St. Faustina and the Meaning of Mercy

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  Episode Transcript  

One

Who is St. Faustyna?

Jesus asked St. Faustyna to begin a Novena to the Divine Mercy on Good Friday and concluding on the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. But first, it is important to get to know St Faustyna, for she is a close friend of mine.

Faustyna was born on August 25th, 1905, in Poland. From the age of seven she heard the definite call of God to become a religious sister, however, she writes, “I was not always obedient to the call of grace.” And sadly she relates: “I came across no one who would have explained these things to me.” At 17 she begged her parents for permission to enter the convent. She got a flat refusal. So she turned herself over to the vain things of life, paying no attention to the call of grace…Even though she found no satisfaction in things of the world. 

“When she was 18 - she was at a dance (probably in Lodz – pronounced “wooj”) with one of her sisters. About what happened next she writes: While everybody was having a good time, my soul was experiencing deep torments. As I began to dance, I suddenly saw Jesus at my side, Jesus racked with pain, stripped of His clothing, all covered with wounds, who spoke these words to me: "How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?" At that moment the charming music stopped, (and) the company I was with vanished from my sight; there remained Jesus and I.”

Jesus could say the same thing to me, “Michael, how long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting me off?” 

Two

Entrance to Religious Life 

Immediately after Jesus appeared to Faustyna at the dance, She slipped out unnoticed, leaving her sister and her friends behind, and went straight to the Cathedral. Falling prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament, she begged God to tell her what to do next. Then she heard these words, “Go at once to Warsaw; you will enter a convent there.”

She went home, confided to her sister what took place within her soul and asked her sister to say goodbye to her parents. Then, in her one and only dress, with no other belongings, she hopped a train to Warsaw. When she got off the train she was overcome with fear. Not knowing what to do next she prayed, “Mary, lead me, guide me.”

Ultimately, Jesus and Mary led her to the convent of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw.

From 1925 until her death in 1938, she lived what looked like an ordinary life of a nun as a cook, gardener, and door-keeper. Except for this, Jesus, Mary, her Guardian Angel, St. Michael, and many saints and souls in purgatory as well as demons, visited and spoke with Faustyna on a continual basis. 

For example, in her diary from September 29th, 1936, she writes, “On the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, I saw by my side that great Leader, who spoke these words to me:  “The Lord has ordered me to take special care of you.  Know that you are hated by evil; but do not fear – “”Who is like God!‟ “ And he disappeared.  But I feel his presence and assistance.” (Diary 706)

Three

Her mission 

Jesus gave Faustyna the mission of telling the whole world about His infinite Goodness and encourage them to trust in His Mercy before the Day of Justice arrives.

The Day of Justice doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world, it could mean the end of this age, but it certainly means the Day of Justice otherwise known as our particular judgment that we will face at our death.

Jesus said to Faustyna, “I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My merciful Heart…Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy.” (Diary, 1588). 

To accomplish this mission Jesus commanded Faustyna to keep a diary of all their conversations, calling her the secretary of his Mercy. 

At one point, Faustyna threw the Diary in the fireplace and burned it because she feared she was being deceived by the devil. But Jesus ordered her to rewrite it. He would at times read the notebooks and then say, “You have not written everything in the notebook about My goodness towards humankind; I desire that you omit nothing.” (459) 

The Diary reveals a deep personal friendship between Jesus and Faustyna. As I read the Diary, I too was drawn into a deep friendship with Christ. If you read the Diary prayerfully, I’m sure the same will happen to you.

Four

God wants to give you His Mercy.

We say, “Yes, yes, I know that, but I need to get my act together, clean myself up, and make myself a better person, then I can go to God and He will give me His Mercy.”

No, that is totally backward! 

We are relying on ourselves to do what is impossible. 

Holiness means God living in you, God transforming you, God acting through you. Yes, we must cooperate, but we can’t give ourselves the divine life. We can’t make ourselves like God. Only God can do this for us.

That’s why Jesus said to St. Faustyna, “Tell all people that I am Love and Mercy itself.” 1074

Stop trying to do this on your own. Receive Jesus in the Eucharist and then assimilate Him in prayer and cooperate by doing what He inspires you to do through your resolution and the duties of your life. 

Jesus is constantly begging us, “Let Me do it.” The question is, when will we?

Five

Day Four of the Novena to Divine Mercy 

1216 Today bring to Me the pagans and those who do not yet know Me.  I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart.  Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.   

1217 Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world.  Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You.  Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart. 

May the light of Your love Enlighten the souls in darkness; Grant that these souls will know You And, together with us, praise Your mercy. 

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate heart of Jesus.  Draw them to the light of the Gospel.  These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You.  Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages.  Amen. 

Divine Mercy Chaplet

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; 
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, 
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. 
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; 
He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. 
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. 
Amen.”

Our Father

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

Hail Mary 

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

On the Our Father beads pray:

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

On the Hail Mary beads, you will pray: 

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.” 

In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: 

“Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Invite others to pray with you this Lent. Share the Rosary and win a trip to Poland!

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