Times are troubling. That’s not a political statement or thought, just a fact. There seems to be nothing but division, vitriol, spite, anger, and frustration – from every side of every aisle on every topic these days. Whether it’s rallies, Twitter wars, a 24 hour news cycle with no clear message, Facebook comment box debates (that change no one’s minds), or just plain old discontent with the “state of affairs,” it seems like there’s a sense of unrest in our country.
After watching much of the news coverage of the terrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia since Friday evening, one phrase has consistently weighed on my heart and mind: “For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
This is of course a line revealed to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, one of the most popular and well-known prayers that folks around the world are praying today. In watching all the coverage, I felt the tug to pray the chaplet, which then led me to pick St. Faustina’s diary again. Her diary is the compilation of her personal spiritual journey: how she encountered Jesus and what He revealed and said directly to her, again and again, as she grew in this immense trust of His will. It is a beautiful testimony to faith, showing how trust in the Lord, especially in times of uncertainty and doubt, is absolutely essential. Here are 5 short passages from St. Faustina’s diary that can give us comfort, hope, and support during these trying, troubling, and tense times.
1. “I know very well what I am of myself, because for this purpose Jesus has opened the eyes of my soul; I am an abyss of misery, and hence I understand that whatever good there is in my soul consists solely of His holy grace. The knowledge of my own misery allows me, at the same time, to know the immensity of Your mercy. In my own interior life, I am looking with one eye at the abyss of my misery and baseness, and with the other, at the abyss of Your mercy, O God.”
Notebook 1, 56.22, written shortly after she entered religious life.
2. “My daughter, let nothing frighten or disconcert you. Remain deeply at peace. Everything is in My hands.”
Notebook 1, 219, Jesus speaking to her on the eighth day of her retreat before taking perpetual vows.
3. “If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will?”
Notebook II, 580.57, Jesus speaking to her on Christmas Day, 1935
4. “During Holy Mass, I was so enveloped in the great interior fire of God’s love and the desire to save souls that I do not know how to express it. I feel I am all aflame. I shall fight all evil with the weapon of mercy. I am being burned up by the desire to save souls. I traverse the world’s length and breadth and venture as far as its ultimate limits and its wildest lands to save souls. I do this through prayer and sacrifice. I want every soul to glorify the mercy of God, for each one experiences the effects of that mercy on himself. The Saints in heaven worship the mercy of the Lord. I want to worship it even now, here on earth, and to spread devotion to it in the way that God demands of me.”
Notebook II, 745, written on the Feast of Christ the King, October 25, 1936
5. “When pain overwhelms my soul, and the horizon darkens like night, and the heart is torn with the torment of suffering, Jesus Crucified, You are my strength.”
Notebook III, 1151.41, June 20, 1937
St. Faustina’s diary is an endless source of wisdom, filled with her heartfelt prayers to the Lord and His instructions to her, which can give us courage and strength. Pick up a copy and become familiar with it – it’s a great aid for personal prayer and a stellar resource to keep you connected to the heart of God, especially during these troubling times.