'Make Your Life as Clear as Crystal'

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

“Make your life as clear as crystal before the Lord ... Let God suffice you.” — Words of one of St. Faustina’s confessors (Diary, 55)

This week’s spiritual exercise discusses how God prepared special graces for Sr. Faustina, some difficulties she faced along her way, and the need for all Christians to unite our sufferings with those of Jesus Crucified. In addition, we learn how the grave responsibility of the Divine Mercy message and devotion weighed on Sr. Faustina’s shoulders, and discover Jesus’ invitation to her to suffer more for Him and for souls by becoming a victim soul. When the mystic gave her consent, she felt totally loved by God and in union with Him, something she couldn’t quite express. Let’s dive in!

One time, a confessor told Sr. Faustina: “Sister, God is preparing many special graces for you, but try to make your life as clear as crystal before the Lord, paying no attention to what anyone else thinks about you. Let God suffice you; He alone” (Diary, 55). We can surmise that hearing these words of reassurance was music to Sr. Faustina’s ears. This confessor’s description of a “clear as crystal” life brings to mind an image of purity and simplicity — no hidden agendas. Further, he cautioned this young sister not to get caught up in useless chatter or worry about anyone’s opinion. She should strictly and wholeheartedly seek God alone in every single thing. We might take a moment to ask ourselves if we do this. Is your life as clear as crystal? Are shadows, dirt, and smudges obscuring the brilliant light that should shine through your soul?

Rejoicing in Sufferings

Father Elter had earlier confirmed Sr. Faustina in her spiritual mission and reassured her that the revelations she was experiencing were indeed from God. At that time, the humble mystic was at peace and entering into the five months of preparation for her perpetual vows. Sister Faustina’s daily routine was a mix of prayer and work, but she was often burdened by the criticisms from a few of the older nuns who shot a number of stern gazes her way and voiced occasional cross words at her. Mother Janina Bartkiewicz, in particular, said some choice words to Sr. Faustina. Mother Janina flat out told her that Jesus didn’t have close contact with sinners like her (“a miserable bundle of imperfections!”), but only with holy people (Diary, 133). Sister Faustina was hurt, but immediately offered her pain to Jesus. She knew that criticisms and humiliations were meant to burnish and mold her into a merciful soul like her Lord Jesus. In order for her to achieve growth in holiness, it was absolutely necessary for her not to allow the pain to fester in her heart, but to immediately and wholeheartedly place it into the hands of Jesus, praying to unite her sufferings with His. Throughout her experiences both painful and joyful, she kept moving forward towards her loving Savior.

One evening, Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina when she was praying at the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Warsaw. Sister Faustina felt the presence of God fill her soul. “I prayed as I do at certain times, without saying a word.” She suddenly saw Jesus, who delivered a very sobering warning. “Know that if you neglect the matter of the painting of the image and the whole work of mercy, you will have to answer for a multitude of souls on the day of judgment.” Fear permeated the young sister’s heart and soul. She recalled, “Try as I would, I could not calm myself. ... These words cut deep into my heart” (Diary, 154). Jesus’ warning played over and over again in her mind. She felt such pressure knowing she would be responsible for countless others and not merely for herself on Judgment Day. The great mission entrusted to her from Jesus had continuously been on her mind, but Sr. Faustina believed her hands were somewhat tied since she had no real help to carry out such a task. She had been praying for a spiritual director. When Sr. Faustina was back at her convent, she wasted no time heading to the little chapel and prostrating herself on the floor before the Blessed Sacrament. “I will do everything in my power, but I beg You to be always with me and give me strength to do Your holy will; You can do everything, while I can do nothing of myself” (Diary, 154).

“A Victim Offering”

This third probation period turned out to be quite eventful. Sister Faustina was initially frightened by an invitation from Jesus. “[T]he Lord gave me to understand,” she explained, “that I should offer myself to Him so that He could do with me as He pleased.” She continued, “I was to remain standing before Him as a victim offering.” The thing that scared her most was the knowledge of her “misery.” The young mystic responded to Jesus. “I am misery itself; how can I be a hostage [for others]?” Jesus reassured her. “You do not understand this today. Tomorrow, during your adoration, I will make it known to you.” Jesus’ words sank deeply into Sr. Faustina’s soul even as she trembled. She loved her Lord with an untold passion and would do anything for Him; however, she shuddered over the intensity and reality of the situation (Diary, 135).

The next day during Adoration, Sr. Faustina encountered the great and incomprehensible majesty of God. Suddenly, God’s presence pervaded her being, and she experienced a vision before the eyes of her soul. She recalled that it was like the vision Jesus had had in the Garden of Olives. Sister Faustina saw the physical sufferings she would be called upon to bear, as well as the full scope of spiritual sufferings awaiting her, which included “false suspicions, loss of good name,” and more. She wrote, “My name is to be: ‘sacrifice.’” A cold sweat broke out over Sr. Faustina’s forehead. Jesus gave her the choice whether or not to accept the call to be a victim soul for Him. She could still be saved, and God’s graces would not be lessened if she refused (Diary, 135).

Union with God

The intensity increased in that moment and, as Sr. Faustina recalled, “I realized I was entering into communion with the incomprehensible Majesty. I felt that God was waiting for my word, for my consent.” Her spirit immersed itself in God, and she gave her fiat. “Do with me as You please. I subject myself to Your will. As of today, Your holy will shall be my nourishment, and I will be faithful to Your commands with the help of Your grace. Do with me as You please. I beg You, O Lord, be with me at every moment of my life” (Diary, 136). As soon as Sr. Faustina had consented, God’s presence pervaded her soul to such a degree that she was totally inundated with an untold happiness. Try as she might, she couldn’t describe it accurately. “I felt that His Majesty was enveloping me. I was extraordinarily fused with God.” Throughout this intense experience, Sr. Faustina saw that God was well pleased with her. She was incomprehensibly elated and drowned her spirit in Him. She was united with God! She recalled, “Aware of this union with God, I felt I was especially loved and, in turn, I loved with all my soul.” She continued. “A great mystery took place during that adoration, a mystery between the Lord and myself. It seemed to me that I would die of love [at the sight of] His glance.” Sister Faustina rested in that love and spoke much with Jesus “without uttering a single word.” Jesus said to His bride, “You are the delight of My heart; from today on, every one of your acts, even the smallest, will be a delight to My eyes, whatever you do” (Diary, 137).

Something to Ponder

Calling to mind the directives spoken by a confessor early in this chapter (“Make your life as clear as crystal before the Lord, paying no attention to what anyone else thinks about you. Let God suffice you; He alone”), and knowing that each of us has a specific mission in life, how might this apply to your own life? Can you strive to pay no attention to what anyone thinks of you? Can you open your heart fully to God’s plans for your life? Pray for the graces you need to do so.

A Merciful Action

Exercise the three degrees of mercy (deed, word, and prayer) as much as possible throughout this week. Look and pray for opportunities. Don’t give up praying to find opportunities. Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Faustina will help you. Ask them.

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

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

“Pure love is capable of great deeds, and it is not broken by difficulty or adversity ... It knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love — love, and always love.”
Diary, 140

Jesus’ words could not be clearer.