Like a lot of other Catholic college students I was a member of my college’s pro-life group. I distinctly remember the first time that I ever prayed in front of an abortion clinic. One prayer that my classmates and I prayed was the Divine Mercy Chaplet. In spite of my Cradle Catholic upbringing, I never prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet before then. It quickly became one of my favorite prayers.
Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska was born in Poland. From an early age she felt a strong calling to be a religious sister. On August 1, 1925, she joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Shortly after she began her novitiate, she began to receive visions of Jesus as Divine Mercy. Almost ten years later, she kept a diary about the visions of Jesus that she received.
The task that Faustina was given wasn’t always easy. One early entry in her diaries recounted an incident where one of Saint Faustina’s superiors scoffed at the young nun for her close relationship with Jesus. The older nun called Faustina delusional because “the Lord Jesus only associates in this way with the saints and not sinful souls.”
Saint Faustina taught me to always put Jesus first and to trust Him completely with my life, no matter what anyone else thinks. I know that she seems like a very intimidating kind of saint. So much of her life was filled with things we can’t even begin to comprehend. As I said before, though, we don’t have to do extraordinary things in order to be a saint.
In her Diary, Saint Faustina said:
"Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God." (Diary 1107)
College life wasn’t so easy for me. I started developing anxiety during my later college years. I graduated but didn’t have any job offers. The worst thing, though, was that after college my friends were all scattered to the winds, and it was really hard for me to find work. I had to trust that God had a plan for me. While my life is that of an everyday laywoman, I’ve come to find that like Faustina, God wants to work His way into my life through my writing. She also introduced me to the devotion of Divine Mercy, which is still my favorite way of seeing Jesus.
I hope that learning about Saint Faustina inspires you to get into Divine Mercy and that your trust in Jesus will increase.
Reflect: What is the hardest thing for you to trust Jesus with? Why?
Reflect: What are your perspectives on God’s mercy?
Act: Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet today and offer whatever you think is hardest to trust Jesus with.