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Checkered Opening to Diary Was All in God's Plan

How the Devil Tricked Himself and Helped St. Faustina

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Why does the first part of St. Faustina's Diary read so jumpily? We have the devil to thank, thank God. It's an amazing story, which includes the burning of the Diary by none other than St. Faustina herself.

Not long after she began writing her Diary, St. Faustina's confessor, Fr. Michael Sopocko, went away for a month-long pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

"During that time," says Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, "a brilliant angel visited St. Faustina. The angel told her to burn what she had written. She obeyed. When Fr. Sopocko came back and said it was time he looked at the Diary so he could judge the progress she was making, St. Faustina said she had burned it. Father asked her why, and she told him an angel told him to do it. At that moment, she realized it wasn't an angel; it was the devil in bright clothing."

Determined to overcome this setback, Fr. Sopocko told St. Faustina to start writing all over again.

"He told her to write whatever she could remember," said Fr. Seraphim. "She did that, and Fr. Sopocko in his witness says that she left out of the second version very much of what was in the first version, especially about her childhood. That's why in the first part of the Diary you have such a mixture of material and you cannot follow it chronologically."

Actually, said Fr. Seraphim, this contributes to its effectiveness. The Diary certainly reads differently than it would have had the original version been published. The devil's attempt to destroy St. Faustina's notebook, seemingly a success, turned into a colossal failure and a great victory for the message of Divine Mercy.

The proof of that is:

• Though dealing with tremendous personal suffering, St. Faustina completed her Diary, a monumental spiritual work encompassing six notebooks and nearly 700 pages — this from a humble young woman who never went beyond the third grade.
• Despite overwhelming obstacles, the Diary has since gone on to inspire what Fr. Seraphim and others have called the greatest grassroots movement in the history of the Church: Divine Mercy.
• The Church's official recognition of the Divine Mercy movement, sparked by Pope John Paul II. Literally from his first day in office, the "Great Mercy Pope" made it his personal mission to promote the cause of Divine Mercy.

When you read the first part of the Diary, you won't find the chronological order of a narrative but an inspirational order befitting a mystical testimony. Before the first 50 pages are finished, the reader has been presented a foundation of the world-shaking message St. Faustina relayed as secretary to Jesus.

In fact, she begins the first line of the Diary by referring to the image Jesus instructed her to paint:

O Eternal Love, You command Your Sacred Image to be painted
And reveal to us the inconceivable fount of mercy,
You bless whoever approaches Your rays,
And a soul all black will turn to snow (Diary, 1).

When you read the Diary, particularly its opening, reflect on how it came to be. The devil tricked St. Faustina into burning the first version only to have her produce a far superior work, so superior that it answered one of St. Faustina's most vexing questions.

She wondered how she, as a simple and sickly nun, could possibly fulfill Jesus' request to spread the message of Divine Mercy across the world. The answer came out of her pen. It shows how God can turn any situation into an advance of His will for us, which has no other objective than love.

How can anyone not trust?

Dan Valenti is senior editor and writer for Marian Helper magazine as well as other publications of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Mary Anne - Nov 1, 2007

I knew just a little of Divine Mercy but was helping my 9 year old daughter with a Divine Mercy project and another project late at night after work. We could not fing a holy card online and it was late and you know ..two projects due all with special things. So we were making a small "day of the dead: altar for my deceased Mom for the second project and while searching for trinkets of hers for that altar in her long unopened cosmetic bag I saw ...Guess what --there was a Chaplet of Divine Mercy Holy Card I had never noticed before. Exactly what she had been needing!! Well my little girl has since painted about and learned alot about this special Saint.

Ray - Sep 8, 2007

I thank the LORD for the diary of St. Faustina. I was in a automobile accident, and now I am 90% disabled. Being housebound and disabled is a hard situation, but when I read the Diary, my outlook changed. When the pain is especially bad, I add them to the LORDs passion for suffering or lost souls. Even the souls in purgatory. Your probably thinking, "right, big deal" but I was a Protestant and now, both my wife and I are in the process of joining the Catholic Church.
With Love in Christ, Ray & Kay

Mary - Jul 30, 2007

Dear Dominick,
I have a story to share with you. THis past March my 14 y/o dtr went into drug and alcohol rehab after we discovered that this dtr that we trusted, had betrayed us so deeply and badly. I had taken this dtr out of public school and homeschooled her, and
was bringing her to Daily Mass with me. I was so upset with God, that I was trying to be such a faithful mother, and doing all the "right things", and I couldn't understand He could break my heart like that. Well, long story, short, God turns everything that is bad, into GOOD. This was such a blessing in disguise for me, my Jewish husband, and my whole family. We have been blessed in ways that were unimagineable in March, April, May. Please, please, keep praying and trust n Jesus. He is sooooooo GOOOOOOOOD!! Pray for patience with your situation, and remain faithful. Remember, that we only see the near future, Jesus has the BIG Picture, and we have to trust that He is doing what is best for our SALVATION! Do not lose hope! Turn toward Our Blessed Mother and ask her to place you, your wife, and son under her protective mantle. May the Peace of God be in your soul.

lucyna - Jun 24, 2007

I love every page about Divine Mercy on the net. We all together can make a difference in this world as we work and share God's gifts. If you have a moment, please visit friends for Jesus page, where we created a special section for Divine Mercy. May God bless you and may St. Faustina interceded for all of us so we could trust in Jesus.


Eliza - May 29, 2007

I have to tell this ,I have been sick since 2003 and I still am ..but its the devil who puts sickness on us ..I know ..so one morning i awoke with a great pain and I jumped up and Gave Thanks To Jesus and the pain went away as soon as I said it .I am still suffering everyday BUT i am getting better everyday.I give thanks be to GOD ! And Now I am learning about Sister Faustina and the DIVINE MERCY, Thanks be to GOD !Remember the devil puts dought in our minds , we must believe what JESUS has told us, we must pray for each-other all the time .

greg - May 24, 2007

Dear Dominick,

I found St. Faustina's journal seemingly by coincidence when I was suffering from dark spiritual dryness and attacks. just reading about God's faithfulness to St. Faustina despite her suffering gave me hope to keep faith until Christ finally relieved me.

Since then I have felt that feeling many times: that I have been as faithful as my capacity could hold and God would not relieve me of my suffering, and still many times i have lost faith because i believed that God was being unjust and too harsh with me.
And yet, whatever we feel,
God is, has been, and always will be faithful to me and to you. Christ made obedient suffering meaningful, purposeful, redemptive, loving--not that we would never suffer, but that we might suffer and Happily share in the love of the One Who is with us "to the end of time."

Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?

Then Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:68-69

Praying for you

John - May 14, 2007

Dear Dominick,
I believe the Lord is asking you to take His hand and humbly walk with Him. I believe He is asking you to trust that He will lead you to a place of peace and goodness for you and for the good of your soul. Trust HIM!

No one can say where this road will lead, except that it will lead ultimately to your good and to the glory of God. You will not be disappointed in the end, even if the road is long and difficult.

Feel the wound in His hand as you grasp it and know that the Lord suffers with you for this loss of companionship with your wife.

Do not despair. He is with you.

Moderator - May 4, 2007

Dear Dominick,

Please know that the Lord is using this hardship to help you grow in faith and trust. By placing all your trust in the Lord during this time of darkness, by continuing to say, "Jesus, I trust in You," you are a tremendous consolation to Him, and He will see you through it. It may not be in the way or in the time-frame that you expect, but know that the Lord will bless you and many other souls as well through your trustful carrying of this cross.

Dominick - Apr 30, 2007

I have prayed every day at 3 PM the hour of mercy and every night the Chaplet of Mercy. I have asked in virtue of our Lords passion ( as it instructs in the prayer)for one thing and that is that my wife return to our marriage of 11 years. We have know each other for 31 yrs and last September she and our 9 yr old moved out. I ask Jesus, St Philomena for help. I say the St Bridget prayer and my request has not been honored. I feel that I have prayed faithfully everyday and look to Jesus for relief but nothing comes my way. I read St Faustina's diary section that is printed in the Mercy Chaplet saying that a rqequest at 3 PM will be honored and I am still waiting. I feel that I am losing what faith I have built up in my 63 years on earth. God Help me.

Nolan Salvo - Apr 16, 2007

Let us pray for ALL priests and contemplatives spread the devotion to Divine Mercy. I believe Divine Mercy will usher a Renaissance of the Catholic Church and eventual total conversion -to love- of mankind.

As lovers of the incomprehensible love and mercy of the Holy Trinity -and with our merciful Mother- Divine Mercy as a way of life will help the common man of goodwill to go BEYOND "reasoning of good and evil" and immerse themselves in the boundless loving depths of the Godhead -to the Father, through Mary -> through Christ, in unity of the Holy Spirit...UNITY in perfect and complete SIMPLICITY- by DWELLING ALWAYS- in the Divine Merciful Heart of Jesus, the Heart of the Father!

Personally we must allow to be loved by God by inviting the Holy Trinity to love in our hearts restoring us to be perfect praise of glory of the Holy Trinity, restoring us to the likeness and holiness of God. Divine Mercy is the image of God implanted in our soul, but sin has weakened our will -our simple, childlike openness and unquestioning self-submitting will to love God always- and destroyed our contemplative faculty -the spiritual eye of beatifying faith that knows the hidden silent loving God -imageless and veiled Single Reality that thirst for us and mystically reveals and unfolds in us- to eternally and lovingly comprehending the incomprensible love of God -here, now and always...receiving God from God, moment by moment. Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God as He is and they will become like Him.

To the extent we make room of infinite capacity through capacious humility and unwavering trust in God, (which leads to TOTAL self-giving and complete abandonement to the Holy Will of God moment by moment -the sacramentality of the sacred Eternal Now-), we receive the Eternal Infinite Pure Silent Love of God.

Mary, totus tuus.

Jesus, we trust in You. Your heart is ours, and ours are Yours alone.

Holy Spirit, conform us to both Jesus forsaken on the Cross and Mary abandoned at the foot of the Cross for our sake.

Father, makes us worthy to do Your Holy Will which is Love and Mercy itself.

Let us pray for the joyous day when mankind's chief preoccupation is the glorious celebration of the Holy Mass, Christ's vision of saved humanity!

PS: I have not yet read the Diary of our beloved Saint Faustina, but I have read with my sick and dying parents Mercy Minutes of Father George Kosicki. For the past year, I was very busy in a struggle with a faithless medical establishment who strongly believes in euthanasia and have lost their humanity! They eventually succeeded in making martyrs of my physician father and pharmacist mother who ironically gave a lifelong selfless dedication to love and serve the elderly.

The Divine Mercy devotion helped my family grow in mercy and love for those who are ignorant of God's Infinite Love for all his children with holy indifference. Life on earth is a struggle that will continue until God is all in all!

May God, the Divine Mercy, have mercy on ALL his children.

Maryann in PA 4/16/07 - Apr 16, 2007

If St Faustina was tricked by the devil pretending to be a bright angel what chance do we have? Lord Jesus I trust in Thy, shower Your Mercy down on the whole world and shield us from the evil one.



ashwin castellino, india - Mar 28, 2007

truly unbelievable !! the diary of st faustina has always been my inspiration....thanks alot for that insight coz i too was quiet confused abt the chronology in the beginning of the diary. way to go !!

Cyndi - Mar 28, 2007

Dear St. Faustina's one fascinating woman. I wasn't aware that she burnt her Diary under the direction of a fallen angel of light.

My 13 year old daughter and I are both quite ill. My sufferings have been unbearable at times, and I am begging God for a healing, so I can raise my children. I feel like a crushed grape going through a wine press. I know God loves me but He's squeezing me a bit too hard... Irregardless.. it give me hope and encouragement to read from St. Faustina that our sufferings are sincerely for our good and the good of the whole Church. Amen. Thanks for sharing.

Iris - Mar 27, 2007

Dan, thanks for the explanation of what happened. I am enjoying reading the Diary of St. Faustina and take with me when I go to Adoration and also read it before I retire for the evening. Thank you, Jesus and I trust in You. St. Faustina, thanks for sharing the word of Our Lord.

Bea - Mar 27, 2007

I'm really glad that God always wins in the end.