During Lent, we invite you to discover the value of suffering together with Sister Faustina and to unite your sufferings with Jesus who, out of love, gave his life for each of us, so that we would never doubt that God really loves us! Together we will enter into this unfathomable mystery of God’s Mercy and the work of redemption. During this year’s Lent, we will be accompanied by the words of Jesus: “In My Passion seek strength and light.” (Diary 654).
WEEK 1: Unite your physical to Sorrowful Passion of Jesus
Jesus said to St. Faustina: “You often call Me your Master. My Heart takes pleasure in that, but don’t forget, disciple of Mine, that you are a disciple of the crucified Master, and let that one word be enough for you. You know what the cross entails” (Diary 1513).
We know that Sister Faustina experienced a lot of physical suffering in her life. Already at the beginning of her religious life, she noted: “When my health deteriorated soon after my first vows, and notwithstanding the loving care and attention of my superiors and the medical treatment, I got no better and no worse, then opinions started reaching me that I was pretending. Double suffering started for me. It went on for quite a long time. One day I complained to Jesus that I was a burden for the sisters. He replied, “You live not for yourself, but for souls. Other souls will benefit from your suffering…” (Diary 67).
Perhaps the words of the Apostle of the Nations were also close to her: “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24).
Tuberculosis, with which she was only diagnosed in Vilnius, wreaked great havoc on Sister Faustina’s body. It involved not only the respiratory but also the digestive tract. She knew that Jesus never gives beyond one’s strength. She herself wrote:
“Suffering is a great grace. By suffering the soul becomes more like its Saviour; suffering crystallises love. The greater the suffering, the purer the love” (Diary 57). Elsewhere, she noted: “I was to be like Jesus in His suffering and humility.” (Diary 268).
Amidst many physical and spiritual sufferings, Sister Faustina experienced many graces, about which she also wrote in her Diary. She trusted Jesus also in painful times and reached full union with God. Today she enjoys eternal joy and glory in heaven where there are no more tears and suffering.
- And you? Do you live your daily life knowing that you are a disciple of the crucified Master?
- Do you trust in God and believe that He knows best which way to lead you to achieve full union with Himself?
- Are you giving Jesus the sufferings of your body? Are you talking to Him about your pain?