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Let's take a closer look at some of the Diary's "strange" passages.

What About the Diary's 'Strange' Passages?

Dr. Robert Stackpole Answers Your Questions on Divine Mercy

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By Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD (Jul 4, 2013)
For the last few months I have been collecting questions from readers about what I call the "weird stuff" that can be found here and there in St. Faustina's Diary. There are certainly some strange, supernatural, and paranormal things in her book — some of which are difficult to understand.

Mr. Charlie Toye of Reading, Mass., asked: "In entry #1676 St. Faustina claims to have received Holy Communion from an angel. How can this be? How could an angel obtain a consecrated Host, unless he stole it from a tabernacle, which of course would be a sin?"

In general, I think we need to remember that while we are bound to respect the sacramental arrangements that God has made for us to distribute his sacramental grace, God Himself is not bound by these arrangements. He can distribute sacramental grace at any time and in any manner He wishes! We see this even in the New Testament. Ordinarily, God pours out His Holy Spirit upon the soul in baptism. The Church is bound to follow His directive to baptize people so that they can receive the Holy Spirit. But in Acts 10:44-48, God poured out His Spirit upon certain Gentiles prior to any water baptism in order to demonstrate that uncircumcised Gentiles can receive the Holy Spirit too, and therefore they should be baptized along with circumcised, converted Jews.

Similarly, God ordinarily consecrates hosts, making them become the Body and Blood of His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, through the ministry of the ordained priesthood, which He established. But in an extraordinary circumstance, such as in Diary entry 1676, the Lord can create and consecrate a Host without the instrument of a priest, and place that Host in the care of an angel, to be delivered to a chosen soul on earth. As you may recall, this kind of special, angelic Holy Communion was also given to the three blessed children of Fatima. The Bible says that God can make sons of Abraham out of the very stones of the ground, if He needs to (Mt 3:9), so I am sure He can get a transubstantiated Host to an angel without thieving one from a tabernacle!

A woman named Nancy asked about Diary entry 118, where St. Faustina states that some souls of religious sisters were in hell because they did not practice silence.

Nancy asks: "How can this be? How can anyone have a chance (to get to heaven) if you can go to hell merely for being talkative?!"

Well, Nancy, that is a confusing Diary entry, but I think you may be taking St. Faustina's remark "out of context." Prior to that, in the same entry (#118), St. Faustina writes at some length of what she calls the importance of "inner silence," for without it we cannot hear God's voice, His inspirations and guidance. Surely, any soul, in the consecrated "religious" life or otherwise, who refuses to listen to God in their heart, is headed down the road to everlasting self-destruction. This is what she means there, I think, by those souls who are in hell for "not having kept silence." She is referring to that "inner silence" that enables us to hear God calling!

Finally, one very astute reader, Mr. Kevin Dello Iacono, asked about St. Faustina's comment that the Divine Mercy devotion would be the last means given to the world for salvation:

"Yet at Fatima, didn't Sr. Lucia say that the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was the last means given to the world?"

I am not an expert on the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima, so I will not comment on precisely what the Blessed Virgin said to the children in this regard. However, in general we need to remember that private or prophetic revelations, even those received by great saints, are not inerrant, either in content or in mode of expression, in a way equivalent to Holy Scripture. For example, at one point in her Diary, St. Faustina reports that Jesus told her that the Feast of Mercy is "the last hope of salvation" for souls who are perishing (entry 965).

As even the great Polish theologian Fr. Ignacy Rozycki pointed out in his theological analysis of the Diary for the Vatican: That cannot be true of a particular liturgical feast — and, in any case, it contradicts what Jesus stated or implied at other times, that trust in His mercy is the last hope for the salvation of humanity (e.g., entries 998, 1228, and 1784).

So Faustina must have misunderstood or misheard Jesus on the particular occasion recorded in entry #965, or perhaps she simply made a mistake in recording what He said. This has happened on other occasions with private revelations received by other saints and holy souls of the Church (e.g., there are clear errors in some of the revelations about the life of Mary recorded by the Ven. Maria of Agreda).

In general, we can trust everything that is found recorded in the private or prophetic revelations of the Catholic saints, blessed, and venerables that has been approved by the Church, or at least does not contradict the Faith of the Church, or the clear and indisputable findings of science. Especially, we can trust such testimony when it is corroborated by the testimony of numerous holy souls of the Church in many times and places.

The doctrine that trust in God's mercy is the only way to salvation is, of course, nothing more than the central message of the Gospel! As a matter of fact, it is also where the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary leads us. On this point you might consult the essay by Dr. Mark Miravalle on the relationship between these two devotions in our book Divine Mercy: the Heart of the Gospel (Marian Press, 1999).

Robert Stackpole, STD, is director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy. Got a question? E-mail him at [email protected].

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

frank o'shea - Sep 16, 2018

My opinion: The 'Last Hope for Mankind' refers to the praying/recitation of the chaplet by the living for those about to die and which God uses to take the unfortunate sinner's soul from the grasp of Satan and by His Mercy alone, bring them to salvation.
The dying sinner must also respond in trust.
Some possibly do not, such is our free will.

Laura - Jul 4, 2018

There's an entry about when a priest "will blurt something out in confession" it's usually the HoLy SpiRit.
Do you know which entry number I'm talking about?

Shirli - Apr 9, 2016

here i smh quest: Sr says something about adversity. I wanted to look it up. it talks about how when a soul radiates love & mercy and is full of the HS they cannot be moved really--i am paraphrasing. But how do i search for a particular passage like this.

It talk about adversity and how a highly evolved soul who is full of hs will not be attacked will be protected essentially by its own radiance of the Divine Mercy God has give it

Leonard Ameika - Mar 20, 2014

To those proof readers who notice discrepancies or conflictual meanings in the Diary. That is why Jesus charged an uneducated nun in Poland to write the Diary. If Jesus had charged a genius theologan to write it,,, it would never get finished.

marylouise - Jul 11, 2013

it would seem that the instruction of the Feast of Mercy being the last chance at salvation for erring souls is in complete compliance with the scriptural lesson that trust in Jesus mercy is what is necessary for salvation since that is what the feast is all about

Robert Allard - Jul 9, 2013

There is one other entry in the diary where Jesus talked about the feast being the last hope of salvation.

It is diary entry # 998, which reads "Do all you possibly can for this work of My mercy. I desire that My mercy be worshipped, and I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is, recourse to My mercy. My Heart rejoices in this feast".

Consider also what Jesus told her about how accurately she wrote without error: Diary entry #1667 Holy Saturday, April 16, 1938.

St. Faustina writes: During adoration, the Lord said to me, “Be at peace, My daughter. This Work of Mercy is Mine; there is nothing of you in it. It pleases Me that you are carrying out faithfully what I have commanded you to do, not adding or taking away a single word”. And He gave me an interior light by which I learned that not a single word was mine; despite difficulties and adversities, I have always, always, fulfilled His will, as He has made it known to me.

It could prove true for many people that the Feast of Mercy would be their last hope of salvation. Consider also that the feast is not widely accepted yet and that it is not specifically called the "Feast of Mercy". It could be that, one day, the Church will name the feast exactly as Jesus requested.

In the meantime, we should be doing exactly what Jesus says we must do: "Do all you possibly can for this work of My mercy". Are we doing His work?

One day, we might find, that every word in the diary, was accurately written.

learner of silence - Jul 8, 2013

There's a time to talk and a time to listen. God granted us speech to use for His Glory. Jesus is THE WORD of God afterall. How do we learn to make our words pleasing to God? How do we learn to be gentle, kind, helpful, truthful, prayerful? Prayer is like talking with God...praying well shows us how to talk well at other times...sometimes prayer is silent and sometimes it is out loud...but all prayer involves Recollection of the heart...


2720 The Church invites the faithful to regular prayer: daily prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharist, the feasts of the liturgical year.

2721 The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart.

2722 Vocal prayer, founded on the union of body and soul in human nature, associates the body with the interior prayer of the heart, following Christ's example of praying to his Father and teaching the Our Father to his disciples.

2723 Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. Its goal is to make our own in faith the subject considered, by confronting it with the reality of our own life.

2724 Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery."

To be more specific:

"2717 Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come"(12) or "silent love."(13) Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus." (12 Cf. St. Isaac of Nineveh, Tract. myst. 66.
13 St. John of the Cross, Maxims and Counsels, 53 in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, tr. K. Kavanaugh, OCD, and O. Rodriguez, OCD (Washington DC: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1979), 678.)

quotes from The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed. online search for keyword "silence"

Rudy Rendal - Jul 8, 2013

the "silence" word used by sis. faustina is the PEACE OF THE HEART which required by all christian who wish to LIVE to heaven...we should practice to give forgiveness to MAINTAIN PEACE in our heart, else we will go to hell...which peace is absent...in " silence" means we listen to GOD and we hear HIM...

Rudy Rrendal - Jul 8, 2013

Angels are from heaven, and they are authorized to do holy things to the people ,these are the reasons why they are created..since in the beginning of the world, angels always care the man...in our holy life, angels served the people whatever form it may be...

amoretti - Oct 17, 2007

May I add another example of a saint who received angelic communion? St. Gerard Majella. Thank you, Dr. Stackpole, for all you do!

A.V. - Oct 17, 2007

Reading in context might be the critical element here; the next verse about the Feast of Mercy is -'unless the soul adore My Mercy,they will perish'; devotion to Immaculate Heart is also about God's Mercy .
Description of the visions might be hard for the reader or even the visionary to have understood well; in the prophetic vision in Fatima , there is the angel with the flaming sword ( of God's judgements , from our pride and rebellion and calling down evil); the rays from the angel's hand being stopped by Bl. Mother's hands ( through prayers of the faithful); this was to point out to the nuclear bomb experiment to take place later, in Russia ; it failed and avoided catastrophe for the world !); The meaning of that vision could not have been grasped at the time .

Unlikely the same could be said of the quoted words of our Lord !

sebastian - Oct 17, 2007

The revelations of Divine Mercy strengthen our love and trust in Lord Jesus . He will show us the Eternal Father. Lord Jesus stays with us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Eternal Father gives us His Love, His Son. We receive Him in our unworthy hands. With St. Paul, we can pray His grace is sufficient for us.
" So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead"(St.James 2:17).
We are called to live in Divine Mercy.
Thanks. God bless you all.