St. Faustina and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
By Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC (May 25, 2007)
A noble and delicate soul, even the most simple, but one of delicate sensibilities, sees God in everything, finds Him everywhere, and knows how to find Him in even the most hidden things. It finds all things important, it highly appreciates all things, it thanks God for all things, it draws profit for the soul from all things, and it gives all glory to God. It places its trust in God and is not confused when the time of ordeals comes. It knows that God is always the best of Fathers and makes little of human opinion. It follows faithfully the faintest breath of the Holy Spirit; it rejoices in this Spiritual Guest and holds onto Him like a child to its mother. Where other souls come to a standstill and fear, this soul passes on without fear or difficulty.
— Diary of St. Faustina, 148
On Pentecost Sunday, we read how the apostles needed the Holy Spirit to empower them to discern and act upon the will of God.
St. Faustina had a God-given inclination to totally rely on the Holy Spirit. Her Diary includes numerous references about the importance of having the Spirit involved in every facet of her existence.
The following are just a few of these excerpts that show what can happen when we rely on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In the evening during benediction, such thoughts as these began to distress me: Is not perhaps all this that I am saying about God's great mercy just a lie or an illusion...? And I wanted to think about this for a while, when I heard a strong and clear inner voice saying, "Everything that you say about My goodness is true; language has no adequate expression to extol My goodness." These words were so filled with power and so clear that I would give my life in declaring they came from God. I can tell this by the profound peace that accompanied them at that time and that still remains with me. This peace gives me such great strength and power that all difficulties, adversities, sufferings, and death itself are as nothing. This light gave me a glimpse of the truth that all my efforts to bring souls to know the mercy of the Lord are very pleasing to God. And from this springs such great joy in my soul that I do not know whether it could be any greater in heaven, Oh, if souls would only be willing to listen, at least a little, to the voice of conscience and the voice — that is, the inspirations — of the Holy Spirit! I say "at least a little" because once we open ourselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit, He Himself will fulfill what is lacking in us.
— Diary, 359
On a certain occasion, I saw a person about to commit a mortal sin. I asked the Lord to send me the greatest torments so that that soul could be saved. Then I suddenly felt the terrible pain of a crown of thorns on my head. It lasted for quite a long time, but that person remained in the Lord's grace. O my Jesus, how very easy it is to become holy; all that is needed is a bit of good will. If Jesus sees this little bit of good will in the soul, He hurries to give Himself to the soul, and nothing can stop Him, neither shortcomings nor falls — absolutely nothing. Jesus is anxious to help that soul, and if it is faithful to this grace from God, it can very soon attain the highest holiness possible for a creature here on earth. God is very generous and does not deny His grace to anyone. Indeed He gives more than what we ask of Him. Faithfulness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit — that is the shortest route.
— Diary, 291
O Jesus, keep me in holy fear, so that I may not waste graces. Help me to be faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Grant that my heart may burst for love of You, rather than I should neglect even one act of love for You.
— Diary, 1557
We are beginning an eight-day retreat today. Jesus, my Master, help me to make these holy retreat exercises with the greatest fervor possible. May Your Spirit guide me, O God, into the most profound depths of knowledge of Yourself, and of my own self as well. For I shall love You only as much as I shall come to know You. And I shall despise myself only as much as I shall come to know my misery. I know, Lord, that You will not refuse me Your help. I desire to come out of this retreat a saint; even though human eyes will not notice this, not even those of the superiors. I abandon myself entirely to the action of Your grace. Let Your will be accomplished entirely in me, O Lord.
— Diary, 1326
An ardent desire for this Feast (Divine Mercy Sunday) is burning up my whole soul. In fervent prayer for the hastening of the Feast I find some relief, and I have begun a novena for the intention of certain priests that God may grant them light and inspiration to apply for the promulgation of this Feast, and that the Spirit of God inspire the Holy Father regarding the entire matter.
The novena consists of an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. I have implored God to hasten this Feast and have asked the Holy Spirit to inspire certain people regarding this whole matter. I am finishing this novena on Holy Thursday.
— Diary, 1041
This evening, I prepared with great care and prayed long to the Holy Spirit that He might deign to grant me His light and take me under His special guidance.
— Diary, 1174
Some days ago, a certain person came to me and asked me to pray for her intention, as she had some urgent and important business. All of a sudden, I felt in my soul that this matter was not pleasing to God, and I replied that I would not pray for this intention, "but I will pray for you, in general" [I added]. A few days later, this lady came back to me and thanked me for not having prayed for her intention, but rather for her, because she had been motivated by a spirit of revenge toward a certain person to whom she owed respect and veneration in virtue of the fourth commandment. The Lord Jesus had changed her interior [dispositions], and she herself acknowledged her guilt; but was, however, surprised that I had penetrated her secret.
— Diary, 958.
Silence is a sword in the spiritual struggle. A talkative soul will never attain sanctity. The sword of silence will cut off everything that would like to cling to the soul. We are sensitive to words and quickly want to answer back, without taking any regard as to whether it is God's will that we should speak. A silent soul is strong; no adversities will harm it if it perseveres in silence. The silent soul is capable of attaining the closest union with God. It lives almost always under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God works in a silent soul without hindrance.
— Diary, 477
From this, I came to understand one thing: that I must pray much for each of my confessors, that he might obtain the light of the Holy Spirit, for when I approach the confessional without first praying fervently, the confessor does not understand me very well. Father encouraged me to pray fervently for these intentions, that God would give better knowledge and understanding of the things He is asking of me. Make novena after novena, Sister, and God will not refuse the graces.
— Diary, 647
Virtue without prudence is not virtue at all. We should often pray to the Holy Spirit for this grace of prudence. Prudence consists in discretion, rational reflection and courageous resolution. The final decision is always up to us. We must decide; we can and we ought to seek advice and light...
— Diary, 1106
Today, the majesty of God is surrounding me. There is no way that I can help myself to prepare better. I am thoroughly enwrapped in God. My soul is being inflamed by His love. I only know that I love and am loved. That is enough for me. I am trying my best to be faithful throughout the day to the Holy Spirit and to fulfill His demands. I am trying my best for interior silence in order to be able to hear His voice.
— Diary, 1828
(St. Faustina's last entry into the Diary)
Prayer of St. Faustina
O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church: Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit, and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord. Lord, give us holy priests; You yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things.
— Diary, 1052
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself soul and body to You Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, is on the staff of the Marian Seminary in Washington, D.C. He also provides spiritual direction, retreats, and seminars.
Let us pray for you. Send your prayer petitions to our Divine Mercy Intercessory Prayer Ministry. They will be placed before the Blessed Sacrament in Our Lady of Mercy Oratory.