Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sacrament of Confession

St Faustina writes in her Diary 113..
I would like to say three words to the soul that is determined to strive for sanctity and to derive fruit; that is to say, benefit from confession.

First word - complete Sincerity and Openness. Even the holiest and wisest confessor cannot forcibly pour into the soul what he desires if it is not sincere and open. An insincere , secretive soul risks great dangers in the spiritual life, and even the Lord Jesus Himself does not give Himself to such a soul on a higher level, because He knows it would derive no benefit from these special graces.

Second word - Humility. A soul does not benefit as it should from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is willing, to probe ..the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.

Third word - Obedience.  A disobedient soul will win no victory, even if the Lord Jesus himself, in person, were to hear its confession (113)

* * * * *

(During a time of illness) Suddenly I felt sick, I gasped for breath, there was darkness before my eyes, my limbs grew numb - and there was a terrible suffocation. Even a moment of such suffocation is extremely long...There also comes a strange fear, in spite of trust. I wanted to receive the last sacraments, but it was extremely difficult to make a confession even though I desired to do so. ...

Oh, may God keep every soul from delaying confession until the last hour! I understand the great power of the priest's words when they are poured out upon a sick person's soul. When I asked my spiritual father whether I was ready to stand before the Lord and whether I could be at peace, I received the reply, "You can be completely at peace, not only right now but after each weekly confession." Great is the divine grace that accompanies these words of the priest. The soul feels power and courage for battle. (321)

"Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy. There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one's misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated.

Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of ] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God's mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late." (1448)

I feel much better today. I was glad I would be able to meditate more during the Holy Hour. Then I heard a voice: You will not be in good health. Do not put off the Sacrament of Penance, because this displeases Me. Pay little attention to the murmurs of those around you. [Sr. Faustina then recounts her unexpected suffering which occurred soon after]. I now understand the Lord's warning. I decided to call any priest at all, the next day, and to open the secrets of my soul to him....for while I was praying for sinners and offering all my sufferings for them, the Evil spirit could not stand that. (1464)

Today the Lord said to me, Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you.

I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls. (1602)

My daughter, just as you prepare in My presence, so also you make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyse what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light. (1725)

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Image of Mercy

The  Divine  Mercy

Image is not just

a picture, it is a

source of Great


From her Diary on February 22, 1931 St. Faustina wrote : “In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale...After a while, Jesus said to me, "Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You (Diary 47). I want this image…to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the feast of my Mercy (Diary 49).” He promised to her, “By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls” (Diary 570).

Jesus went on to exclaim, I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory (48). I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy (49).

But it was not until 1934 that this Image was painted by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski under the supervision of St. Faustina and Fr. Michael Sopocko her spiritual director.

On Good Friday, April 19, 1935, at three o’clock in the afternoon when Saint Faustina entered the chapel, Jesus said to her: “I desire that the image be publicly honored” (414). On the following Friday, just before the Feast of Divine Mercy, Saint Faustina’s confessor, Fr. Sopocko gave a sermon about Divine Mercy and when he began to speak about the great mercy of the Lord, the image came alive and the rays pierced the hearts of the people gathered there, but not all to the same degree. Some received so much more.
After the “original Vilnius” image had been painted it was seen for the first time in public during celebrations marking the close of the Jubilee Year of the Redemption of the World from April 26-28, 1935 at Ostra Brama (the “Dawn Gate” to the city of Vilnius). It was then hung in the corridor of a convent near the church and Jesus instructed St. Faustina, “Tell the confessor that the image is to be on view in the church and not within the enclosure of the convent that it’s in. By means of this image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it” (570).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

1935 & The Chaplet of Mercy

In September 1935 Hitler and his government announced the Nuremberg Laws by which Jews (defined as all those one-quarter Jewish or more) were deprived of their German citizenship and intermarriage with Jews became strictly forbidden. Many Jews departed Germany leaving most of their property behind.

In this same year, Karol Wojtyla,  who would later become Pope John Paul II was now just 15 years old and in secondary school.  He joined the Society of Mary in Dec 1935 and two years later he became its president.

It was into this time that the Lord Jesus dictated the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to Sister Faustina in Vilnius (Lithuania) also in 1935, as a prayer for the appeasement of Divine wrath for the atonement of our sins and those of the whole world.  

"Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet..." (Diary, 848).

"Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will" (Diary, 1731).

"Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive the grace of My infinite mercy" (Diary, 687).

"It pleases Me to grant everything souls ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother (...). Tell them that no soul which has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul that has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior" (Diary, 1541).

"At the hour of their death, I defend every soul that will say this chaplet as I do My own glory (...). When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated and his unfathomable mercy envelops the soul" (Diary, 811).