You Follow Me
May 23, 2015. Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Father Paul Campbell, LC
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, "Master, who is the one who will betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus said to him, "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me." So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?" It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in You and all that You have revealed for our salvation. I hope in You because of Your overflowing mercy. Every single act of Yours on this earth demonstrated Your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining You there. I love You and wish You to be the center of my life.
Petition: Lord, increase my faith, hope and love.
1. The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Peter is walking with Jesus along the shore where Jesus has just foretold his future martyrdom. He turns to ask Jesus about John, who was following them. Throughout his Gospel, John designates himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. It is as if the most striking point of John’s life and experience with Christ was that Jesus loved him. It became his identity. How often do I reflect on Christ’s love for me? How often do I cherish it?
2. What About Him? Jesus responds to Peter’s question with a question of his own. What concern is it of yours what happens to John? Christ’s relationship with his disciples is deeply personal. Each has a mission to complete in life. We can get distracted thinking about and comparing ourselves to others, or whether they may or may not be following Christ. However, these comparisons with others (or their gifts, or their mission) can frequently be a sign of our pride. We have our own mission to fulfill, and no one can take our place. We need to concentrate instead on that part of our mission which is still ahead of us, yet to be fulfilled.
3. We Know That His Testimony Is True: John is a witness to all that has taken place in his Gospel. His testimony was entrusted to a community of believers and has come down to us under the guarantee of the Church. The Gospel presents us with what Jesus actually said and did. We need to hold fast to our faith in the Gospel and not get sidetracked by modern interpretations that cast doubt on everything. When we read the scriptures we hear God’s voice. Do I read them with such faith?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank You for the testimony of Your life that I find in the Gospel. Increase my faith. Help me to read the Scriptures and meditate on them with greater fervor. I know that You want to speak to me through them. Help me to follow You today.
Resolution: Today I will help another person read a passage of the Gospel prayerfully.
Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska
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."
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.
280 Jesus commanded me to celebrate the Feast of God's Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter. [This I did] through interior recollection and exterior mortification, wearing the belt for three hours and praying continuously for sinners and for mercy on the whole world. And Jesus said to me, My eyes rest with pleasure upon this house today.
308 1934, Holy Thursday. Jesus said to me, I desire that you make an offering of yourself for sinners and especially far those souls who have lost hope in God's mercy.
God and Souls. An Act of Oblation.
309 Before heaven and earth, before all the choirs of Angels, before the Most Holy Virgin Mary, before all the Powers of heaven, I declare to the One Triune God that today, in union with Jesus Christ, Redeemer of souls, I make a voluntary offering of myself for the conversion of sinners, especially for those souls who have lost hope in God's mercy. This offering consists in my accepting, with total subjection to God's will, all the sufferings, fears and terrors with which sinners are filled. In return, I give them all the consolations which my soul receives from my communion with God. In a word, I offer everything for them: Holy Masses, Holy Communions, penances, mortifications, prayers. I do not fear the blows, blows of divine justice, because I am united with Jesus. O my God, in this way I want to make amends to You for the souls that do not trust in Your goodness. I hope against all hope in the ocean of Your mercy. My Lord and my God, my portion-my portion forever, I do not base this act of oblation on my own strength, but on the strength that flows from the merits of Jesus Christ. I will daily repeat this act of self-oblation by pronouncing the following prayer which You yourself have taught me, Jesus:
"O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!"
319 August 9, 1934. Night adoration on Thursdays. I made my hour of adoration from eleven o'clock till midnight. I offered it for the conversion of hardened sinners, especially for those who have lost hope in God's mercy. I was reflecting on how much God had suffered and on how great was the love He had shown for us, and on the fact that we still do not believe that God loves us so much. O Jesus, who can understand this? What suffering it is for our Savior! How can He convince us of His love if even His death cannot convince us? I called upon the whole of heaven to join me in making amends to the Lord for the ingratitude of certain souls.
320 Jesus made known to me how very pleasing to Him were prayers of atonement. He said to me, The prayer of a humble and loving soul disarms the anger of My Father and draws down an ocean of blessings. After the adoration, half way to my cell, I was surrounded by a , pack of huge black dogs who were jumping and howling and trying to tear me to pieces. I realized that they were not dogs, but demons. One of them spoke up in a rage, "Because you have snatched so many souls away from us this night, we will tear you to pieces." I answered, "If that is the will of the most merciful God, tear me to pieces, for I have justly deserved it, because I am the most miserable of all sinners, and God is ever holy, just, and infinitely merciful." To these words all the demons answered as one, "Let us flee, for she is not alone; the Almighty is with her!" And they vanished like dust, like the noise of the road, while I continued on my way to my cell undisturbed, finishing my Te Deum and pondering the infinite and unfathomable mercy of God.
324 The next day, I felt very weak, but experienced no further suffering. After Holy Communion, I saw the Lord Jesus just as I had seen Him during one adoration. The Lord's gaze pierced my soul through and through, and not even the least speck of dust escaped His notice. And I said to Jesus, "Jesus, I thought You were going to take me. "And Jesus answered, My will has not yet been fully accomplished in you; you will still remain on earth, but not for long. I am well pleased with your trust, but your love should be more ardent. Pure love gives the soul strength at the very moment of dying. When I was dying on the cross, I was not thinking about Myself, but about poor sinners, and I prayed for them to My Father. I want your last moments to be completely similar to Mine on the cross. There is but one price at which souls are bought, and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross. Pure love understands these words; carnal love will never understand them.
349 In the morning, during meditation, I felt a painful thorn in the left side of my head. The suffering continued all day. I meditated continually about how Jesus had been able to endure the pain of so many thorns which made up His crown. I joined my suffering to the sufferings of Jesus and offered it for sinners. At four o'clock when I came for adoration, I saw one of our wards offending God greatly by sins of impure thoughts. I also saw a certain person who was the cause of her sin. My soul was pierced with fear, and I asked God, for the sake of Jesus' pain, to snatch her from this terrible misery.
350 Jesus answered that He would grant her that favor, not for her sake, but for the sake of my request. Now I understood how much we ought to pray for sinners, and especially for our wards.
Our life is truly apostolic; I cannot imagine a religious living in one of our houses; that is, in our Community, and not having an apostolic spirit. Zeal for the salvation of souls should burn in our hearts.
355 1934-1935. New Year's Eve. I was given permission not to go to sleep, but rather pray in the chapel. One of the sisters had asked me to offer an hour of adoration for her. I said yes, and prayed for her for an hour. During the hour, God gave me to understand how very pleasing this soul was to Him.
I offered the second hour of adoration for the conversion of sinners, and I tried especially to offer expiation to God for the insults that were being committed against Him at this present moment. How greatly God is being offended!
I offered the third hour for my spiritual director. I fervently prayed for light for him in a particular matter. Finally the clock struck twelve, the last hour of the year. I finished it in the Name of the Holy Trinity, and I also started the first hour of the New Year in the Name of the Holy Trinity. I asked each of the Three Persons to bless me and, with great confidence, looked toward the New Year which certainly would not be sparing of suffering.
356 O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the testament of God's mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus as proof of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained life eternal and of infinite mercy, dispensed in abundance to us and especially to poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the mercy of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit toward us, and especially toward poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the infinite price of mercy which will compensate for all our debts, and especially those of poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fountain of living water which springs from infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fire of purest love which blazes forth from the bosom of the Eternal Father, as from an abyss of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the medicine for all our infirmities, flowing from infinite mercy, as from a fount, for us and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the union between God and us through His infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom are contained all the sentiments of the most sweet Heart of Jesus toward us, and especially poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in all the sufferings and adversities of life.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of darkness and of storms within and without.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in life and at the hour of our death.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of adversities and floods of despair.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of falsehood and treason.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of the darkness and godlessness which inundate the earth. O Blessed Host, our only hope in the longing and pain in which no one will understand us.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the toil and monotony of everyday life.
O Blessed Host, our only hope amid the ruin of our hopes and endeavors.
O Blessed Host, our only hope in the midst of the ravages of the enemy and the efforts of hell.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when the burdens are beyond my strength and I find my efforts are fruitless.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when storms toss my heart about and my fearful spirit tends to despair.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my heart is about to tremble and mortal sweat moistens my brow.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when everything conspires against me and black despair creeps into my soul.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my eyes will begin to grow dim to all temporal things and, for the first time, my spirit will behold the unknown worlds.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my tasks will be beyond my strength and adversity will become my daily lot.
O Blessed Host I trust in You when the practice of virtue will appear difficult for me and my nature will grow rebellious.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when hostile blows will be aimed against me.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when my toils and efforts will be misjudged by others.
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when Your judgments will resound over me; it is then that I will trust in the sea of Your mercy.
Holy Trinity, One God,
361 incomprehensible in the greatness of Your mercy for creatures, and especially for poor sinners, You have made known the abyss of Your mercy, incomprehensible and unfathomable [as it is] to any mind, whether of man or angel. Our nothingness and our misery are drowned in Your greatness. O infinite goodness, who can ever praise You sufficiently? Can there be found a soul that understands You in Your love? O Jesus, there are such souls, but they are few.
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.
384 When I stayed for adoration from nine to ten o'clock, four other sisters stayed; too. When 1 approached the altar and began to meditate on the Passion of the Lord Jesus, a terrible pain immediately filled my soul because of the ingratitude of so many souls living in the world; but particularly painful was the ingratitude of souls especially chosen by God. There is no notion or comparison [which can describe it]. At the sight of this blackest ungratefulness I felt as though my heart were torn open; my strength failed me completely, and I fell on my face, not attempting to hide my loud cries. Each time I thought of God's great mercy and of the ingratitude of souls, pain stabbed at my heart, and I understood how painfully it wounded the sweetest Heart of Jesus. With a burning heart, I renewed my act of self-oblation on behalf of sinners.
420 Low Sunday; that is, the Feast of The Divine Mercy, the conclusion of the Jubilee of Redemption. When we went to take part in the celebrations, my heart leapt with joy that the two solemnities were so closely united. I asked God for mercy on the souls of sinners. Toward the end of the service, when the priest took the Blessed Sacrament to bless the people, I saw the Lord Jesus as He is represented in the image. The Lord gave His blessing, and the rays extended over the whole world. Suddenly, I saw an impenetrable brightness in the form of a crystal dwelling place, woven together from waves of a brilliance unapproachable to both creatures and spirits. Three doors led to this resplendence. At that moment, Jesus, as He is represented in the image, entered this resplendence through the second door to the Unity within. It is a triple Unity, which is incomprehensible-which is infinity. I heard a voice, This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of My tender mercies. Every soul believing and trusting in My mercy will obtain it. I was overjoyed at the immense goodness and greatness of my God.
423 Praise the Lord, my soul, for everything, and glorify His mercy, for His goodness is without end. Everything will pass, but His mercy is without limit or end. And although evil will attain its measure, in mercy there is no measure.
O my God, even in the punishments You send down upon the earth I see the abyss of Your mercy, for by punishing us here on earth You free us from eternal punishment. Rejoice, all you creatures, for you are closer to God in His infinite mercy than a baby to its mother's heart. O God, You are compassion itself for the greatest sinners who sincerely repent. The greater the sinner, the greater his right to God's mercy.
687 Once, as I was going down the hall to the kitchen, I heard these words in my soul: Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.
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.
730 + In this retreat, I shall keep you continually close to My Heart, that you may better know My mercy, that mercy which I have for people and especially for poor sinners.
741 Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it-a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.
I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God's mercy upon them. O my Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend You by the least sin.
793 I am reliving these moments with Our Lady. With great longing, I am waiting for the Lord's coming. Great are my desires. I desire that all humankind come to know the Lord. I would like to prepare all nations for the coming of the Word Incarnate. O Jesus, make the fount of Your mercy gush forth more abundantly, for humankind is seriously ill and thus has more need than ever of Your compassion. You are a bottomless sea of mercy for us sinners; and the greater the misery, the more right we have to Your mercy. You are a fount which makes all creatures happy by Your infinite mercy.
845 Before the vigil supper, I entered the chapel for a moment to break the wafer spiritually with those dear to my heart. I presented them all, by name, to Jesus and begged for graces on their behalf. But that wasn't all. I commended to the Lord all those who are being persecuted, those who are suffering, those who do not know His Name, and especially poor sinners. O little Jesus, I fervently ask You, enclose them all in the ocean of Your incomprehensible mercy. O sweet little Jesus, here is my heart; let it be a little cozy dwelling place for Yourself. O Infinite Majesty, with what sweetness You drew close to us. Here, there is no dread of the thunderbolts of the great Jehovah; here, there is the sweet little Jesus. Here, no soul is afraid, although Your majesty has not lessened, but only concealed itself. After supper, I felt very tired and was in pain. I had to lie down. But I kept vigil with the Most Holy Mother, awaiting the arrival of the little Child.
873 January 8. On Friday morning, as I was going to the chapel to attend Holy Mass, I suddenly saw a huge juniper tree on the pavement and in it a horrible cat who, looking angrily at me, blocked my way to the chapel. One whisper of the name of Jesus dissipated all that. I offered the whole day for dying sinners. During Holy Mass, I felt the closeness of the Lord in a special way. After Holy Communion, I turned my gaze with trust toward the Lord and told him, "Jesus, I so much desire to tell You something." And the Lord looked at me with love and said, And what is it that you desire to tell Me?
"Jesus, I beg You, by the inconceivable power of Your mercy, that all the souls who will die today escape the fire of hell, even if they have been the greatest sinners. Today is Friday, the memorial of Your bitter agony on the Cross; because Your mercy is inconceivable, the Angels will not be surprised at this." Jesus pressed me to His Heart and said, My beloved daughter, you have come to know well the depths of My mercy. I will do what you ask, but unite yourself continually with My agonizing Heart and make reparation to My justice. Know that you have asked Me for a great thing, but I see that this was dictated by your pure love for Me; that is why I am complying with your requests.
875 Today, I experienced a great suffering during the visit of our sisters. I learned of something that hurt me terribly, but I controlled myself so that the sisters didn't notice anything. For some time, the pain was tearing my heart apart, but all that is for the sake of poor sinners.... O Jesus, for poor sinners.... Jesus, my strength, stay close to me, help me....
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.
908 + O Jesus, how sorry I feel for poor sinners. Jesus, grant them contrition and repentance. Remember Your own sorrowful Passion. I know Your infinite mercy and cannot bear it that a soul that has cost You so much should perish. Jesus, give me the souls of sinners; let Your mercy rest upon them. Take everything away from me, but give me souls. I want to become a sacrificial host for sinners. Let the shell of my body conceal my offering, for Your Most Sacred Heart is also hidden in a Host, and certainly You are a living sacrifice.
Transform me into Yourself, O Jesus, that I may be a living sacrifice and pleasing to You. I desire to atone at each moment for poor sinners. The sacrifice of my spirit is hidden under the veil of the body; the human eye does not perceive it, and for that reason it is pure and pleasing to You. O my Creator and Father of great mercy, I trust in You, for You are Goodness Itself. Souls, do not be afraid of God, but trust in Him, for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting.
927 On these two days, I received Holy Communion as an act of reparation, and I said to the Lord, "Jesus, I offer everything today for sinners. Let the blows of Your justice fall on me, and the sea of Your mercy engulf the poor sinners." And the Lord heard my prayer: many souls returned to the Lord, but I was in agony under the yoke of God's justice. I felt I was the object of the anger of the Most High God. By evening my sufferings had reached such a stage of interior desolation that moans welled up involuntarily from my breast. I locked the door of my room and began an adoration; that is to say, a Holy Hour. Interior desolation and an experience of God's justice-that was my prayer; and the moans and pain that welled up from my soul took the place of a sweet conversation with the Lord.
929 When I had rested near His sweetest Heart, I told Him, "Jesus, I have so much to tell You." And the Lord said to me with great love, Speak, My daughter. And I started to enumerate the pains of my heart; that is, how greatly concerned I am for all mankind, that "they all do not know You, and those who do know You do not love You as You deserve to be loved. I also see how terribly sinners offend You; and then again, I see how severely the faithful, especially Your servants, are oppressed and persecuted. And then, too, I see many souls rushing headlong into the terrible abyss of hell. You see, Jesus, this is the pain that gnaws at my heart and bones. And, although You show me special love and inundate my heart with streams of Your joys, nevertheless, this does not appease the sufferings I have just mentioned, but rather they penetrate my poor heart all the more acutely. Oh, how ardently I desire that all mankind turn with trust to Your mercy. Then, seeing the glory of Your name, my heart will be comforted."
Jesus listened to these outpourings of my heart with gravity and interest, as if He had known nothing about them, and this seemed to make it easier for me to talk. And the Lord said to me, My daughter, those words of your heart are pleasing to Me, and by saying the chaplet you are bringing humankind closer to Me. After these words, I found myself alone, but the presence of God is always in my soul.
934 Small practices for Lent. Although I wish and desire to do so, I cannot practice big mortifications as before, because I am under the strict surveillance of the doctor. But I can practice little things: first-sleep without a pillow; keep myself a little hungry; every day, with my arms outstretched, say the chaplet which the Lord taught me; occasionally, with arms outstretched, for an indefinite period of time pray informally. Intention: to beg divine mercy for poor sinners, and for priests, the power to bring sinful hearts to repentance.
942 February 11, . Today is Friday. During Mass, I suffered pain in my body: in my hands, my feet and my side. Jesus is sending me this kind of suffering that I may make reparation for sinners. The pain is brief, but very severe. I do not suffer for more than a couple of minutes, but the impression remains for a long time and is very vivid.
943 + Today, I feel such desolation in my soul that I do not know how to explain it even to myself. I would like to hide from people and cry endlessly. No one understands a heart wounded by love, and when such a heart feels itself abandoned interiorly, no one can comfort it. O souls of sinners, you have taken the Lord away from me, but all right, all right; you get to know how sweet the Lord is, and let the whole sea of bitterness flood my heart. I have given all my divine comforts to you.
951 + O incomprehensible and limitless Mercy Divine, To extol and adore You worthily, who can? Supreme attribute of Almighty God, You are the sweet hope for sinful man.
Into one hymn yourselves unite, stars, earth and sea, and in one accord, thankfully and fervently sing of the incomprehensible Divine Mercy.
975 Today I heard these words: Pray for souls that they be not afraid to approach the tribunal of My mercy. Do not grow weary of praying for sinners. You know what a burden their souls are to My Heart. Relieve My deathly sorrow; dispense My mercy.
999 Last night I was in such pain that I thought it was the end. The doctors could not diagnose what the sickness was. I felt as if my entrails had been torn to shreds, but after a few hours of such sufferings I am all right. All this is for sinners. Let Your mercy descend upon them, O Lord.
1059 Jesus is commanding me to make a novena before the Feast of Mercy, and today I am to begin it for the conversion of the whole world and for the recognition of The Divine Mercy... so that every soul will praise My goodness. I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy.
1062 + I made an hour of adoration in thanksgiving for the graces which had been granted me and for my illness. Illness also is a great grace. I have been ill for four months, but I do not recall having wasted so much as a minute of it. All has been for God and souls; I want to be faithful to Him everywhere.
During this adoration, I realized the utter care and goodness that Jesus has been lavishing upon me and the protection He has given me against all evil. I thank You especially, Jesus, for visiting me in my solitude, and I thank You also for inspiring my superiors to send me for this treatment. Give them, Jesus, the omnipotence of Your blessing and compensate them for all the losses incurred because of me.
1063 Today, Jesus is bidding me to comfort and reassure a certain soul who has opened herself to me and told me about her difficulties. This soul is pleasing to the Lord, but she is not aware of it. God is keeping her in deep humility. I have carried out the Lord's directives.
1064 + O my most sweet Master, good Jesus, I give You my heart. You shape and mold it after Your liking. O fathomless love, I open the calyx of my heart to You, like a rosebud to the freshness of dew. To You alone, my Betrothed, is known the fragrance of the flower of my heart. Let the fragrance of my sacrifice be pleasing to You. O Immortal God, my everlasting delight, already here on earth You are my heaven. May every beat of my heart be a new hymn of praise to You, O Holy Trinity! Had I as many hearts as there are drops of water in the ocean or grains of sand in the whole world, I would offer them all to You, O my Love, O Treasure of my heart! Whomever I shall meet in my life, no matter who they may be, I want to draw them all to love You, O my Jesus, my Beauty, my Repose, my sole Master, Judge, Savior and Spouse, all in one; I know that one title will modify the other-I have entrusted everything to Your mercy.
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.
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.
1123 Oh, how sweet it is to have in the depth of one's soul that which the Church tells us we must believe. When my soul is immersed in love, I solve the most intricate questions clearly and quickly. Only love is able to cross over precipices and mountain peaks. Love, once again, love.
1396 Today I heard a voice in my soul: Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy.
1397 The Lord said to me, The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.
1446 The Lord said to me, It should be of no concern to you how anyone else acts; you are to be My living reflection, through love and mercy. I answered, "Lord, but they often take advantage of my goodness." That makes no difference, My daughter. That is no concern of yours. As for you, be always merciful toward other people, and especially toward sinners.
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-186-187, 206, 280, 308-309, 319, 320)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-324, 349, 350, 355-356, 361, 367, 384)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-420, 423
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-687, 699, 730, 741, 793, 854, 873, 875)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-893, 908, 927, 929, 934, 942-943, 951)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-975, 999
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-III-1059, 1062-1065, 1122-1123)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-1393-1397)
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."
Mayo 23, 2015
Mayo 22, 2015
Love Demands a Loving Response
March 22, 2015. Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Father Walter Schu, LC
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in You and all that You have revealed for our salvation. I hope in You because of Your overflowing mercy. Every single act of Yours on this earth demonstrated Your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining You there. I love You and wish You to be the center of my life.
Petition: Lord, help me to respond with love to Your self-giving love.
1. “Do You Love Me?” The moment for which Christ has been preparing ever since his Resurrection has arrived. He is alone with Peter. Their last encounter before Jesus’ death was that sad occasion when Christ looked at Peter, forgiving him after his threefold denial. Now Christ takes Peter a little apart from the others and gives him the opportunity to affirm a threefold pledge of his love. The one, supreme condition for Christ to renew Peter’s commission to tend his sheep is Peter’s love for his Master. Love is the one, supreme condition for each of us who aspires to be an apostle. Peter’s love has been purified by his betrayal of Christ during the Passion: It has been chastened and humbled. Now Peter entrusts everything -- even his love -- into Christ’s hands: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Do my failures enable me to love Christ more, with greater trust?
2. “Can Love Be Commanded?” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI poses a provocative question in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love). How can Christ demand love from us in order for us to be his followers, his apostles? Pope Emeritus Benedict clarifies, “Love cannot be commanded; it is ultimately a feeling that is either there or not, nor can it be produced by the will” (no. 16). The response to this apparent quandary is twofold. In the first place, love can be commanded because it has first been given. “God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing. He loves us, he makes us see and experience his love, and since he has ‘loved us first,’ love can also blossom as a response within us” (no. 17). In the second place, “it is clearly revealed that love is not merely a sentiment. Sentiments come and go. A sentiment can be a marvelous first spark, but it is not the fullness of love” (no. 17).
3. “Love in Its Most Radical Form” What, then, is the essence of love, that love which Christ first gave to us and which he in turn demands of us as his followers? “It is characteristic of a mature love that it calls into play all man’s potentialities; it engages the whole man, so to speak. Contact with the visible manifestations of God’s love can awaken within us a feeling of joy born of the experience of being loved. But this encounter also engages our will and our intellect. Acknowledgment of the living God is one path towards love, and the ‘yes’ of our will to his will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all-embracing act of love” (Deus Caritas Est, no. 17). As Pope John Paul the Great has phrased it so many times, true love is the gift of one’s entire self.
Conversation with Christ: Thank You, Lord, for helping me to see, through Pope John Paul the Great, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, the meaning of authentic love. Thank You for Your limitless love for me. Your love is the standard to which my own poor love must rise.
Resolution: I will give myself to Christ today in acts of love that embrace my whole person: intellect, will and sentiments.
Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska
Darkness and Temptations
77 My mind became dimmed in a strange way; no truth seemed clear to me. When people spoke to me about God, my heart was like a rock. I could not draw from it a single sentiment of love for Him. When I tried, by an act of the will, to remain close to Him, I experienced great torments, and it seemed to me that I was only provoking God to an even greater anger. It was absolutely impossible for me to meditate as I had been accustomed to do in the past. I felt in my soul a great void, and there was nothing with which I could fill it. I began to suffer from a great hunger and yearning for God, but I saw my utter powerlessness. I tried to read slowly, sentence by sentence, and to meditate in this way, but this also was of no avail. I understood nothing of what I had read.
The abyss of my misery was constantly before my eyes. Every time I entered the chapel for some spiritual exercise, I experienced even worse torments and temptations. More than once, all through Holy Mass, I had to struggle against blasphemous thoughts which were forcing themselves to my lips. I felt an aversion for the Holy Sacraments, and it seemed to me that I was not profiting from them in any way. It was only out of obedience to my confessor that I frequented them, and this blind obedience was for me the only path I could follow and my very last hope of survival. The priest explained to me that these were trials sent by God and that, in the situation I was in, not only was I not offending God, but I was most pleasing to Him. "This is a sign," he told me, "that God loves you very much and that He has great confidence in you, since He is sending you such trials." But these words brought me no comfort; it seemed to me that they did not apply to me at all.
One thing did surprise me: it often happened that, at the time when I was suffering greatly, these terrible torments would disappear suddenly just as I was approaching the confessional; but as soon as I had left the confessional, all these torments would again seize me with even greater ferocity. I would then fall on my face before the Blessed Sacrament repeating these words: "Even if You kill me, still will I trust in You!" [cf. Job 13:15] It seemed to me that I would die in these agonies. But the most terrible thought for me was the conviction that I had been rejected by God. Then other thoughts came to me: why strive to acquire virtues and do good works? why mortify and annihilate yourself? what good is it to take vows? to pray? to sacrifice and immolate yourself? why sacrifice myself all the time? what good is it - if I am already rejected by God? why all these efforts? And here, God alone knew what was going on in my heart.
93 +A Short Version of the Catechism of the Vows
Q. What is a vow?
A. A vow is a voluntary promise made to God, to carry out a more perfect act.
Q. Is a vow binding in a matter which is the object of a commandment?
A. Yes. The carrying out of an act which is the object of a commandment has a double value and merit; and the neglect of such an act is a double transgression and evil, because by breaking such a vow we add to the sin against the commandment, the sin of sacrilege.
Q. Why do religious vows have such value?
A. Because they are the foundation of the religious life approved by the Church, in which the members bound together in a religious community undertake to strive always for perfection by means of the three religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, observed according to the rules.
Q. What is the meaning of the words, "strive for perfection?"
A. To strive for perfection means that the religious life does not in itself demand that perfection be already attained, but obliges, under the pain of sin, that we work daily to attain it. Therefore, a religious who does not want to become perfect neglects his principal duty of state.
Q. What are "solemn" religious vows?
A. " Solemn" religious vows are so absolute that, in extraordinary cases, only the Holy Father can dispense from them.
Q. What are simple religious vows?
A. These are vows which are less absolute - the Holy See dispenses from perpetual and annual vows.
Q. What is the difference between a vow and a virtue?
A. A vow pertains only to that which is commanded under pain of sin; the virtue goes beyond this and helps in the carrying out of the vow; on the other hand, by breaking the vow we fail in the virtue and do it damage.
Q. To what do the religious vows oblige us?
A. The religious vows oblige us to strive to acquire the virtues and to submit ourselves completely to our Superiors and to the Rules which are in force; thus the religious gives his own person to the Community, renouncing every right over himself and his actions, which he sacrifices to the service of God.
The Vow of Poverty
The vow of poverty is the voluntary renunciation of the right over property or to the use of such property with the purpose of pleasing God.
Q. What objects does the vow of poverty concern?
A. All those goods and those objects which appertain to the Community. We have no longer any right over anything that has been given to us, once it has been accepted, whether an article or money. All these donations and presents, which may have been given us out of gratitude or in any other way, belong by right to the Community. We cannot make use, without violating the vow, of any wages we may receive for work or even any annuity.
Q. When do we break or violate the vow in a matter which entails the seventh commandment?
A. We break or violate it when, without permission, we take for ourselves anything that belongs to the house; when, without permission, we retain something in order to appropriate it; and when, without authorization, we sell or exchange something that belongs to the Community. When we make use of an object for some other purpose than that intended by the Superior. When we give to, or accept from another, anything whatsoever without permission. When by negligence we destroy or damage something. When, in going from one house to another, we take something with us without permission. In a situation where the vow is broken, the religious is bound to restitution to the Community.
The Virtue of Poverty
This is an evangelical virtue which impels the heart to detach itself from temporal things; the religious, in virtue of his profession, is strictly obliged to it.
Q. When do we sin against the virtue of poverty? When we desire something, contrary to this virtue. When we become attached to something, and when we make use of superfluous things. How many degrees of poverty are there and what are they?
A. There are, in practice, four degrees of poverty for one who is a professed religious: to dispose of nothing without the consent of the Superiors (the strict matter of the vow); to avoid superfluities and be content with necessities (this pertains to the virtue); to readily content oneself with things of inferior quality in what concerns one's cell, clothing, nourishment, etc., and to experience this contentment interiorly; to rejoice in extreme poverty.
The Vow of Chastity
Q. To what does this vow oblige us?
A. To renounce marriage and to avoid everything that is forbidden by the sixth and ninth commandments.
Q. Is a fault against the virtue a violation of the vow?
A. Every fault against the virtue is at the same time a violation of the vow, because here there is no difference, as in the case of poverty and obedience, between the vow and the virtue.
Q. Is every bad thought a sin?
A. No, every bad thought is not a sin; it becomes so only when the acquiescence of the will and consent are joined to the consideration of the mind.
Q. Is there anything, over and above sins against chastity, which is detrimental to the virtue?
A. Lack of custody of the senses, of the imagination, of the feelings; familiarity and sentimental friendships are detrimental to the virtue.
Q. What are the means by which this virtue may be preserved?
A. To conquer interior temptations with the thought of the presence of God, and moreover to fight without fear. And for exterior temptations, to avoid occasions. There are, in all, seven principal means: to guard the senses, to avoid occasions, to avoid idleness, to remove temptations promptly, to remove oneself from all - and especially particular friendships, the spirit of mortification, and to reveal all these temptations to one's confessor.
Besides this, there are also five means of preserving this virtue: humility, the spirit of prayer, modesty of the eyes, fidelity to the rule, a sincere devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Vow of Obedience
The vow of obedience is superior to the first two. It is, to tell the truth, a holocaust, and it is more necessary because it forms and animates the monastic body.
Q. To what does the vow of obedience oblige us?
A. By the vow of obedience, the religious promises to God to be obedient to his legitimate superiors in everything that they will ordain in virtue of the rule. The vow of obedience makes the religious dependent on his superior in virtue of these rules for his whole life and in all his affairs. A religious commits a grave sin against the vow every time he disobeys an order given in virtue of obedience and of these rules.
The Virtue of Obedience
The virtue of obedience goes further than the vow; it embraces the rules, the regulations and even the counsels of the superiors.
Q. Is the virtue of obedience indispensable for a religious?
A. The virtue of obedience is so indispensable to a religious that, even if he were to perform good actions contrary to obedience, these would be evil and without merit.
Q. Can we sin gravely against the virtue of obedience?
A. We sin gravely when we scorn the authority or the order of the superior, or when spiritual or temporal harm to the community results from our disobedience.
Q. What faults endanger the vow?
A. To be prejudiced against the superior, or to harbor an antipathy for him - murmuring and criticism, tardiness and negligence.
The Degrees of Obedience
Prompt and complete fulfillment - the obedience of the will, when the will persuades the intellect to submit to the advice of the superior. To facilitate obedience, Saint Ignatius suggests, moreover, three means: always to see God in our superior, whoever he might be; to justify in itself the order or advice of the superior; to accept each order as an order from God, without examining it or reflecting on it. General means: humility. Nothing is difficult for the humble.
96 +Trials sent by God to a soul which is particularly loved by Him.
Temptations and darkness; Satan. The soul's love [for God] is still not such as God would have it. The soul suddenly loses the tangible perception of God's presence. Various defects and imperfections rise up within it, and it must fight them furiously. All her faults lift up their heads, but the soul's vigilance is great. The former awareness of the presence of God gives place to coldness and spiritual dryness; the soul has no taste for spiritual exercises; it cannot pray, either in the old way, or in the manner in which it had just begun to pray. It struggles this way and that, but can find no satisfaction. God has hidden himself from it, and it can find no consolation in creatures, nor can any of these creatures find a way of consoling it. The soul craves passionately for God, but sees its own misery; it begins to sense God's justice; it seems to it that it has lost all the gifts that God had given it; its mind is dimmed, and darkness fills it; unspeakable torment begins. The soul tries to explain its state to the confessor, but it is not understood and is assailed by an even greater unrest. Satan begins his work.
97 Faith staggers under the impact; the struggle is fierce. The soul tries hard to cling to God by an act of will. With God's permission, Satan goes even further: hope and love are put to the test. These temptations are terrible. God supports the soul in secret, so to speak. The soul is not aware of this, but otherwise it would be impossible to stand firm; and God knows very well how much He can allow to befall a soul. The soul is tempted to unbelief in respect to revealed truths and to insincerity toward the confessor. Satan says to it, "Look, no one understands you; why speak about all this?" Words that terrify it sound in its ears, and it seems to the soul that it is uttering these against God. It sees what it does not want to see. It hears what it does not want to hear. And, oh, it is a terrible thing at times like these not to have an experienced confessor! The soul carries the whole burden alone. However, one should make every effort to find, if it is at all possible, a well-informed confessor, for the soul can collapse under the burden and come to the very edge of the precipice. All these trials are heavy and difficult. God does not send them to a soul which has not already been admitted to a deeper intimacy with Him and which has not yet tasted the divine delights. Besides, in this God has His own plans, which for us are impenetrable. God often prepares a soul in this way for His future designs and great works. He wants to try it as pure gold is tried. But this is not yet the end of the testing; there is still the trial of trials, the complete abandonment of the soul by God.
+ The Trial of Trials, Complete Abandonment - Despair
98 When the soul comes out victorious from the preceding trials, even though it may stumble here and there, it fights on valiantly, humbly calling upon God, "Save me, I am perishing!" And it is still able to fight on.
At this point, however, the soul is engulfed in a horrible night. It sees within itself only sin. It feels terrible. It sees itself completely abandoned by God. It feels itself to be the object of His hatred. It is but one step away from despair. The soul does its best to defend itself; it tries to stir up its confidence; but prayer is an even greater torment for it, as this prayer seems to arouse God to an even greater anger. The soul finds itself poised on the summit of a lofty mountain on the very brink of a precipice.
The soul is drawn to God, but feels repulsed. All other sufferings and tortures in the world are as nothing compared with this sensation into which it has been plunged; namely, that of being rejected by God. No one can bring it any relief; it finds itself completely alone; there is no one to defend it. It raises its eyes to heaven, but is convinced that this is not for her-for her all is lost. It falls deeper and deeper from darkness to darkness, and it seems to it that it has lost forever the God it used to love so dearly. This thought is torture beyond all description. But the soul does not agree to it and tries to lift its gaze toward heaven, but in vain! And this makes the torture even more intense.
If God wishes to keep the soul in such darkness, no one will be able to give it light. It experiences rejection by God in a vivid and terrifying manner. From its heart burst forth painful moans, so painful that no priest will comprehend it, unless he himself has been through these trials. In the midst of this, the evil spirit adds to the soul's suffering, mocking it: "Will you persist in your faithfulness? This is your reward; you are in our power!" But Satan has only as much influence over the soul as God allows him, and God knows how much we can bear. "What have you gotten out of your mortifications," says Satan, "and out of your fidelity to the rule? What use are all these efforts? You have been rejected by God!" This word, rejected, becomes a fire which penetrates every nerve to the marrow of the bone. It pierces right through her entire being. The ordeal reaches its climax. The soul no longer looks for help anywhere. It shrinks into itself and loses sight of everything; it is as though it has accepted the torture of being abandoned. This is a moment for which I have no words. This is the agony of the soul.
101 Jesus, You alone know how the soul, engulfed in darkness, moans in the midst of these torments and, despite all this, thirsts for God as burning lips thirst for water. It dies and withers; it dies a death without death; that is to say, it cannot die. All its efforts come to nothing; it is under a powerful hand. Now the soul comes under the power of the Just One. All exterior temptations cease; all that surrounds it becomes silent, like a dying person who loses contact with everything around it: the person's entire soul is in the hand of the Just God, the Thrice-Holy God,-rejected for all eternity! This is the culminating moment, and God alone can test a soul in this way, because He alone knows what the soul can endure.
When the soul has been saturated through and through by this infernal fire, it is, as it were, cast headlong into great despair. My soul experienced this moment when I was all alone in my cell. When my soul began to sink into this despair, I felt that the end was near. But I seized my little crucifix and clutched it tightly in my hand. And now I felt my body separate itself from my soul; and though I wanted to go to my Superiors, I no longer had the physical strength. I uttered my last words: "I trust in Your Mercy!"-and it seemed to me that I provoked God to an even greater anger. And now I was drowned in despair, and all that was left me was a moan of unadulterated pain which, from time to time, tore itself from my soul. The soul is in agony-and it seemed to me that I would remain in this state, because by my own strength I could not emerge from it. Every recollection of God opened up an unspeakable ocean of suffering, and yet despite this there is something within the soul which is drawn to Him, though it seems to her for this only-that she suffer more. The memory of the love with which God formerly surrounded it is still another kind of suffering. His gaze pierces it, and everything within the soul is burned by this gaze.
116 My Jesus, You know what my soul goes through at the recollection of these sufferings. I have often marvelled that the angels and saints hold their peace at the sight of a soul suffering like that. Yet they have special love for us at such moments. My soul has often cried out after God, as a little child who cries as loudly as he can when his mother covers her face and he cannot recognize her. O my Jesus, honor and glory to You for these trials of love! Great and incomprehensible is your mercy. All that You intended for my soul, O Lord, is steeped in Your mercy.
118 The tongue is a small member, but it does big things. A religious who does not keep silence will never attain holiness; that is, she will never become a saint. Let her not delude herself-unless it is the Spirit of God who is speaking through her, for then she must not keep silent. But, in order to hear the voice of God, one has to have silence in one's soul and to keep silence; not a gloomy silence, but an interior silence; that is to say, recollection in God. One can speak a great deal without breaking silence and, on the contrary, one can speak little and be constantly breaking silence. Oh, what irreparable damage is done by the breach of silence! We cause a lot of harm to our neighbor, but even more to our own selves.
In my opinion, and according to my experience, the rule concerning silence should stand in the very first place. God does not give himself to a chattering soul which, like a drone in a beehive, buzzes around but gathers no honey. A talkative soul is empty inside. It lacks both the essential virtues and intimacy with God. A deeper interior life, one of gentle peace and of that silence where the Lord dwells, is quite out of the question. A soul that has never tasted the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others. I have seen many souls in the depths of hell for not having kept their silence; they told me so themselves when I asked them what was the cause of their undoing. These were souls of religious. My God, what an agony it is to think that not only might they have been in heaven, but they might even have become saints! O Jesus, have mercy!
147 I recall that I have received most light during adoration which I made lying prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour every day throughout Lent. During that time I came to know myself and God more profoundly. And yet, even though I had the superiors' permission to do so, I encountered many obstacles to praying in such a way. Let the soul be aware that, in order to pray and persevere in prayer, one must arm oneself with patience and cope bravely with exterior and interior difficulties. The interior difficulties are discouragement, dryness, heaviness of spirit and temptations. The exterior difficulties are human respect and time; one must observe the time set apart for prayer. This has been my personal experience because, when I did not pray at the time assigned for prayer, later on I could not do it because of my duties; or if I did manage to do so, this was only with great difficulty, because my thoughts kept wandering off to my duties. I also experienced this difficulty: when a soul has prayed well and left prayer in a state of profound interior recollection, others resist its recollection; and so, the soul must be patient to persevere in prayer. It often happened to me that when my soul was more deeply immersed in God, and I had derived greater fruit from prayer, and God's presence accompanied me during the day, and at work there was more recollection and greater precision and effort at my duty, this was precisely when I received the most rebukes for being negligent in my duty and indifferent to everything; because less recollected souls want others to be like them, for they are a constant [source of] remorse to them.
163 JMJ The Year 1937
+O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.
+I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors' souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors' needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moaning. Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
+You yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy-if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer-if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.
O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for you can do all things.
173 Satan's temptations during meditation. I felt a strange fear that the priest would not
understand me, or that he would have no time to hear everything I would have to say. How am I going to tell him all this? If it were Father Bukowski I could do it more easily, but this Jesuit whom I am seeing for the first time... Then I remembered Father Bukowski's advice that I should at least take brief notes of the lights sent to me by God during the retreats and give him at least a brief report on them. My God, for a day and a half all has gone well, and now a life and death struggle is beginning. The conference is to start in a half hour, and then I am to go to confession. Satan tried to persuade me into believing that if my superiors have told me that my inner life is an illusion, why should I ask again and trouble the confessor? Didn't MX [probably Mother Jane] tell you that the Lord Jesus does not commune with souls as miserable as yours? This confessor is going to tell you the same thing. Why speak to him about all this? These are not sins, and Mother X, told you that all this communing with the Lord Jesus was daydreaming and pure hysteria. So why tell it to this confessor? You would do better to dismiss all this as illusions. Look how many humiliations you have suffered because of them, and how many more are still awaiting you, and all the sisters know that you are a hysteric. "Jesus!" I called out with all the strength of my soul.
216 We have come to Cracow today [April 18, 1933]. What a joy it is to find myself again where I took my first steps in the spiritual life! Dear Mother Directress [Mary Joseph] is ever the same, cheerful and full of love of neighbor. I entered the chapel for a moment and joy filled my soul. In a flash I recalled the whole ocean of graces that had been given me as a novice here.
241 Love of neighbor. First: Helpfulness towards the sisters. Second: Do not speak about those who are absent, and defend the good name of my neighbor. Third: Rejoice in the success of others.
267 Jesus told me that I please Him best by meditating on His sorrowful Passion, and by such meditation much light falls upon my soul. He who wants to learn true humility should reflect upon the Passion of Jesus. When I meditate upon the Passion of Jesus, I get a clear understanding of many things I could not comprehend before. I want to resemble You, O Jesus,-You crucified, tortured and humiliated. Jesus, imprint upon my heart and soul Your own humility. I love You, Jesus, to the point of madness, You who were crushed with suffering as described by the prophet [cf. Isaiah 53:2-9], as if he could not see the human form in You because of Your great suffering. It is in this condition, Jesus, that I love You to the point of madness. O eternal and infinite God, what has love done to You?...
275 Jesus loves hidden souls. A hidden flower is the most fragrant. I must strive to make the interior of my soul a resting place for the Heart of Jesus. In difficult and painful moments, O my Creator, I sing You a hymn of trust, for bottomless is the abyss of my trust in You and in Your mercy!
278 At the feet of the Lord. Hidden Jesus, Eternal Love, our Source of Life, Divine Madman, in that You forget yourself and see only us. Before creating heaven and earth, You carried us in the depths of Your Heart. O Love, O depth of Your abasement, O mystery of happiness, why do so few people know You? Why is Your love not returned? O Divine Love, why do You hide Your beauty? O Infinite One beyond all understanding, the more I know You the less I comprehend You; but because I cannot comprehend You, I better comprehend Your greatness. I do not envy the Seraphim their fire, for I have a greater gift deposited in my heart. They admire You in rapture, but Your Blood mingles with mine. Love is heaven given us already here on earth. Oh, why do You hide in faith? Love tears away the veil. There is no veil before the eye of my soul, for You yourself have drawn me into the bosom of secret love forever. Praise and glory be to You, O Indivisible Trinity, One God, unto ages of ages!
279 God made known to me what true love consists in and gave light to me about how, in practice, to give proof of it to Him. True love of God consists in carrying out God's will. To show God our love in what we do, all our actions, even the least, must spring from our love of God. And the Lord said to me, My child, you please Me most by suffering. In your physical as well as your mental sufferings, My daughter, do not seek sympathy from creatures. I want the fragrance of your suffering to be pure and unadulterated. I want you to detach yourself, not only from creatures, but also from yourself. My daughter, I want to delight in the love of your heart, a pure love, virginal, unblemished, untarnished. The more you will come to love suffering, My daughter, the purer your love for Me will be.
281 I feel certain that my mission will not come to an end upon my death, but will begin. O doubting souls, I will draw aside for you the veils of heaven to convince you of God's goodness, so that you will no longer continue to wound with your distrust the sweetest Heart of Jesus. God is Love and Mercy.
282 Once the Lord said to me, My Heart was moved by great mercy towards you, My dearest child, when I saw you torn to shreds because of the great pain you suffered in repenting for your sins. I see your love, so pure and true that I give you first place among the virgins. You are the honor and glory of My Passion. I see every abasement of your soul, and nothing escapes my attention. I lift up the humble even to my very throne, because I want it so.
283 I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have nevertheless cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy, O my God and Creator! In spite of my great misery I fear nothing, but hope to sing You a hymn of glory forever. Let no soul, even the most miserable, fall prey to doubt; for, as long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great is the power of God's grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God's action.
287 +My Jesus, when I look at this life of souls, I see that many of them serve You with some mistrust. At certain times, especially when there is an opportunity to show their love for God, I see them running away from the battlefield. And once Jesus said to me, Do you, my child, also want to act like that? I answered the Lord, "Oh, no, my Jesus, I will not retreat from the battlefield, even if mortal sweat breaks out on my brow; I will not let the sword fall from my hand until I rest at the feet of the Holy Trinity!" Whatever I do, I do not rely on my own strength, but on God's grace. With God's grace a soul can overcome the greatest difficulties.
294 +Once the Lord said to me, Act like a beggar who does not back away when he gets more alms [than he asked for], but offers thanks the more fervently. You too should not back away and say that you are not worthy of receiving greater graces when I give them to you. I know you are unworthy, but rejoice all the more and take as many treasures from My Heart as you can carry, for then you will please Me more. And I will tell you one more thing: Take these graces not only for yourself, but also for others; that is, encourage the souls with whom you come in contact to trust in My infinite mercy. Oh, how I love those souls who have complete confidence in Me. I will do everything for them.
296 +O Supreme Good, I want to love You as no one on earth has ever loved You before! I want to adore You with every moment of my life and unite my will closely to Your holy will. My life is not drab or monotonous, but it is varied like a garden of fragrant flowers, so that I don't know which flower to pick first, the lily of suffering or the rose of love of neighbor or the violet of humility. I will not enumerate these treasures in which my every day abounds. It is a great thing to know how to make use of the present moment.
343 True love is measured by the thermometer of suffering. Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of communal life, for the misinterpretation of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans.
Thank You, Jesus, for interior sufferings, for dryness of spirit, for terrors, fears and incertitudes, for the darkness and the deep interior night, for temptations and various ordeals, for torments too difficult to describe, especially for those which no one will understand, for the hour of death with its fierce struggle and all its bitterness.
I thank You, Jesus, You who first drank the cup of bitterness before You gave it to me, in a much milder form. I put my lips to this cup of Your holy will. Let all be done according to Your good pleasure; let that which Your wisdom ordained before the ages be done to me. I want to drink the cup to its last drop, and not seek to know the reason why. In bitterness is my joy, in hopelessness is my trust. In You, O Lord, all is good, all is a gift of Your paternal Heart. I do not prefer consolations over bitterness or bitterness over consolations, but thank You, O Jesus, for everything! It is my delight to fix my gaze upon You, O incomprehensible God! My spirit abides in these mysterious dwelling places, and there I am at home. I know very well the dwelling place of my Spouse. I feel there is not a single drop of blood in me that does not burn with love for You.
O Uncreated Beauty, whoever comes to know You once cannot love anything else. I can feel the bottomless abyss of my soul, and nothing will fill it but God himself. I feel that I am drowned in Him like a single grain of sand in a bottomless ocean.
375 Particular interior practice; that is, the examination of conscience. Self-denial, denial of my own will.
I. The denial of my reason. Subjecting it to the reason of those who represent God to me here on earth.
II. The denial of my will. Doing the will of God, which is revealed in the will of those who represent God to me and which is contained in the rule of our order.
III. The denial of my judgment. Accepting immediately and without reflection, analysis or reasoning all orders given by those who represent God to me.
IV. The denial of my tongue. I will not give it the least bit of freedom; but in one case only I will give it complete freedom; that is, in proclaiming the glory of God. Whenever I receive Holy Communion, I will ask Jesus to fortify and cleanse my tongue that I may not injure my neighbor with it. That is why I have the greatest respect for the rule which speaks about silence.
383 At the beginning of the retreat, I saw, on the ceiling of the chapel, Jesus nailed to the Cross. He was looking at the sisters with great love, but not at all of them. There were three sisters at whom Jesus looked severely, for what reasons I do not know. I only know what a terrible thing it is to meet with such a look, which is the look of a severe Judge. That look was not directed at me, and yet I was paralyzed with terror. I still tremble as I write these words. I did not dare to say so much as a single word to Jesus. My physical strength failed me, and I thought I would not live to the end of the conference. The next day, I saw the same thing again, just as I had seen it the first time, and this time I dared to speak these words: "Jesus, how great is Your mercy!"
On the third day, that gaze of great kindness upon all the sisters, except the three, was again repeated. I gathered up my courage, which drew its force from love of neighbor, and I said to the Lord, "You, who are Mercy Itself, as You yourself told me, I beg You by the power of Your mercy, to look then with kindness at these three sisters as well. And if this is not in accord with Your wisdom, I ask You for an exchange: turn to them the kind look meant for my soul, and let Your severe gaze at their souls be turned on me." Jesus then said to me these words: My daughter, for the sake of your sincere and generous love, I grant them many graces although they are not asking Me for them. But I am doing so because of the promise I have made to you. And at that moment, He turned a merciful look towards those three sisters as well. My heart leapt with joy to see the goodness of God.
549 Work. As poor persons, the nuns themselves will do all the work in the convent. Each one should be glad when she is given some work which is humbling or which goes against her nature, as that will greatly help her interior formation. The superior will often change the sisters' duties, and in this way help them to detach themselves completely from the little details to which women have a great attachment. Truly, I often find it amusing to see with my own eyes souls who have forsaken really great things only to attach themselves to fiddle faddle; that is, trifles. Each sister, including even the superior, shall work in the kitchen for a month. Every one should take a turn at every chore which is to be done in the convent.
571 O my Jesus, Eternal Truth, I fear nothing, neither hardships nor sufferings; I fear only one thing, and that is to offend You. My Jesus, I would rather not exist than make You sad. Jesus, You know that my love knows no one but You. My soul is absorbed in You.
590 When I receive Holy Communion, I entreat and beg the Savior to heal my tongue, that I may never fail in love of neighbor.
692 + O Jesus, I understand that Your mercy is beyond all imagining, and therefore I ask You to make my heart so big that there will be room in it for the needs of all the souls living on the face of the earth. O Jesus, my love extends beyond the world, to the souls suffering in purgatory, and I want to exercise mercy toward them by means of indulgenced prayers. God's mercy is unfathomable and inexhaustible, just as God himself is unfathomable. Even if I were to use the strongest words there are to express this mercy of God, all this would be nothing in comparison with what it is in reality. O Jesus, make my heart sensitive to all the sufferings of my neighbor, whether of body or of soul. O my Jesus, I know that You act toward us as we act toward our neighbor.
My Jesus, make my heart like unto Your merciful Heart. Jesus, help me to go through life doing good to everyone.
700 + Once, when I was very tired and in much pain, I told Mother Superior [Irene] about it and received the answer that I should get used to suffering. I listened to everything that Mother told me, and then I went out. Our Mother Superior has great love of neighbor and especially great love for the sick sisters, as everyone knows. And yet, as regards me, it is extraordinary that the Lord Jesus has permitted that she not understand me and that she test me much in this respect.
704 I spend every free moment at the feet of the hidden God. He is my Master; I ask Him about everything; I speak to Him about everything. Here I obtain strength and light; here I learn everything; here I am given light on how to act toward my neighbor. From the time I left the novitiate, I have enclosed myself in the tabernacle together with Jesus, my Master. He himself drew me into the fire of living love on which everything converges.
742 My daughter, if I demand through you that people revere My mercy, you should be the first to distinguish yourself by this confidence in My mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.
I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first-by deed, the second-by word, the third-by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy. Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy, and I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. O my Jesus, You yourself must help me in everything, because You see how very little I am, and so I depend solely on Your goodness, O God.
+ Particular Examen
Union with the merciful Christ. With my heart I encompass the whole world, especially countries which are uncivilized or where there is persecution. I am praying for mercy upon them.
791 Hide me, Jesus, in the depths of Your mercy, and then let my neighbor judge me as he pleases.
856 During the morning meditation, I felt an aversion and a repugnance for all created things. Everything pales before my eyes; my spirit is detached from all things. I desire only God himself, and yet I must live. This is a martyrdom beyond description. God imparts himself to the soul in a loving way and draws it into the infinite depths of His divinity, but at the same time He leaves it here on earth for the sole purpose that it might suffer and die of longing for Him. And this strong love is so pure that God himself finds pleasure in it; and self-love has no access to its deeds, for here everything is totally saturated with bitterness, and thus is totally pure. Life is a continuous dying, painful and terrible, and at the same time it is the depth of true life and of inconceivable happiness and the strength of the soul; and because of this, [the soul] is capable of great deeds for the sake of God.
861 Particular examen: remains the same; namely, to unite myself with the Merciful Christ (that is; what would Christ do in such and such a case?) and, in spirit, to embrace the whole world, especially Russia and Spain.
I. Strict observance of silence - interior silence.
II. To see the image of God in every sister; all love of neighbor must flow from this motive.
III. To do the will of God faithfully at every moment of my life and to live by this.
IV. To give a faithful account of everything to the spiritual director and not to undertake anything of importance without a clear understanding with him. I shall try to clearly lay bare to him the most secret depths of my soul, bearing in mind that I am dealing with God himself, and that His representative is just a human being, and so I must pray daily that he be given light.
V. During the evening examination of conscience, I am to ask myself the question: What if He were to call me today?
VI. Not to look for God far away, but within my own being to abide with Him alone.
VII. In sufferings and torments, to take refuge in the tabernacle and to be silent.
VIII. To join all sufferings, prayers, works and mortifications to the merits of Jesus in order to obtain mercy for the world.
IX. To use free moments, however short, for prayers for the dying.
X. There must not be a day in my life when I do not recommend to the Lord the works of our Congregation. Never have regard for what others think of you [for human respect].
XI. Have no familiar relationships with anyone. Gentle firmness toward the girls, boundless patience; punish them severely but with such punishments as these: prayer and self-sacrifice. The strength that is in the emptying of myself for their sake is for them a [source of] constant remorse and the softening of their obdurate hearts.
XII. The presence of God is the basis of all my thoughts, words and deeds.
XIII. To take advantage of all spiritual help. To always put self-love in its proper place; namely, the last. To perform my spiritual exercises as though I were doing them for the last time in my life, and in like manner to carry out all my duties.
871 + My Master, cause my heart never to expect help from anyone, but I will always strive to bring assistance, consolation and all manner of relief to others. My heart is always open to the sufferings of others; and I will not close my heart to the sufferings of others, even though because of this I have been scornfully nicknamed "dump"; that is, [because] everyone dumps his pain into my heart. [To this] I answered that everyone has a place in my heart and I, in return, have a place in the Heart of Jesus. Taunts regarding the law of love will not narrow my heart. My soul is always sensitive on this point, and Jesus alone is the motive for my love of neighbor.
944 + There are moments when I mistrust myself, when I feel my own weakness and wretchedness in the most profound depths of my own being, and I have noticed that I can endure such moments only by trusting in the infinite mercy of God. Patience, prayer and silence-these are what give strength to the soul. There are moments when one should be silent, and when it would be inappropriate to talk with creatures; these are the moments when one is dissatisfied with oneself, and when the soul feels as weak as a little child. Then the soul clings to God with all its might. At such times, I live solely by faith, and when I feel strengthened by God's grace, then I am more courageous in speaking and communicating with my neighbors.
1039 + I suffer great pain at the sight of the sufferings of others. All these sufferings are reflected in my heart. I carry their torments in my heart so that it even wears me out physically. I would like all pains to fall upon me so as to bring relief to my neighbor.
1662 + O Christ, suffering for You is the delight of my heart and my soul. Prolong my sufferings to infinity, that I may give You a proof of my love. I accept everything that Your hand will hold out to me. Your love, Jesus, is enough for me. I will glorify You in abandonment and darkness, in agony and fear, in pain and bitterness, in anguish of spirit and grief of heart. In all things may You be blessed. My heart is so detached from the earth, that You Yourself are enough for me. There is no longer any moment in my life for self concern.
1663 Holy Thursday [April 14, 1938]. Today I felt strong enough to take part in the ceremonies of the Church. During Holy Mass, Jesus stood before me and said, Look into My Heart and see there the love and mercy which I have for humankind, and especially for sinners. Look, and enter into My Passion. In an instant, I experienced and lived through the whole Passion of Jesus in my own heart. I was surprised that these tortures did not deprive me of my life.
1664 During adoration, Jesus said to me, My daughter, know that your ardent love and the compassion you have for Me were a consolation to Me in the Garden [of Olives].
1665 During Holy Hour in the evening, I heard the words, You see My mercy for sinners, which at this moment is revealing itself in all its power. See how little you have written about it; it is only a single drop. Do what is in your power, so that sinners may come to know My goodness.
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-77, 93, 96-98, 101 116, 118, 147, 173)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-163, 216, 241, 267, 275, 278-279, 281)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-287, 282-283, 294, 296, 343, 375, 383)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-549, 571, 590, 692, 700, 704, 742)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-791, 856, 861, 871, 944)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-III-1029, 1039)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-VI-1662-1663)