Always Watchful for Divine Graces

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary, and you’ll find spiritual gems. Like this one:

One sister said to me, “Get ready, Sister, to receive a small cross at the hands of Mother Superior. I feel sorry for you.” But as for me, I rejoiced at this in the depths of my soul ... When she saw my courage, she was surprised. I see now that a soul cannot do much of itself, but with God it can do all things. Behold what God’s grace can do. Few are the souls that are always watchful for divine graces, and even fewer of such souls who follow those inspirations faithfully. (138)

Saint Faustina’s understanding of the message of Divine Mercy enabled her to live an interior life radically different from many of her fellow religious sisters. She did not allow fear to affect her, as it affects so many others, including the other religious sister mentioned in the passage above. Saint Faustina’s confidence in Christ’s love and mercy helped her to see everything that came her way, even suffering, as part of the Lord’s loving plan for her.

Many of us do not have that same attitude. We tend to worry about the future and cower when we face trials, wondering if the Lord has abandoned us. The truth is, some of our suffering is self-inflicted. Saint Faustina’s confidence in God didn’t spare her from suffering. Her trust, however, placed her in a position to receive all the graces the Lord wanted to give her amidst her trials. If we don’t trust in the Lord, if we don’t have confidence in His plan for us, we may miss out on the graces He wants us to receive and end up experiencing more suffering than He had intended us to undergo.

Saint Faustina says we need to be watchful for divine graces. God’s grace can do amazing things amidst our trials. But He can’t inspire us with His graces if we blind ourselves to them. We blind ourselves to God’s inspirations when we choose to fuel our own fears or wallow into self-pity instead of turning to the Lord in trust.

Now, we don’t always have full control over our fears. Some apprehension is only natural. We do, however, have a choice regarding how we respond to our natural, human fears. We can accept our fears as the truth about the world, the truth about us, and the truth about who God is, and let them dictate our actions. Or we can recognize those fears for what they are — lies — and let our trust in the Lord’s promises lead us.

Why do we struggle so much with fear? Our culture has taught us to have little tolerance for suffering. Our materialistic society has a pill or a remedy to give us for just about any problem we might have. Consider how socially acceptable physician-assisted suicide has become over the years. Over and over in various ways, our culture sends us the following message: When suffering comes your way, you need to do whatever you can to try and escape it by your own power.

While it’s true that suffering is an evil that God never intended for us from the beginning, Christ sends us a different message about suffering. He asks us to suffer our trials confidently, trusting that they have a purpose and that He will see us through them all. Our Lord said:

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Mt 16:24-26)

Saint Faustina never tried to “save” her own life. She let go of the control many of us long to have but can never possess. Saint Faustina trusted that whatever came her way, even great suffering, would turn out for her good and the good of others. She believed this because she believed that God is who He says He is: He is love and mercy itself, and He has designs of mercy on us. He only needs us to try our best and trust.


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Turn to any page of St. Faustina's Diary, and you'll find spiritual gems. 

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary and you’ll find spiritual gems. Like this one:


In your walk with the Lord, this is the most dangerous thing you could do.