Photo: Felix Carroll
Meet St. Faustina's Mentor: Mary
We all look for a mentor in our lives, and St. Faustina was no exception. Her mentor happened to be the Mother of God. Seeking to do God's will in her early days and throughout her life, St. Faustina was quite open and amenable to Our Lady's direction.
With October upon us, the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary, let us be inspired to draw close to Our Lady. We can see how happy Our Lady becomes when we reach out to her in prayer. Clearly, Our Lady took special delight in guiding St. Faustina to the heights of holiness and union with God.
"I am spending this time with the Mother of God and preparing myself for the solemn moment of the coming of the Lord Jesus," St. Faustina writes in her Diary (840). "The Mother of God is instructing me in the interior life of the soul with Jesus, especially in Holy Communion. It is only in eternity that we shall know the great mystery effected in us by Holy Communion. O most precious moments of my life."
We can similarly ask Our Lady to teach us how to prepare to receive Jesus in Holy Communion at Mass. We can pray and ask St. Faustina as well as the Mother of God in our evening prayers, to assist us all night long to prepare our souls, minds, and spirits to receive Him appropriately. Then, in the morning, or whenever Mass is to be celebrated, we can renew this request while walking up the aisle to receive the Eucharist.
In this manner, we hope to have our souls better prepared to receive all the graces Jesus has to offer. Upon returning to our pews, we can gratefully thank God for His willingness to be present within us. With our prayers of anticipation and completely focusing on Whom we are receiving, we can gain additional merit and all the mercies He has to offer us for that day (see Diary, 1564). We can also prepare ourselves in like manner prior to making an act of "Spiritual Communion" when we are not able to attend Mass.
Our Lady was also prominent in protecting the purity within the soul of St. Faustina. The following example reveals the degree that she intervened so that St. Faustina remained very pure and a crystal treasure for Our Lord: "Jesus appeared suddenly at my side clad in a white garment with a golden girdle around His waist, and He said to me, 'I give you eternal love that your purity may be untarnished and as a sign that you will never be subject to temptations against purity.' Jesus took off His golden cincture and tied it around my waist.
"Since then I have never experienced any attacks against this virtue, either in my heart or my mind. I later understood that this was one of the greatest graces that the Most Holy Mother Virgin Mary had obtained for me, as for many years I had been asking this grace of Her. Since that time I have experienced an increasing devotion to the Mother of God interiorly and also how to carry out His holy will in all things. O Mary, You are joy and because through You God descended to earth and into my heart" (Diary, 40).
During this month of the Holy Rosary, we can pray through the intercession of Mary that our Lord can symbolically grant us that same "golden cincture of chastity" that was given to St. Faustina, so that it may surround us and all those we know and love.
In Mary, we are given a powerful defender against all the inappropriate and repulsive things with which our senses are constantly invaded. Following the example of St. Faustina, we can overcome and achieve victory over all types of temptations (see Diary, 1560). Mary can help not only with moral issues, but assist us in overcoming our own temptation to do our own will rather than His.
We are especially encouraged to resist the temptation to believe and live out the lies we have been told in the past that continue to haunt so many of us. Whether they are lies about our capabilities or worthiness or negative characterization regarding our skin color or ethnicity. All of us have been subject to torment or mistreatment or rejection at some point in our lives. We need not allow these things to continue to overwhelm us.
We can pray the Rosary daily so that, like Mary, we can wait and be open to the visitation of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us where the lies still remain.
We need God's grace that will help us reject falsehood and accept the truth that will bring us freedom from the past and fill those dark areas with a greater knowledge of Jesus.
Let us pray with St. Faustina:
"O Mary â€¦ a terrible sword has pierced your holy soul. Except for God, no one knows of your suffering. Your soul does not break; it is brave, because it is with Jesus.
"Sweet Mother, unite my soul to Jesus, because it is only then that I will be able to endure all trials and tribulations, and only in union with Jesus will my little sacrifices be pleasing to God.
"Sweetest Mother, continue to teach me about the interior life. May the sword of suffering never break me. O pure Virgin, pour courage into my heart and guard it (Diary, 915).
Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, is on the staff of the Marian Seminary in Washington, D.C. He also provides spiritual direction, and leads retreats and seminars. Brother Leonard has a leaflet available that has a series of meditations on the five wounds of our Lord. The meditations are intended for use while praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Click here to order Contemplate My Wounds. He also has a CD available with the meditations on the five wounds, interspered with the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Click here to order A Musical Interlude.