The Book That Sparked the Divine Mercy Movement... Read more
By Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC (Oct 4, 2016)
In St. Faustina's Diary, she writes:
During these terrible moments I said to God, "Jesus, who in the Gospel compare Yourself to a most tender mother, I trust in Your words because You are Truth and Life. In spite of everything, Jesus, I trust in You in the face of every interior sentiment which sets itself against hope. Do what You want with me; I will never leave You, because You are the source of my life" (entry 24).
To possess the life of God, we must place our faith in Him — that is, rely on Him. To rely on Him means, as St. Faustina stated: trust in His words. To trust in His words means to "act" upon them. Saint Paul tells us that "faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ" (Rom 10:17). This is why Jesus told Faustina (and tells us through her): Proclaim My unfathomable mercy to the world (Diary, 1142).
Yes, act upon God's word. It is so important for everyone to know that God is all mercy, that Jesus made a great promise to all who spread the honor of His mercy: "I shield [them] through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior" (Diary, 1075).
Jesus is faithful to His promises. And so Jesus — the Divine Truth and Mercy itself — is the One upon whom we human beings are able to rely totally.
Saint Thérèse, the "Little Flower," took delight in having learned about a saying of Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, which she applied to the spiritual life and trusting in merciful Love. He, Archimedes, boldly declared: "Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the earth." That place on which to stand that will never slip or move, the immovable "fulcrum" that can always be totally relied upon, is the Divine Mercy — Jesus — our Saving Truth, established forever in God.
The adequate lever is "TRUST." Jesus said to St. Faustina: "I am making Myself dependent upon your trust: if your trust is great, then My generosity will be without limit" (Diary, 548).
In St. Faustina's Diary, the word "trust" and words derived from it are found 260 times. For instance, in her Diary entry on Good Friday of 1937, she relates that, at 3 o'clock, she prayed for the whole world and that, during this prayer, Jesus commanded her to begin a novena for the conversion of the whole world. "[S]o that every soul will praise My goodness, I desire trust from My creatures," He said. "Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy" (1059).
In 1938, St. Faustina noted in her Diary that the Lord told her to "fight for the salvation of souls, exhorting them to trust in My mercy, as that is your task in this life and in the life to come" (1452).
In response, the good Sister could confidently admit:
I feel certain that my mission will not come to an end upon my death, but will begin. O doubting souls, I will draw aside for you the veils of heaven to convince you of God's goodness, so that you will no longer continue to wound with your distrust the sweetest Heart of Jesus. God is Love and Mercy (281).
Saint Faustina became known as the daughter of great trust. Standing on the immovable fulcrum of Jesus, the Divine Mercy, she wielded the lever of trust and moved the world.
She is not only a model for us in the work of mercy, but with Mary Immaculate, the masterpiece of Divine Mercy, with St. Joseph, the patron of the work of mercy, with Blessed Michael Sopocko (Faustina's confessor), the tireless apostle of the Divine Mercy, and with St. John Paul II the Great, the Divine Mercy Pope, she is a privileged intercessor at the throne of mercy to whom Jesus gave a special carte blanche: "Do whatever you wish, distribute graces as you will, to whom you will and when you will" (Diary, 31).
That is certainly, in the words of the Letter to the Hebrews, approaching the throne of grace with "accorded right" to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (4:16).
Saint Faustina, pray for us.
Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, served as vice-postulator in North America for the canonization cause of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska.