Let God Push Your Boat Out Into the Deep Waters

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

“Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”

— Luke 5:4

It’s not uncommon to get a bit too comfortable staying the same, day in and day out. Yet we always need to be moving forward in the spiritual life. Otherwise, we will become worse than stagnant. We will slide backwards. In addition to striving to grow spiritually, sometimes God beckons us to venture out into the deep. What are we going to find in deeper waters? Let’s take a look in this week’s spiritual exercise! Ready? Set? Let’s dive in!

Week 48

Jesus told Simon Peter, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Lk 5:4). Simon Peter and the other disciples who were seasoned fisherman were accustomed to fishing in the shallow waters of the Sea of Galilee at night. In this particular instance, the fishermen had toiled all night and had nothing to show for it. Now, during the light of day, after preaching in the boat, Jesus asks Simon Peter to set out into the deeper waters for a catch. Though skeptical, Simon Peter obeyed Jesus and was astounded at the miraculous, bountiful catch that actually tore at the once-empty nets. Suddenly, embarrassed at his unworthiness, he dropped to his knees before Jesus, who reassured His disciple, saying, “Do not be afraid” (Lk 5:10), and that soon Simon Peter would become a fisher of men! The fishermen left their nets behind to embrace a new lifestyle, following Jesus and becoming His disciples, completely detached from the world.

One time, early on in her religious life, Sr. Faustina’s spiritual director Fr. Andrasz told her, “Let God push your boat out into the deep waters, toward the unfathomable depths of the interior life” (Diary, 55). Saint Faustina did not comment in her Diary about this particular piece of spiritual counsel. However, it is very obvious that she took this wise instruction straight to heart. Allowing God to push her boat out into deep waters meant having total trust in Him, and submitting to His holy will. She kept moving forward on her rich spiritual journey. At times, it was like floating on tranquil waters and being pushed by God into deeper waters. But most times, it was arduous work rowing against stormy waves and intense winds in her spiritual life.

The young, determined novice once wrote, “Sorrow will not establish itself in a heart which loves the will of God. My heart, longing for God, feels the whole misery of exile.” Yet what did she do when her heart felt that way? She said, “I keep going forward bravely — though my feet become wounded — to my homeland and, on the way, I nourish myself on the will of God.” That is her secret, for sure — to continually nourish herself on the will of God. To do so, one must surrender to God’s holy will, as well as to wholeheartedly embrace it. She had to work diligently and choose to move forward in faith, even when doing so was strenuous. Sister Faustina continued, “It is my food. Help me, happy inhabitants of the heavenly homeland, so that your sister may not falter on the way.” She knew she needed the strength available through the intercession of the saints and angels — as do we. She wrote, “Although the desert is fearful, I walk with lifted head and eyes fixed on the sun; that is to say, on the merciful Heart of Jesus” (Diary, 886).

Saint Faustina Lived for Holy Church

Jesus told His bride, “Be watchful that you lose no opportunity that My providence offers you for sanctification” (Diary, 1361). She endeavored never to waste one drop of suffering or sacrifice. She united it all to Jesus so that His holy will could be accomplished through His little instrument. Sister Faustina completely trusted Jesus to show her the way. She wrote, “Whatever God sends me, I accept with complete submission to His holy will. ... It is through all this that my soul becomes like unto Jesus. ... This is the surest way. If some other way were better, Jesus would have shown it to me. Sufferings in no way take away my peace” (Diary, 1394). Another time, she wrote, “He is bringing me to understand deeply how everything depends on His will, and how He allows certain difficulties precisely for our merit, so that our delity might be clearly manifest. And through this, I have been given strength for suffering and self-denial” (Diary, 1409). During Holy Mass on a First Friday, Sr. Faustina was united to God. She wrote, “Jesus gave me to know that even the smallest thing does not happen on earth without His will. After this my soul entered into an unusual repose; I found myself completely at peace ...” (Diary, 1262).

Sister Faustina had grown in God’s love and mercy, and desired to fully carry out every bit of the mission entrusted to her. She prayed:

O my God, I am conscious of my mission in the Holy Church. It is my constant endeavor to plead for mercy for the world. I unite myself closely with Jesus and stand before Him as an atoning sacrifice on behalf of the world. God will refuse me nothing when I entreat Him with the voice of His Son. My sacrifice is nothing in itself, but when I join it to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it becomes all-powerful and has the power to appease divine wrath. God loves us in His Son; the painful Passion of the Son of God constantly turns aside the wrath of God (Diary, 482).

The young mystic was very aware of her duty to “live ... for the entire Church,” pray to save souls, and make continual efforts to grow in holiness with the practice of virtues, as well as to suffer much and silently, all for the good of souls:

I am striving for sanctity, because in this way I shall be useful to the Church. I make constant efforts in practicing virtue. I try faithfully to follow Jesus. And I deposit this whole series of daily virtues — silent, hidden, almost imperceptible, but made with great love — in the treasury of God’s Church for the common benefit of souls. I feel interiorly as if I were responsible for all souls. I know very well that I do not live for myself alone, but for the entire Church (Diary, 1505).

She continually allowed God to push her boat into deep waters, even when her health was deteriorating.

Something to Ponder

Jesus said to His bride Faustina, “Be watchful that you lose no opportunity that My providence offers you for sanctification ... .” What could these words mean to your soul? Can you be open to daily opportunities to grow in holiness through inconveniences and splinters from the Cross? Also, St. Faustina’s spiritual director encouraged her to “[l]et God push your boat out into the deep waters.” Take time this week to ponder how God might be asking you to allow Him to push your boat out onto deeper waters. Try to make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament if you are able. Or do what St. Faustina often did. Take a “spiritual flight” to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament when you are not able to visit Him at church. Sister Faustina wrote, “When I steeped myself in prayer, I was transported in spirit to the chapel” (Diary, 1420). Wherever you are, lift your heart to Him often!

A Merciful Action

Let God move your boat out into the deep waters in your moving beyond your comfort zone to offer your works of mercy this week. Countless souls could benefit from your works of mercy. Pray to be attentive to the opportunities. Pray to grow in virtue and to be a generous giver. Also, be sure to pray for the souls of sinners, the dying, and the souls in Purgatory.

A PRAYER OF MERCY FOR THIS WEEK

(To be prayed each day this week.)

Dear Merciful Jesus, thank You for

Your great love for me.

Use me to spread Your love to others.

Mother Mary, guide me please.

Saint Faustina, please pray for me.

Jesus, I trust in You! Amen.

You can order 52 Weeks with St. Faustina by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle here:

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Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

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