Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

The Book That Sparked the Divine Mercy Movement... Read more

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June 23 - the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

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By Elena Cambio

The sun was high in the crystalline southern California sky as I drove up the curving driveway to the Sisters of Notre Dame's mother house in Thousand Oaks. I had gladly accepted the invitation to a women's retreat and was grateful for the opportunity. After years of being away from the Church, I'd only been back a year or so. I needed a time of reflection and sharing with other Catholic women.

While the Sacred Heart of Jesus had already captivated me, I had no idea that the Divine Mercy was about to enter my life in a big way.

After freshening up in my room, I found the other women in the parlor getting acquainted over snacks. It soon became known that one of our number, a young woman (we'll call her Lynn) was an opera singer in training. Demure and sweet, Lynn was also direct and extremely comfortable with who she was: a woman who knew she was loved by the Lord.

Upon our urging, Lynn humbly agreed to sing for us. Just like that, she opened her mouth and gave us the Ave Maria, stunning us all with her emotional, yet controlled, performance. She was both talented and humble, and her whole being radiated a peaceful glow. A woman in love with God, accepting God for who God is. I thought rather wistfully, "How can I become like her?"

At the end of the retreat, Lynn came to my room as she was leaving. She said she felt moved to give me a book. The book she handed me was the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Lynn said the Diary had changed her life. Now she was giving it to me. I had heard of Divine Mercy but never really took a great interest. My devotion to the Sacred Heart was deep and seemed sufficient. Nonetheless, I was moved by her sincerity, and I graciously received her gift.

It took me nearly two years to finish reading the Diary. There was so much depth and beauty that I could only read a few pages at a time. I found myself crying at those passages referring to the love of His adorable Heart — crying for my sins and for the sins of the world, crying in gratitude that He allowed His Sacred Heart to be broken for me. That was three and a half years ago, and I can say that my life is still being transformed by Divine Mercy — the love of God incarnate poured out through the Sacred Heart of Jesus into the world for the salvation of humanity.

A non-Catholic, yet devout, Christian friend named Dawn once asked me about "all those prayers that Catholics do," referring to things like the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. She worshipped at a non-denominational Bible church and therefore had no concept of the Eucharist. And yet, she had a love for the Sacred Heart, as far as she understood it, through the image itself. (How gracious is Jesus with His mercy!) I decided to tell her about Divine Mercy and to relate it to her love for the Sacred Heart. I explained both devotions to her and then linked them this way:

Jesus loves us with an everlasting love. And He invites us to love Him and offer reparations for the outrages to His Sacred Heart. He begs us to come to Him, the ocean of Divine Mercy that is offered to people enslaved by sin and agony. We are invited to receive His mercy and to make His mercy known to the world. His love is gentle, and we are to be gentle with ourselves and with others, forgiving and serving as He taught us.


Dawn nodded her understanding and responded, "That's beautiful! Can you teach me the prayer?" I went for my wallet and pulled out the Divine Mercy Image with the Chaplet. She read through it, and tears came to her eyes. Dawn also happens to be a singer, and she was soon to become the worship leader at her church, using that soaring voice of hers to glorify God. I pray daily for her and her family, that she will be drawn to the Catholic Church and the Sacraments through her love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

How great is God's mercy, flowing from the Heart of Christ among us in the world, connecting us and helping us to love one another with the love of His Sacred Heart. Don't ever be afraid to reach out to those with whom you are feeling called to share Divine Mercy. Ask Jesus for the blessings of His Sacred Heart in all you do, to let His mercy flow through you in every situation. He will bring you to those who need Him in a special way, to spread the message of Divine Mercy.

Jesus tells us through St. Faustina: "Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy ... While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth from them" (Diary, 848).

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Maria Goretti - Jun 23, 2017

Jesus, I have trust in you!

Purnima - Jun 23, 2017

Divine Mercy breathes new life into me each day, I remain alive because of His Mercy. Amen

Lisa - Jun 23, 2017

Your story was beautifully written. I, too, am reading St. Faustina's Diary and yes, it is quite a book to read through. The Devine Mercy is new to me as well and it makes me want to learn and do more for Jesus every day.

Mike McDonough - Jun 25, 2017

Thank you, Elena,that was beautiful!
May the Message and Devotion of the Divine
Mercy go to all the earth so every one
knows about His Infinite Mercy towards
Mankind......