Brushing Up On Her Faith

By Marc Massery

This past spring, during the nationwide order to shelter in place as a result of the pandemic, C. Kay Best of Lehigh Acres, Florida, faithfully watched Masses and devotions livestreamed from the Marian Fathers’ website (TheDivineMercy.org). This experience inspired her to turn back to a book she had cherished for many years, the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. 

“I was wholly, newly inspired,” she said. “I read it 20 years ago, but now it’s sinking in more.” When she first started reading St. Faustina’s Diary those many years ago, she was so excited that she sent copies to family and friends. She even shared it with some non-Catholic friends. “It’s been a way for me to talk to Protestant friends about our Lord. Most Protestants are not interested in reading about the saints, so I tell them to just read Jesus’ words. It’s hit or miss, but I try.”

Today, C. Kay spreads the message of Divine Mercy through her love for painting. “I’m a licensed clinical social worker and therapist. But God graced me with being able to paint a little,” she said. 

In June, she painted a Divine Mercy Image on a large board and displayed it in her front yard. “I call it ‘yard art,’” she said. “My hope is that if people see it, they might be inspired to turn back to faith. … I know I’m no Michelangelo. I’m not even trained, although I did take a class years ago on iconography. But I got over my fear of self-judgment. I just paint and pray, so that’s how I painted the Divine Mercy Image.”  

C. Kay was born into her Catholic faith, but fell away as a young adult. “When I was about 31, I had a reversion and turned back to God. I had worshipped a lot in modern Christian praise churches. … But I was drawn back, totally pulled back, to the Eucharist. It was very much inspired by Divine Mercy.

“Saint Faustina is awesome. As far as how she lived, she had to put up with so much criticism. She had tremendous faith, in spite of her illness. The intimate relationship St. Faustina had with our Lord was very inspiring. That kind of intimacy is not talked about enough in the Catholic Church.”

C. Kay has painted other religious art, including images of the Blessed Mother, and displayed them in her front yard. “It’s one of the ways I can share my faith and hopefully inspire people. In this day and age, faith has kind of taken a back seat. With so many distractions in this materialistic culture, it takes a lot of work for people to hold on to their faith — until faith grabs you back. That’s the beauty of the Divine Mercy. He reaches out to us for that intimacy.”   

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