Speaking from the Heart of Christ
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." The child´s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I open my heart to receive the power of Your Spirit flowing from Your heart into mine. I wish to carry it zealously as a light from my heart to my family, to my friends, to the weak and empty of heart. With the fire of Your love in me, I want to acknowledge You as true light and as the glory and splendor of every human person. I long to be filled with a consuming love for You.
Petition: Lord, help me to penetrate the meaning of my baptism by contemplating Your consecration in the Temple and on the cross.
1. Glory of the Father, Light of the Nations: Contemplate this scene from God’s perspective. The Son, now in human history, enters the Temple for the first time. The Son enters the house of the Father. He, the perfect Lamb for whom no earthly sanctuary is holy enough, accepts to be consecrated in this place built by men, this place that was dedicated to the memory of the signs that were all in expectation of him. The True Lamb arrives at last to the place of offering. The Temple was above all a place of sacrifice in order to gain God’s favor. It was a place of expiation to free oneself of the inheritance of sin, and a place of prayer to offer fitting honor and praise to the one true God. And here, on this day, in the arms of Mary, comes the only sacrifice that counts, for without him no other sacrifice has meaning, whether in sacred rituals or in our personal lives.
2. “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord”: Contemplate this scene through the heart of Mary. In the simple rite of consecration; the Son is going to recognize his belonging to the Father, but he will do it through Mary’s fidelity to the prescribed ritual. Yet, who can speak for this child? Can anyone speak for the zeal of his heart, the hunger of his heart to suffer for souls? Mary’s pure and humble heart emerges as his spokesperson, and it speaks the language of self-giving and donation, though under the rituals prescribed by the law. “For their sake I consecrate myself.” She reflects to the world what has been communicated to her by her Son, who is flesh of her flesh. In our ordinary life we elevate the meaning of small events in union with Christ. Flesh of our flesh by grace, he enables us to live a consecration to a mission in his name. Our acts are made from the power of Christ’s living presence moving our heart and will.
3. “A sword shall pierce your heart”: Now contemplate the true temple of Christ’s body on the Cross, where every consecration is made perfect. Yes, Christ gives us the privilege to speak the words that echo from his heart. Over time he perfects this language in us, if we are faithful to the cross in our life.
My own baptismal consecration is all about speaking from what is in the heart of Christ, so that his words ‘pierce my own heart’ and replace that heart of stone with a new heart. I seek to speak like Christ––chaste, poor, and obedient––with a language forged and pounded into full authenticity at the Cross. My death to sin and egoism will call forth the risen life of the new man of the Kingdom––possible only through the fire of the Spirit that flows from the open side of Christ.
Conversation with Christ: O Jesus, make my soul a temple worthy of Your entry. May the walls of my heart be adorned with purity, honesty and upright intention in all I say and do. May its floors, upon which you walk, be sealed with modesty and sincerity, and lead You to an undivided heart.
Resolution: Today I will renew my personal consecration to the Heart of Christ in a visit to the Eucharist, and I will remember in a special way all consecrated persons throughout the world who renew their vows today.
Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska
16 It was during the octave of Corpus Christi [June 25, 1925]. God filled my soul with the interior light of a deeper knowledge of Him as Supreme Goodness and Supreme Beauty. I came to know how very much God loves me. Eternal is His love for me. It was at vespers. In simple words, which flowed from the heart, I made to God a vow of perpetual chastity. From that moment I felt a greater intimacy with God, my Spouse. From that moment I set up a little cell in my heart where I always kept company with Jesus.
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  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 after Mass and tell her of my decision.
27 First vows [First profession of temporary vows, April 30, 1928]. An ardent desire to empty myself for God by an active love, but a love that would be imperceptible, even to the sisters closest to me.
However, even after the vows, darkness continued to reign in my soul for almost a half year. Once, when I was praying, Jesus pervaded all my soul, darkness melted away, and I heard these words within me: You are My joy; you are My heart's delight. From that moment I felt the Most Holy Trinity in my heart; that is to say, within myself. I felt that I was inundated with Divine light. Since then, my soul has been in intimate communion with God, like a child with its beloved Father.
30 +On one occasion I was reflecting on the Holy Trinity, on the essence of God. I absolutely wanted to know and fathom who God is. ... In an instant my spirit was caught up into what seemed to be the next world. I saw an inaccessible light, and in this light what appeared like three sources of light which I could not understand. And out of that light came words in the form of lightning which encircled heaven and earth. Not understanding anything, I was very sad. Suddenly, from this sea of inaccessible light came our dearly beloved Savior, unutterably beautiful with His shining Wounds. And from this light came a voice which said, Who God is in His Essence, no one will fathom, neither the mind of Angels nor of man. Jesus said to me, Get to know God by contemplating His attributes. A moment later, He traced the sign of the cross with His hand and vanished."
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].
67 When I fell sick [probably the beginning of consumption] after my first vows and when, despite the kind and solicitous care of my Superiors and the efforts of the doctor, I felt neither better nor worse, remarks began to reach my ears which inferred that I was making believe. With that, my suffering was doubled, and this lasted for quite a long time. One day I complained to Jesus that I was being a burden to the sisters. Jesus answered me, You are not living for yourself but for souls, and other souls will profit from your sufferings. Your prolonged suffering will give them the light and strength to accept My will.
O Divine Sun, in Your rays the soul sees the tiniest specks of dust which displease You.
72 O Jesus, eternal Truth, our Life, I call upon You and I beg Your mercy for poor sinners. O sweetest Heart of my Lord, full of pity and unfathomable mercy, I plead with You for poor sinners. O Most Sacred Heart, Fount of Mercy from which gush forth rays of inconceivable graces upon the entire human race, I beg of You light for poor sinners. O Jesus, be mindful of Your own bitter Passion and do not permit the loss of souls redeemed at so dear a price of Your most precious Blood. O Jesus, when I consider the great price of Your Blood, I rejoice at its immensity, for one drop alone would have been enough for the salvation of all sinners. Although sin is an abyss of wickedness and ingratitude, the price paid for us can never be equaled. Therefore, let every soul trust in the Passion of the Lord, and place its hope in His mercy. God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God's mercy will never be exhausted. Oh, what immense joy burns in my heart when I contemplate Your incomprehensible goodness, O Jesus! I desire to bring all sinners to Your feet that they may glorify Your mercy throughout endless ages.
75 But these doubts always come from without, a fact which inclined me to close myself up more and more within myself. When, during confession, I sense uncertainty on the part of the priest, I do not open my soul to its depths, but only accuse myself of my sins. A priest who is not at peace with himself will not be able to inspire peace in another soul.
O priests, you bright candles enlightening human souls, let your brightness never be dimmed. I understood that at that time it was not God's will that I uncover my soul completely. Later on, God did give me this grace.
83 Write this: before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.
84 O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
Vilnius, August 2, 1934.
85 On Friday, after Holy Communion, I was carried in spirit before the throne of God. There I saw the heavenly Powers which incessantly praise God. Beyond the throne I saw a brightness inaccessible to creatures, and there only the Incarnate Word enters as Mediator. When Jesus entered this light, I heard these words, Write down at once what you hear: I am the Lord in My essence and am immune to orders or needs. If I call creatures into being - that is the abyss of My mercy. And at that very moment I found myself, as before, in our chapel at my kneeler, just as Mass had ended. I already had these words written.
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.
+ 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.
99 When for the first time this moment was drawing near, I was snatched from it by virtue of holy obedience. The Directress of Novices, alarmed by my appearance, sent me off to confession, but the confessor did not understand me, and I experienced no relief whatsoever. O Jesus, give us experienced priests!
When I told this priest I was undergoing infernal tortures, he answered that he was not worried about my soul, because he saw in it a great grace of God. But I understood nothing of this, and not even the least glimmer of light broke through to my soul.
103 Suddenly I saw the Lord interiorly, and He said to me, Fear not, My daughter; I am with you. In that single moment, all the darkness and torments vanished, my senses were inundated with unspeakable joy, [and] the faculties of my soul filled with light.
109 After such sufferings the soul finds itself in a state of great purity of spirit and very close to God. But I should add that during these spiritual torments it is close to God, but it is blind. The soul's vision is plunged into darkness, and though God is nearer than ever to the soul which is suffering, the whole secret consists in the fact that it knows nothing of this. The soul in fact declares that, not only has God abandoned it, but it is the object of His hatred. With how great a malady are they eyes of the soul afflicted! When struck by divine light, the soul affirms that this light does not exist, although it is precisely because this divine light is so bright that it is blinded. Yet despite all, I learned later that God is closer to a soul at such moments than at others, because it would not be able to endure these trials with the help of ordinary grace alone. God's omnipotence and an extraordinary grace must be active here, for otherwise the soul would succumb at the first blow.
110 O Divine Master, what happens in my soul is Your work alone! You, O Lord, are not afraid to place the soul on the edge of a terrible precipice where it stands, alarmed and filled with fright, and then You call it back again to Yourself. These are Your imponderable mysteries.
112 +A few words about confession and confessors. I shall speak only of what I have experienced and gone through within my own soul. There are three things which hinder the soul from drawing profit from confession in these exceptional moments.
The first thing: when the confessor has little knowledge of extraordinary ways and shows surprise if a soul discloses to him the great mysteries worked in it by God. Such surprise frightens a sensitive soul, and it notices that the confessor hesitates to give his opinion; and if it does notice this, it will not be set at peace, but will have even more doubts after confession than before, because it will sense that the confessor is trying to set it at peace while he himself is uncertain. Or else, as has happened to me, a confessor, unable to penetrate some of the soul's mysteries, refuses to hear the confession, showing a certain fear when the soul approaches the confessional.
How can a soul in this state obtain peace in the confessional when it has become so oversensitive to every word of the priest? In my opinion, at times of such special trials sent by God to a soul, the priest, if he does not understand the soul, should direct it to some other experienced and well-instructed confessor. Or else he himself should seek light in order to give the soul what it needs, instead of downrightly denying it confession. For in this way he is exposing the soul to a great danger; and more than one soul may well leave the road along which God wanted it to journey. This is a matter of great importance, for I have experienced it myself. I myself began to waver; despite special gifts from God, and even though God himself reassured me, I have nevertheless always wanted to have the Church's seal as well.
The second thing: the confessor does not allow the soul to express itself frankly, and shows impatience. The soul then falls silent and does not say everything [it has to say] and, by this, profits nothing. It profits even less when the confessor, without really knowing the soul, proceeds to put it to the test. Instead of helping the soul, he does it harm. The soul is aware that the confessor does not know it, because he did not allow it to lay itself open fully as regards both its graces and its misery. And so the test is ill-adapted. I have been submitted to some tests at which I have had to laugh.
I will express this better thus: The confessor is the doctor of the soul, but how can a doctor prescribe a suitable remedy if he does not know the nature of the sickness? Never will he be able to do so. For either the remedy will not produce the desired effect, or else it will be too strong and will aggravate the illness, and sometimes-God forbid-even bring about death. I am speaking from my own experience because, in certain instances, it was the Lord himself who directly sustained me.
The third thing: it also happens sometimes that the confessor makes light of little things. There is nothing little in the spiritual life. Sometimes a seemingly insignificant thing will disclose a matter of great consequence and will be for the confessor a beam of light which helps him to get to know the soul. Many spiritual undertones are concealed in little things.
A magnificent building will never rise if we reject the insignificant bricks. God demands great purity of certain souls, and so He gives them a deeper knowledge of their own misery. Illuminated by light from on high, the soul can better know what pleases God and what does not. Sin depends upon the degree of knowledge and light that exists within the soul. The same is true of imperfections. Although the soul knows that it is only sin in the strict sense of the term which pertains to the sacrament of penance, yet these petty things are of great importance to a soul which is tending to sanctity, and the confessor must not treat them lightly. The patience and kindness of the confessor open the way to the innermost secrets of the soul. The soul, unconsciously as it were, reveals its abysmal depth and feels stronger and more resistant; it fights with greater courage and tries to do things better because it knows it must give an account of them.
I will mention one more thing regarding the confessor. It is his duty to occasionally put to the test, to try, to exercise, to learn whether he is dealing with straw, with iron or with pure gold. Each of these three types of souls needs different kinds of training. The confessor must-and this is absolutely necessary-form a clear judgment of each soul in order to know how heavy a burden it can carry at certain times, in certain circumstances, or in particular situations. As for myself, it was only later on, after many [negative] experiences, that, when I saw that I was not understood, I no longer laid bare my soul or allowed my peace to be disturbed. But this happened only when all these graces had already been submitted to the judgment of a wise, well-instructed and experienced confessor. Now I know what to go by in certain cases
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.
131 But I will simply mention here that these various sufferings had come to a peak, and I resolved to put an end to these doubts of mine before my perpetual vows. Throughout my probation, I prayed for light for the priest to whom I was to open up my soul to its depths. I asked God that He himself would help me and grant me the grace to be able to express even the most secret things that exist between me and Him and to be so disposed that, whatever the priest would decide, I would accept as coming from Jesus himself. No matter what judgment he would pass on me, all I wanted was the truth and a decisive answer to certain questions. I put myself completely in God's hands, and [all] my soul desired was the truth. I could not go on living in doubt any longer although, in the depths of my soul, I was so very sure that these things came from God, that I would lay down my life for this. However, I placed the confessor's opinion above all, and I made up my mind to do as he thought best and to act according to the advice that he would give me. I looked forward to that moment which would decide the course of my actions for the rest of my life. I knew that everything would depend on this. It mattered little whether what he would say to me would be in accord with my inspirations or quite the contrary; this no longer mattered to me. I wanted to know the truth and follow it.
Jesus, You can help me! From this moment, I have begun anew. I conceal all the graces within my soul and await whomsoever the Lord will send me. With no doubt in my heart, I asked the Lord himself to deign to help me during these moments, and a courage of sorts entered my soul.
140 Pure love is capable of great deeds, and it is not broken by difficulty or adversity. As it remains strong in the midst of great difficulties, so too it perseveres in the toilsome and drab life of each day. It knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love-love, and always love.
Pure love never errs. Its light is strangely plentiful. It will not do anything that might displease God. It is ingenious at doing what is more pleasing to God, and no one will equal it. It is happy when it can empty itself and burn like a pure offering. The more it gives of itself, the happier it is. But also, no one can sense dangers from afar as can love; it knows how to unmask and also knows with whom it has to deal.
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.
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.
157 +In the evening, when I entered the small chapel, I heard these words in my soul: My daughter, consider these words: "And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly." When I started to think about them more deeply, much light streamed into my soul. I learned how much we need perseverance in prayer and that our salvation often depends on such difficult prayer.
161 Immaculate Virgin,
Pure crystal for my heart,
You are my strength, O sturdy anchor!
You are the weak heart's shield and protection.
Mary you are pure, of purity incomparable;
At once both Virgin and Mother,
You are beautiful as the sun, without blemish,
And your soul is beyond all comparison.
Your beauty has delighted the eye of the Thrice-Holy One.
He descended from heaven, leaving His eternal throne,
And took Body and Blood of your heart
And for nine months lay hidden in a Virgin's Heart.
O Mother, Virgin, purest of all lilies,
Your heart was Jesus' first tabernacle on earth.
Only because no humility was deeper than yours
Were you raised above the choirs of Angels and above all Saints.
O Mary, my sweet Mother,
I give you my soul, my body and my poor heart.
Be the guardian of my life,
Especially at the hour of death, in the final strife.
164 +JMJ Warsaw, 1933.
Probation Before Perpetual Vows
When I learned I was to go for probation, my heart beat with joy at the thought of such an immense grace, that of the perpetual vows. I went before the Blessed Sacrament; and when I immersed myself in a prayer of thanksgiving, I heard these words in my soul: My child you are My delight, you are the comfort of My Heart. I grant you as many graces as you can hold. As often as you want to make Me happy, speak to the world about My great and unfathomable mercy.
166 In prayer I always find light and strength of spirit, although there are moments so trying and hurtful, that it is sometimes difficult to imagine that these things can happen in a convent. Strangely, God sometimes allows them, but always in order to manifest or develop virtue in a soul. That is the reason for trials.
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.
177 +Renewal of vows. From the moment I woke up in the morning, my spirit was totally submerged in God, in that ocean of love. I felt that I had been completely immersed in Him. During Holy Mass, my love for Him reached a peak of intensity. After the renewal of vows and Holy Communion, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, who said to me with great kindness, My daughter, look at My merciful Heart. As I fixed my gaze on the Most Sacred Heart, the same rays of light, as are represented in the image as blood and water, came forth from it, and I understood how great is the Lord's mercy. And again Jesus said to me with kindness, My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me-clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don't want to believe in My goodness. Suddenly Jesus disappeared. But throughout that whole day my spirit remained immersed in God's tangible presence, despite the buzz and chatter that usually follow a retreat. It did not disturb me in the least. My spirit was in God, although externally I took part in the conversations and even went to visit Derdy.
178 Today we are beginning the third probation. All three of us met at Mother Margaret's, as the other sisters were having their probation in the novitiate. Mother Margaret began with a prayer, explained to us what the third probation consists of, and then spoke on how great is the grace of the perpetual vows. Suddenly I began to cry out loud. In an instant all God's graces appeared before the eyes of my soul, and I saw myself so wretched and ungrateful toward God. The sisters began to rebuke me, saying, "Why did she break out crying?" But Mother Margaret came to my defense, saying that she was not surprised.
At the end of the hour, I went before the Blessed Sacrament and, like the greatest and most miserable of wretches, I begged for His mercy that He might heal and purify my poor soul. Then I heard these words, My daughter, all your miseries have been consumed in the flame of My love, like a little twig thrown into a roaring fire. By humbling yourself in this way, you draw upon yourself and upon other souls an entire sea of My mercy. I answered, "Jesus, mold my poor heart according to Your divine delight."
180 +During Advent, a great yearning for God arose in my soul. My spirit rushed toward God with all its might. During that time, the Lord gave me much light to know His attributes.
The first attribute which the Lord gave me to know is His holiness. His holiness is so great that all the Powers and Virtues tremble before Him. The pure spirits veil their faces and lose themselves in unending adoration, and with one single word they express the highest form of adoration; that is-Holy... The holiness of God is poured out upon the Church of God and upon every living soul in it, but not in the same degree. There are souls who are completely penetrated by God, and there are those who are barely alive.
The second kind of knowledge which the Lord granted me concerns His justice. His justice is so great and penetrating that it reaches deep into the heart of things, and all things stand before Him in naked truth, and nothing can withstand Him.
The third attribute is love and mercy. And I understood that the greatest attribute is love and mercy. It unites the creature with the Creator. This immense love and abyss of mercy are made known in the Incarnation of the Word and in the Redemption [of humanity], and it is here that I saw this as the greatest of all God's attributes.
186 +Today Jesus said to me, 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:
187 "O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You."
195 O Jesus, today my soul is as though darkened by suffering. Not a single ray of light. The storm is raging, and Jesus is asleep. O my Master, I will not wake You; I will not interrupt Your sweet sleep. I believe that You fortify me without my knowing it.
Throughout the long hours I adore You, O living Bread, amidst the great drought in my soul. O Jesus, pure Love, I do not need consolations; I am nourished by Your will, O Mighty One! Your will is the goal of my existence. It seems to me that the whole world serves me and depends on me. You, O Lord, understand my soul with all its aspirations.
Jesus, when I myself cannot sing You the hymn of love, I admire the singing of the Seraphim, they who are so dearly loved by You. I desire to drown myself in You as they do. Nothing will stem such love, for no might has power over it. It is like lightning that illuminates the darkness, but does not remain in it. O my Master, shape my soul according to Your will and Your eternal designs!
205 +The Resurrection. Today, during the [Mass of the] Resurrection, I saw the Lord Jesus in the midst of a great light. He approached me and said, Peace be to you, My children, and He lifted up His hand and gave His blessing. The wounds in His hands, feet and side were indelible and shining. When He looked at me with such kindness and love, my whole soul drowned itself in Him. And He said to me, You have taken a great part in My Passion; therefore I now give you a great share in My joy and glory. The whole time of the Resurrection [Mass] seemed like only a minute to me. A wondrous recollection filled my soul and lasted throughout the whole festal season. The kindness of Jesus is so great that I cannot express it.
206 The next day, after Communion, I heard the voice saying, My daughter, look into the abyss of My mercy and give praise and glory to this mercy of Mine. Do it in this way: Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. I want to give Myself to souls; I yearn for souls, My daughter. On the day of My feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them.
211 +Once again, a terrible darkness envelops my soul. It seems to me that I am falling prey to illusions. When I went to confession to obtain some light and peace, I did not find these at all. The confessor  left me with even more doubts than I had before. He said to me, "I cannot discern what power is at work in you, Sister; perhaps it is God and perhaps it is the evil spirit." When I left the confessional, I started to think about his words. The longer I did so, the deeper my soul sank into darkness. "Jesus, what am I to do?" When Jesus approached me with kindness, I was frightened. "Are you really Jesus?" On the one hand, I am drawn by love and, on the other, by fear. What torture! I cannot describe it!
223 O living Host, my one and only strength, fountain of love and mercy, embrace the whole world, fortify faint souls. Oh, blessed be the instant and the moment when Jesus left us His most merciful Heart!
224 To suffer without complaining, to bring comfort to others and to drown my own sufferings in the most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
I will spend all my free moments at the feet of [Our Lord in] the Blessed Sacrament. At the feet of Jesus, I will seek light, comfort and strength. I will show my gratitude unceasingly to God for His great mercy towards me, never forgetting the favors He has bestowed on me, especially the grace of a vocation. I will hide myself among the sisters like a little violet among lilies. I want to blossom for my Lord and Maker, to forget about myself, to empty myself totally for the sake of immortal souls-this is my delight.
226 The rules that I most often fail to obey: sometimes I break silence; disobedience to the signal of the bell; sometimes I meddle in other people's affairs. I will do my very best to improve.
I will avoid sisters who grumble, and if they cannot be avoided, I will at least keep silent before them, thus letting them know how sorry I am to hear such things. I must take no heed of the opinion of others, but obey the evidence of my own conscience and take God to be the witness of all my actions. I must do everything and act in all matters now as I would like to do and act at the hour of my death. For this reason, in every action I must be mindful of God.
Avoid presumed permissions. I must report [even] small things to my superiors, and do so in as much detail as is possible. I must be faithful in my spiritual exercises; I must not easily ask to be dispensed from them. I must keep silence outside the time of recreation, and avoid jokes and witty words that make others laugh and break silence. I must have great appreciation for even the most minute rules. I must not let myself become absorbed in the whirl of work, [but] take a break to look up to heaven. Speak little with people, but a good deal with God. Avoid familiarity. I must pay little attention as to who is for me and who is against me. I must not tell others about those things I have had to put up with. I must avoid speaking out loud to others during work. I must maintain peace and equanimity during times of suffering. In difficult moments I must take refuge in the wounds of Jesus; I must seek consolation, comfort, light and affirmation in the wounds of Jesus.
240 Three requests on the day of my perpetual vows. Jesus, I know that today You will refuse me nothing.
First request: Jesus, my most beloved Spouse, I beg You for the triumph of the Church, particularly in Russia and in Spain; for blessings on the Holy Father, Pius XI, and on all the clergy; for the grace of conversion for impenitent sinners. And I ask You for a special blessing and for light, O Jesus, for the priests before whom I will make my confessions throughout my lifetime.
Second request :I beg Your blessings on our Congregation, and may it be filled with great zeal. Bless, O Jesus, our Mother General and our Mother Directress, all the novices and all the superiors. Bless my dearest parents. Bestow Your grace, O Jesus, on our wards; strengthen them so powerfully by Your grace so that those who leave our houses will no longer offend You by any sin. Jesus, I beg You for my homeland; protect it against the assaults of its enemies.
Third request:Jesus, I plead with You for the souls that are most in need of prayer. I plead for the dying; be merciful to them. I also beg You, Jesus, to free all souls from purgatory.
Jesus, I commend to You these particular persons: My confessors, persons recommended to my prayers, a certain person..., Father Andrasz, Father Czaputa, and the priest I met in Vilnius [Father Sopocko], who is to be my confessor, a certain soul... a certain priest, a certain religious to whom You know how much I owe, Jesus, and all the people who have been recommended to my prayer. Jesus, on this day You can do everything for those for whom I am pleading. For myself I ask, Lord, transform me completely into Yourself, maintain in me a holy zeal for Your glory, give me the grace and spiritual strength to do Your holy will in all things.
Thank You, o my dearest Bridegroom, for the dignity You have conferred on me, and in particular for the royal coat-of-arms which will adorn me from this day on and which even the Angels do not possess; namely, the cross, the sword and the crown of thorns. But above all, O my Jesus, I thank You for Your Heart-it is all I need.
Mother of God, Most Holy Mary, my Mother, You are my Mother in a special way now because Your beloved Son is my Bridegroom, and thus we are both Your children. For Your Son's sake, You have to love me. O Mary, my dearest Mother, guide my spiritual life in such a way that it will please Your Son.
+Holy and Omnipotent God, at this moment of immense grace by which You are uniting me with Yourself forever, I, mere nothingness, with the utmost gratitude, cast myself at Your feet like a tiny, unknown flower and, each day, the fragrance of that flower of love will ascend to Your throne.
In times of struggle and suffering, of darkness and storm, of yearning and sorrow, in times of difficult trials, in times when nobody will understand me, when I will even be condemned and scorned by everyone, I will remember the day of my perpetual vows, the day of God's incomprehensible grace.
247 Jesus, Friend of a lonely heart, You are my haven, You are my peace. You are my salvation, You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts. You are the bright ray that lights up the path of my life. You are everything to a lonely soul. You understand the soul even though it remains silent. You know our weaknesses, and like a good physician, You comfort and heal, sparing us sufferings-expert that You are.
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.
249 +Jesus, I trust in You; I trust in the ocean of your mercy. You are a Mother to me.
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?...
272 But previously, this priest had put me through many trials. When I told him that the Lord wanted these things of me [that is, the painting of the image, the establishing of a feast of The Divine Mercy, and the founding of a new community], he laughed at me and told me to come to confession at eight in the evening. When I came at eight, a brother was already locking the church. When I told him that Father had ordered me to come at that time and asked him to let Father know I was there, the good brother went to let him know. Father told him to tell me that priests do not hear confessions at that time of day. I returned home emptyhanded and did not go to confession to him again, but I made a whole hour's adoration and took on certain mortifications for him, that he might obtain light from God in order to know souls. But when Father Sopocko left, and he substituted for him, I was forced to go to confession to him. Yet, while previously he had been unwilling to acknowledge these inner inspirations, he now put me under obligation to be faithful to them. God lets such things happen sometimes, but may He be glorified in everything. Still, it requires much grace not to falter.
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.
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.
295 +At that moment Jesus asked me, My child, how is your retreat going? I answered, "But Jesus, You know how it is going." Yes, I know, but I want to hear it from your own lips and from your heart. "O my Master, when You are leading me, everything goes smoothly, and I ask You, Lord, to never leave my side." And Jesus said, Yes, I will be with you always, if you always remain a little child and fear nothing. As I was your beginning here, so I will also be your end. Do not rely on creatures, even in the smallest things, because this displeases Me. I want to be alone in your soul. I will give light and strength to your soul, and you will learn from My representative that I am in you, and your uncertainty will vanish like mist before the rays of the sun.
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.
297 +Jesus, Supreme Light, grant me the grace of knowing myself, and pierce my dark soul with Your light, and fill the abyss of my soul with Your own self, for You alone [...]
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.
302 +O Eternal Love, I want all the souls You have created to come to know You. I would like to be a priest, for then I would speak without cease about Your mercy to sinful souls drowned in despair. I would like to be a missionary and carry the light of faith to savage nations in order to make You known to souls, and to be completely consumed for them and to die a martyr's death, just as You died for them and for me. O Jesus, I know only too well that I can be a priest, a missionary, a preacher, and that I can die a martyr's death by completely emptying myself and denying myself for love of You, O Jesus, and of immortal souls.
303 Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions. And the purer our love becomes, the less there will be within us for the flames of suffering to feed upon, and the suffering will cease to be a suffering for us; it will become a delight! By the grace of God, I have received such a disposition of heart that I am never so happy as when I suffer for Jesus, whom I love with every beat of my heart.
Once when I was suffering greatly, I left my work and escaped to Jesus and asked Him to give me His strength. After a very short prayer I returned to my work filled with enthusiasm and joy. Then, one of the sisters [probably Sister Justine] said to me, "You must have many consolations today, Sister; you look so radiant. Surely, God is giving you no suffering, but only consolations." "You are greatly mistaken, Sister," I answered, "for it is precisely when I suffer much that my joy is greater; and when I suffer less, my joy also is less." However, that soul was letting me recognize that she does not understand what I was saying. I tried to explain to her that when we suffer much we have a great chance to show God that we love Him; but when we suffer little we have less occasion to show God our love; and when we do not suffer at all, our love is then neither great nor pure. By the grace of God, we can attain a point where suffering will become a delight to us, for love can work such things in pure souls.
306 I asked the Lord to grant me the grace that my nature be immune and resist the influences that sometimes try to draw me away from the spirit of our rule and from the minor regulations. These minor transgressions are like little moths that try to destroy the spiritual life within us, and they surely will destroy it if the soul is aware of these minor transgressions and yet disregards them as small things. I can see nothing that is small in the religious life. Little matter if I am sometimes the object of vexation and jeers, as long as my spirit remains in harmony with the spirit of the rules, the vows and the religious statutes.
O my Jesus, delight of my heart, You know my desires. I should like to hide from people's sight so as to be like one alive and yet not living. I want to live pure as a wild flower; I want my love always to be turned to You, just as a flower that is always turning to the sun. I want the fragrance and the freshness of the flower of my heart to be always preserved for You alone. I want to live beneath Your divine gaze, for You alone are enough for me. When I am with You, Jesus, I fear nothing, for nothing can do me harm.
346 December 24, 1934. The Vigil of Christmas. During the morning Mass, I felt the closeness of God. Though I was hardly aware of it, my spirit was drowned in God. Suddenly, I heard these words:You are My delightful dwelling place; My Spirit rests in you. After these words, I felt the Lord looking into the depths of my heart; and seeing my misery, I humbled myself in spirit and admired the immense mercy of God, that the Most High Lord would approach such misery.
During Holy Communion, joy filled my soul. I felt that I am closely united to the Godhead. His omnipotence enveloped my whole being. Throughout the whole day I felt the closeness of God in a special manner; and although my duties prevented me throughout the whole day from going to chapel even for a moment, there was not a moment when I was not united with God. I felt Him within me more distinctly than ever. Unceasingly greeting the Mother of God and entering into Her spirit, I begged Her to teach me true love of God. And then I heard these words: I will share with you the secret of My happiness this night during Holy Mass.
We had supper before six o'clock. Despite all the joy and the external noise accompanying the sharing of the wafer and the mutual exchange of good wishes, I did not for a moment lose the awareness of God's presence. After supper we hurried away to finish our work, and at nine I was able to go to the chapel for adoration. I was allowed to stay up and wait for the Midnight Mass. I was delighted to have free time from nine until midnight. From nine to ten o'clock I offered my adoration for my parents and my whole family. From ten to eleven, I offered it for the intention of my spiritual director, in the first place thanking God for granting me this great visible help here on earth, just as He had promised me, and I also asked God to grant him the necessary light so that he could get to know my soul and guide me according to God's good pleasure. And from eleven to twelve I prayed for the Holy Church and the clergy, for sinners, for the missions and for our houses. I offered the indulgences for the souls in purgatory.
359 January 10, 1935. +Thursday. In the evening during benediction, such thoughts as these began to distress me: Is not perhaps all this that I am saying about God's great mercy just a lie or an illusion...? And I wanted to think about this for a while, when I heard a strong and clear inner voice saying, Everything that you say about My goodness is true; language has no adequate expression to extol My goodness. These words were so filled with power and so clear that I would give my life in declaring they came from God. I can tell this by the profound peace that accompanied them at that time and that still remains with me. This peace gives me such great strength and power that all difficulties, adversities, sufferings, and death itself are as nothing. This light gave me a glimpse of the truth that all my efforts to bring souls to know the mercy of the Lord are very pleasing to God. And from this springs such great joy in my soul that I do not know whether it could be any greater in heaven. Oh, if souls would only be willing to listen, at least a little, to the voice of conscience and the voice that is, the inspirations-of the Holy Spirit! I say "at least a little," because once we open ourselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit, He himself will fulfill what is lacking in us.
365 My spiritual director replaced it with an interior mortification; namely, throughout Holy Mass I was to meditate on why the Lord Jesus had submitted to being baptized. The meditation was no mortification for me, for thinking about God is a delight and not a mortification; but there was a mortification of the will in that I was not doing [simply] what I like, but what I was told to do, and it is in this that interior mortification consists. When I left the confessional and started to recite my penance, I heard these words: I have granted the grace you asked for on behalf of that soul, but not because of the mortification you chose for yourself. Rather, it was because of your act of complete obedience to My representative that I granted this grace to that soul for whom you interceded and begged mercy. Know that when you mortify your own self-will, then Mine reigns within you.
366 O my Jesus, be patient with me. I will be more careful in the future. I will rely, not upon myself, but upon Your grace and Your very great goodness to miserable me.
367 +On one occasion, Jesus gave me to know that when I pray for intentions which people are wont to entrust to me, He is always ready to grant His graces, but souls do not always want to accept them: My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them. You, at least, come to Me as often as possible and take these graces they do not want to accept. In this way you will console My Heart. Oh, how indifferent are souls to so much goodness, to so many proofs of love! My Heart drinks only of the ingratitude and forgetfulness of souls living in the world. They have time for everything, but they have no time to come to Me for graces.
So I turn to you, you-chosen souls, will you also fail to understand the love of My Heart? Here, too, My Heart finds disappointment; I do not find complete surrender to My love. So many reservations, so much distrust, so much caution. To comfort you, let Me tell you that there are souls living in the world who love Me dearly. I dwell In their hearts with delight. But they are few. In convents too, there are souls that fill My Heart with joy. They bear My features; therefore the Heavenly Father looks upon them with special pleasure. They will be a marvel to Angels and men. Their number is very small. They are a defense for the world before the justice of the Heavenly Father and a means of obtaining mercy for the world. The love and sacrifice of these souls sustain the world in existence. The infidelity of a soul specially chosen by Me wounds My Heart most painfully. Such infidelities are swords which pierce My Heart.
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?
410 O eternal and incomprehensible Love, I beg You for one grace: enlighten my mind with light from on high; help me to know and appreciate all things according to their value. I feel the greatest joy in my soul when I come to know the truth.
439 Then came the moment to receive Holy Communion, and Jesus disappeared, and I saw a great brightness. Then I heard these words: We give Our blessing, and at that moment a bright ray issued from that light and pierced my heart; an extraordinary fire was enkindled in my soul-I thought I would die of joy and happiness. I felt the separation of my spirit from my body. I felt totally immersed in God, I felt I was snatched up by the Almighty, like a particle of dust, into unknown expanses.
462 Now I understand well that what unites our soul most closely to God is self-denial; that is, joining our will to the will of God. This is what makes the soul truly free, contributes to profound recollection of the spirit, and makes all life's burdens light, and death sweet.
495 Jesus, Eternal Light, enlighten my mind, strengthen my will, inflame my heart and be with me as You have promised, for without You I am nothing. You know, Jesus, how weak lam. l do not need to tell You this, for You yourself know perfectly well how wretched I am. It is in You that all my strength lies.
499 Each battle valiantly fought brings me joy, peace, light, experience and courage for the future; honor and glory to God; and in the end, for me, a reward.
Today is the Feast of Christ the King.
[October 27, 1935]
507 I desire, O my Jesus, to suffer and burn with the flame of Your love in all the circumstances of my life. I am Yours, completely Yours, and I wish to disappear in You, O Jesus, I wish to be lost in Your divine beauty. You pursue me with Your love, O Lord; You penetrate my soul like a ray of the sun and change its darkness into Your light. I feel very vividly that I am living in You as one small spark swallowed up by the incomprehensible fire with which You burn, O inconceivable Trinity! No greater joy is to be found than that of loving God. Already here on earth we can taste the happiness of those in heaven by an intimate union with God, a union that is extraordinary and often quite incomprehensible to us. One can attain this very grace through simple faithfulness of soul.
511 When my intentions are not recognized, but rather condemned, I am not too much surprised, for I know that it is only God who scrutinizes my heart. Truth will not die; the wounded heart will regain peace in due time, and my spirit is strengthened through adversities. I do not always listen to what my heart tells me, but I keep asking God for light; and when I feel l have regained my equilibrium, then I say more.
733 It sometimes happens, while I am listening to the meditation, that one word puts me in very close union with the Lord, and I no longer know what Father  is saying. I know that I am close to the most merciful Heart of Jesus; my whole spirit is entirely plunged in Him, and in one moment I learn more than during long hours of intellectual inquiry and meditation. These are sudden lights which permit me to know things as God sees them, regarding matters of both the interior and the exterior world.
813 + O merciful Jesus, stretched on the cross, be mindful of the hour of our death. O most merciful Heart of Jesus, opened with a lance, shelter me at the last moment of my life. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of unfathomable mercy for me at the hour of my death, O dying Jesus, Hostage of mercy, avert the Divine wrath at the hour of my death.
825 + O bright and clear day on which all my dreams will be fulfilled; O day so eagerly desired, the last day of my life! I look forward with joy to the last stroke the Divine Artist will trace on my soul, which will give my soul a unique beauty that will distinguish me from the beauty of other souls. O great day, on which divine love will be confirmed in me. On that day, for the first time, I shall sing before heaven and earth the song of the Lord's fathomless mercy. This is my work and the mission which the Lord has destined for me from the beginning of the world. That the song of my soul may be pleasing to the Holy Trinity, do You, O Spirit of God, direct and form my soul yourself. I arm myself with patience and await Your coming, O merciful God, and as to the terrible pains and fear of death, at this moment more than at any other time, I trust in the abyss of Your mercy and am reminding You, O merciful Jesus, sweet Savior, of all the promises You have made to me.
832 O merciful Jesus, how longingly You hurried to the Upper Room to consecrate the Host that I am to receive in my life. Jesus, You desired to dwell in my heart. Your living Blood unites with mine. Who can understand this close union? My heart encloses within itself the Almighty, the Infinite One. 0 Jesus, continue to grant me Your divine life. Let Your pure and noble Blood throb with all its might in my heart. I give You my whole being. Transform me into Yourself and make me capable of doing Your holy will in all things and of returning Your love. O my sweet Spouse, You know that my heart knows no one but You. You have opened up in my heart an insatiable depth of love for You. From the very first moment it knew You, my heart has loved You and has lost itself in You as its one and only object. May Your pure and omnipotent love be the driving force of all my actions. Who will ever conceive and understand the depth of mercy that has gushed forth from Your Heart?
836 O most sweet Jesus, who have deigned to allow miserable me to gain a knowledge of Your unfathomable mercy; O most sweet Jesus, who have graciously demanded that I tell the whole world of Your incomprehensible mercy, this day I take into my hands the two rays that spring from Your merciful Heart; that is, the Blood and the Water; and I scatter them all over the globe so that each soul may receive Your mercy and, having received it, may glorify it for endless ages. O most sweet Jesus who, in Your incomprehensible kindness, have deigned to unite my wretched heart to Your most merciful Heart, it is with Your own Heart that I glorify God, our Father, as no soul has ever glorified Him before.
853 In the evening, a great longing took possession of my soul. I took the pamphlet with the Image of the Merciful Jesus on it and pressed it to my heart, and the following words burst forth from my soul: "Jesus, Eternal Love, I live for You, I die for You, and I want to become united with You." Suddenly I saw the Lord in His inexpressible beauty. He looked at me graciously and said, My daughter, I too came down from heaven out of love for you; I lived for you, I died for you, and I created the heavens for you. And Jesus pressed me to His Heart and said to me, Very soon now; be at peace, My daughter.When I was alone, my soul was set afire with the desire to suffer until the moment when the Lord would say, "Enough." And even if I were to live for thousands of years, I see in the light of God that that is but one moment. Souls ...[unfinished thought].
854 December 29, . Today after Holy Communion, I heard a voice in my soul: My daughter, stand ready, for I will come unexpectedly. Jesus, You do not want to tell me the hour I am looking forward to with such longing? My daughter, it is for your own good. You will learn it, but not now; keep watch. O Jesus, do with me as You please. I know You are the merciful Savior and You will not change towards me at the hour of my death. If at this time you are showing me so much special love, and are condescending to unite Yourself with me is such an intimate way and with such great kindness, I expect even more at the hour of my death. You, my Lord-God, cannot change. You are always the same. Heaven can change, as well as everything that is created; but You, Lord, are ever the same and will endure forever. So come as You like and when You like. Father of infinite mercy, I, Your child, wait longingly for Your coming. O Jesus, You said in the Holy Gospel, "Out of your mouth do I judge you." Well, Jesus, I am always speaking of Your inconceivable mercy, so I trust that You will judge me according to Your unfathomable mercy.
886 January 15, 1937. Sorrow will not establish itself in a heart which loves the will of God. My heart, longing for God, feels the whole misery of exile. I keep going forward bravely-though my feet become wounded-to my homeland and, on the way, I nourish myself on the will of God. It is my food. Help me, happy inhabitants of the heavenly homeland, so that your sister may not falter on the way. Although the desert is fearful, I walk with lifted head and eyes fixed on the sun; that is to say, on the merciful Heart of Jesus.
893 January 22, . Today is Friday. My soul is in a sea of suffering. Sinners have taken everything away from me. But that is all right; I have given everything away for their sake that they might know that You are good and infinitely merciful. I shall be faithful to You, come rain or shine.
906 + In difficult moments, I will fix my gaze upon the silent Heart of Jesus, stretched upon the Cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful Heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting.
938 The soul should have prayed ardently and at greater length for a director and should have asked the Lord himself to choose a spiritual director for it. What begins in God will be godly, and what begins in a purely human manner will remain human. God is so merciful that, in order to help a soul He himself chooses the spiritual guide and will enlighten the soul concerning the one before whom it should uncover the most hidden depths of its soul just as it sees itself before the Lord Jesus himself. And when the soul considers and recognizes that God has been arranging all this, it should pray fervently for the confessor that he might have the divine light to know it well. And let it not change such a director except for a serious reason. Just as it had prayed fervently and at great length in order to learn God's will before choosing a director, so too should it pray fervently and at great length to discern whether it is truly God's will that he leave this director and choose another. If God's will is not absolutely clear, he should not make this change, for a person will not go far by himself, and Satan wants just this: to have the person who is aspiring for sanctity direct himself because then, without doubt, he will never attain it.
1065 + My Jesus, support me when difficult and stormy days come, days of testing, days of ordeal, when suffering and fatigue begin to oppress my body and my soul. Sustain me, Jesus, and give me strength to bear suffering. Set a guard upon my lips that they may address no word of complaint to creatures. Your most merciful Heart is all my hope. I have nothing for my defense but only Your mercy; in it lies all my trust.
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.
1122 God of great mercy, who deigned to send us Your only begotten Son as the greatest proof of Your fathomless love and mercy, You do not reject sinners; but in Your boundless mercy You have opened for them also Your treasures, treasures from which they can draw abundantly, not only justification, but also all the sanctity that a soul can attain. Father of great mercy, I desire that all hearts turn with confidence to Your infinite mercy. No one will be justified before You if he is not accompanied by Your unfathomable mercy. When You reveal the mystery of Your mercy to us, there will not be enough of eternity to properly thank You for it.
1138 May 31. My tormented soul finds aid nowhere but in You, O Living Host. I place all my trust in Your merciful heart. I am waiting patiently for Your word, Lord.
1155 The Lord gave me knowledge of His will under three aspects, so to speak, but it all comes down to one. 
The first is that souls separated from the world will burn as an offering before God's throne and beg for mercy for the whole world... and by their entreaties they will obtain blessings for priests, and through their prayers prepare the world for the final coming of Jesus.
1156 The second is prayer joined to the act of mercy. In particular, they will defend the souls of children against the spirit of evil. Prayer and merciful deeds are all that will be required of these souls, and even the poorest persons can be admitted to their number. And in this egoistic world they will try to rouse up love, the mercy of Jesus.
1157 The third is prayer and deeds of mercy, without any obligation of taking vows. But by doing this, these persons will have a share in all the merits and privileges of the whole [congregation]. Everyone in the world can belong to this group.
1158 A member of this group ought to perform at least one act of mercy a day; at least one, but there can be many more, for such deeds can easily be carried out by anyone, even the very poorest. For there are three ways of performing an act of mercy: the merciful word, by forgiving and by comforting; secondly, if you can offer no word, then pray-that too is mercy; and thirdly, deeds of mercy. And when the Last Day comes, we shall be judged from this, and on this basis we shall receive the eternal verdict.
1159 God's floodgates have been opened for us. Let us want to take advantage of them before the day of God's justice arrives. And that will be a dreadful day!
1177 Particular examen.
Continuation of the same: to unite myself with the merciful Christ. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, I will entreat the heavenly Father for the whole world. A point of the rule: strict observance of silence.
I must probe the depth of my being and thank God for everything, uniting myself with Jesus. With Him, in Him, and through Him, I give glory to God.
1178 O Lord, my Love, I thank You for this day on which You have allowed me to draw a wealth of graces from the fountain of Your unfathomable mercy. O Jesus, not only today, but at every moment, I draw from Your unfathomable mercy everything that the soul and body could want.
1183 O Jesus, I want to live in the present moment, to live as if this were the last day of my life. I want to use every moment scrupulously for the greater glory of God, to use every circumstance for the benefit of my soul. I want to look upon everything, from the point of view that nothing happens without the will of God.
1184 On an earlier occasion.
In the evening, I saw the Lord Jesus upon the cross. From His hands, feet and side, the Most Sacred Blood was flowing. After some time, Jesus said to me, All this is for the salvation of souls. Consider well, My daughter, what you are doing for their salvation. I answered, "Jesus, when I look at Your suffering, I see that I am doing next to nothing for the salvation of souls." And the Lord said to me, Know, My daughter, that your silent day-to-day martyrdom in complete submission to My will ushers many souls into heaven. And when it seems to you that your suffering exceeds your strength, contemplate My wounds, and you will rise above human scorn and judgment. Meditation on My Passion will help you rise above all things. I understood many things I had been unable to comprehend before
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-16, 18, 27, 30, 50, 67, 72, 75, 83-85, 95)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-98-99, 103, 109-110, 112, 115, 129)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-131, 140, 145, 147, 157, 161, 164, 166)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-173, 177-178, 180, 186-187, 195, 205)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-206, 211, 223-224, 226, 240, 247-249)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-267, 272, 274, 279, 295-297, 300-303)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-306, 346, 359, 365-367, 392, 410, 439)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-462, 495, 499, 507, 511)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-733, 813, 825, 832, 836, 853-854, 886)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-893, 906, 938)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-III-1065, 1074-1076, 1122, 1138, 1155)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-III-1156-1159, 1177-1178, 1183-1184)
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."
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."