This special diary was dictated by Jesus himself and written by St Faustina. Whilst writing it she encountered many problems. In one incident, while her confessor Fr Michael Sopoćko was on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she saw an angel and he said “What are you doing writing this diary? You are writing this because of your pride, burn it up.” After she did so; it became apparent that the fallen angel had been Satan himself.
When her confessor returned from his pilgrimage he ordered St Faustina to recall and rewrite the diary and this is the reason why it was written again from 28 June 1935. In his writings Blessed Fr Michael Sopoćko said “I directed Sr Faustina to rewrite the destroyed content of the diary as a penance. And yet, at the same time she was having new experiences. That is the reason why there is no chronological order in her notebooks. Being uneducated she made spelling mistakes, however her handwriting was neat and meticulous, a gift from the Holy Spirit.”
Why did Satan command her to burn the diary? Because he hated it - making this a very precious book. It carries the message of the power of God’s Mercy. The fallen angels remind us that this is a special gift, which should prompt us to appreciate the Diary of St Faustina.
I know some people who have come back to Christ because they have read the Diary. Although they were interested in the spiritual life they did not practice their Catholic faith. However, when they started to read the Diary, Jesus touched their hearts and they came back to Him. I also know of several nuns from Our Lady of Mercy who became sisters because they read the Diary. It helped them discover their vocation for the religious life. We should appreciate the Diary for its power to evangelise.
St Faustina complained “My Jesus you see that I do not know how to write well. On top of this, I do not even have a good a pen and often it scratches my notebook badly. Because of this I have to write sentences together one letter at a time. So the sisters could not see me writing, I have to shut my notebook suddenly every few minutes making the ink smear. Then I have to listen patiently to one of the sister’s stories and I often have difficulty keeping secrets from the sisters.”
I knew some sisters who knew St Faustina, they said she was very normal and ordinary and they did not know she was writing a diary, she kept it to herself and hid it. As a result, imagine how surprised they were to find out about it after her death.
One Sister testified, “One day I took her evening meal to her cell when she was sick, and entering her cell I heard the rustling of papers behind her curtain. I remarked jokingly saying ‘So sister are you writing your life story that you are having to hide your papers so quickly? St Faustina responded with a smile – ‘Perhaps, perhaps’.”
One difficultly was for her to convey and describe what was growing substantially in her soul - the union with God. It is not easy to put into words how one feels when they are in love. You can describe feelings and can say ‘I am in love with this person’ if you are in love, but you cannot describe what is going on in your heart, it is beyond your control.
St Faustina is in heaven and has answered our questions by giving us the Diary. Read the promises in the Diary often and it will increase our trust and faith.
Each time we read the Diary we should begin with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, which is so important. Secondly we should locate the promises from Jesus. They relate to the Divine Mercy forms of devotion. Fr Sopoćko asked St Faustina to write down the promises of Jesus in one of her letters to him. The Bible is full of promises and so is the Diary.
Why do I say the chaplet? Saying the chaplet every day I know how many people will benefit from it. When we pray, a lot of people will receive many graces. It was guaranteed by Jesus in the Diary in his promises. We must hold on to the promises of Jesus.
The messages from Jesus were addressed to St Faustina and to the whole world. The prayer ‘O blood and water’ was given to St Faustina only. The chaplet itself is for the whole world and with it is attached so many promises. In the Diary you can find many prayers written by St Faustina, however, the chaplet is the first prayer dictated by Jesus.
The second is ‘Jesus I trust in You’ this is a short and powerful prayer. When you find it difficult to pray and cannot concentrate with so much going on in your mind and heart, say this short prayer. It is very easy to say, ‘Jesus I trust in You’. Students often say this prayer before their exams.
Without the words ‘Jesus I trust in You’, it does not create the right image of Him. Never forget the words are at the bottom of His image; if we are low or depressed we look down naturally, then we will pray to Jesus and He will come and help us. When you look at His image even if you are an unbeliever, you end up looking at the whole image and see the words ‘Jesus I trust in you’, therefore by reading this, you are in fact praying. This is a prayer card, not just a photo of Jesus,.
It was not easy when Jesus dictated the chaplet to her – she had to remember the words and write them down. Her confessor asked St Faustina to ask Jesus again for confirmation. Nothing is unnecessary in the chaplet. Each word is so precious. We say ‘Eternal Father’ - it is the close union with the Son of the Father.
This is the second most popular prayer after the Rosary. If you are in love with God, you can make your own prayers to God to express how you feel. The Diary can also be used like a good prayer book. For example, if you want to pray in order to praise God, go to page 1007, the prayer of grace is the prayer of thanksgiving.
In the Diary you can find an alphabetical list of the words you are looking for. One can find quotations on many subjects including; the love of God, trust, humility, the Eucharist, the Blessed Mother Mary, silence, the prayer of grace, the prayer of thanksgiving, darkness, pain and suffering.
In the Spirit St Faustina was taken into heaven, purgatory and hell and there is a great teaching in the Diary about confession.
Many people find it difficult to go to confession. When you go to confession, know that Jesus said “I am only hidden by a priest, but I act in your soul. It does not matter to which priest you go to.” Jesus said “I act in your soul”. St Faustina was looking for a wise and humble priest to convey the will of God for her.
Jesus understands how we feel, He knows it can be difficult for us to go to confession because of our feelings of shame. The fallen angel wants us to feel this way. We should pray and have trust before we go to confession. Jesus is inviting people to come, He was firm when he said to Sr Faustina. “Pray for souls that are afraid to come to the tribunal of my mercy, my child do not fear the God of my mercy. My holiness does not prevent me from being Merciful. Come with trust to draw graces from this fountain of mercy. I never reject a contrite heart.” When we are not proud about ourselves and we do not compare ourselves to other people or even other Catholics, we should be humble and objective and if we feel better it is due to the grace of God.
It is not easy to understand that we are forgiven, we sometimes still feel guilty. I remember a lady who had not been to confession for a long time; after receiving absolution she could not believe she had been forgiven. I said “You do not have to trust in me but listen to the words of God” and I quoted “I shall forgive their guilt and I never will call this sin to mind again, grace is always greater. God threw all our sins to the bottom of the sea of mercy”. God wants to save souls and does not want one person to go to hell. After receiving absolution we want to live a holy life and not sin again and have a sensitive conscience.
When I sin, I crucify my Lord. I call to mind the words of the hymn ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord’. Yes, I was there as a sinner. I encourage and recommend you to go to confession frequently, once a month if you can so that you build up a relationship with God in a sacramental way.
Oh Jesus how sorry I feel for poor sinners. Jesus grant them contrition and repentance. Remember your own sorrowful passion, do not reject sinners. Father of great mercy I desire that all hearts turn with confidence to your infinite mercy. Lord Jesus have mercy on us and the whole world. Jesus I trust in you. Amen.
Fr Peter Prusakiewicz CSMA