away, but within my own being to abide with Him alone.
VII. In sufferings and torments, to take refuge in the tabernacle and to be silent.
VIII. To join all sufferings, prayers, works and mortifications to the merits of Jesus in order to obtain mercy for the world.
IX. To use free moments, however short, for prayers for the dying.
X. There must not be a day in my life when I do not recommend to the Lord the works of our Congregation. Never have regard for what others think of you [for human respect].
XI. Have no familiar relationships with anyone. Gentle firmness toward the girls, boundless patience; punish them severely but with such punishments as these: prayer and self-sacrifice. The strength that is in the emptying of myself for their sake is for them a [source of] constant remorse and the softening of their obdurate hearts.
XII. The presence of God is the basis of all my thoughts, words and deeds.
XIII. To take advantage of all spiritual help. To always put self-love in its proper place; namely, the last. To perform my spiritual exercises as though I were doing them for the last time in my life, and in like manner to carry out all my duties.

871 + My Master, cause my heart never to expect help from anyone, but I will always strive to bring assistance, consolation and all manner of relief to others. My heart is always open to the sufferings of others; and I will not close my heart to the sufferings of others, even though because of this I have been scornfully nicknamed "dump"; that is, [because] everyone dumps his pain into my heart. [To this] I answered that everyone has a place in my heart and I, in return, have a place in the Heart of Jesus. Taunts regarding the law of love will not narrow my heart. My soul is always sensitive on this point, and Jesus alone is the motive for my love of neighbor.

944 + There are moments when I mistrust myself, when I feel my own weakness and wretchedness in the most profound depths of my own being, and I have noticed that I can endure such moments only by trusting in the infinite mercy of God. Patience, prayer and silence-these are what give strength to the soul. There are moments when one should be silent, and when it would be inappropriate to talk with creatures; these are the moments when one is dissatisfied with oneself, and when the soul feels as weak as a little child. Then the soul clings to God with all its might. At such times, I live solely by faith, and when I feel strengthened by God's grace, then I am more courageous in speaking and communicating with my neighbors.

1039 + I suffer great pain at the sight of the sufferings of others. All these sufferings are reflected in my heart. I carry their torments in my heart so that it even wears me out physically. I would like all pains to fall upon me so as to bring relief to my neighbor.

1662 + O Christ, suffering for You is the delight of my heart and my soul. Prolong my sufferings to infinity, that I may give You a proof of my love. I accept everything that Your hand will hold out to me. Your love, Jesus, is enough for me. I will glorify You in abandonment and darkness, in agony and fear, in pain and bitterness, in anguish of spirit and grief of heart. In all things may You be blessed. My heart is so detached from the earth, that You Yourself are enough for me. There is no longer any moment in my life for self concern.

1663 Holy Thursday [April 14, 1938]. Today I felt strong enough to take part in the ceremonies of the Church. During Holy Mass, Jesus stood before me and said, Look into My Heart and see there the love and mercy which I have for humankind, and especially for sinners. Look, and enter into My Passion. In an instant, I experienced and lived through the whole Passion of Jesus in my own heart. I was surprised that these tortures did not deprive me of my life.

1664 During adoration, Jesus said to me, My daughter, know that your ardent love and the compassion you have for Me were a consolation to Me in the Garden [of Olives].

1665 During Holy Hour in the evening, I heard the words, You see My mercy for sinners, which at this moment is revealing itself in all its power. See how little you have written about it; it is only a single drop. Do what is in your power, so that sinners may come to know My goodness.


(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-77, 93, 96-98, 101  116, 118, 147, 173)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-163, 216, 241, 267, 275, 278-279, 281)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-287, 282-283, 294, 296, 343, 375, 383)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-549, 571, 590, 692, 700, 704, 742)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-791, 856, 861, 871, 944)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-III-1029, 1039)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-VI-1662-1663)