The Desire to be Cured
March 28, 2017. Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat." He answered them, "The man who made me well told me, ´Take up your mat and walk.´" They asked him, "Who is the man who told you, ´Take it up and walk´?" The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the Temple area and said to him, "Look, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you." The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I look to You with faith, knowing that You are the Lord of all. I hope in Your boundless mercy, since without You I can do nothing. I want to love as You deserve, so I come to You in this prayer to console You and bring You the joy of this moment together.
Petition: Lord, help me to be humble of heart so You will heal me.
1. Christ´s Power is Stronger: The man in the Gospel was ill for 38 years. His sickness serves as an example of a life of sin. In 1 John 2:16 we read about a triple spiritual sickness: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.” However, not even a sickness persisting for 38 years is able to escape Jesus’ curing power. Christ’s power is stronger still. We should therefore take hope, for no sickness, no sin – or life of sin – is too great for him to cure. All that is needed is that we turn to him with a humble and contrite heart: “Lord, I am not worthy, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
2. Revealing Our Weaknesses: Nothing is impossible for Christ. He can heal the sick; he can also forgive their sins, as he forgives the paralytic who is lowered from a rooftop (Cf. Mark 2:1-12). All it takes is for this sick man to reveal his weakness – and he does so with detail, like a true confession: how he has attempted to enter the pool, how as he has tried, someone else has beaten him to it. Perhaps without this detailed account of his failure, he might not have been cured. The sick man’s admitting both his personal weakness and desire to plunge into the pool moves Jesus to compassion. This is the remedy to all of our illnesses: presenting ourselves to Christ as we truly are, with all of our weakness, and thus moving him to compassion.
3. Go and Sin No More: Jesus says, “Look, you are well, do not sin anymore.” It would be a pity if this man, who is deeply moved by Jesus and made whole, afterwards dedicates himself to a life of vice. From the Gospel passage, it would seem that Jesus has cured him in order to allow him to utilize his time and energy for the benefit of the Kingdom: Christ warns the sick man that if he misuses his new health, he could be worse off than before. Hopefully, his healing will produce a conversion and make him a herald of the Kingdom. This happens also in the sacrament of reconciliation: After forgiving our sins, Christ tells us, “Go in peace and proclaim to the world the wonderful works of God who has brought you salvation.”
Conversation with Christ: O Jesus, the only way that I can be like the man at the pool of Bethesda is to be grateful for the gifts You have given me, to fight against a life of sin, and to clothe myself with the “new man.” I am ready to embrace Your will with love, even if this means dying to myself.
Resolution: As Easter approaches, I will humbly recognize my sinfulness and seek God’s healing grace in the sacrament of confession.
Excerpts from the DIARY of Saint Faustina Kowalska
23 Toward the end of the first year of my novitiate, darkness began to cast its shadow over my soul. I felt no consolation in prayer; I had to make a great effort to meditate; fear began to sweep over me. Going deeper into myself, I could find nothing but great misery. I could also clearly see the great holiness of God. I did not dare to raise my eyes to Him, but reduced myself to dust under His feet and begged for mercy. My soul was in this state for almost six months. Our beloved Mother Directress [Mary Joseph ] encouraged me in these difficult moments. But this suffering became greater and greater.
The second year of the novitiate was approaching. Whenever I recalled that I was to make my vows, my soul shuddered. I did not understand what I was reading; I could not meditate; it seemed to me that my prayer was displeasing to God. It seemed to me that by approaching the Holy Sacraments I was offending God even more. But despite this, my confessor [Father Theodore ] did not let me omit one single Holy Communion. God was working very strangely in my soul. I did not understand anything at all of what my confessor was telling me. The simple truths of the faith became incomprehensible to me. My soul was in anguish, unable to find comfort anywhere.
36 Once I was summoned to the judgment [seat] of God. I stood alone before the Lord. Jesus appeared such as we know Him during His Passion. After a moment, His wounds disappeared except for five, those in His hands, His feet and His side. Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for. What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy God! Jesus asked me, Who are you? I answered, "I am Your servant, Lord." You are guilty of one day of fire in purgatory. I wanted to throw myself immediately into the flames of purgatory, but Jesus stopped me and said, Which do you prefer, suffer now for one day in purgatory or for a short while on earth? I replied, "Jesus, I want to suffer in purgatory, and I want to suffer also the greatest pains on earth, even if it were until the end of the world." Jesus said, One [of the two] is enough; you will go back to earth, and there you will suffer much, but not for long; you will accomplish My will and My desires, and a faithful servant of Mine will help you to do this. Now, rest your head on My bosom, on My heart, and draw from it strength and power for these sufferings, because you will find neither relief nor help nor comfort anywhere else. Know that you will have much, much to suffer, but don't let this frighten you; I am with you.
55 1933. Spiritual Counsel Given Me by Father Andrasz, S.J.
First: You must not turn away from these interior inspirations, but always tell everything to your confessor. If you recognize that these interior inspirations refer to your own self; that is to say, they are for the good of your soul or for the good of other souls, l urge you to follow them; and you must not neglect them, but always do so in consultation with your confessor.
Second: If these inspirations are not in accord with the faith or the spirit of the Church, they must be rejected immediately as coming from the evil spirit.
Third: If these inspirations do not refer to souls, in general, nor specifically to their good, you should not take them too seriously, and it would be better to even ignore them.
But you should not make this decision by yourself, either one way or the other, as you can easily be led astray despite these great favors from God. Humility, humility, and ever humility, as we can do nothing of ourselves; all is purely and simply God's grace.
You say to me that God demands great trust from souls; well then, you be the first to show this trust. And one more word-accept all this with serenity.
Words of one of the confessors: "Sister, God is preparing many special graces for you, but try to make your life as clear as crystal before the Lord, paying no attention to what anyone else thinks about you. Let God suffice you; He alone."
Toward the end of my novitiate, a confessor [perhaps Father Theodore] told me: "Go through life doing good, so that I could write on its pages: `She spent her life doing good.' May God bring this about in you."
Another time the confessor said to me, "Comport yourself before God like the widow in the Gospel; although the coin she dropped into the box was of little value, it counted far more before God than all the big offerings of others."
On another occasion the instruction I received was this: " Act in such a way that all those who come in contact with you will go away joyful. Sow happiness about you because you have received much from God; give, then, generously to others. They should take leave of you with their hearts filled with joy, even if they have no more than touched the hem of your garment. Keep well in mind the words I am telling you right now."
Still another time he gave me the following recommendation: "Let God push your boat out into the deep waters, toward the unfathomable depths of the interior life."
Here are a few words from a conversation I had with the Mother Directress [Mary Joseph] toward the end of my novitiate: "Sister, let simplicity and humility be the characteristic traits of your soul. Go through life like a little child, always trusting, always full of simplicity and humility, content with everything, happy in every circumstance. There, where others fear, you will pass calmly along, thanks to this simplicity and humility. Remember this, Sister, for your whole life: as waters flow from the mountains down into the valleys, so, too, do God's graces flow only into humble souls."
62 O life so dull and monotonous, how many treasures you contain! When I look at everything with the eyes of faith, no two hours are alike, and the dullness and monotony disappear. The grace which is given me in this hour will not be repeated in the next. It may be given me again, but it will not be the same grace. Time goes on, never to return again. Whatever is enclosed in it will never change; it seals with a seal for eternity.
91 O my Jesus, You alone know what persecutions I suffer, and this only because I am being faithful to You and following Your orders. You are my strength; sustain me that I may always carry out what You ask of me. Of myself I can do nothing, but when You sustain me, all difficulties are nothing for me. O my Lord, I can see very well that from the time when my soul first received the capacity to know You, my life has been a continual struggle which has become increasingly intense.
Every morning during meditation, I prepare myself for the whole day's struggle. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory; and so it is. I fear the day when I do not receive Holy Communion. This Bread of t lie Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me - it is the Eucharist.
O my Jesus, the misunderstandings are so great; sometimes, were it not for the Eucharist, I would not have the courage to go any further along the way You have marked out for me.
92 Humiliation is my daily food. I understand that the bride must herself share in everything that is the groom's; and so His cloak of mockery must cover me, too. At those times when I suffer much, I try to remain silent, as I do not trust my tongue which, at such moments, is inclined to talk for itself, while its duty is to help me praise God for all the blessings and gifts which He has given me. When I receive Jesus in Holy Communion, I ask Him fervently to deign to heal my tongue so that I would offend neither God nor neighbor by it. I want my tongue to praise God without cease. Great are the faults committed by the tongue. The soul will not attain sanctity if it does not keep watch over its tongue.
94 O my Lord, inflame my heart with love for You, that my spirit may not grow weary amidst the storms, the sufferings and the trials. You see how weak I am. Love can do all.
95 +A Deeper Knowledge of God and the Terror of the Soul.
In the beginning, God lets himself be known as Holiness, Justice, Goodness - that is to say, Mercy. The soul does not come to know this all at once, but piecemeal, in flashes; that is to say, when God draws near. And this does not last for long, because the soul could not bear such light. During prayer the soul experiences flashes of this light which make it impossible to pray as before. Try as it may to force itself to pray as it did before, all is in vain; it becomes completely impossible for it to continue to pray as it did before it received this light. This light which has touched the soul is alive within it, and nothing can either quench or diminish it. This flash of the knowledge of God draws the soul and enkindles its love for Him.
But this same flash, at the same time, allows the soul to know itself as it is; the soul sees its whole interior in a superior light, and it rises up alarmed and terrified. Still, it does not remain under the effects of terror, but it begins to purify itself, to humble and abase itself before the Lord. These lights become stronger and more frequent; the more the soul is crystallized, the more these lights penetrate it. However, if the soul has responded faithfully and courageously to these first graces, God fills it with His consolations and gives himself to it in a perceptible manner. At certain moments, the soul, as it were, enters into intimacy with God and greatly rejoices in this; it believes that it has already reached the degree of perfection destined for it, because its defects and faults are asleep within it, and this makes it think that they no longer exist. Nothing seems difficult for it; it is ready for everything. It begins to plunge itself into God and taste the divine delights. It is carried along by grace and does not take account of the fact that the time of trial and testing may come. And, in fact, this state does not last long. Other moments will soon come. I should add here, however, that the soul will respond more faithfully to divine grace if it has a well - informed confessor to whom it can confide everything.
97 Faith staggers under the impact; the struggle is fierce. The soul tries hard to cling to God by an act of will. With God's permission, Satan goes even further: hope and love are put to the test. These temptations are terrible. God supports the soul in secret, so to speak. The soul is not aware of this, but otherwise it would be impossible to stand firm; and God knows very well how much He can allow to befall a soul. The soul is tempted to unbelief in respect to revealed truths and to insincerity toward the confessor. Satan says to it, "Look, no one understands you; why speak about all this?" Words that terrify it sound in its ears, and it seems to the soul that it is uttering these against God. It sees what it does not want to see. It hears what it does not want to hear. And, oh, it is a terrible thing at times like these not to have an experienced confessor! The soul carries the whole burden alone. However, one should make every effort to find, if it is at all possible, a well-informed confessor, for the soul can collapse under the burden and come to the very edge of the precipice. All these trials are heavy and difficult. God does not send them to a soul which has not already been admitted to a deeper intimacy with Him and which has not yet tasted the divine delights. Besides, in this God has His own plans, which for us are impenetrable. God often prepares a soul in this way for His future designs and great works. He wants to try it as pure gold is tried. But this is not yet the end of the testing; there is still the trial of trials, the complete abandonment of the soul by God.
+ The Trial of Trials, Complete Abandonment - Despair
98 When the soul comes out victorious from the preceding trials, even though it may stumble here and there, it fights on valiantly, humbly calling upon God, "Save me, I am perishing!" And it is still able to fight on.
At this point, however, the soul is engulfed in a horrible night. It sees within itself only sin. It feels terrible. It sees itself completely abandoned by God. It feels itself to be the object of His hatred. It is but one step away from despair. The soul does its best to defend itself; it tries to stir up its confidence; but prayer is an even greater torment for it, as this prayer seems to arouse God to an even greater anger. The soul finds itself poised on the summit of a lofty mountain on the very brink of a precipice.
The soul is drawn to God, but feels repulsed. All other sufferings and tortures in the world are as nothing compared with this sensation into which it has been plunged; namely, that of being rejected by God. No one can bring it any relief; it finds itself completely alone; there is no one to defend it. It raises its eyes to heaven, but is convinced that this is not for her-for her all is lost. It falls deeper and deeper from darkness to darkness, and it seems to it that it has lost forever the God it used to love so dearly. This thought is torture beyond all description. But the soul does not agree to it and tries to lift its gaze toward heaven, but in vain! And this makes the torture even more intense.
If God wishes to keep the soul in such darkness, no one will be able to give it light. It experiences rejection by God in a vivid and terrifying manner. From its heart burst forth painful moans, so painful that no priest will comprehend it, unless he himself has been through these trials. In the midst of this, the evil spirit adds to the soul's suffering, mocking it: "Will you persist in your faithfulness? This is your reward; you are in our power!" But Satan has only as much influence over the soul as God allows him, and God knows how much we can bear. "What have you gotten out of your mortifications," says Satan, "and out of your fidelity to the rule? What use are all these efforts? You have been rejected by God!" This word, rejected, becomes a fire which penetrates every nerve to the marrow of the bone. It pierces right through her entire being. The ordeal reaches its climax. The soul no longer looks for help anywhere. It shrinks into itself and loses sight of everything; it is as though it has accepted the torture of being abandoned. This is a moment for which I have no words. This is the agony of the soul.
102 After some time, one of the sisters came into the cell and found me almost dead. She was frightened and went to find the Directress of Novices who, in the name of holy obedience ordered me to get up from the ground. My strength returned immediately, and I got up, trembling. The Directress recognized immediately the state of my soul and spoke to me about the inscrutable mercy of God, saying, "Do not be distressed about anything, Sister. I command this of you in virtue of obedience." Then she said to me, "I see now, Sister, that God is calling you to a high degree of holiness; the Lord wants to draw you very close to Himself since He has allowed these things to happen to you so soon. Be faithful to God, Sister, because this is a sign that He wants you to have a high place in heaven." However, I did not understand anything of these words. When I went into the chapel, I felt as though my soul had been set free from everything, as though I had just come forth from the hand of God. I perceived the inviolability of my soul; I felt that I was a tiny child.
106 Though these are frightening things, the soul should not be too fearful, because God will never test us beyond what we are able to bear. On the other hand, He may never send us such sufferings, but I write this because, if it pleases the Lord to let a soul pass through such sufferings, it should not be afraid but, insofar as this depends on the soul itself, it should remain faithful to God. God will do a soul no harm, because He is Love itself, and in this unfathomable love has called it into being. However, when I was so tormented, I myself did not understand this.
107 O my God, I have come to know that I am not of this earth; You, O Lord, have poured this profound awareness into my soul. My communion is more with heaven than with earth, though I in no way neglect my duties.
111 When, in the midst of these interior torments, I tried to accuse myself in confession of the smallest trifles, the priest was surprised that I had not committed graver faults, and he said to me, "If you are as faithful as this to God during these sufferings, this in itself is evidence to me that God is sustaining you, Sister, with a special grace, and it is a good thing that you do not understand this." It is a strange thing, nevertheless, that confessors could neither understand me nor set my mind at peace concerning these matters, until I met Father Andrasz and, later on, Father Sopocko.
114 +Oh, how pleasing are the hymns flowing from a suffering soul! All heaven delights in such a soul, especially when it is tested by God. It mournfully sings out its longing for Him. Great is its beauty, because it comes from God. The soul walks through the jungle of life, wounded by God's love. With one foot only it touches the ground.
115 + When a soul has come out of these tribulations, it is deeply humble. Its purity of soul is great. It knows better without need of reflecting, as it were, what it ought to do at a given moment and what to forbear. It feels the lightest touch of grace and is very faithful to God. It recognizes God from afar and continuously rejoices in Him. It discovers God very quickly in other souls and in its environment in general. The soul has been purified by God himself. God, as Pure Spirit, introduces the soul to a life which is purely spiritual. God himself has first prepared and purified the soul; that is, He has made it capable of close communion with himself. The soul, in a state of loving repose, communes spiritually with the Lord. It speaks to God without the need of expressing itself through the senses. God fills it with His light.
The enlightened mind sees clearly and distinguishes the various degrees of the spiritual life. It recognizes [that state] when its union with God was imperfect: where the senses were involved, and the spirit was linked with the senses in a manner-exalted and special, to be sure but not yet perfect. There is a higher and more perfect union with God; namely, intellectual union. Here, the soul is safer from illusions; its spirituality is purer and more profound. In a life where the senses are involved, there is more danger of illusion. Both for the soul and for its confessor, prudence must play a greater part. There are moments when God introduces the soul to a purely spiritual state. The senses dim and are seemingly dead. The soul is most closely united to God; it is immersed in the Deity; its knowledge is complete and perfect, not sporadic as before, but total and absolute. It rejoices in this. But I want to say more about those moments of trial; at those times the confessor must have patience with such a soul. But the soul must have even greater patience with itself.
129 Satan always takes advantage of such moments; thoughts of discouragement began to rise to the surface-for your faithfulness and sincerity-this is your reward. How can one be sincere when one is so misunderstood? Jesus, Jesus, I cannot go on any longer. Again I fell to the ground under this weight, and I broke out in a sweat, and fear began to overcome me. I had no one to lean on interiorly. Suddenly I heard a voice within my soul, Do not fear; I am with you. And an unusual light illumined my mind, and I understood that I should not give in to such sorrows. I was filled with a certain strength and left my cell with new courage to suffer.
132 I must again mention that there are some confessors who seem to be true spiritual fathers, but only as long as things go well. When the soul finds itself in greater need, they become perplexed, and either cannot or will not understand the soul. They try to get rid of the person as soon as possible. But if the soul is humble, it will always profit in some little way or other. God himself will sometimes cast a shaft of light into the depths of the soul, because of its humility and faith. The confessor will sometimes say something he had never intended to say, without even realizing it himself. Oh, let the soul believe that such words are the words of the Lord himself! Though indeed we ought to believe that every word spoken in the confessional is God's, what I have referred to above is something that comes directly from God. And the soul perceives that the priest is not master of himself, that he is saying things that he would rather not say. This is how God rewards faith.
I have experienced this many times myself. A certain very learned and respected priest [probably Father Wilkowski, the sisters' confessor at Plock], to whom I sometimes happened to go to confession, was always severe and opposed to these matters [which I brought up to him]. But on one occasion he replied to me, "Bear in mind, Sister, that if God is asking this of you, you should not oppose Him. God sometimes wants to be praised in just this way. Be at peace; what God has started, He will finish. But I say this to you: faithfulness to God and humility. And once again: humility. Bear well in mind what I have told you today." I was delighted, and I thought that perhaps this priest had understood me. But it so turned out that I never went to confession to him again.
136 And the Lord gave me to know that the whole mystery depended on me, on my free consent to the sacrifice given with full use of my faculties. In this free and conscious act lies the whole power and value before His Majesty. Even if none of these things for which I offered myself would ever happen to me, before the Lord everything was as though it had already been consummated.
At that moment, I realized I was entering into communion with the incomprehensible Majesty. I felt that God was waiting for my word, for my consent. Then my spirit immersed itself in the Lord, and I said, "Do with me as You please. I subject myself to Your will. As of today, Your holy will shall be my nourishment, and I will be faithful to Your commands with the help of Your grace. Do with me as You please. I beg You, O Lord, be with me at every moment of my life."
138 A great mystery has been accomplished between God and me. Courage and strength have remained in my soul. When the time of adoration came to an end, I came out and calmly faced everything I had feared so much before. When I came out into the corridor, a great suffering and humiliation, at the hands of a certain person, was awaiting me. I accepted it with submission to a higher will and snuggled closely to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, letting Him know that I was ready for that for which I had offered myself.
Suffering seemed to spring out of the ground. Even Mother Margaret herself was surprised. For others, many things passed unnoticed, for indeed it wasn't worth paying any attention to them; but in my case, nothing passed unnoticed; each word was analyzed, each step watched. One sister said to me, "Get ready, Sister, to receive a small cross at the hands of Mother Superior. I feel sorry for you." But as for me, I rejoiced at this in the depths of my soul and had been ready for it for a long time. When she saw my courage, she was surprised. I see now that a soul cannot do much of itself, but with God it can do all things. Behold what God's grace can do. Few are the souls that are always watchful for divine graces, and even fewer of such souls who follow those inspirations faithfully.
139 Still, a soul which is faithful to God cannot confirm its own inspirations; it must submit them to the control of a very wise and learned priest; and until it is quite certain, it should remain distrustful. It should not, on its own initiative alone, put its trust in these inspirations and all other higher graces, because it can thus expose itself to great losses.
Even though a soul may immediately distinguish between false inspirations and those of God, it should nevertheless be careful, because many things are uncertain. God is pleased and rejoices when a soul distrusts Him for His own sake; because it loves Him, it is prudent and itself asks and searches for help to make certain that it is really God who is acting within it. And once a well-instructed confessor has confirmed this, the soul should be at peace and give itself up to God, according to His directions; that is, according to the directions of the confessor.
145 Oh, how wretched my soul is for having wasted so many graces! I was running away from God, and He pursued me with his graces. I most often experienced God's graces when I least expected them. From the moment He gave me a spiritual director, I have been more faithful to grace. Thanks to the director and his watchfulness over my soul, I have learned what guidance means and how Jesus looks at it. Jesus warned me of the least fault and stressed that He himself judges the matter that I present to my confessor; and [He told me] that ... any transgressions against the confessor touch Me myself.
When under his direction my soul began to experience deep recollection and peace, I often heard these words in my soul: Strengthen yourself for combat - repeated over and over at various times.
+Jesus often makes known to me what He does not like in my soul, and He has more than once rebuked me for what seemed to be trifles, but which were, in fact, things of great importance. He has warned me and tried me like a Master. For many years He himself educated me, until the moment when He gave me a spiritual director. Previously, He himself had made clear to me what I did not understand; but now, He tells me to ask my confessor about everything and often says, I will answer you through his mouth. Be at peace. It has never happened to me that I have received an answer which was contrary to what the Lord wanted of me, when I presented it to the spiritual director [Father Sopocko]. It sometimes happens that Jesus first asks certain things of me, about which no one knows anything, and then, when I kneel at the confessional, my confessor gives me the same order-however, this is infrequent.
+When, over a long period of time, a soul has received much light and many inspirations, and when the confessors have confirmed the source of these inspirations and set the soul at peace; if its love is great, Jesus now makes it known that it is time to put into action what it has received. The soul recognizes that God is counting on it, and this knowledge fortifies it. It knows that to be faithful it will often have to face various difficulties, but it trusts in God and, thanks to this trust, it reaches that point to which God is calling it. Difficulties do not terrify it; they are its daily bread, as it were. They do not frighten or terrify the soul, just as a warrior who is constantly in battle is not terrified by the roar of the cannon. Far from being frightened, it listens to determine from which side the enemy is launching his attack, in order to defeat him. It does nothing blindly, but examines and ponders everything deeply and, not counting on itself, it prays fervently and asks advice of other warriors who are experienced and wise. When the soul acts in this way, it nearly always wins.
There are attacks when a soul has no time to think or seek advice; then it must enter into a life-or-death struggle. Sometimes it is good to flee for cover in the wound of the Heart of Jesus, without answering a single word. By this very act the enemy is already defeated.
In time of peace, as well, the soul continues making efforts, just as in time of battle. It must exercise itself, and do so with energy; otherwise it has no chance of attaining victory. I regard the time of peace as a time of preparation for victory. The soul must be ever watchful; watchfulness and again, watchfulness. The soul that reflects receives much light. A distracted soul runs the risk of a fall, and let it not be surprised when it does fall. O Spirit of God, Director of the soul, wise is he whom You have trained! But for the Spirit of God to act in the soul, peace and recollection are needed.
148 +A noble and delicate soul, even the most simple, but one of delicate sensibilities, sees God in everything, finds Him everywhere, and knows how to find Him in even the most hidden things. It finds all things important, it highly appreciates all things, it thanks God for all things, it draws profit for the soul from all things, and it gives all glory to God. It places its trust in God and is not confused when the time of ordeals comes. It knows that God is always the best of Fathers and makes little of human opinion. It follows faithfully the faintest breath of the Holy Spirit; it rejoices in this Spiritual Guest and holds onto Him like a child to its mother. Where other souls come to a standstill and fear, this soul passes on without fear or difficulty.
149 When the Lord himself wants to be close to a soul and to lead it, He will remove everything that is external. When I fell ill and was taken to the infirmary, I suffered much unpleasantness because of this. There were two of us sick in the infirmary. Sisters would come to see Sister N., but no one came to visit me. It is true that there was only one infirmary, but each one had her own cell. The winter nights were long, and Sister N. had the light and the radio headphones, while I could not even prepare my meditation for lack of a light.
When nearly two weeks had passed in this way, I complained to the Lord one evening that I was suffering so much and that I could not even prepare my meditation because there was no light. And the Lord said that He would come every evening and give me the points for the next day's meditation. These points always concerned His sorrowful Passion. He would say, Consider My sufferings before Pilate. And thus, point by point, I meditated upon His sorrowful Passion for one week. From that moment, a great joy entered my soul, and I no longer wanted either the visitors or the light; Jesus sufficed me for everything. The superiors were indeed very solicitous for the sick, but the Lord ordained that I should feel forsaken. This best of masters withdraws every created thing in order that He himself might act. Many a time, I have experienced such sufferings and persecutions that Mother M. [probably Mother Margaret] herself said to me, "Sister, along your path, sufferings just spring up out of the ground. I look upon you, Sister, as one crucified. But I can see that Jesus has a hand in this. Be faithful to the Lord."
150 + I want to write down a dream that I had about Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I was still a novice at the time and was going through some difficulties which I did not know how to overcome. They were interior difficulties connected with exterior ones. I made novenas to various saints, but the situation grew more and more difficult. The sufferings it caused me were so great that I did not know how to go on living, but suddenly the thought occurred to me that I should pray to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I started a novena to this Saint, because before entering the convent I had had a great devotion to her. Lately I had somewhat neglected this devotion, but in my need I began again to pray with great fervor.
On the fifth day of the novena, I dreamed of Saint Therese, but it was as if she were still living on earth. She hid from me the fact that she was a saint and began to comfort me, saying that I should not be worried about this matter, but should trust more in God. She said, "I suffered greatly, too," but I did not quite believe her and said, "It seems to me that you have not suffered at all." But Saint Therese answered me in a convincing manner that she had suffered very much indeed and said to me, "Sister, know that in three days the difficulty will come to a happy conclusion." When I was not very willing to believe her, she revealed to me that she was a saint. At that moment, a great joy filled my soul, and I said to her, "You are a saint?" "Yes," she answered, "I am a saint. Trust that this matter will be resolved in three days:" And I said, "Dear sweet Therese, tell me, shall I go to heaven?" And she answered, "Yes, you will go to heaven, Sister." "And will I be a saint?" To which she replied, "Yes, you will be a saint." "But, little Therese, shall I be a saint as you are, raised to the altar?" And she answered, "Yes, you will be a saint just as I am, but you must trust in the Lord Jesus." I then asked her if my mother and father would go to heaven, will [unfinished sentence] And she replied that they would. I further asked, "And will my brothers and sisters go to heaven?" She told me to pray hard for them, but gave me no definite answer. I understood that they were in need of much prayer.
This was a dream. And as the proverb goes, dreams are phantoms; God is faith. Nevertheless, three days later the difficulty was solved very easily, just as she had said. And everything in this affair turned out exactly as she said it would. It was a dream, but it had its significance.
159 +O Blessed Host, in golden chalice enclosed for me,
That through the vast wilderness of exile
I may pass-pure, immaculate, undefiled;
Oh, grant that through the power of Your love this might come to be.
O Blessed Host, take up Your dwelling within my soul,
O Thou my heart's purest love!
With Your brilliance the darkness dispel.
Refuse not Your grace to a humble heart.
O Blessed Host, enchantment of all heaven,
Though Your beauty be veiled
And captured in a crumb of bread,
Strong faith tears away that veil.
170 The first day of the retreat. I tried to be the first in the chapel in the morning; before the meditation I had a bit of time for prayer to the Holy Spirit and to Our Lady. I earnestly begged the Mother of God to obtain for me the grace of fidelity to these inner inspirations and of faithfully carrying out God's will, whatever it might be. I began this retreat with a very special kind of courage.
171 Struggle to keep silence. As usual, sisters from various houses came to the retreat. One of the sisters whom I had not seen for a long time, came to my cell and said she had something to tell me. I did not answer her, and she saw that I did not want to break silence. She said to me, "I didn't know you were such an eccentric, sister," and she went away. I was well aware that she had no other business with me than to satisfy her own curious self-love. O God, preserve me in faithfulness.
174 At that moment the priest came in and began the conference. He spoke for a short time, as if he were in a hurry. After the conference, he went over to the confessional. Seeing that none of the sisters were going there, I sprang from my kneeler, and in an instant was in the confessional. There was no time to deliberate. Instead of telling the father about the doubts that had been sown in me in respect to my dealings with the Lord Jesus, I began to speak about these temptations I have just described above. The confessor immediately understood my situation and said, "Sister, you distrust the Lord Jesus because He treats you so kindly. Well, Sister, be completely at peace. Jesus is your Master, and your communing with Him is neither daydreaming nor hysteria nor illusion. Know that you are on the right path. Please try to be faithful to these graces; you are not free to shun them. You do not need at all, Sister, to tell your superiors about these interior graces, unless the Lord Jesus instructs you clearly to do so, and even then you should first consult with your confessor. But if the Lord Jesus demands something external, in this case, after consulting your confessor, you should carry out what He asks of you, even if this costs you greatly. On the other hand, you must tell your confessor everything. There is absolutely no other course for you to take, Sister. Pray that you may find a spiritual director, or else you will waste these great gifts of God. I repeat once again, be at peace; you are following the right path. Take no heed of anything else, but always be faithful to the Lord Jesus, no matter what anyone says about you. It is with just such miserable souls that the Lord Jesus communes in this intimate way. And the more you humble yourself, the more the Lord Jesus will unite Himself with you." 175 176 177
189 On one occasion, Jesus gave me to know how pleasing to Him is the soul that faithfully keeps the rule. A soul will receive a greater reward for observing the rule than for penances and great mortifications. The latter will be rewarded also if they are undertaken over and above the rule, but they will not surpass the rule.
204 A short conversation with Mother Directress [Margaret]. When I asked her about some particulars concerning progress in the spiritual life, this holy Mother answered everything with great clarity. She said to me, "if you continue cooperating with God's grace in this way, Sister, you will be only one step away from close union with God. You understand what I mean by this. This means that your characteristic trait should be faithfulness to the grace of the Lord. God does not lead all souls along such a path."
210 I fervently beg the Lord to strengthen my faith, so that in my drab, everyday life I will not be guided by human dispositions, but by those of the spirit. Oh, how everything drags man towards the earth! But lively faith maintains the soul in the higher regions and assigns self-love its proper place; that is to say, the lowest one.
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.
227 +In the midst of trials I will try to see the loving hand of God. Nothing is as constant as suffering-it always faithfully keeps the soul company. O Jesus, I will let no one surpass me in loving You!
+O Jesus, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament,
230 Jesus, living Host, You are my Mother, You are my all! It is with simplicity and love, with faith and trust that I will always come to You, O Jesus! I will share everything with You, as a child with its loving mother, my joys and sorrows-in a word, everything.
234 When I finished this confession, my spirit was immersed in God, and I prayed for three hours, but it seemed to me like only a few minutes. Since then, I have placed no obstacles in the way of grace working in my soul. Jesus knew why I had been afraid to commune intimately with Him and was not at all offended. From the moment the priest assured me that what I had experienced was not an illusion, but the grace of God, I have tried to be faithful to God in everything. I can see now that there are few such priests who understand the full depth of God's work in the soul. Since then, my wings have been set free for flight, and I yearn to soar into the very fire of the sun. My flight will not come to an end until I rest in Him forever. When we fly very high, all the vapors, mists and clouds are beneath our feet, and our whole carnal being is necessarily subject to the spirit.
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.
257 Tomorrow I am to leave for Vilnius. Today, I went to confession to Father Andrasz, this priest who is so filled with the spirit of God, who untied my wings so that I could soar to the highest summits. He reassured me in everything and told me to believe in Divine Providence. "Have confidence and walk ahead with courage." An extraordinary, divine power came over me after that confession. Father stressed that I must be faithful to God's grace and said, "No harm will come to you if, in the future, you continue to keep this same simplicity and obedience. Have confidence in God; you are on the right path and in good hands, in God's hands."
263 +The week for confession came and, to my great joy, I saw the priest I had known before coming to Vilnius. [That is to say,] I had known him by seeing him in a vision. At that moment, I heard these words in my soul: This is My faithful servant; he will help you to fulfill My will here on earth. Yet, I did not open myself to him as the Lord wished. And for some time I struggled against grace. During each confession, God's grace penetrated me in a very special way, yet I did not reveal my soul before him, and I had the intention of not going to confession to that priest. After this decision, a terrible anxiety entered my soul. God reproached me severely. When I did lay bare my soul completely to this priest, Jesus poured an ocean of graces into it. Now I understand what it means to be faithful to a particular grace. That one grace draws down a whole series of others.
264 +O my Jesus, keep me near to You! See how weak I am! I cannot go a step forward by myself; so You, Jesus, must stand by me constantly like a mother by a helpless child-and even more so.
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.
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!
291 On a certain occasion, I saw a person about to commit a mortal sin. I asked the Lord to send me the greatest torments so that that soul could be saved. Then I suddenly felt the terrible pain of a crown of thorns on my head. It lasted for quite a long time, but that person remained in the Lord's grace. 0 my Jesus, how very easy it is to become holy; all that is needed is a bit of good will. If Jesus sees this little bit of good will in the soul, He hurries to give himself to the soul, and nothing can stop Him, neither shortcomings nor falls-absolutely nothing. Jesus is anxious to help that soul, and if it is faithful to this grace from God, it can very soon attain the highest holiness possible for a creature here on earth. God is very generous and does not deny His grace to anyone. Indeed He gives more than what we ask of Him. Faithfulness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit-that is the shortest route.
292 +When a soul loves God sincerely, it ought not fear anything in the spiritual life. Let it subject itself to the action of grace, and let it not impose any restraints on itself in communing with the Lord.
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.
328 O purest Love, rule in all Your plenitude in my heart and help me to do Your holy will most faithfully!
331 Oh, how great a grace it is to have a spiritual director! One makes more rapid progress in virtue, sees the will of God more clearly, fulfills it more faithfully, and follows a road that is sure and free of dangers. The director knows how to avoid the rocks against which the soul could be shattered. The Lord gave me this grace rather late, to be sure, but I rejoice in it greatly, seeing how God inclines His will to my director's wishes. I will mention just one incident out of a thousand that have happened to me. As I usually do, I asked the Lord Jesus one evening to give me the points for next day's meditation. I received the answer: Meditate on the Prophet Jonah and his mission. I thanked the Lord, but began to think within myself of how different that subject was from the others. But with all my soul I strove to meditate about it, and I recognized myself in the person of the prophet, in the sense that often I, too, try to make excuses to the Lord, claiming that someone else would do His holy will better [than I could], and not understanding that God can do all things and that His omnipotence will be all the more manifest if the tool is poorer. God made this clear to me in the following way. That afternoon, there was confession for the community. When I presented to the director of my soul the fear that seized me because of this mission for which God was using me, clumsy tool that I was, my spiritual father answered that, willing or not, we must carry out the will of God, and he gave me the Prophet Jonah as an example. After the confession, I wondered how the confessor knew that God had told me to meditate about Jonah; surely I myself had not told him. Then I heard these words:When the priest acts in my place, he does not act of himself, but I act through him. His wishes are Mine. I can see how Jesus defends His representatives. He himself enters into their actions.
333 I now see clearly how God acts through the confessor and how faithfully He keeps His promises. Two weeks ago, my confessor told me to reflect upon this spiritual childhood. It was somewhat difficult at first, but my confessor, disregarding my difficulties, told me to continue to reflect upon spiritual childhood. "In practice, this spiritual childhood," [he said,] "should manifest itself in this way: a child does not worry about the past or the future, but makes use of the present moment. I want to emphasize that spiritual childlikeness in you, Sister, and I place great stress upon it." I can see how God bows down to my confessor's wishes; He does not show himself to me at this time as a Teacher in the fullness of His strength and human adulthood, but as a little Child. The God who is beyond all understanding stoops to me under the appearance of a little Child.
352 At the chapter, Mother [Borgia] stressed a life of faith and fidelity in small things. Half way through the chapter, I heard these words: I desire that you would all have more faith at the present time. How great is My joy at the faithfulness of My spouse in the smallest things. Then I looked at the crucifix and saw that Jesus' head was turned towards the refectory, and His lips were moving.
When I told Mother Superior about it, she answered, "You see, Sister, how Jesus demands that our life be a life of faith."
353 When Mother left for the chapel and I stayed to set the room in order, I heard these words: Tell all the sisters that I demand that they live in the spirit of faith towards the superiors at this present time. I begged my confessor to release me from this duty.
424 In the evening, I just about got into bed, and I fell asleep immediately. Though I fell asleep quickly, I was awakened even more quickly. A little child came and woke me up. The child seemed about a year old, and I was surprised it could speak so well, as children of that age either do not speak or speak very indistinctly The child was beautiful beyond words and resembled the Child Jesus, and he said to me, Look at the sky. And when I looked at the sky I saw the stars and the moon shining. Then the child asked me, Do you see this moon and these stars? When I said yes, he spoke these words to me, These stars are the souls of faithful Christians, and the moon is the souls of religious. Do you see how great the difference is between the light of the moon and the light of the stars? Such is the difference in heaven between the soul of a religious and the soul of a faithful Christian. And he went on to say that, True greatness is in loving God and in humility.
449 I prepared for this feast with greater zeal than in previous years. On the morning of the feast itself, I experienced an inner struggle at the thought that I must leave this Congregation which enjoys such special protection from Mary. This struggle lasted through the meditation and through the first Mass as well. During the second Mass, I turned to our Holy Mother, telling Her that it was difficult for me to separate myself from this Congregation... "which is under Your special protection, O Mary." Then I saw the Blessed Virgin, unspeakably beautiful. She came down from the altar to my kneeler, held me close to herself and said to me, I am Mother to you all, thanks to the unfathomable mercy of God. Most pleasing to Me is that soul which faithfully carries out the will of God. She gave me to understand that I had faithfully fulfilled the will of God and had thus found favor in His eyes. Be courageous. Do not fear apparent obstacles, but fix your gaze upon the Passion of My Son, and in this way you will be victorious.
481 Almost every feast of the Church gives me a deeper knowledge of God and a special grace. That is why I prepare myself for each feast and unite myself closely with the spirit of the Church. What a joy it is to be a faithful child of the Church! Oh, how much I love Holy Church and all those who live in it! I look upon them as living members of Christ, who is their Head. I burn with love with those who love; I suffer with those who suffer, I am consumed with sorrow at the sight of those whoa are cold and ungrateful; and I then try to have such a love for God that it will make amends for those who do not love Him, those who feed their Savior with ingratitude at its worst.
497 O Eternal Truth, Word Incarnate, who most faithfully fulfilled Your Father's will, today I am becoming a martyr of Your inspirations, since I cannot carry them out because I have no will of my own, though interiorly I see Your will clearly. I submit in everything to the will of my superiors and my confessor. I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus, it cannot be helped, but I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me.
500 During Holy Mass I prayed fervently that Jesus might become King of all hearts and that divine grace might shine in every soul. Then I saw Jesus as He is depicted in the image, and He said to me, My daughter, you give Me the greatest glory by faithfully fulfilling My desires.
506 "Do nothing without the consent of the superiors. One must think this matter over thoroughly and pray much. One must be very careful about these things because, in your present situation, Sister, the will of God is certain and clear, for you are in fact bound to this Congregation by vows, and perpetual vows at that; so there should be no doubt. What you are experiencing interiorly, Sister, are only the glimmerings of a project. God can make some alterations, but such things are very rare. Don't be in a hurry, Sister, until you have received more precise knowledge. The works of God proceed slowly, but if they are of Him, you will surely recognize them clearly. If they are not, they will disappear; and you, by being obedient, will not go astray. Speak frankly about everything to your confessor and obey him blindly.
"For the present, Sister, there is nothing more for you to do than accept the suffering until the time when everything will become clear; that is, all things will be resolved. You are well disposed as regards these matters, and so continue in this simplicity and spirit of obedience; this is a good sign. If you continue in this attitude, God will not allow you to fall into error. Still, as much as is possible, keep far away from these things, but if despite that they still come your way, receive them calmly and do not fear anything. You are in the good hands of a very good God. In all that you have told me, I do not see any illusion or anything contrary to faith. These are things which are good in themselves, and it would indeed be good if there were a group of souls pleading with God for the world, as we all are in need of prayer. You have a good director; stay with him and be at peace. Be faithful to God's will and carry it out. As to your duties, always do what you are told to do and as you are told to do it, no matter how humiliating or toilsome it might be. Always choose the last place, and then they themselves will say to you, `Go up higher.' In spirit and in your demeanor, consider yourself the least in the whole house and in the entire Congregation. In everything and at all times, be most faithful to God."
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.
544 The novitiate  is to last one year, without any interruption. At this time the novice should be taught about the virtues relating to the vows and about the importance of the vows. The directress should do her utmost to provide a solid formation. Let her train the novices in the practice of humility, because only a humble heart keeps the vows easily and experiences the great joys that God pours out upon the faithful soul. The novices should not be burdened with duties that entail responsibilities, so that they may be free to devote themselves to their own perfection. They are obliged to observe the rules and statutes strictly, as are the postulants.
545 After a year of novitiate, if the novice proves faithful, she may be admitted to make her profession for one year. This is to be repeated for three years. She may then be given duties of responsibility. However, she will still belong to the novitiate, and once a week she must attend conferences together with the novices, and she will spend the last six months entirely in the novitiate in order to prepare well for her solemn profession. 
Relationship of Sisters with the Superior.
567 All the sisters should respect the superior as the Lord Jesus himself, as I mentioned when speaking about the vow of obedience. They should behave toward her with childlike trust, and should never murmur or find fault with her commands, as this is very displeasing to God. Let each be guided by a spirit of faith in her relationship to superiors; let her ask with simplicity for all that she needs. God forbid that it ever happen or be repeated that any of the sisters would be a cause of sorrow or tears to the superior. Let each one know that as the fourth commandment obliges a child to honor its parents, in like manner is the religious bound to respect her superior. Only a bad religious would take the liberty of judging her superior. Let the sisters be sincere with the superior, telling her about everything and about their needs with childlike simplicity.
The sisters will address the superior thus: "With your leave, Sister Superior." They shall never kiss her hand, but whenever they meet her in the corridor or enter her cell, they should say, "Praised be Jesus Christ," bowing their heads slightly.
They shall address each other as "Sister," adding the proper name. Their relationship toward the superior should be marked by a spirit of faith and not by sentimentality or flattery, as these are unworthy of a religious and would degrade her very much. A religious should be as free as a queen, and will be such only when she lives in the spirit of faith. We should obey and respect the superior, not because she is good, holy or prudent, but solely because she represents God, and by obeying her we are obeying God himself.
635 March 25. In the morning, during meditation, God's presence enveloped me in a special way, as I saw the immeasurable greatness of God and, at the same time, His condescension to His creatures. Then I saw the Mother of God, who said to me, Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspirations of His grace! I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. I sympathize with you.
637 Confession. As I was preparing for confession, I said to Jesus, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, "Jesus, I beg You to speak to me through the mouth of this priest. And this will be a sign to me, because he does not know at all that You want me to establish that Congregation of Mercy. Let him say something to me about this mercy."
When I approached the confessional and started my confession, the priest interrupted me and started telling me about the great mercy of God, and he spoke more forcefully about it than I had ever heard anyone speak before. And he asked me, "Do you know that the mercy of the Lord is greater than all His works, that it is the crown of His works?" And I listened attentively to these words which the Lord was speaking through the mouth of the priest. Although I believe that it is always God who speaks through the lips of the priest in the confessional, I experienced it in a special way on that occasion.
Although I did not reveal anything of the divine life which is in my soul and only accused myself of my offenses, the priest himself told me very much of what was in my soul and put me under obligation to be faithful to the inspirations of God. He said to me, "You are going through life with the Mother of God, who faithfully responded to every divine inspiration." O my Jesus, who can ever comprehend Your goodness?
650 O my Jesus, my Master and Director, strengthen and enlighten me in these difficult moments of my life. I expect no help from people; all my hope is in You. I feel alone in the face of Your demands, O Lord. Despite the fears and qualms of my nature, I am fulfilling Your holy will and desire to fulfill it as faithfully as possible throughout my life and in my death. Jesus, with You I can do all things. Do with me as You please; only give me Your merciful Heart and that is enough for me.
O Jesus my Lord, help me. Let what You have planned before all ages happen to me. I am ready at each beckoning of Your holy will. Enlighten my mind that I may know Your will. O God, You who pervade my soul, You know that I desire nothing but Your glory.
O Divine Will, You are the delight of my heart, the food of my soul, the light of my intellect, the omnipotent strength of my will; for when I unite myself with Your will, O Lord, Your power works through me and takes the place of my feeble will. Each day, I seek to carry out God's wishes.
666 I understood that all striving for perfection and all sanctity consist in doing God's will. Perfect fulfillment of God's will is maturity in sanctity; there is no room for doubt here. To receive God's light and recognize what God wants of us and yet not do it is a great offense against the majesty of God. Such a soul deserves to be completely forsaken by God. It resembles Lucifer, who had great light, but did not do God's will. An extraordinary peace entered my soul when I reflected on the fact that, despite great difficulties, I had always faithfully followed God's will as I knew it. O Jesus, grant me the grace to put Your will into practice as I have come to know it, O God.
667 July 14. I received a letter at three o'clock [from Father Sopocko ]. O Jesus, You alone know what I suffer, but I will keep silent and will not say anything about it to any creature, because I know that no one will comfort me. You are everything to me, O God, and Your holy will is my nourishment. I am living now on what I will live on in eternity.
I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God's will faithfully.
678 The essence of the virtues is the will of God. He who does the will of God faithfully, practices all the virtues. In all the events and circumstances of my life, I adore and bless the holy will of God. The holy will of God is the object of my love. In the most secret depths of my soul, I live according to His will. I act exteriorly according to what I recognize inwardly as the will of God. Sweeter to me are the torments, sufferings, persecutions and all manner of adversities by divine will than popularity, praise and esteem by my own will.
683 + Once, when I was praying fervently to the Jesuit Saints, I suddenly saw my Guardian Angel, who led me before the throne of God. I passed through great hosts of saints, and I recognized many of them, whom I knew from their pictures. I saw many Jesuits, who asked me from what congregation I was. When I answered they asked, "Who is your spiritual director?" I answered that it was Father A.... When they wanted to say more, my Guardian Angel beckoned me to be silent, and I came before the throne of God. I saw a great and inaccessible light, and I saw a place destined for me, close to God. But what it was like I do not know, because a cloud covered it. However, my Guardian Angel said to me, "Here is your throne, for your faithfulness in fulfilling the will of God."
724 On the eve of the retreat, I started to pray that the Lord Jesus might give me just a little health so that I could take part in the retreat, because I was feeling so ill that I thought perhaps it might be my last. However, as soon as I had started praying I felt a strange dissatisfaction. I interrupted the prayer of supplication and began to thank the Lord for everything He sends me, submitting myself completely to His holy will. Then I felt profound peace of soul. + Faithful submission to the will of God, always and everywhere, in all events and circumstances of life, gives great glory to God. Such submission to the will of God carries more weight with Him than long fasts, mortifications and the most severe penances. Oh, how great is the reward for one act of loving submission to the will of God! As I write, my soul is enraptured at the thought of how much God loves it and of the peace that my soul already enjoys, here on earth.
734 I see that Jesus himself is acting in my soul during this retreat. And as for me, I try only to be faithful to His grace. I have submitted my soul completely to the influence of God. This Mighty Ruler of Heaven has taken entire possession of my soul. I feel that I am being lifted up above earth and heaven into the inner life of God, where I come to know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but always in the unity of majesty.
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.
1420 When I steeped myself in prayer, I was transported in spirit to the chapel, where I saw the Lord Jesus, exposed in the monstrance. In place of the monstrance, I saw the glorious face of the Lord, and He said to me, What you see in reality, these souls see through faith. Oh, how pleasing to Me is their great faith! You see, although there appears to be no trace of life in Me, in reality it is present in its fullness in each and every Host. But for Me to be able to act upon a soul, the soul must have faith. O how pleasing to Me is living faith!
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-23, 36, 55, 62, 91-92, 95, 97-98, 102)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-106-107, 111, 114-115, 129, 132, 136)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-138-139, 145, 149-150, 159, 170-171)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-189, 210, 226-227, 230, 234, 248-249)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-257, 263-264, 272, , 278, 291-292)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-300-302, 328, 331, 333, 352-353, 424)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-I-449, 481, 497, 500)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-544-545, 567, 635, 637, 650, 666-668)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-II-683, 724, 734, 742)
(Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska Notebook-V-1420)
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."