Grace of Union with God

The following is an excerpt from the Marian Press book 52 Weeks with St. Faustina by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle:

"Grace of Union with God “God, who is Light itself, lives in a pure and humble heart, and all sufferings and adversities serve but to reveal the soul’s holiness.” — Diary, 573


On the outside, no one would suspect that the young nun was a mystic who had been given a great prophetic mission by God. They would not know that she was often in mystical communion with Jesus and Mary even as she carried out her duties, acting as if nothing extraordinary was going on. In this week’s spiritual exercise, let’s delve into the complex mystery of grace in the life of St. Faustina, who to all outward appearances, was a simple and poorly educated nun of the “second choir.” Her seemingly very ordinary life concealed an astonishing depth of union with God. Let’s dive in!

While experiencing many extraordinary graces and reaching the heights of union with God, the humble young nun kept her nose to the grindstone. She humbly lived obedience and turned industriously to the tasks at hand, never letting on to the wider world that she was in a state of mystical union with God. All throughout her Diary, Sr. Faustina expresses her love of God. We can read in the introduction to her Diary (pg. xvi), “Her entire life was concentrated on constant striving for an even fuller union with God and on self-sacrificing cooperation with Jesus in the work of saving souls.” Sister Faustina told Jesus, “My Jesus, You know that from my earliest years I have wanted to become a great saint; that is to say, I have wanted to love You with a love so great that there would be no soul who has hitherto loved You so” (Diary, 1372).

Reading the Diary, one will perceive the depths of Sr. Faustina’s spiritual life and the high degree of her soul’s union with God, as well as the many times that God keeps company with His bride. Her Diary is filled with records of the many graces she received, as well as her great efforts, continual sufferings, and struggles all along the path to Christian perfection.

One time, she wrote, “I know well, O Lord, that You have no need of our works; You demand love. Love, love and once again love of God — there is nothing greater in heaven or on earth. The greatest greatness is to love God; true greatness is in loving God; real wisdom is to love God. All that is great and beautiful is in God; there is no beauty or greatness outside of Him. O you sages of the world and you great minds, recognize that true greatness is in loving God! Oh, how astonished I am that some people deceive themselves, saying: There is no eternity!” (Diary, 990). Sister Faustina’s simple words are beautiful and heartfelt, especially her sentiment, “The greatest greatness is to love God.” She was always concerned for the souls of the lost. She prayed fervently for them and felt sorry for the ones who didn’t believe in eternity.

Sister Faustina explained a certain peace that may be experienced in the spiritual life if a soul is united to God. She wrote, “[I]f a soul loves God sincerely and is intimately united with Him, then, even though such a soul may be living in the midst of difficult external circumstances, nothing can disturb its interior life; and in the midst of corruption, it can remain pure and unsullied; because the great love of God gives it strength for battle, and God also protects in a special way, even in a miraculous way, a soul that loves Him sincerely” (Diary, 1094).

Many times, Sr. Faustina wrote that she simply could not explain the mysteries of God and what happened in her heart and soul when experiencing them. At other times, Sr. Faustina attempted to explain union with our Lord, writing things such as: “God approaches a soul in a special way known only to himself and to the soul. ... Love presides in this union, and everything is achieved by love alone. Jesus gives Himself to the soul in a gentle and sweet manner, and in His depths there is peace. He grants the soul many graces and makes it capable of sharing His eternal thoughts. And frequently, He reveals to it His divine plans” (Diary, 622).

A Chosen Soul

Jesus told Sr. Faustina about His chosen souls and how they transform the world. “Chosen souls are, in My hand, lights which I cast into the darkness of the world and with which I illumine it. As stars illumine the night, so chosen souls illumine the earth. And the more perfect a soul is, the stronger and the more far-reaching is the light shed by it. It can be hidden and unknown, even to those closest to it, and yet its holiness is reflected in souls even to the most distant extremities of the world” (Diary, 1601).

Jesus said His chosen souls are few, but they actually sustain the world! He said, “Your great trust in Me forces Me to continuously grant you graces” (Diary, 718). He also said:

[T]here are souls living in the world who love Me dearly. I dwell in their hearts with delight. But they are few. In convents too, there are souls that fill My Heart with joy. They bear My features ... . Their number is very small. They are a defense for the world before the justice of the Heavenly Father and a means of obtaining mercy for the world. The love and sacrifice of these souls sustain the world in existence (Diary, 367).

Sister Faustina wrote, “Nothing disturbs my union with the Lord, neither conversation with others nor any duties; even if I am to go about settling very important matters, this does not disturb me. My spirit is with God, and my interior being is filled with God, so I do not look for Him outside myself. He, the Lord, penetrates my soul just as a ray from the sun penetrates clear glass.” She then went on to compare her union with her mother in utero and her union with God. “[B]ut here [with God], it is fullness of reality and the consciousness of union. My visions are purely interior, but the more I understand them, the less I am able to express them in words” (Diary, 883).

Sister Faustina was so united to God that she felt His presence physically. She thought no one could possibly understand it. She once wrote, “Love was becoming purer and stronger, and the Lord brought my will into the closest union with His own holy Will. No one will understand what I experience in that splendid palace of my soul where I abide constantly with my Beloved. No exterior thing hinders my union with God” (Diary, 582). Though she was a chosen soul, she still needed to practice self-denial in order to move her will to follow God’s holy will. Graces and blessings didn’t just fall into her lap. She had to cooperate with God’s grace and listen to her Lord very attentively. As Mother Teresa has said, real love costs us something. Real love often “hurts.” Because of the love she had for Jesus and for souls, Sr. Faustina willingly suffered physically from illness and spiritually from doubt and the other struggles of the dark night. Yet she knew that the struggles were necessary to bring about the conversion of sinners, and she was willing to make the sacrifices that that entailed. Jesus told Sr. Faustina, “[E]very conversion of a sinful soul demands sacrifice” (Diary, 961). Sister Faustina chose to wholeheartedly trust God, and therefore, He granted her additional graces. As mentioned above, He explained the importance of trust in enabling a soul to acquire His graces. Grace builds upon grace.

Though Sr. Faustina received many graces and gifts meant to glorify God (such as a hidden stigmata, visions, revelations, bilocation, levitation, the gift of contemplation, reading human souls, a gift of prophesy, deep knowledge of God’s mercy and of the Blessed Trinity, and mystical espousal), she knew what was most important. “Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. ... My sanctity and perfection is based upon the close union of my will with the will of God” (Diary, 1107). Sister Faustina’s great gifts and graces were only known to her confessors, but occasionally, someone would witness one of them. For instance, one day Sr. Kajetana Bartkowiak came to visit the secret mystic. When Sr. Faustina didn’t answer the door, Sr. Kajetana let herself in. To her astonishment, Sr. Faustina was levitating over her bed, gazing into the distance. She came to and greeted her fellow sister, acting as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. When Mother Irena Krzyżanowska got wind of this from Sr. Kajetana, she forbade her to speak of it.

Something to Ponder

Each and every one of us has a distinct mission from God. We might not yet fully realize what it is. Yet we should be quite certain that we are all called to holiness. We are called to be a beacon of light in this darkened world. Without question, we need to possess the virtue of humility in order for God to work through us so that we can help illuminate the darkness. Also, for true happiness and peace in this life and the next, we need to be obedient to God’s holy will for us. As mentioned above, Jesus told His bride Faustina that there were no other souls with whom He was united as closely, precisely because of her deep humility and the ardent love she had for Him. Take time this week to ponder Jesus’ great love for you, as well as what steps you can take to love Him more ardently and trust Him more completely with a humble heart. Remember what He said about the effect these souls have on the world, even if in a hidden way!

A Merciful Action

Carry out your works of mercy this week with the most humble heart. Pray to love Jesus within each person who receives your works of mercy. Ask Jesus and Mary for the graces. Remember, Jesus tells us, “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of the family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).


(To be prayed each day this week.)

Dear Merciful Jesus,

I love You with all of my heart.

Thank You for Your great love for me.

Help me to love You more and to show Your love to all I meet.

Mother Mary, please keep me close to your Immaculate Heart.

Saint Faustina, please pray for me.

Jesus, I trust in You!




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