"I feel certain that my mission will not come to an end upon my death, but will begin. O doubting souls, I will draw aside for you the veils of heaven to convince you of God's goodness . . . God is Love and Mercy." -St. Faustina (Diary, 281)
Happy Feast of St. Faustina, another little secretary (like our Marcel) who devoted herself, at Our Lord's specific request, to cataloguing His mercies to her and the whole world!
A wonderful Polish priest of my acquaintance recently reminded me that a novena can begin on the Feast day of a Saint, rather than leading up to the Feast. This is good news in October, when the feasts are flying fast and, if not furious, at least fabulously! We have had our two Saint Therese days (October 1 in the new calendar, October 3 in the old calendar and in Nigeria) flanking the guardian angels day (we salute you, dear companions, though your feast was hidden behind the Sunday), then yesterday came the inimitable Francis of Assisi, so beautiful in his simplicity, humility, and poverty, and now St. Faustina, on our way to the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary on October 7 - which date can begin our novena to the big Teresa (of Avila). Whew! That's a lot of feasting!
And so, in case you are still holding intentions close to your heart, let's start a novena to St. Faustina today! I'm offering two prayers (and you can say one or both), and then a third for emergencies - prayers which Jesus loved and taught to us through St. Faustina. He promises us, "By your entreaties, you and your companions shall obtain mercy for yourselves and for the whole world." And if we are doubtful of our abilities (humility is truth!), He continues, "Do not fear; I Myself will make up for everything that is lacking in you." (Diary, 435)
Our first prayer is so simple and so awesomely powerful. Jesus said to Faustina:
"When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer:
"O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You." (Diary, 186-187)
So for all those we are praying for in the matter of conversion, whether from scratch or as a return to the Faith, the Church, and the Sacraments where Jesus longingly awaits them . . . we have the perfect prayer!
Our second prayer is the Divine Mercy Chaplet itself. A quick refresher on how to say the chaplet:
Using the Rosary:
2. On the Our Father beads,
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the ten Hail Mary Beads,
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades.
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Jesus told Faustina that the Chaplet of Divine Mercy can obtain everything! Faustina herself saw proof of this assurance when one afternoon, in the midst of a terrible drought, she decided to say the Chaplet to bring rain. She prayed it and prayed it and prayed it throughout the afternoon until - God sent the needed rain that day!
We've been talking about showers of roses around here lately. I hope you've received some, but let's not give up asking for more - Faustina saw literal showers, and we can ask for spiritual showers. This will cover all our intentions beyond (and including, but we have that awesome short prayer Jesus gave us already) the conversion and reversion of all to the Faith. How about health and miraculous healing, freedom from addiction, hope where there is despair, consolation in the wake of loss of a loved one, jobs for those who need them, and so on and so forth - the list can seem so big, but God's mercy is so much bigger than all of our lists and needs!
What I love is that Jesus' message to St. Faustina is so similar to what He taught St. Therese, which the Little Flower in turn (along with Jesus and Mary) taught to Marcel Van. It is a consoling message full of His merciful love to us, the smallest of His children. Here is how He explained it one day to Faustina, and it delights me that the Holy Spirit is using this passage again to explain Jesus' doctrine to us on her feast. Faustina wrote:
Today during Holy Mass, I saw the Infant Jesus near my kneeler. He appeared to be about one year old, and He asked me to take Him in my arms. When I did take Him in my arms, He cuddled up close to my bosom and said, "It is good for Me to be close to your heart."
"Although You are so little, I know that You are God. Why do You take the appearance of such a little baby to commune with me?"
"Because I want to teach you spiritual childhood. I want you to be very little, because when you are little, I carry you close to My Heart, just as you are holding Me close to your heart right now." (1481)
Ah, yes, let us be little just like little Jesus! He is passionate about carrying us close to His Heart and about making things easier for us by doing the heavy lifting Himself! And when, sometime in these next nine days, you are able to receive Him in Holy Communion, hold Him close to your heart and kiss Him interiorly, adore Him with gratitude, and feel Him holding on to you too in return, covering you with kisses unceasingly, for He loves you so infinitely much!
If my counting is right, we'll be saying our St. Faustina novena from today until October 13th, the day of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima in 1917. Praise God, Whose timing (and His Mother's) are always perfect!
St. Faustina, pray for us and pray with us as we entrust everything to Jesus' Merciful Love. Thank you for writing so much for us, and remember your promise to keep fulfilling your mission.
Oh, and that third prayer, the emergency one? As you may have noticed, we here at Miss Marcel's Musings are all about little. So if this turns out to be another little novena for you (taking the shorter prayers, forgetting them altogether at times, joining us later than when we've begun, etc.), here is the shortest prayer Our Master taught Faustina, and the one He loves perhaps the best, seeing as He had it inscribed on His Merciful Image:
Jesus, I trust in You!
If we spend these next nine days with a "Jesus, I trust in You!" in our hearts and occasionally on our lips, how happy Faustina will be that her mission continues in us!
Draw me, we will run!
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