The Book That Sparked the Divine Mercy Movement The Diary chronicles God's message given through St. Faustina to the world to turn to His mercy. In it, we are reminded to t... Read more
Photo: Felix Carroll
How to Deal With Difficult Times
'I Could Not Stop Marveling at How Much God Loves Us'
By Jay Hastings (Mar 8, 2007)
Her husband had left her, and she was having problems with the kids. Teresa's life was a wreck. She was having spiritual and emotional problems dealing with everything.
Life can be difficult. Changes around us can sometimes bring confusion and emotional difficulty, especially if you are unaware of what is taking place.
I never did know the whole story. I just know that one day after evening prayer our Divine Mercy prayer group was called by Fr. Peter to pray a Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for this woman.
As some of our prayer group members gathered, we let Teresa know of the hundreds of people who pray with us. Father Peter prayed over her. Then came time for us to pray our Chaplet for the sick.
As we were praying, something unexpected happened. Teresa broke down weeping. She underwent a huge emotional release. We were unsure of what exactly was taking place, though we had a hunch that the Holy Spirit was touching her.
It makes me think of St. Faustina's experience that she shared in her Diary:
Suddenly I saw the Lord interiorly, and He said to me, Fear not, My daughter; I am with you. In that single moment, all the darkness and torments vanished, my senses were inundated with unspeakable joy, [and] the faculties of my soul filled with light. ... What I have written is very poor compared to the reality. I cannot put it in words; it seemed to me that I had come back from the other world. I feel an aversion for everything that is created; I snuggle to the heart of God like a baby to its mother's breast. I see everything differently now. ... This is a completely spiritual suffering (103-104).
Teresa didn't talk much, nor did we know the whole story. Afterwards, as everyone was leaving, I had a moment with her and started to tell her of the spiritual life and of suffering and how suffering can be valuable. I told her to read the Diary of St. Faustina and see how St. Faustina dealt with difficult times in her life.
Jesus told St. Faustina:
My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare. Never trust in yourself, but abandon yourself totally to My will. In desolation, darkness and various doubts, have recourse to Me and to your spiritual director. He will always answer you in My name. Do not bargain with any temptation; lock yourself immediately in My Heart and, at the first opportunity, reveal the temptation to the confessor. Put your self-love in the last place, so that it does not taint your deeds. Bear with yourself with great patience. Do not neglect interior mortifications. Always justify to yourself the opinions of your superiors and of your confessor. Shun murmurs like a plague. Let all act as they like; you are to act as I want you to....If someone causes you trouble, think what good you can do for the person who caused you to suffer. Do not pour out your feelings. Be silent when you are rebuked. Do not ask everyone's opinion, but only the opinion of your confessor; be as frank and simple as a child with him. Do not become discouraged by ingratitude. Do not examine with curiosity the roads down which I lead you. When boredom and discouragement beat against your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart. Do not fear struggle; courage itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us. Always fight with the deep conviction that I am with you. Do not be guided by feeling, because it is not always under your control; but all merit lies in the will. Always depend upon your superiors, even in the smallest things. I will not delude you with prospects of peace and consolations; on the contrary prepare for great battles. Know that you are now on a great stage where all heaven and earth are watching you. Fight like a knight, so that I can reward you. Do not be unduly fearful, because you are not alone (1760).
Teresa listened, then she said that she knew and understood a lot of what I was talking about in the spiritual life. It just seemed as if she had lost her way. She came back a second night to our prayer group meeting. We prayed the Chaplet again for her, only this time she remained composed. I felt that the Holy Spirit was working to repair her life as we prayed for healing and for God's will in her life.
In life, when things get difficult, we turn to many things for answers. But where we should turn first is to our Lord in humility. He Loves us very much.
In Diary entry 1292, Christ told St. Faustina: "And I thought of you before I called you into being."
Saint Faustina responded: "Jesus, in what way were You thinking about me?"
"In terms of admitting you to My eternal happiness," He said.
She wrote: "After these words, my soul was flooded with the love of God. I could not stop marveling at how much God loves us."
Teresa wrote a letter to Fr. Peter thanking everyone in the prayer group and relating the wonderful experience she had with the Lord. She also wrote how her husband came back home and they reconciled. She prays with us now and does works of mercy to help others.
As a prayer group, we don't always have to know what is going on. All we have to do is pray. God knows, and we just have to trust.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensures that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. The 24-Hour Chaplet members now consist of more than 500 people from across the United States, as well as from Mexico, Belize (Central America), Costa Rica, Canada, Philippines, Bolivia, India, Iraq, Australia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Tanzania, who are assigned an hour each day in which to pray. They pray for three things: the promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion; the sick and dying in the hour that you pray; and people about to commit mortal sin. To join the 24-Hour Chaplet, contact Jay via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone, 901-438-7772.