Christ Chooses Me
January 20, 2017. Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Father Robert DeCesare, LC
He went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: (he appointed the Twelve:) Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that through baptism You have invited me to share in Your friendship. I trust in Your Church, Lord. You have given us this institution as the guide to help us in our salvation. I love You, Lord, because You have loved me first. I love You, Lord, for calling me to be Your friend and apostle. I may be a mere sinner, but with You, Lord, I believe that I can do great things.
Petition: Lord, help me to collaborate in your work of salvation.
1. Christ Summoned Those Whom He Wanted: Christ has chosen to need our assistance. He wants our help with the great work of the New Evangelization. As great and powerful as Christ is, he has willed that man collaborate with him in his plan of salvation. He wants to involve others in helping people to come to know, love and serve him. He makes use of man’s free and responsible collaboration in order to carry out his plans. Therefore, even though man is a creature of very limited possibilities, he can achieve truly unimaginable things when he lives and works for God.
2. He Calls Me by Name: Christ does not haphazardly choose me to collaborate with him in the New Evangelization. He knows me. He knows me better than I know myself, and out of love he invites me to be with him. When he calls me by name, he reaches into the depths of my heart and soul. He delves into the depths of who I am, and he identifies with me. When he calls me by name, he calls me out of love; “he calls me to share in his own divine life” (Lumen Gentium, 2). He calls me by name because he knows how great the gift is that he wishes to share with me.
3. He Gives Me a Mission: “He sent them to preach and to drive out demons” (Mark 3:14-15). Christ doesn’t call me just to enjoy the present life. He has created me for a purpose. He has given me a specific vocation that only I can fulfill. I am irreplaceable; there will never be another me. The opportunity that I have to share in this friendship with Our Lord is an invitation to do something with him and for him. Christ’s love for me invites and beckons me to collaborate with him. Who can resist an invitation to collaborate with someone so great, and with an offer so challenging and yet so fulfilling?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, You have wished for me to enter Your friendship. You have called me by name to be Your friend. You have invited me to help You in the New Evangelization. I want to help You and do my part. Give me the strength to be close to You and to collaborate with You in this great undertaking.
Resolution: I will bring up the faith in a conversation with someone.
Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska
49 When I told this to my confessor, I received this for a reply: "That refers to your soul." He told me, "Certainly, paint God's image in your soul." When I came out of the confessional, I again heard words such as these: My image already is in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.
50 + I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners. Let the sinner not be afraid to approach Me. The flames of mercy are burning Me - clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls.
Jesus complained to me in these words, Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides. The distrust of a chosen soul causes Me even greater pain; despite My inexhaustible love for them they do not trust Me. Even My death is not enough for them. Woe to the soul that abuses these [gifts].
248 The words of the Bishop [Rospond], spoken at the ceremony of the taking of perpetual vows: "Accept this candle as a sign of heavenly light and of burning love." While giving the ring: "I betroth you to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father Most High; may He keep you unblemished. Take this ring as a sign of the eternal covenant you are making with Christ, the Spouse of Virgins. May it be for you the ring of faith and the sign of the Holy Spirit, that you may be called the bride of Christ and, if you serve Him faithfully, be crowned [as such] for all eternity.
301 Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.
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 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.
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.
376 My Jesus, I trust that Your grace will help me to carry out these resolutions. Although the above points are contained in the vow of obedience, I want to practice these things in a special way, because this is the essence of the religious life. Merciful Jesus, I beg You fervently to enlighten my mind so that I may come to know You better, You who are the Infinite Being, and that I may get to know myself better, who am nothingness itself.
378 Once as I was talking with my spiritual director, I had an interior vision-quicker than lightning-of his soul in great suffering, in such agony that God touches very few souls with such fire. The suffering arises from this work. There will come a time when this work, which God is demanding so very much, will be as though utterly undone. And then God will act with great power, which will give evidence of its authenticity. It will be a new splendor for the Church, although it has been dormant in it from long ago. That God is infinitely merciful, no one can deny. He desires everyone to know this before He comes again as Judge. He wants souls to come to know Him first as King of Mercy. When this triumph comes, we shall already have entered the new life in which there is no suffering. But before this, your soul [of the spiritual director] will be surfeited with bitterness at the sight of the destruction of your efforts. However, this will only appear to be so, because what God has once decided upon, He does not change. But although this destruction will be such only in outward appearance, the suffering will be real. When will this happen? I do not know. How long will it last? I do not know. But God has promised a great grace especially to you and to all those... who will proclaim My great mercy. I shall protect them Myself at the hour of death, as My own glory. And even if the sins of soul are as dark as night, when the sinner turns to My mercy he gives Me the greatest praise and is the glory of My Passion. When a soul praises My goodness, Satan trembles before it and flees to the very bottom of hell.
379 During one of the adorations, Jesus promised me that: With souls that have recourse to My mercy and with those that glorify and proclaim My great mercy to others, I will deal according to My infinite mercy at the hour of their death.
My Heart is sorrowful, Jesus said, because even chosen souls do not understand the greatness of My mercy. Their relationship [with Me] is, in certain ways, imbued with mistrust. Oh, how much that wounds My Heart 1 Remember My Passion, and if you do not believe My words, at least believe My wounds.
389 Love must be reciprocal. If Jesus tasted the fullness of bitterness for me, then I, His bride, will accept all bitterness as proof of my love for Him.
391 Through Holy Baptism, we entered into union with other souls. Death tightens the bonds of love. I ought always to be of help to others. If I am a good religious, I will be useful, not only to the Order, but to the whole Country as well.
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?
393 During one conference, Jesus said to me, You are a sweet grape in a chosen cluster; I want others to have a share in the juice that is flowing within you.
491 When I entered the chapel, once again the majesty of God overwhelmed me. I felt that I was immersed in God, totally immersed in Him and penetrated by Him, being aware of how much the heavenly Father loves us. Oh, what great happiness fills my heart from knowing God and the divine life! It is my desire to share this happiness with all people. I cannot keep this happiness locked in my own heart alone, for His flames burn me and cause my bosom and my entrails to burst asunder. I desire to go throughout the whole world and speak to souls about the great mercy of God. Priests, help me in this; use the strongest words [at your disposal] to proclaim His mercy, for every word falls short of how merciful He really is.
525 O Holy Trinity, in whom is contained the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, eternal joy, inconceivable depth of love, poured out upon all creatures and constituting their happiness, honor and glory be to Your holy name forever and ever. Amen.
When I consider Your greatness and beauty, O my God, I rejoice exceedingly that the Lord I serve is so great. With love and joy I carry out His will, and the more I come to know Him, the more I desire to love Him. I burn with the desire to love Him ever more and more.
543 The duration of the postulancy. The postulancy will last one year. During this time, the candidate should examine whether she is attracted to this type of life and whether it is suitable to her. The directress should also diligently consider whether or not the person in question is suitable for this type of life. After a year, if the postulant shows evidence of a stable will and an earnest desire to serve God, she should be admitted to the novitiate.
699 On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy  be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.
930 + O my Jesus, although I will go to You, and You will fill me with Yourself, and that will make my happiness complete, I will nevertheless not forget about humanity. I desire to draw aside the veils of heaven, so that the earth would have no doubts about The Divine Mercy. My repose is in proclaiming Your mercy. The soul gives the greatest glory to its Creator when it turns with trust to The Divine Mercy.
+ The Love of God is the flower - Mercy the fruit.
1000 In the terrible desert of life,
O my sweetest Jesus,
Protect souls from disaster,
For You are the Fountain of Mercy.
Let the resplendence of Your rays,
O sweet Commander of our souls,
Let mercy change the world.
And you who have received this grace, serve Jesus.
Steep is the great highway I must travel,
But I fear nothing,
For the pure fount of mercy is flowing for my sake,
And, with it, strength for the humble soul.
I am exhausted and worn out,
But my conscience bears me witness
That I do all for the greater glory of the Lord,
The Lord who is my repose and my heritage.
[End of Notebook Two of the Diary.]
1074 When I went for adoration, I heard these words: My beloved daughter, write down these words, that today My Heart has rested in this convent [the Cracow house]. Tell the world about My mercy and My love.
The flames of mercy are burning me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them!
My daughter, do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it -with peace.
Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.
1075 Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. At that last hour, a soul has nothing with which to defend itself except My mercy. Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it.
1076 Write this: Everything that exists is enclosed in the bowels of My mercy, more deeply than an infant in its mother's womb. How painfully distrust of My goodness wounds Me! Sins of distrust wound Me most painfully.
1286 + Thank You, O God, for all the graces
Which unceasingly You lavish upon me,
Graces which enlighten me with the brilliance of the sun,
For by them You show me the sure way.
Thank You, O Lord, for creating me,
For calling me into being from nothingness,
For imprinting Your divinity on my soul,
The work of sheer merciful love.
Thank You, O God, for Holy Baptism
Which engrafted me into Your family,
A gift great beyond all thought or expression
Which transforms my soul.
Thank You, O Lord, for Holy Confession,
For that inexhaustible spring of great mercy,
For that inconceivable fountain of graces
In which sin-tainted souls become purified.
Thank You, O Jesus, for Holy Communion
In which You give us Yourself.
I feel Your Heart beating within my breast
As You cause Your divine life to unfold within me.
Thank You, O Holy Spirit, for the Sacrament of Confirmation,
Which dubs me Your knight
And gives strength to my soul at each moment,
Protecting me from evil.
Thank You, O God, for the grace of a vocation.
For being called to serve You alone,
Leading me to make You my sole love,
An unequal honor for my soul.
Thank You, O Lord, for perpetual vows,
For that union of pure love,
For having deigned to unite Your pure heart with mine
And uniting my heart to Yours in the purest of bonds.
Thank You, O Lord, for the Sacrament of Anointing
Which, in my final moments, will give me strength;
My help in battle, my guide to salvation,
Fortifying my soul till we rejoice forever.
Thank You, O God, for all the inspirations
That Your goodness lavishes upon me,
For the interior lights given my soul,
Which the heart senses, but words cannot express.
Thank You, O Holy Trinity, for the vastness of the graces
Which You have lavished on me unceasingly through life.
My gratitude will intensify as the eternal dawn rises,
When, for the first time, I sing to Your glory.
1652 Adore, my soul, the mercy of the Lord,
O my heart, rejoice wholly in Him,
Because for this you have been chosen by Him,
To spread the glory of His mercy.
His goodness no one has fathomed, no one can measure,
His compassion is untold.
Every soul that approaches Him experiences this.
He will shield her and clasp her to His merciful bosom.
Happy the soul that has trusted in Your goodness
And has abandoned herself completely to Your mercy.
Her soul is filled with the peace of love.
You defend her everywhere as Your own child.
O soul, whoever you may be in this world,
Even if your sins were as black as night,
Do not fear God, weak child that you are,
For great is the power of God's mercy.
1710 May 26, [1938-Feast of the Ascension]. Today I accompanied the Lord Jesus as He ascended into heaven. It was about noon. I was overcome by a great longing for God. It is a strange thing, the more I felt God's presence, the more ardently I desired Him. Then I saw myself in the midst of a huge crowd of disciples and apostles, together with the Mother of God. Jesus was telling them to... Go out into the whole world and teach in My name. He stretched out His hands and blessed them and disappeared in a cloud. I saw the longing of Our Lady. Her soul yearned for Jesus with the whole force of Her love. But She was so peaceful and so united to the will of God that there was not a stir in Her heart but for what God wanted.
1711 When I was left alone with the Blessed Virgin, She instructed me concerning the interior life. She said, The soul's true greatness is in loving God and in humbling oneself in His presence, completely forgetting oneself and believing oneself to be nothing; because the Lord is great, but He is well pleased only with the humble; He always opposes the proud.
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-49-50, 248, 301, 341, 375-376, 378-379)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-389, 391-393, 491)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-525, 543, 699, 930, 1000)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-III-1074-1076)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-IV-1286)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-VI-1652, 1710-1711 )