Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska died at the age of 33 in 1938, misunderstood by most of the religious sisters with whom she had lived her life. They appreciated her kindness, hard work, and faithfulness to their rule of life, but many of her fellow religious also thought that she was delusional and tormented. Indeed, she claimed to have received several revelations from the Lord, sometimes involving direct commands, all of which concerned his divine mercy. She believed that she was entrusted with the mission of making the Lord’s mercy known. Through living a life of sacrificial love for the Lord, the absurdity of Sr. Faustina’s claim has become an occasion of hope for the world.
To accomplish this mission, she was humbly faithful to the promptings of the Lord even in the midst of great suffering. With great humility, developing confidence in the Lord and growing determination, she would act on what she believed the Lord asked of her only after she submitted to her confessor first, even if he misunderstood her – which was often at first. She also worked under the authority of her religious superior. She seemed to trust that the Lord would speak through those in rightful authority even more clearly than when He addressed her directly.
Not only was her message rejected initially, she would also suffer incredible spiritual trials where she felt like the Lord was angry with her, and in total darkness and tears doubted her own experience. This would make her question whether she was in fact as crazy as everyone else thought her to be.
Jesus slowly helped her see these kinds of experiences, as intensely discouraging as they could be, as opportunities to love and trust Him even more. She would offer to the Lord by a simple act of loving faith all – her doubts, the pain of not feeling the Lord’s presence or love, even the fear that God had rejected her and was angry with her. Even though she felt this way , she chose not to believe it, not to live out of these feelings, but to live by faith in the Lord alone. She believed the Lord knew what she needed, that He would not allow her to deal with more than she could handle. Her job was to trust in Him.
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