Photo: Guillermo Perales Gonzalez
Where Are You God?
Today I want to share with you some thoughts on our daily trials in life and some of the writings of Saint Faustina. These quotes are taken from her Diary, pages 36-40, and the questions are taken from the Eucharistic Apostles Formation Manual, week eight.
Saint Faustina had her moments of doubt and interior struggle, and yet her deep trust in God allowed her to rise above the despair and gloom of the world. She wrote, "I put my trust in the ocean of Your mercy, and I know that my hope will not be deceived" (Diary, 69).
Her deep trust is obvious as she writes, "O My Jesus, despite the deep night that is all around me and the dark clouds which hide the horizon, I know that the sun never goes out" (Diary, 73).
Many times in our struggles and trials, we battle despair and hopelessness, but it is at these times where we must trust all the more. It is at these difficult moments that we must cling to His garment, trusting in His unfathomable mercy.
And, because of the closeness of her soul to God, she knew her frailties. It is a grace to be aware of our imperfections and impurities; many of us go through life so critical of others that we never have a clue about how many times our words and actions have hurt others, or how many times our sharp tongue has pierced the heart of a loved one.
When the bright sun shines through the windows in my home in Florida, one can occasionally see the dust floating in the air. This is caused by the refraction or bending of light as it hits the particles of dust. Saint Faustina compared our imperfections to dust when she wrote, "O Divine Sun, in Your rays the soul sees the tiniest specks of dust which displease You" (Diary, 71).
Just as every home has dust, every soul has imperfections! And yet, we look at others' dust as if to say, "I am glad my spiritual house doesn't have any dust!" We read in Matthew 7:3, "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Spiritual progress occurs when we are able to recognize our weaknesses and strive for perfection, understanding that we are all human and that God's mercy is greater than our greatest sin.
Although humans frequently deny mercy to each other, and even to themselves, God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God's mercy is constant. Even in periods of darkness — suffering, pain, rejection, and humiliation — St. Faustina had only one goal. She wrote, "If it is Your will, Lord, that I live always in such darkness, may You be blessed. I ask You only one thing, Jesus: do not allow me to offend You in any way" (Diary, 73).
Saint Faustina had her own periods of spiritual dryness, and she wrote in her Diary:
My mind became dimmed in a strange way; no truth seemed clear to me. When people spoke to me about God, my heart was like a rock. I could not draw from it a single sentiment of love for Him. When I tried, by an act of the will, to remain close to Him, I experienced great torments, and it seemed to me that I was only provoking God to an even greater anger. It was absolutely impossible for me to meditate as I had been accustomed to do in the past. I felt in my soul a great void, and there was nothing with which I could fill it. I began to suffer from a great hunger and yearning for God, but I saw my utter powerlessness. I tried to read slowly, sentence by sentence, and to meditate in this way, but this also was of no avail. I understood nothing of what I had read (Diary, 77).
Each one of us has periods in our life where we wonder, "Where are you God?" or "Do You really exist?" It is these dry spells that allow us to grow in holiness, and allow our spiritual roots to grow deeper and closer to Him. So if you are one who is struggling to find God and speak intimately with Him, go to a quiet place — that is, the quiet recesses of your heart — and speak to Him. Imagine yourself as like a little child, sitting on the lap of a loving Father, and tell Him your needs and concerns.
And above all, know that God is a God of love and mercy. Humble yourself and come back to Him, as He is waiting with open arms.
Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Learn how to start a Divine Mercy cenacle in your area by clicking here.