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Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

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By Bryan Thatcher, MD (Jan 12, 2010)
I want to share with you some thoughts on trust, prayer, and "the ultimate prayer."

Several years ago I received a call from my now-deceased father telling me that my sister Theresa, age 48, had been admitted to the hospital for urgent heart catheterization. She had been having chest pains and failed a stress test. The test showed severe three-vessel narrowing and scarring from previous radiation treatment. She worsened over the weekend and on the following Monday had emergency surgery. During surgery she suffered a cardiac arrest with severe heart damage, and over the next several days her condition fluctuated, but didn't really improve much at all. I flew home to Ohio to be with her and the family, and it was difficult to see the family's emotions go on a roller coaster ride; one minute she was better and the next she had worsened.

Theresa, like many of us, had wandered from the Church for a period of her life and had made some mistakes. But she was a good person and was trying to get her life in order.

For me, the greatest blessing was that she received the Anointing of the Sick before going into surgery. Many people across the country had been praying for her. Yet, we know that even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing desired. The words in Sacred Scripture from St. James touched me profoundly, "Is there any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (Jas 5:14-15).

One morning in Mass, while at the hospital and surrounded by family, a priest friend was offering solace to us and he said to me, "When all else fails, say the ultimate prayer." I looked at him as if to say, "What prayer is that?" He looked at me and replied, "Thy Will be done!"

Immediately I thought of the image of Jesus, The Divine Mercy and the words below the image: "Jesus, I Trust in You!" Jesus. I prayed: I want Your will to be done, and I have to trust that Your plan for my sister is better than mine! Help me to want only what is Your will.

Saint Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, wanted to live in His will. She understood that if she was not doing His will, she was doing her own. She wrote in her spiritual Diary, "Eternal God, Goodness itself, whose mercy is incomprehensible to every intellect, whether human or angelic, help me, your feeble child, to do Your holy will as You make it known to me. I desire nothing but to fulfill God's desires. Lord, here are my soul and my body, my mind and my will, my heart and all my love. Rule me according to Your eternal plans" (492).

If we can stay close to Jesus, the Great Physician, living in His will, then we can walk in the valley of death and have no fear. You see, when we reach the end of our limits and finally give in to God, and say, "Your will Lord, and not mine, be done" there is a tremendous peace. For at that point we realize that things are in God's hands, and we are not in control. That is really what the Divine Mercy message is all about — trust in God in all situations. Anyone can say that they trust in God, especially when things are going well.

The truth is, anyone can say they have trust in God when they get a promotion at work, or a healthy baby is born, or one of the children graduates from college. But what do we do, and what do we say to God, when a loved one is dying, or we are in the middle of divorce, or we have to declare bankruptcy?

You see, trust is faith in action. We say we are a people of faith, and we live that faith through trusting in God when the times are tough, when we are tested to the limit. Yet, that is the time where we want to take back control, take back ownership, and we lack trust.

So if you are in the middle of a difficult time, for whatever reason, try to let go and let God! Find comfort in the rays of Blood and Water flowing from His pierced heart, and pray for the grace to be able to say with conviction, "Not mine, Lord, but Thy Will be done!" And may these words lift your heart and soul: "Jesus, I Trust in You!"

Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.

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Najette - Feb 20, 2010

Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts and reminding me of the time during my husband's illness and subsequent death. The lessons we learnt were similar - Let go and Let God have His Way in a deeply spiritual way - even in the little things we experienced. Whatever we did had to be accompanied by "Lord, I cannot do this on my own, please take over" before 'doors' would be opened. It was the simplest way I knew to live "Not my will but Thy Will be Done" and it is a lesson that is hard to practice in this secular world but gets easier as we learn from St Faustina.
Being part of Divine Mercy has strengthened my dependence on the Will of God.
I also remember St Monica in praying for my daughter and other young ones - no child who is the product of so much tears and prayers will be lost - we keep close to Our Mother of Mercy who journeys with us.
God bless!

Veneranda - Feb 18, 2010

Rita, you are not alone in this confusing world. Many parents are going through what you yourself are experiencing. As Marjory has put it, the devil is more than ever at work, do not despair and give up there is some lesson to be learnt along the line. Many of the famours saints were not holy or virtuous as we may think. Take for example the great St. Augustine, it was through the tireless efforts of his mother, St. Monica"s prayers that he was able to be saved. Continue praying and "For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, he may have mercy on us and all the sins of the world."

Marjory - Jan 28, 2010

In response to Rita: I think that when we pray the devil fights us all the more to try to thwart our efforts. Because prayer is powerful, he wants us to give up and stop praying. But we should pray all the more. This deepens our faith and relationship with Jesus. I'll pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet and let Mary and Jesus intercede and take over. A strong sense of peace comes over me to let me know they're on it!

Rita - Jan 20, 2010

I do leave myself in the HANDS OF THE LORD but it is very difficult to see your children try to destroy themselves and take on other religions. I pray all the time but they get worse and worst.

Jacinta - Jan 19, 2010

A nun once said to me: "The best prayer is filled with more sighs than words". True words.

Lynne-Marie - Jan 13, 2010

Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom - yes, truly when we say "Lord, Your Will be Done", we align ourselves totally with our Lord and Savior and our hearts and souls spill over with His Peace. How is your dear sister, Theresa? May God heal her and continue to shed abundant graces upon all of you.