Photo: iStockphoto.com/Andrew Johnson
Two More Mysterious Diary Passages
Dr. Robert Stackpole Answers Your Questions on Divine Mercy
By Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD (Aug 16, 2007)
Saint Maria Faustina's Diary is full of inspiring and spiritually refreshing passages about the merciful love of God. But as we all know, it also contains many mysteries. A few months ago we looked at some of these "strange" passages that are hard to interpret. Here are two more that perplex some of the readers of the Diary — myself included!
A man named Mr. Poole asked about entry 374, where Jesus says to Sr. Faustina: "From today on, do not fear God's judgement, for you will not be judged." Mr. Poole asked: "What does this mean? Jesus says in Scripture, 'No one comes to the Father but through Me.' For me that means that everyone will be judged, and at Sr. Faustina's time of death, by letting her into heaven, he judged her righteous. Or does it mean she will not be judged worthy of purgatory or hell?"
The Church's faith is that any soul that completely surrenders in faith and love to Jesus Christ is thereby fully united to Him and to His saving work — that is, to the merits of His life and passion and death — and thereby completely pardoned of all past sin and able to merit eternal life by cooperating with His sanctifying grace.
That Faustina "will not be judged" can only mean that she will in fact have fully attained this pardon and merited eternal life by the time of her particular judgment at her death. It seems to be an echo of what Jesus says in the gospel according to St. John: "He who believes [in Jesus] is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already. ... He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him" (Jn 3:18, 34).
In short, the words of Jesus in Diary entry 374 seem to be a prophecy and a promise that she will go directly to heaven upon her death, and in that sense escape divine judgment. (As you so aptly put it, Mr. Poole — that she will not be judged worthy of hell or of a time of purification in purgatory). This is something about the future that a soul can only know for sure by an extraordinary divine revelation. The Council of Trent in the 16th century put it this way: "except by a special revelation it cannot be known whom God hath chosen to Himself" (Session 6, Chapter 12).
A reader named Bob put this intriguing question to me: "Does anyone have an explanation of what the vision [in entry 1585] was about, especially [Mary's] phrase: 'I am the Mother of God of priests'?"
Honestly, I am not really sure what this vision means, nor have I read any commentator on the Diary who is very sure. In this vision, St. Faustina saw the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a golden cincture, with tiny golden stars decorating her pure white gown with golden sleeves, and a golden crown topped with golden crosses.
All the gold in which she appears brings to mind Psalms 45:10: "The Queen stands at your right hand arrayed in cloth of gold" — a scripture verse that has traditionally been recited on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.
Moreover, it is clearly Mary in her heavenly glory that is depicted in this vision, as in Daniel 12:3: "the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever."
Since she tells Sr. Faustina to "Tell the priests what you have seen," there is a message to priests implied in this vision. Perhaps the message is for priests to turn to her as their heavenly Queen and Mother. After all, through their ministry of Word and Sacrament, priests are the principle ones through whom Jesus Christ brings about the dawning of His Kingdom on the earth. But for priests to be able to do so they need the tender care of their heavenly Mother and her prayers as Queen of that Kingdom.
Our Lord entrusted all His beloved disciples — and all His priests — into the care of Mary when He said to her from the cross: "Woman, behold your son," and to St. John, "Behold your mother" (Jn 19:26-27). A priest, therefore, is not only someone who authoritatively and liturgically "represents" Jesus Christ to the Church, but someone who does so under the maternal and loving care of Mary, Queen of Heaven.
There are doubtless many more mysteries contained in this passage, and I am sure I have only scratched the surface. Perhaps some of our readers can add insights of their own?
Robert Stackpole, STD, is director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy. Got a question? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.