Happy feast day of St. Faustina! In her honor, we’ll be reading entries from her diary at the next Ex Libris on October 12, 2016.
A printable copy of the reading is at tinyurl.com/diarysoul.
78: Once when I was being crushed by these dreadful sufferings, I went into the chapel and said from the bottom of my soul, “Do what You will with me, O Jesus; I will adore You in everything. May Your will be done in me, O my Lord and my God, and I will praise Your infinite mercy.” Through this act of submission, these terrible torments left me. Suddenly I saw Jesus, who said to me, I am always in your heart. An inconceivable joy entered my soul, and a great love of God set my heart aflame. I see that God never tries us beyond what we are able to suffer. Oh, I fear nothing; if God sends such great suffering to a soul, He upholds it with an even greater grace, although we are not aware of it. One act of trust at such moments gives greater glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolations. Now I see that if God wants to keep a soul in darkness, no book, no confessor can bring it light.
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.
130: Nevertheless, I began to grow a bit negligent. I did not pay attention to these interior inspirations and tried to distract myself. But despite the noise and the distraction, I could see what was going on in my soul. The word of God is clear, and nothing can stifle it. I began to avoid encounters with the Lord in my soul because I did not want to fall prey to illusions. However, in a sense, the Lord kept pursuing me with His gifts; and truly I experienced, alternately, torture and joy.
131: But I will simply mention here that these various sufferings had come to a peak, and I resolved to put an end to these doubts of mine before my perpetual vows. Throughout my probation, I prayed for light for the priest to whom I was to open up my soul to its depths. I asked God that He himself would help me and grant me the grace to be able to express even the most secret things that exist between me and Him and to be so disposed that, whatever the priest would decide, I would accept as coming from Jesus himself. No matter what judgment he would pass on me, all I wanted was the truth and a decisive answer to certain questions. I put myself completely in God’s hands, and [all] my soul desired was the truth. I could not go on living in doubt any longer although, in the depths of my soul, I was so very sure that these things came from God, that I would lay down my life for this. However, I placed the confessor’s opinion above all, and I made up my mind to do as he thought best and to act according to the advice that he would give me. I looked forward to that moment which would decide the course of my actions for the rest of my life. I knew that everything would depend on this. It mattered little whether what he would say to me would be in accord with my inspirations or quite the contrary; this no longer mattered to me. I wanted to know the truth and follow it. Jesus, You can help me! From this moment, I have begun anew. I conceal all the graces within my soul and await whomsoever the Lord will send me. With no doubt in my heart, I asked the Lord himself to deign to help me during these moments, and a courage of sorts entered my soul.
140: Pure love is capable of great deeds, and it is not broken by difficulty or adversity. As it remains strong in the midst of great difficulties, so too it perseveres in the toilsome and drab life of each day. It knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love-love, and always love. Pure love never errs. Its light is strangely plentiful. It will not do anything that might displease God. It is ingenious at doing what is more pleasing to God, and no one will equal it. It is happy when it can empty itself and burn like a pure offering. The more it gives of itself, the happier it is. But also, no one can sense dangers from afar as can love; it knows how to unmask and also knows with whom it has to deal.
143: I have wasted many of God’s graces because I was always afraid of being deluded. God drew me to himself so powerfully that often it was not in my power to resist his grace when I was suddenly immersed in him. At these moments, Jesus filled me with such great peace that, later on, even when I tried to become uneasy, I could not do so. And then, I heard these words in my soul: In order that you may be assured that it is I who am demanding all these things of you, I will give you such profound peace that even if you wanted to feel troubled and frightened, it would not be in your power to do so today, but love will flood your soul to the point of self-oblivion.
147: 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 remorse to them.
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.
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.
303: Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions. And the purer our love becomes, the less there will be within us for the flames of suffering to feed upon, and the suffering will cease to be a suffering for us; it will become a delight! By the grace of God, I have received such a disposition of heart that I am never so happy as when I suffer for Jesus, whom I love with every beat of my heart. Once when I was suffering greatly, I left my work and escaped to Jesus and asked Him to give me His strength. After a very short prayer I returned to my work filled with enthusiasm and joy. Then, one of the sisters [probably Sister Justine] said to me, “You must have many consolations today, Sister; you look so radiant. Surely, God is giving you no suffering, but only consolations.” “You are greatly mistaken, Sister,” I answered, “for it is precisely when I suffer much that my joy is greater; and when I suffer less, my joy also is less.” However, that soul was letting me recognize that she does not understand what I was saying. I tried to explain to her that when we suffer much we have a great chance to show God that we love Him; but when we suffer little we have less occasion to show God our love; and when we do not suffer at all, our love is then neither great nor pure. By the grace of God, we can attain a point where suffering will become a delight to us, for love can work such things in pure souls.
390: He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart.
392: The Lord God grants His graces in two ways: by inspiration and by enlightenment. If we ask God for a grace, He will give it to us; but let us be willing to accept it. And in order to accept it, self-denial is needed. Love does not consist in words or feelings, but in deeds. It is an act of the will; it is a gift; that is to say, a giving. The reason, the will, the heart-these three faculties must be exercised during prayer. I will rise from the dead in Jesus, but first I must live in Him. If I do not separate myself from the Cross, then the Gospel will be revealed in me. Jesus in me makes up for all my deficiencies. His grace operates without ceasing. The Holy Trinity grants me Its life abundantly, by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Three Divine Persons live in me. When God loves, He loves with all His Being, with all the power of His Being. If God has loved me in this way, how should I respond I, His spouse?
1033: When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: “You can do all things.” And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him.
1157: The third is prayer and deeds of mercy, without any obligation of taking vows. But by doing this, these persons will have a share in all the merits and privileges of the whole [congregation]. Everyone in the world can belong to this group.
1158: A member of this group ought to perform at least one act of mercy a day; at least one, but there can be many more, for such deeds can easily be carried out by anyone, even the very poorest. For there are three ways of performing an act of mercy: the merciful word, by forgiving and by comforting; secondly, if you can offer no word, then pray-that too is mercy; and thirdly, deeds of mercy. And when the Last Day comes, we shall be judged from this, and on this basis we shall receive the eternal verdict.