Trust, with Every Event in Our Lives
By Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC (Jan 22, 2007)
"Entrust yourself completely to My will ... In such a soul I delight."
— Diary of St. Faustina, 1487
Many years ago, there was a story told of a "wise woman" who found a precious stone in a stream while walking in the mountains. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."
When I read the Diary of Saint Faustina, which contains God's loving message of Divine Mercy as revealed to St. Faustina in the 1930s, St. Faustina reminds me of the "wise woman" in the story above. Her life reveals a complete giving of herself to God in trust.
I often feel like the person in the story who keeps coming back to the treasures — in this case, the treasures within the Diary. Through reading the Diary, I always discover something new about God, and I always go deeper in trust of Him. Though I've read the Diary front to back several times, I believe that's still not enough. For many of us, even reading all that the scriptures have to offer is similarly not enough. We keep going back for more. The spiritual treasures found in these resources will take a lifetime to understand and integrate.
Saint Faustina developed her own trust in Jesus in a manner that may prove worthy of our imitation. We read in the excerpts from her Diary how our Lord led her into the deeper waters of trust. By inference, He can also guide us in a similar fashion if we but yield ourselves to Him.
We can learn the lessons that St. Faustina acquired in her brief lifetime by meditating on the following passages from the Diary:
"...God alone arranges everything ..." (120).
"I can arrange things ..." (1147).
"You see, I can give you everything in one moment ..." (1153).
"Human plans will be thwarted, since they must conform to My will ..." (1180).
"I only remove from you the awareness of My presence and that should not be an obstacle to the carrying out of My will. I do this to achieve My unfathomable ends ..." (1181).
"...Jesus gave me to know that even the smallest thing does not happen on earth without His will. After this my soul entered into an unusual repose; I found myself completely at peace ..." (1262)
Regarding a certain failure on the part of St. Faustina, Jesus said: "If it hadn't been for this imperfection, you wouldn't have come to Me. Know that as often as you come to Me, humbling yourself and asking My forgiveness, I pour out a super-abundance of graces on your soul, and your imperfection vanishes before my eyes, and I see only your love and humility. You lose nothing but gain much ..." (1293).
"I want to hold you in My hand as a pliant tool, perfectly adapted to the completion of My works" (1359).
"Be watchful that you lose no opportunity that My providence offers you for sanctification ..." (1361).
Christ rebuked St. Faustina once for refusing her medication. He said: "My daughter, I do not like such conduct. Accept with gratitude everything I give you through the Superiors, and in this way you will please Me more" (1381).
Saint Faustina once commented on bearing life's struggles: "Nothing but ardent prayer will put it at ease. In fervent prayer the soul finds relief and, even if it wanted explanations from creatures, these would only make it more restless" (1387).
"Whatever God sends me, I accept with complete submission to His holy will ... It is through all this that my soul becomes like unto Jesus ... This is the surest way. If some other way were better, Jesus would have shown it to me. Sufferings in no way take away my peace ..." (1394).
" ... [T]he greater and the more beautiful the work is, the more terrible will be the storms that rage against it" (1401).
"... I have come to understand how all this depends on the Lord. I know that no one will touch a single hair of my head without His willing it" (1406).
"... He is bringing me to understand deeply how everything depends on His will, and how He allows certain difficulties precisely for our merit ..." (1409).
When she was enduring trials, Christ told St. Faustina: "But why at such times, do you not come to Me, the light who can in an instant pour into your soul more understanding than found in books?" (1487).
Jesus continued: "Entrust yourself completely to My will saying, 'Not as I want, but according to Your will, O God, let it be done unto me.' These words, spoken from the depths of one's heart, can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity in a short time. In such a soul I delight ... But understand that the strength by which you bear sufferings come from frequent Communions. So approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need" (1487).
"The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me ..." (1488).
In light of all these incentives to believe that God is ever in our lives, we can come to the same conclusion as a notable individual did on the eve of her death:
Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident. When seen in the light of God: That my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out and has a completely coherent meaning in God's all seeing eyes. And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of Glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me.
— Edith Stein (St. Benedicta of the Cross), Carmelite Nun, Auschvitz, 1942
Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, is on the staff of the Marian Seminary in Washington, D.C. He also provides spiritual direction, 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.