My faith journey has been filled with many curves, hills and valleys. I have tried and questioned many of the religions and non religions throughout the years.
I was born and raised in the Catholic tradition where Jesus Christ is the savior of the world.
He who believes in the Son will have eternal life. John 3:36
Through my growth and maturity I have come to know God as love. I can not imagine that love would leave anyone behind because they could not see Jesus Christ as the savior. And because the particular religion or non religion they were born and raised in does not have this teaching.
So I question this. And I ask, how come there are so many ways to get to God? It can be confusing.
I hear these same questions from my sons as they journey with their faith. And from others who are searching in their lives.
Do you have similar questions?
Well maybe I have an answer.
I attended the Women's Commission day of reflection several months ago. It was an all day retreat with speakers, food,vendors, Holy hour and Mass.
I enjoyed it very much and was left wondering about a Saint that was mentioned in one of the talks, Saint Maria Faustina.
Who is this woman who established and taught Divine Mercy?
What is Divine Mercy?
She danced in my subconscious until I searched for her on Amazon.com (the five and dime of the 21st century, where you can find anything! So, I figured I could find a Saint there, hehe).
And I did.
Her diary is published, in paperback. There was no kindle version to my disliking, because I want it instantly and I want to save the resources of paper and gas in the creation and distribution of a paperback book.
So I waited for Saint Faustina to arrive in her time!!
I am told that we don't pick the Saint, the Saint picks us. Then I waited with excitement after hearing this because of what I might learn from her.
Someone else told me that she read her diary and it is quite boring. I thought that that might be the case because it is her diary. It has meaning to her and without being her it is hard to really understand what she was going through. Hard to feel what she was feeling or know the surrounding circumstances.
So my excitement dwindled a bit and my trust in her, since she picked me, remained high.
Saint Faustina's diary arrived and I dove right into it. I started with the introduction to get a flavor for what was inside.
She was born on August 25, 1905 and died on October 5, 1938. She lived for 33 years which is the age Jesus started his ministry, 33.
She is known as the Apostle of The Divine Mercy and is regarded as an outstanding mystic of the Church. Mysticism is the science or art of spiritual life. Mystics, those who practice mysticism, view their experience as a way of human transformation.
She was born into a poor family and spent most of her time working on her relationship with God. "She zealously went about her duties, she faithfully observed all religious rules, she was recollected and kept silent, all the while being natural, cheerful, full of kindness and of unselfish love of neighbor." 1
She states, "You know from my earliest years I have wanted to become a great saint; that is to say, I have wanted to love You with a love so great that there would be no soul who has hitherto Loved You so"( Diary 1372).
You = Jesus. And these types of conversations with Jesus are throughout the book. Most if not all of her diary entries are like prayers. Many of them are used in adoration of Jesus, in novenas and general prayers today.
I have constant conversation going on in my head with myself! Maybe I can make some good out of all that chatter by directing it toward Jesus?
Her diary is amazing and inspiring. Her devotion to Jesus is so beautiful.
The dedication page has this written:
My Daughter, be diligent in writing down every sentence I tell you concerning My Mercy, because this is meant for a great number of souls who will profit from it. (Diary 1142)
WOW! Jesus is talking back to her!!! And told her that many souls will profit from what he is going to tell her! I am HOOKED! I don't know if it is my soul or my Accountant brain that is more excited by the word profit.
I did not start reading from the beginning of the book because this passage captured my attention full stop! So I started with the diary passages that begin with the number 11 as the above passage.
Diary passages 1101- 1200 speak about how Jesus wants to save all souls. He asks Saint Faustina to teach about this desire and call it His Divine Mercy. He asked her to paint a picture of the image she saw of him. The image is in the picture above.
I moved to the beginning of the book and it contains passages about her devotions, faith struggles and conversations with Jesus.
Overall, this book tells me that Jesus is available to everyone, regardless of our birth religion. I invite you to speak with Jesus and St. Faustina in prayer. And pick up a copy of the Diary. We never know how it will speak to us and lead us in our lives!
I have a lot more of the Diary to read. I'm taking my time with it so I can ponder the words and listen for direction.
1 Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.