Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
Publisher: Marian Press
Publication Date: 2005-02-15
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Diary is a true bestseller that has birthed the devotion to the Divine Mercy. An offshoot of the Sacred Heart Devotion, the Divine Mercy is one of the fastest growing movements in world today. St. Faustina's Diary will stir your heart and soul while it chronicles her struggles, her mystical encounters with Jesus, and her tremendous consolations. Learn why St. Faustina is one of the most popular saints today!
Transcript of Video
(Slightly abridged and paraphrased for brevity and clarity)
Vincent: We have a ton of books today. When we promoted True Devotion to Mary last week, I said there are two books more than any other books I’d like people to buy: True Devotion and Diary. I developed a program to track books on Amazon to see which are the most popular books. For the past 10 years, I can safely say that Diary of Faustina is the most popular Catholic book out there. So if you somehow haven’t read this book yet, what are you doing? How much more popular does St. Faustina have to be before you read this book? For me, this is one of those books you have to read one chapter at a time. Charles have you read this book yet?
Charles: No not yet. I am familiar with the devotion.
Vincent: Wow! Maybe I’ll gift you this copy I guess. Take it!
Charles: One of the things I’m very familiar with is the Sacred Heart devotion. I know a little of its history, and I know how this really was sort of a natural offshoot of it.
Vincent: What Charles is noticing right now in the book, is there are some words in bold. The publisher, Marian Press, did that, so that people browsing, can easily see what words Jesus are saying to her in some of these mystical encounters. So if you just want to dip your toes in and flip through the book, that’s an option. That’s actually what got me to initially read the book.
This book inspired me to convert one of our unused closets into a type of shrine to the Sacred Heart, with a kneeler, some statues, some posters, and use it as a place for prayer and meditation. I’m sure other people have been inspired in similar ways from this book.
Charles: They call that a “home altar.”
Vincent: Interesting! Also, personally I feel that the Divine Mercy Chaplet is an important supplement to the rosary. We were talking about The Secret of the Rosary before where when we feel happy, we say the Joyful Mysteries; when we’re sad, we say the Sorrowful Mysteries. Well, you get that same sort of situation for the Divine Mercy Chaplet. At least, I do. Sometimes you see something that really disquiets your soul—where you see something and you say to yourself, “Wow, we’re in a really bad way right now. We’re in need of mercy.” That is when I say a chaplet. It’s really easy to say a chaplet too. It’s very simple prayers, and it’s focused on humility and compassion. It’s very beneficial because it gets you feeling compassionate about “no-gooders” rather than feeling spiteful toward them.
Charles: As with the practice of saints, we’re not called to execute judgment or make those decisions.
Vincent: Right, we should be praying for mercy. I think from the diary, Jesus said “The greater the sinner, the greater he has access to My mercy” if he’ll take advantage of it.
Charles: I noticed that one of her lines from our Lord is that he complained to her that people don’t trust him. And that’s very much a part of our lives in the sense that you sometimes think that God’s out to get you. He’s not going to give us a free pass, but he’s on our side. In other words, he’s not someone who says “Do what you want, and that’s OK, and we’ll all waltz together after death.” No, no, no. But, in the great battle to try to remain virtuous and to try to remain faithful, he’s on our side. That’s why he’s bent over backwards to get us the sacraments. That’s why evil priests do not lose their power: because we need the sacraments more than God’s justice needs to punish those guys. We all have a need for mercy. The great temptation that face us during these times is to forget that, even though this guy is a worthless pedophile and that guy is a scumbag hierarch… what about me?
Vincent: That’s why I love the Divine Mercy Chaplet! When you’re saying “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us”, you’re acknowledging your own sins. You’re saying you’re a big time sinner and that you need the mercy.
I’d like to say a couple other things about the book. Another thing I like is it’s not a hagiography, where they glorify the saint. I like biographies where you can see the weaknesses, you can see the frailties, you can see the human qualities of the person. So that inspires you, because you see these great saints were not superman, at least to begin with. And so she (Faustina) had struggles. She had confessor problems. But she also had qualities that are alien to us. One of those is that she had a true love of God. God was the true love of her life, even more than her family, which isn’t to say that she loved her family little. She greatly loved her family, but her love for God was immense. And it was alien to see the difference there. Another alien quality she had was her practice of silence. In order to avoid gossip about someone, she wouldn’t talk about anyone unless they were present in the room. That’s an unbelievable practice of silence. And she never expressed her opinion unless it was directly asked of her. And these are two qualities that we need a lot of in our society: profound silence and love for God.
Sister Faustina was a young, uneducated nun in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland during the 1930s. She came from a poor family that struggled during the years of World War I. She had only three years of simple education, so hers were the humblest tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or garden. However, she received extraordinary revelations from our Lord Jesus. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences, which she compiled into notebooks. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, and the words contained within are God's loving message of Divine Mercy. Though the Divine Mercy message is not new to the teachings of the Church, Sr. Faustina's Diary sparked a great movement, and a strong and significant focus on the mercy of Christ. Saint John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina in 2000 making her the "first saint of the new millennium." Speaking of Sr. Faustina and the importance of the message contained in her Diary, the Pope call her "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time."
I haven't read it straight through yet. I intend to do so at some point. But the sections I have read have been amazing. And there's something about seeing the book on your shelf that brings peace. It's a beautiful cover, even though paperback.
We live in difficult times. But God's mercy abounds. One of the ways that we see this immense mercy is in the availability in books like these-- which teach us about this mercy.
I could say this about many books on this site, really, but how is it possible to buy such a treasure for so little money?! You can buy this priceless item for the cost of a Subway sandwich. I understand that nonetheless the cost can still be a hindrance to some, but for many, it just requires some ingenuity and sacrifice.
Important, powerful, incredible, and beautiful book that will inspire in you the desire to grow in holiness and grow closer to Christ Our Lord.
This is a must-read classic for all Catholics. It's filled with many gems. St. Faustina shows, through her encounters with other people and through her own words to us, that one must love the sufferings one encounters because in that way we more closely conform ourselves to Christ and His Passion. It's not the sort of book that you can read through quickly in a couple days. I recommend reading a few pages of it each night before you go to bed because it brings your soul at peace. The book will fill you with zeal and inspire you to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the conversion of friends and acquaintances.