St. Faustina’s Diary, which Jesus Christ ordered her to keep during the last four years of her life, is a kind of journal in which the author recorded current or retrospective events related primarily to the “encounters” of her soul with God.
Fr. Seraphim Michalenko served for 20 years as vice postulator for the Saint’s canonization cause & he also prepared the first edition of the Diary of St. Faustina from the original Polish manuscript, working on both the English and Spanish translations. Since the Polish Diary is the official text, there has been every effort made to be truly faithful to it, and to retain the various shades of meaning implied in the theological and spiritual terms used by (Saint) Faustina.
In the course of reading (Saint) Faustina’s Diary, 5 entries a day through the duration of a year, I have learned many things. Some entries more impactful & life-giving than others. One of these especially.
In the Year 1937, Saint Faustina wrote a particular “examen” to aide her with being united with the merciful Christ. She wrote this entry on January 1st. With it she vowed the practice of inner silence, along with the strict observance of external silence; especially in times of being wronged or persecuted by others. As a result of this she was guided to create a chart of “internal control of the soul.” Each month she was given an “examen” to meditate upon, along with an exclamatory prayer. Faustina took these “examens,” or practices, so seriously that she recorded monthly the victories & falls she experienced personally; within her attempts to adhere to each practice.
Inspired by this great act of love & my own desire to live united with Christ, through an internal control of the soul, I dedicated myself to returning back monthly to this particular entry (162) & memorizing each (monthly) practice. My hope was that in this memorization & monthly meditation upon the prescribed practice I could give my best attempt of living out the practice in my own daily life.
Not only was the exposure to these practices a great gift to me but they came during a time of my life of personal difficulty.
Having been a hospice volunteer worker for the past several years I have discovered a lot regarding suffering. I understand that there is so much to be grateful for and that too often life is dramatized as “suffering,” without the slightest realization of what it truly means to experience great pain or loss. I have witnessed so many courageous individuals maintain a great love for life despite the tremendous struggle or sorrow they must face. Love & support are two crucial components in aiding these courageous people during these moments and St. Faustina, through her simply written Diary entries, offered the love & support I needed at a low moment of my life.
It is not easy to be Christ like while being persecuted by others. (Saint) Faustina understood this and she wrote of this beautifully. These monthly “examens” helped to assure her ( in her own moments of doubt,) that she would maintain this desire to glorify God despite her human struggles.
163 (78)”as many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.”
I do not believe I was fully prepared when the monthly examen for January pierced my soul.
162 But Jesus remained silent.
How desperately had I desired to cry out against those who brought me (and those whom I love) pain. How frightened had I become that others would believe the slander being spun. How lost did I feel to witness the inhumanity of man. Yet, there was my God showing me the way. Bringing me to St. Faustina, who would be my gentle guide.
162 But Jesus remained silent.
Who knew greater how to suffer through persecution unjustly than my God? Who knew more about being mocked and judged than He? And yet…He remained silent. He carried a cross silently, which led to our salvation, so that I would know what to do to remain saved.
And that was how my heart was pierced and forever changed. No longer a desire to speak about the injustices. No longer a panic to prove mine (or those whom I love) innocence. I meditated upon those who trusted in Christ, (when all others turned away,) because they knew who He was, they knew His heart. I laid it all at the foot of His cross and have walked on silently ever since.
And with that abandoned trust I have experienced great personal victory. (Thank you, Lord.) And I have discovered those who know our hearts. (Thank you, Jesus.)
After being guided by The Conscience (monthly) Faustina concluded with a beautiful prayer. I offer a piece of that in my own conclusion of what it has meant for me to learn how to “Remain Silent.”
163 (78) I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.”
hugs n’ blessings!