10 April 2010

Jesus Rests on the Silent and Humble Heart

‘You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of acquisition: that you may declare His virtues, Who has called you out of darkness into His admirable Light: who in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy’ (1 Saint Peter 2:9-10).

On today, Saturday, which the Church traditionally sets aside to honour the Virgin Mother of God, and since this day is also the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, it seems fitting to reflect on two holy women: Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, the chosen messenger of Divine Mercy, and of course, the most blessed among all women (cf. Saint Luke 1:28), the Virgin Mary, the house that Wisdom built (cf. Proverbs 9:1), through whom our Divine Saviour chose to enter into this world, and through whom He continues to dispense His graces.

Saint Faustina saw those admirable rays of Light illuminating from our dear Lord’s Most Sacred Heart. Saint John the Evangelist, in his visions of the Apocalypse saw the Virgin Mary clothed with this admirable Light, the Sun of Justice (cf. Revelation 12:1).

Through the meeting of these two women of God, a remarkable grace was given from Jesus, through His Holy Mother, to Saint Faustina. Here’s what she recorded in her diary:

‘I saw her [Mary] today. . . She said to me: My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, Who dwells in your heart continuously, may be able to rest. Adore Him in your heart; do not go out from your inmost being. My daughter, I shall obtain for you the grace of an interior life which will be such that, without ever leaving that interior life, you will be able to carry out all your external duties with even greater care. Dwell with Him continuously in your own heart. He will be your strength. Communicate with creatures in so far as is necessary and is required by your duties. You are a dwelling place pleasing to the living God; in you He dwells continuously with love and delight. And the living presence of God, which you experience in a more vivid and distinct way, will confirm you, my daughter, in the things I have told you.

Our Blessed Lady instructs Saint Faustina to speak only when necessary. In the Statutes of the Carthusian Order are these words:

‘The fruit that silence brings is known to him who has experienced it. In the early stages of our Carthusian life we may find silence a burden; however, if we are faithful, there will gradually be born within us of our silence itself something, that will draw us on to still greater silence. To attain this, our rule is not to speak to one another without the President’s permission. Love for our brothers should show itself firstly in respect for their solitude; should we have permission to speak about some matter, let us do so as briefly as possible’.

The grace of a most blessed interior life was granted to Saint Faustina. While we tend to think of graces such as these to be reserved for only a few, let us reflect, though, on the fifteen promises of our Blessed Mother to those who faithfully pray the Rosary:

1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
14. All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ.
15. Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.