Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Faustina, the beautiful soul to whom God entrusted the spreading of the message of His Divine Mercy. She is no doubt preparing to work overtime during this upcoming Year of Mercy which begins on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, as called for by Pope Francis.
Her feast day comes just a few days after that of St. Therese. St. Faustina had a special relationship with St. Therese, even dying with a picture of Therese by her bedside. As a novice, St. Faustina had prayed a novena to St. Therese who then appeared to her in a dream and assured her that she would become a saint like Therese but first had to learn how to trust in God more.
St. Therese’s Little Way and the message of Divine Mercy entrusted to St. Faustina have at the heart of them spiritual childhood. We simply cannot love God with our whole hearts or fully trust in His Mercy if we are hiding ourselves from Him. We hide ourselves when we avoid confession or withhold sins while in confession, when we despair about sins of the past, or settle for hanging our happiness on an easier-to-attain pleasure.
Ironically, the process of becoming little can feel overwhelming! Where to start? How low do we go? We can wonder: am I being childlike or simply childish? Fortunately for us as the leaves burn bright in October so do so many powerful saints in their eagerness to help us to heaven. Let’s call on these sister saints to help us learn not how to be just like them, but how to live the messages of Divine Mercy and the Little Way in our own lives, in our own way, as God wants us to.
For a longer reflection on these two saints, the unity of their messages, and how we can live those messages in our own lives, check out this article by Father Angelo Casimiro, MIC for The Divine Mercy.
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.
–Diary of St. Faustina, 1541
Copyright 2015 Meg Matenaer.
Photo by levischouten (2013) via Morguefile.