I write at times in the middle of the day or night randomly. Then as I reread what I have written, it then seems to me a jumbled mess, almost as if I did a brain dump just to get it all out of my head so that I can process what is going on in there. This may be one of those such occasions, that is if you are reading this….
I have been reading a book, a diary, of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. I was drawn to it almost by an irresistible and soft force. It was gentle and kind. This force was familiar and what I have come to know as the Holy Spirit. He has been talking to me for a long time, but there are times when He impresses upon my heart something with urgency without being harsh. I really don’t remember Him ever being harsh with me. Anyway, He really impressed upon me to read this book, and it has been such a well spring of comfort.
I have gone through some terrible things in my life, and at the time, I didn’t know why I felt what I felt through all of it. I didn’t feel like it was the end, nor did I feel as though I deserved it or didn’t deserve it. I had a calm demeanor almost as if to say, “this is life and I accept it.” There are just some things that I don’t have control over. The big picture things I don’t control fully. The details I can control most of them. I hope you understand what I mean by all of this.
Moving back to the book. I am not Catholic. I am Protestant. Let me put it this way, I am a Christian (one who follows Jesus Christ), and I believe that the Bible is my ultimate authority to check my heart and mind by to know if I am following God’s directions or my own. However, I do understand the premise behind a lot of the traditions that Catholics hold to. Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska is the nun associated with the “Divine Mercy”. Over the course of her life, God spoke to her and gave her visions. He gave her words of encouragement and direction. One of the beautiful prayers He gave her was the Divine Mercy prayer. “O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!” That is only part of it. This was given to her on March 29, 1934 during Holy Mass. Can you imagine being so close to Jesus that He verbally, audibly gives you a series of words that forever changes and encourages millions of people even after you die?
I love how God talks to us in so many different ways. He is not confined to the ways of the natural world, but can also speak to us in our spirit as well. Many of the sentiments that St. Faustina describes in her Diary match my feelings and thoughts. The sufferings that I endure, the undeserved scoldings that I have taken, the joy of hard labor, I, too, have taken delight and joy in for the sake of Jesus.
I pray for others as they come to mind. Jesus will put an image into my mind, and I know that He wants me to pray in intercession for them. I understand it to be a joining of spirits at the time of prayer that the person I am praying for needs answers. Inwardly, the person may be struggling, and God can see them struggling, but that person is not seeking God for the answer, but searching within themselves or searching in other people of things. So Jesus lets others in His body know that this person needs spiritually linked up with the Father for assistance. That is where intercessory prayer comes in. This is all revelation that God gave me. I did not read it somewhere or hear it from someone. However, reading St. Faustina’s Diary set into motion me accepting what God was revealing to me. I have opened my heart more to Him because I am not the only one to have conversations with God the way I do. I am not the only one to have questions, doubts, faith, and joy in life the way I do.
There are many of us that experience God in different ways. However, many of us do not have the means or calling to write and share our experiences with others the way that St. Faustina and Billy Graham and Jason Allen and many others do. Many of us are called to serve and help those in a quiet way, affecting a few people we meet in our day to day lives. There is no need for a big conference for some of us. Some people don’t respond well to big conferences or books. Some of us respond better to watching others live how they say others live. Some of us respond to God’s direction better by talking to someone one on one or in a small group setting. Some do well with the big group stuff, but some others don’t. So God, in His infinite wisdom, created everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, that we need.
Our ultimate need is to get into right standing with God and that can be obtained only by faith in Jesus Christ Our Lord. It says in Romans chapter 10 verses 9 and 10, “If you openly say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from death, you will be saved. Yes, we believe in Jesus deep in our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we openly say that we believe in Him, and so we are saved.” (ERV) But after that, then what? We are still alive and we still have to pay bills, work, eat, breath, etc. That is where living in community comes into being. We are in need of relationships outside of “Mom and Dad”. So God has provided certain types of people to interact with, people to learn from, people to help, etc. And those people need different types of people than you need. Loving in community provides the needs of all for all.
This leads me back to the book. St. Faustina probably didn’t think that her inner most thoughts and written forms of conversations with Jesus would have an affect on me so profoundly, encouraging me so much in the Lord, when she wrote the words down. She was simply following the directions she was given. God knows who needs what and when. We only need to be obedient because we don’t know how it is going to affect others and when. I am going to keep reading and praying. Let me know what you think.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..