Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365

We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy.  At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God.  All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.

The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin.  But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God.  His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever.  God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.

This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far.  Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point.  Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God.  The Lord’s love is perfect in every way.  Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction. 

Reflection 327: The Hidden Presence of God

God is hiding.  But why?  He hides under the veil of secrecy and silence so that we will diligently seek Him.  He does not choose to compete with the distractions of the world since He wants you to choose Him as your one desire.  Desire to seek Him, hidden in your heart, hidden in the holy Sacraments, hidden in the silence and hidden in the people whom you encounter throughout your day.  The Lord is there, waiting for you to discover His Heart filled with unfathomable Mercy.  Seek Him with all your might (See Diary #1591).

Ponder the hidden presence of God today.  Be aware of the fact that the presence of God is all around you, constantly calling to you and inviting you into His Heart.  If you allow yourself to become disinterested or distracted by the world, you will never discover how close He is.  Reflect upon His hidden presence and do not hesitate to seek Him today.

Lord, I love You but at times I fail to live that love fully.  I become so very distracted by things that mean little in the end.  Help me to regain my focus and to seek You with all my heart.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 328: Heaven

Heaven invites us into a life of glory and fulfillment that is beyond what we could ever comprehend.  Not even in Heaven will we fully comprehend the glorious mystery of God and His Mercy.  From Heaven, the saints, radiant with glory and grace, look down upon us with love, seeking to lavish us with the Mercy of God.  Seek Heaven as your primary and ultimate goal in life.  Do all things with this goal in mind and the treasure you will build up for all eternity will be more abundant than you could ever hope for (See Diary #1592).

Do you think about Heaven as your one true desire in life?  Every act of love offered here on Earth will be remembered and exalted in Heaven.  Everything we do on Earth should be but a preparation for the glorious day of our passing from this world into our eternal home.  Ponder your desires and if the glories of Heaven is not front and center, be aware of that fact, redirect your focus and seek to place your eyes on this ultimate prize.  As you look at the beauty and splendor of Heaven, the Lord will draw you to it with a burning desire.

Lord, please flood my heart with the joyful delight of Heaven.  Help me to keep my eyes on this goal and to do all in this life as a preparation for that sweet encounter.  I love You, dear Lord, and have great hope in the day of our perfect union.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 329: Confessing with Delight

Why do you fear Confession?  This glorious Sacrament is offered to you from the tender Heart of our Lord.  Through this glorious gift Jesus lifts the burdens you carry so that you can more fully share in His Mercy.  If you understood this, there would be no hesitation in running to Confession on a regular basis.  You would desire it not because it reveals your misery, but because it heals it and removes it forever (See Diary #1602).

Try to spend time looking at your attitude toward the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  If you see hesitancy within you, examine the reason.  Is it fear of facing your sin?  Is it fear of facing the priest?  Fear should never be a factor.  Let go of any fear you have by putting your eyes on the end result.  That end result is freedom and union with God.  This is a Mercy you need and will never regret receiving.

Lord, please free me from the fear of this glorious Sacrament.  Help me to see my sins honestly but only as I also gaze upon Your infinite Mercy.  Give my heart a burning desire for this Mercy and a longing for the freedom it brings.  I love You, dear Lord.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 330: Praying for Others

Do not underestimate the power of your prayers.  The greater your trust in the Mercy of God, the more powerful will your prayers be for those who need them.  The Lord knows all things and He knows who needs what.  But He wants to dispense His grace in union with those who ask for it.  Your prayers for others are the most powerful way that you can bring the Mercy of God into this world (See Diary #1603).

Do you pray for others?  If not, resolve to do so.  Your prayer may be for a specific need or a struggle that another is enduring.  But we should always leave the specific result to the Mercy of God.  Offering others to God and trusting that He knows the best outcome for any situation pleases our Lord and wins an abundance of grace for those in need.

Lord, I offer You, this day, all who are troubled and burdened.  I offer You the sinner, the confused, the ill, the imprisoned, the weak of faith, the strong of faith, the religious, the laity and all Your priests.  Lord, have Mercy on Your people, especially upon those in most need.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 331: Nothing Beyond Your Strength

It’s important to know that the Lord will never allow you to carry a cross that is beyond your strength.  Do you believe this?  If you do, it should help you to set your eyes on the road ahead and plunge forward doing the Will of God.  If struggles come your way, even if they are great, know with certainty that the Lord is with you, carrying you if needed, through everything you face in life.  Nothing can keep you from His Mercy and His perfect Will if you keep your eyes on Him (See Diary #1607).

Reflect upon the path that you believe the Lord has set before you.  What obstacles do you perceive to be too great to overcome?  Whatever it is, you must face them with confidence and absolute trust in our Lord.  As painful as some things may be, nothing is beyond the Mercy of God. He will transform the rough path before you into a smooth road if you let Him.

Lord, I do believe that You are always with me, leading me and protecting me.  When I face some hardship in life, help me to see it as an opportunity to rely more on Your grace.  I know that I can do all things You call me to, dear Lord.  I commit to walking the road You have laid out for me.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 332: Never Grow Weary of the Cross

The Lord speaks much about sufferings to Saint Faustina.  She suffered much through humiliations and through physical illness.  And Jesus never tired of reminding her that her sufferings take on great power when united to His Cross.  This message must never be forgotten.  Though suffering may not be a “happy” topic, it is a joyous one when properly understood.  When you realize that your sufferings can act as an instrument of the Mercy of God in the world, you will not hesitate to embrace them and to unite them to Christ.  Never doubt this sacred instrument of God’s Mercy (See Diary #1612).

Sufferings and the talk of sufferings can be wearisome, but only when they are not united to the Cross of our Lord. When they are united to His Cross, the burden becomes light.   Reflect upon whether you understand this and live it.  If you are living it you will find that your sufferings are no longer a heavy burden, they become a joy.  Though it is hard to arrive at this level of surrender, it is your calling and the reward awaits.

Lord, may I never grow weary of offering You every pain and suffering I endure.  When serious hardships come my way, help me to give them to You.  When small discomforts come my way, help me to give them to You.  I unite all things to Your glorious Cross, dear Lord, and trust in Your unfathomable power to transform them.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 333: Simplicity

Life can appear to be complicated at times and so can we.  But the truth is that we need to cut through the complexities of life and realize that, from the perspective and Will of God, life is simple.  It’s simple in that all we need to do is say “Yes” to Him every day, surrendering all to Him and trusting Him every step of the way.  We must be diligent in responding to His promptings and grace, but we do not have to enter into the entire complicated world, figure it out and solve it.  This is too much and is far better done by God.  Seek to be a simple soul who trusts in the perfect wisdom of God and He will sort life out for you (See Diary #1617).

Do you find that your life appears complicated at times?  Reflect upon this question and if the answer is “Yes” it’s probably because you are trying to do more than God is asking and to solve questions that He already knows the answers to.  Turn to Him, today, as a simple trusting soul.  Be ready and willing to respond to anything He communicates to you and do it with passion and diligence, but do not worry about all the apparent complexities of life.  The Lord understands them well and will navigate you through their confusion.

Lord, I pray that I may become a simple soul.  I choose to follow this path led by absolute trust in You and Your wisdom.  You know all things, dear Lord, and You will guide me every step of the way through the apparent complexities of life if I let You.  I do believe this dear Lord.  Help me believe it with all my soul.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 334: Serving Souls

One of the greatest blessings we have been given is the ability to serve others.  We serve them in many ways, especially in accord with our particular vocation.  But the greatest service we could ever render a person is to be a minister of the Mercy of God, leading them to the glories of Heaven.  Imagine what Heaven will be like knowing that you have inspired countless souls to grow in their love of God.  See this as one of your greatest blessings and privileges in life (See Diary #1622).

How eager are you to offer the truth, love and compassion of our God to others?  Do you see the great honor this is and the great dignity it bestows?  Never doubt how important it is to make this among the greatest priorities in life.  Loving God with all your being comes first, but serving others and helping them on the road to salvation is right behind this.  Commit yourself to this glorious act of Mercy today and you will be grateful for eternity that you did.

Lord, give me the desire and will to serve others with my whole heart.  Help me to love them and to bring Your Mercy and compassion into their lives.  May many souls be won for You, dear Lord, on account of the grace that You send them through my life.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 335: Forever Forgiving 

One of the hardest things to do in life is to pray for those who persecute you and to treat them with the utmost respect and compassion.  But what benefit is there in hating them or lashing out at them?  Doing this “harm” to them is far more damaging to your own soul than to theirs.  Forgive, forgive, and forgive again.  In fact, forgiving another is a form of God’s justice in that it reveals that another is in need of forgiveness and dispels the vicious power of their malice in your life.  Forgive them, pray for them and entrust them to the Mercy of God.  By doing this you will have great peace in your soul (See Diary #1628).

Is there anyone in life that you hate?  Or anyone that you are at least tempted to have much anger toward?  If so, reflect upon this person today and make the conscious choice to forgive them.  Though your feelings may not immediately follow this choice, you will begin to find peace in this decision.  Forgive them over and over as long as anger remains and the Lord will prune that vice from your life replacing it with His joy.

Lord, in Your great Mercy You have forgiven me for my sins.  I am unworthy of such a gift but I thank You for it.  Help me to show the same depth of mercy and compassion to others, especially those who have hurt me.  I forgive them, dear Lord.  I forgive them a thousand times and more.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 336: The Riches of the World…or God?

It’s interesting how often we desire earthly possessions.  Even if you had every treasure in the world all to yourself, this could not fill the longing in your heart.  There is one thing and one thing alone that fills the void within you and that is the Lord and His holy Will.  Nothing else suffices, yet we often work so hard at gaining more and more of the things that pass away (See Diary #1632).

Spend time today imagining that you obtained a superabundance of wealth.  What would this do to your life?  Would it make you happy?  Perhaps it would be fun, interesting, exciting, and entertaining…at least for a while.  But the truth is that nothing can fill the void in your heart except God.  Yes, there is a void that needs to be filled.  You feel it and are always seeking to fill it.  Do so with God and His Mercy.  You will find that what you have desired all along is free for the receiving.

Lord, You are my riches and wealth.  You must become all that I desire in life.  Give me the grace to believe this truth and to choose You as the fulfillment of all my longings.  I love You, dear Lord.  Help me to love You more.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 337: Helping the Anxiety of Others

In our lives it is almost certain that we will encounter people from time to time who are agitated, upset or worried.  They may obsess about this or that and their thinking may even be somewhat irrational.  What a graced opportunity this is for Mercy.  Anxiety and worry will happen in life and we should not let it draw us in.  We must keep our peace, make the situation light, and especially offer prayers for those struggling with this burden (See Diary #1636).

How do you react when you encounter the excessive worries or anxieties of another?  This is a heavy burden to them and a source of much stress.  Reflect upon how you approach people in this situation.  Know that the Lord wishes to use you to bring peace to their worried minds and anxious hearts.  Commit to this act of Mercy and the Lord will bless them.

Lord, please do make me an instrument of Your peace.  When I encounter those who have no peace and are filled with anxiety, help me look at them with compassion and love.  Help me to know that these souls need Your Mercy and that I am the one sent to dispense it.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 338: Keeping a Secret

One act of love we can offer another is our confidentiality.  We have all had experiences of people coming to us with a problem or confusion and they ask us to keep it to ourselves.  Can you keep this form of a sacred secret?  Confidentiality is a wonderful act of mercy to others.  If you can be truly confidential, others will come to realize this quality in you and they will more readily come to you with their concerns.  This act of friendship, given out of love, opens the door to others to open their hearts and let you in.  As you enter in, do so with much understanding and care and the Lord will bless them through you (See Diary #1638).

Reflect upon the question of confidentiality.  When someone shares something in confidence with you, do you immediately think about who else you can tell?  Are you tempted to reveal these secrets or, even worse, to spread gossip?  The Lord wants many souls who are there for others, to listen to them, to understand them and to love them no matter what they need to share.  Be a holy listener and confidant and you will be an instrument of much Mercy.

Lord, I pray that I may become a person of great integrity, offering a compassionate and confidential ear to those who need it.  Give me grace to be freed of useless chatter and gossip and to revere every person, respecting their dignity through privacy.  May I never push or probe for more but only be a compassionate friend who is always there to show love.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 339: The Pure Soul

It may not be something you immediately conclude, but a soul who has a pure love of God is feared by many.  The “fear” that they have is a fear to oppose such a soul.  Those with malicious intent will not dare to attack such a person because they know it may backfire on them.  It’s impossible for anyone to harm you when your heart is perfectly set on the Lord (See Diary #1643).

What do you fear?  Or perhaps the better question is “Why do you fear?”  If your heart is set on Christ’s then there is no reason to worry or fear anything.  Even if others attack you in some way, if your heart is set on Christ then this will not matter.  Reflect the image of fog and see that as the many struggles of life.  Then imagine the bright and powerful Sun coming out and burning the fog away.  This is what happens when we set our heart on the Lord.

Lord, I want to be a pure soul, setting my heart only on You.  My heart is Yours, dear Lord.  I entrust it to You with all my might.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 340: Being Tested

It may not be immediately pleasant, but at times we greatly benefit from being tested.  The Lord permits this in a variety of ways.  Being tested is not a temptation; rather, it’s a way that the Lord allows us to endure a trial so as to invite us to more deeply submit to His holy Will.  When you feel a trial come your way, the best thing you can do is to get down on your knees and pray, “Lord, may Your Divine Will be done in all things!  I submit fully to whatever You desire!”  What a perfect prayer, especially when prayed in the context of a trial.  This prayer will enable you to pass the test (See Diary #1648).

How do you react when you are faced with a trial in life?  Do you despair?  Or do you get down on your knees and surrender your life to God?  Ponder this and resolve to surrender in all things so that you will pass every test in life.

Lord, I do surrender to You my whole being.  Take all that I am and all that I hope to be.  All is Yours, Lord.  Do with me as You will, when You will and how You will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 341: Adore the Lord My Soul

If you have ever been to a wonder of nature, the moment you behold it is an awe-inspiring moment.  Looking at the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, or the Swiss Alps for the first time will take your breath away and leave you in a moment of adoration of God’s creation.  But if the beauty of nature can evoke such a response, then the infinite beauty of God will leave you in awe for eternity.  It will be a moment of such “Beholding” that every fiber of your being will be drawn to God the moment you are face-to-face.  And that “moment” will become one eternal moment.  That moment can begin now if you allow yourself to be drawn into the adoration of God (See Diary #1652).

Do you understand the idea of adoring God?  There is only one way to understand and that’s to do it.  For example, someone may tell you all about the Grand Canyon, and it may be interesting, but seeing it with your own eyes completely changes your understanding.  Reflect today on whether or not you know what it means to adore God with your whole soul.  If you do not, then seek out this supernatural marvel.

Oh Lord, I desire to adore You with all my being.  I want to be mesmerized by Your beauty and glory.  Draw me in, dear Lord, and allow me to have but a glimpse of the glory I am to behold for all eternity.  Jesus, I trust in You.


Reflection 342: The Refreshment of the Passion

Normally we do not put the words “passion” and “refreshment” together.  How could the Passion of Christ be refreshing?  It is only horrific and sorrowful from an earthly perspective.  The Lord suffered greatly and our Blessed Mother suffered with Him with the most sorrowful heart.  But they both took great refreshment in this act also.  This is because the Passion is pure love.  And love refreshes us like nothing other.  When you meditate on the Passion of our Lord you also offer joy and refreshment to His suffering soul and your own crosses are transformed as you enter into His (See Diary #1657).

Never stop reflecting upon the Passion of our Lord.  It must become an image that is imbedded upon your heart.  Reflect on how often you do meditate on this act of pure love.  Do you understand it?  Do you see the love and compassion that brought our Lord to such a gift?  Put your eyes on the Passion today and never take them off this refreshing act of perfect Mercy.

Lord, help me to see Your Passion for what it is.  Please peel back the veil of Your suffering and pain so that I may see the love that led You to this moment.  As I gaze upon this beauty may I bring You delight and be transformed by Your Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 343: Glorifying the Lord in All Things

It’s easy to be grateful only when things go well.  But when times are tough we tend to turn in on ourselves in self-pity.  But you must learn to glorify the Lord in all things.  There are countless blessings and graces that God gives you for which you must experience immense gratitude.  Family blessings, spiritual consolations, fulfillment of duties, etc., must all be occasions of gratitude.  But gratitude must permeate everything in life, even hardships.  Seek to glorify the Lord not only because of the “good things of life,” but also throughout the difficult things.  Everything can be used by God for His glory and we must rejoice in that fact day and night (See Diary #1661-1662).

Reflect upon this “challenge.”  Can you find joy in all things and offer praise and gratitude to God no matter what?  God is worth it and He deserves your continual praise.  He never leaves you and when you realize this it will be the source of unending praise and thanksgiving.

Lord, I adore You, worship You, praise You and thank You for all things in my life.  Thank You for the blessings and for always being there when life is hard.  Help me to grow in my gratitude for You and to rejoice always for Your Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 344: Stop Worrying About Sin

That may sound like an unusual heading.  You should be concerned about sin inasmuch as you should diligently seek to avoid it.  But if you were to realize that your understanding of the Mercy of God is but a drop of water compared to the ocean, you would not allow your concerns to turn into worries.  To be concerned is to be conscientious and being conscientious is a grace.  But when you look at your sin, honestly and thoroughly, in the light of the Mercy of God, you will never worry that your sin is too much for God.  His greatest desire is to wipe it away in an instant, forever (See Diary #1665).

Reflect upon whether you are comfortable facing your sins with exceptional honesty.  If you are not then that is a sign that you do not understand His infinite Mercy.  Know that comprehending His Mercy is the best cure for every sin.

Lord, I see my sin but I want to see it more clearly.  Give me the grace of knowing Your perfect Mercy so that I can face my sin without worry and without fear.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 345: Drowned in God

Do you ever soak in God?  This is a rare and even non-existent experience for most people.  Soaking, or drowning in God means that you become immersed so deeply in prayer that it’s as if you are lost in His presence.  When this happens, the Lord fully takes you over and possesses your soul for that moment.  You may not remain this way and you may soon return to your sins, but moments of pure contemplation are treasures in this life beyond anything else.  It’s a way that God gives you a taste of His glory so that you are left desiring Him all the more (See Diary #1669).

Consider the question of whether or not you have ever allowed yourself to be so drawn into the presence of God that you lose track of time and space.  It’s as if you were transported to the Heart of Christ and rested in His bosom.  If you have never entered this depth of prayer know that it awaits you.  The Lord’s love is so deep and so perfect that, when you experience but a taste, you will be coming back for more as often as you can.

Lord, draw me into Your presence.  Help me to know You and Your perfect love.  Help me to experience You in perfect adoration and praise.  May I receive but a glimpse of Your glory and savor that delight evermore.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 346: The Gifts of Others

One act of Mercy you can offer to others is to perceive the gifts of God in their lives and to rejoice in that fact.  Sadly, there can often be a temptation to be jealous or envious of others, especially when you see their natural talents or the grace of God in their lives.  But if you can look at them with humility, your heart will be moved to see God at work in them.  You will see their natural gifts as gifts from God given at the creation of their souls, and you will see their supernatural gifts as gifts from God given by His grace.  Seek to rejoice in the goodness of God alive in all His children and you will add to those gifts in their lives and also in yours (See Diary #1671).

What is your first reaction when you see either a natural talent or a supernatural grace in another?  Are you jealous or envious?  Or do you rejoice that you are blessed to see God at work?  Reflect honestly upon this question this day and seek the latter so that the Lord will bring forth even more blessings in your life and theirs.

Lord, I thank You for the way You are at work in all of Your children.  As I see Your hand and boundless gifts, give me the grace of a joyful heart so that I may rejoice in the good things You offer to all.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 347: Holy Communion

There is no greater gift in this world than Holy Communion.  And yet we so often approach that Sacrament with a distracted and inattentive heart.  To overcome such a distraction you must first be convinced, with your entire mind, of the deep truths of the reality of Holy Communion.  You must submit, with deep faith, to the reality that God is there, fully, in veiled form, coming to unite Himself with you in the most profound way.  Second, as you believe, you must make an act of the will, choosing to receive Him not only into your body, but into every part of your being.  Believe and then choose and the Lord of Mercy will transform your life through your worthy reception of Holy Communion (See Diary #1676).

Reflect upon the past several times you have gone forward to receive our Lord in Holy Communion.  What was going through your mind at the time?  Where was your heart in these moments?  Renew your total trust in God as He comes to you through this most Precious Gift and resolve to receive Him more worthily the next time you receive this privilege.

Lord, please do renew my love for You as You come to me in Holy Communion.  May I understand You as You come to me in this Precious Gift and may I choose You with my entire will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 348: God Fulfills what He Reveals

It’s amazing to consider two facts side by side.  First, consider that Saint Faustina heard Jesus tell her, over and over, that He desired that the Feast of Divine Mercy be promulgated and celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter every year.  How was this lowly cloistered nun to accomplish such a task for the universal Church?  Second, when St. John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2000, our Holy Father promulgated that the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday was to become a universal feast of the Church.  God spoke this to the heart of Saint Faustina in silence and solitude over and over from 1931-1938.  Just over sixty years later, it came to be (See Diary #1680).

Reflect upon the fact that God often calls you to do far more than you could ever imagine doing on your own.  If you are attentive to His clear gentle Voice, and if you heed His commands, you will begin to discover that the Lord will do amazing things through your life.  They may not be extraordinarily public and noticeable by all, but they will be far more than you ever thought possible.  Do not be amazed at God’s Will for your life and do not hesitate to believe what He calls you to do.  Say “Yes” and leave the rest to Him.

Lord, to whatever You call me I say “Yes.”  If Your Will is that I live a quiet hidden life, offering my daily duties as a sacrifice to You, I say “Yes.”  If it is Your Will that my life become very public and that You use me in this way for the good of the Church, then I say “Yes.”  Lord, my life is Yours, do with me what You will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 349: Losing Your Peace of Heart

What is it that has the power to steal away the peace and calm of your heart?  What if you were insulted, ridiculed, falsely judged, imprisoned, beaten or even killed?  Would any of these rob the peace of God in your heart?  Only if you let it.  It is essential that you know and believe with firm faith that nothing can steal the peace of your heart unless you let it.  Your goal must be to be free from everything in this world.  You must be detached from all riches, honors, respect, fear and everything.  If you are fully detached then you are free to be fully attached to Christ and no matter what comes your way, no matter what happens to you, your single attachment to our Lord and His Will can never be taken away from you unless you let it (See Diary #1685).

Reflect upon the things that have taken away your peace in the past.  Identifying these will help you realize what it is that you are attached to in an unhealthy way.  If, for example, public ridicule has stolen your peace, then you are too attached to your reputation.  If poverty has left you depressed, then you are too attached to money.  If the rejection of a friend or family member has turned you to anger, then you were too attached to this person.  This list could go on and on.  Though the spiritual goal of total detachment may be very hard to understand and even harder to accept, do not dismiss it too quickly.  Reflect upon attachments you have, even to apparent good things.  Realize that if the one attachment you have is to God, all good things will follow.

Lord, I choose You and Your Will as my one possession in life.  All else is passing and all else can be lost in an instant.  But You, oh Lord, are eternal and You can never be taken away if I choose You.  I love You, dear Lord, help me to remain firmly attached to You and Your Will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 350: Beauty in Adoration

The world is beautiful and reveals the beauty of God, but spiritual realities, such as the Holy Eucharist, are far more beautiful.  To see the beauty of God, present in the Most Holy Eucharist, you need eyes of faith.  One of the best ways to sharpen your vision of this beauty is through adoration.  Though receiving Holy Communion must be the ultimate union we experience with our Lord, adoration of Him, present in the Sacred Host, prepares you for this encounter by revealing His beauty.  Seek to adore Him exposed in the monstrance on the altar and let the eyes of your soul become enthralled by His beauty (See Diary #1692).

Do you ever participate in adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist?  If you have adoration regularly at your church, you are blessed.  If not, seek it out at a nearby church.  Adoration feeds your soul and reveals to you the beauty of God.  Reflect upon your experience of Eucharistic adoration and recommit yourself to a wholehearted participation in this glorious act.

Lord, I adore You with the most profound adoration as You are present before me in the Most Holy Eucharist.  I love You and seek to know Your hidden beauty and splendor.  You are glorious, dear Lord.  As I behold Your glory, draw me ever deeper into Your perfect Heart of Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 351: To Know or Experience God

It must be your constant goal to know God.  Study of Scripture, the teachings of the Church, and the lives of the saints all help in this endeavor.  But knowing God is not the ultimate goal of life.  Knowledge comes from faith and faith is a gift from God.  But being fully united to God in charity is of far greater importance.  They are not opposed, but they are not the same.  In fact, at times the Lord will darken one’s mind and not even allow it to understand Him so that He can, instead, transform the will so that this holy soul will choose Him and live a life of charity even in the darkness of faith.  This is a deep mystery (See Diary #1697).

Are there times when you feel as though you cannot understand God or His ways?  Do you experience a cloudy vision and dimmed intellect?  If so, this may be a grace of far greater value than you know.  It is in these moments, especially, that God invites you to love and to choose His Will despite the fog that appears to have set in.  Choose His Will and live charity even when it does not make perfect sense to you and the Lord will bring forth much Mercy through you.

Lord, I thank You for the times of clarity in life.  But even when my mind seems darkened and confused, I submit to Your holy Will.  Help me to love You and others in those moments so that my life may be a living instrument of Your pure Mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 352: Chastisement and Guilt

It may not be pleasant to consider the chastisement of God.  But it must be understood that His chastisements are real and are an act of His abundant Mercy.  When souls turn from God and refuse His Mercy, this deeply wounds His Heart.  As a result, God becomes more “passionate” so to speak in His tireless pursuit.  One way He seeks to open their hearts is through chastisements.  Think of the Pharisees, for example.  They were filled with pride and egotism and the Lord rebuked them harshly.  But He did so to win them back as an act of great Mercy.  It worked for some, for others it did not (See Diary #1703).

Are you aware of the chastisements of God?  For example, have you felt the pain of extreme guilt for your sins?  If so, pay attention to this.  Know that if you have gone astray, especially through pride, the Lord will pour down judgment upon you.  If you persist, He will pour it down with a vengeance.  And when a soul remains obstinate, God’s Mercy cannot enter.  But when these chastisements produce a sense of holy guilt, this means that the conscience is working and is in a position to change.  Do not hold onto guilt and do not ignore it.  Run to the Mercy of God so that He can free you from your sin and return His peace to your heart.

Lord, please give me the grace I need to turn to You in all things.  May I never be in need of the fierce chastisements of Your Mercy.  But if I am in need of this grace, please help me to respond with conversion from my sins.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 353: A Hymn of Glory

Music is a discovery and expression of the natural laws of God’s creation, relying upon the order and rhythm found in its natural design.  Some music uses the natural order of things to glorify earthly realities.  Some forms of music even express sin and disorder.  But the greatest form of music is that which beautifully and clearly articulates the high order, harmony and symmetry of the life of God.  Our lives become like a hymn of glory, offered to God, when we act in perfect harmony with the Will of God.  The “music” of your soul must become a hymn of this glory (See Diary #1708).

Reflect upon the idea of your life being like a hymn.  What does the “hymn of your life” sound like?  Is it ordered, beautiful and reflective of the inner life of God?  Or does your life better express disorder and interior dysfunction?  Be honest and ponder the “music” that comes forth from your life.  Allow the Master Musician to take hold of you so as to bring forth a hymn worthy of His glory.

Lord, may my life become a hymn of worship, rising up to Your glorious throne of grace, echoing forth the lovely melody of Your inner life.  Take hold of me, dear Lord, and use me as Your instrument of Mercy and Grace in this world.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 354: Untying the Web of Sin

When a person begins to lie, and forms a habit of this sort, they will eventually become entangled in a web of lies.  One lie leads to another and pretty soon they do not know how to break free of this web.  This is where you must offer mercy.  It’s very easy to be harsh toward someone who has clearly led themselves down the wrong path.  It’s easy to point the finger and rub in their sin.  But the Lord wants you to look at this person with love and help untangle them from the web they have woven.  This is done by being clear and direct about their errors, but also without judgment or harshness.  If they perceive you to be offering the truth with mercy, they may just accept your invitation to undo that which they have done.  This principle applies to many types of sins (See Diary #1712).

Reflect upon anyone in your life who appears to be tangled in a web of sin and cannot get out.  Let your heart grow in mercy for this person, refraining from all judgment.  Love them, seek to bring them the humbling truth and do so gently but clearly so that they can be set free.

Lord, sin binds us and causes much distress in life.  Give me the grace of a merciful heart so that I can be an instrument of freedom to those caught in a life of sin.  Give me the grace, dear Lord, to love them with Your perfect Heart of Mercy.

 

Reflection 355: Idle Talk, a Sign of an Idle Soul

Some people are very good at talking about others.  They offer continual opinions and judgments of them and speak freely, as if they have everything figured out.  Do not be like one of these people.  Those who have their minds and tongues occupied with the activities of others have little time to look into their own souls so as to discover who they are (See Diary #1717).

Do you struggle with idle talk?  In other words, do you speak regularly and freely about others, issuing opinions and judgments upon them while, at the same time, fail to honestly evaluate your own soul?  If you do this it may be hard to admit it.  But if this is you, admit it here and now.  Tell our Lord you are aware of this struggle and seek His Mercy as your help.  He will help you, but only if you are honest with your struggle.

Lord, please free me from the idle chatter and judgments I tend to place upon others.  Help me, instead, to become truly recollected and aware of my own life and sin.  Help me to also see the abundance of Your Mercy which I must rely upon and offer to others.  My Lord, I repent of my sin, please come to my help.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 356: The Beating of Your Heart

When there is excitement in your life, your heart begins to beat faster.  This is a natural reaction.  For that reason, it is good to ponder whether your heart ever beats for God?  Do you allow yourself to become caught up in a holy awe of the presence of God?  Do you become excited about the mission that God has given you?  And, if so, do you ever find that your heart beats faster as you ponder the great mysteries of His love and Mercy?  Your whole being must react to the majesty and splendor of our glorious God (See Diary #1728).

Try this simple examination today.  Ponder the last time that you truly became excited over God and His holy Will.  Was your excitement something that affected you so much that even your heart began to beat faster?  Though this may not be an infallible sign of the presence of God in your life, it may reveal much more than you realize.

Lord, I desire that my heart beat for You every day.  May I experience the joy and excitement of Your perfect glory and desire with my mind, spirit and even body, the fulfillment of Your Will.  I love You, dear Lord.  May my heart beat for You with great intensity and love.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 357: The Promptings of Grace

When someone is troubled, you may shy away from them.  It’s easy to think that engaging them will impose a heavy burden on your time and energy.  But if the Lord is the one directing your conversation, He can do amazing things in a short while.  Sure, there are times when love demands many hours of care, but often times a few words, a listening ear, or a gentle smile will do more for a person in need than you could ever imagine (See Diary #1736).

Reflect upon the fact that God is able to accomplish amazing things with very little effort on your part.  All it takes is a willing response to the gentle promptings of His Heart so as to speak a kind word, listen to a burdened heart, or offer a work of charity.  If it’s done as a result of the promptings of the Holy Spirit, it will be amazingly simple, delightful and well worth the effort.  Ponder how well you listen to the daily inspirations of the Holy Spirit and seek to act the next time you are moved to do so.

Lord, I pray that I will always be ready and willing to act as an instrument of Your Mercy.  Please inspire me, dear Lord, to act on the promptings that You send me, and help me to express Your love to others in the simplest of ways.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 358: God’s Twofold Gift

Often, when we speak of the Mercy of God, we speak of the forgiveness of sins.  This is the first act of God’s Mercy.  He sees every sin, even the slightest imperfection, and despite the suffering these sins impose upon Our Lord, He lavishly bestows Mercy to forgive.  Forgiveness becomes total and permanent.  God never brings up sins that have been forgiven.  But God doesn’t stop there.  It’s important to understand that God bestows many graces in addition to forgiveness.  One such grace is that, when He forgives a particular sin, He actually transforms it in such a way that He is able to use it for our good.  Amazingly, God is even able to use sin for His glory in the end (See Diary #1745).

Reflect upon two things.  First, look at the forgiveness that God has offered you for past sins.  This should leave you with humble gratitude.  Second, look for ways that God has used even your past sins, once forgiven, for His glory.  The Lord’s Mercy is overwhelming and awe-inspiring.  Allow it to leave you in eternal gratitude.

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness that You offer me and even more for the infinite grace that You bestow after You forgive.  I pray that I will always be aware of these graces and will open my heart to them without hesitation.  I love you, dear Lord, and I am eternally grateful to You for all things.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Reflection 359: The Love of Eternity

With God there is no time.  Time is strictly an earthly phenomenon.  In God, all things are, always were and always will be.  One effect of this eternal love is that God has loved you for all eternity.  He has known you even before the foundation of the world and will know and love you forevermore.  This all-encompassing love should give you great comfort.  There never was a time that God did not perfectly love you and there never will be a time when His love fails.  God’s love is eternal, and it is offered before you were created, every second of your life, and for eternity and beyond (See Diary #1754).

Ponder eternity today.  Though it’s possible to understand what eternity means, it’s impossible to comprehend its depths.  Ponder also the simple fact that God’s love is eternal.  For that reason, the same truth applies.  You can understand that God’s love is eternal, but you will never comprehend the depths of God’s love.  This is very comforting to know.

God of Eternity, I thank You for Your perfect love and for its infinite nature and depth.  May I spend my eternity plunging into this love, never growing weary of receiving it and becoming more immersed in its beauty.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 360: Spiritual Battle

The tempter, satan, is real, but he is no one to fear.  You should pay no attention to him.  You should not engage his ideas.  You should not bargain with him.  In the face of temptations you should have courage, trust in the Mercy of God, and hope.  Do not become curious about the sins of others, do not talk about them, do not be upset when mistreated, and do not complain.  Seek wise counsel from others when confused and listen to their advice, as long as it leaves you at peace and is from the Lord.  Have strong convictions and do not worry about the battles of this world.  Keep your mind and heart on Jesus and let Him defend you (See Diary #1760).

When you feel the oppression of the evil one, how do you react?  Do you allow your feelings to take over and enter into anger, despair and doubt?  When a spiritual battle rages within, there is one defense.  Put your eyes on Jesus and not on the temptations or evils.  Seek out His peace and remain sheltered in His Mercy.  Reflect upon how well you do this.  If you struggle, then resolve to pray, pray and pray some more.

Lord, You and You alone can fight off the temptations of the evil one.  Give me the grace to keep my eyes on You and to trust in Your abundant Mercy.  Give me Your peace in times of adversity and courage to face all that I may endure.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 361: Sacrifice and Prayer

Though this may be hard to understand and to believe, interior sacrifice united with pure prayer does incredible good for the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world.  In fact, if missionaries did not have the power of holy souls who offered daily interior sacrifices and prayers, their efforts would have little effect.  The grace of God is what moves people and this grace is especially won through souls whose sacrifices are: silent, hidden, permeated with love and imbued with prayer.  (See Diary #1767).

Reflect upon the fact that you have so very much to offer for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God through your personal and interior sacrifices.  By choosing those things that are difficult, and even repulsive to your feelings, you are able to offer powerful intercession for the good of the Church.  There is an incredible amount of spiritual power in this kind of sacrifice.  God chooses some special souls to offer this sacrifice in a profound way, but everyone must strive to do so.  Reflect upon the opportunities you have right now to embrace some interior struggle.  By embracing it and offering it to God, you transform this suffering into grace that prayer and work alone could never achieve.

Lord, help me to understand the power of my interior sacrifices.  Help me to know that choosing You and embracing my sufferings for You becomes a powerful source of grace in this world.  When this confuses me, dear Lord, help me to put my eyes on You and to know Your most holy Will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 362: Two Hearts of Mercy

Jesus’ Heart is pure Mercy.  It’s a fountain of grace pouring out upon the world.  This is consoling but there is another heart that must also become a fountain of Mercy, and that is yours.  You must become so immersed in the Mercy of the Lord that your heart bursts forth with rivers of grace for others.  This is especially how God touches those souls who are lost and do not pray.  By you going to them, loving them with great devotion and lavishing the Mercy of God upon them, their hearts meet the Lord’s (See Diary #1777).

Reflect upon your call to be the very Heart of Christ to others.  His Heart must beat in yours and His Mercy must become yours.  This takes total surrender and requires much personal sacrifice.  But if you can allow our Lord to flood your heart with His Mercy, the overflow from your heart will affect countless others.

Lord, please make my heart Your Heart.  I give it to You dear Lord to use in this world to touch many lives.  May I so humble myself before You that a flood of Mercy flows through me to touch the lives of many.  I love You dear Lord, help me to love all Your children with a burning love.  Jesus, I trust in You. 

 

Reflection 363: Hearing God Speak

Imagine you were in a crowded room with much noise and someone whispered to you from across the room.  You may notice them trying to speak but it would be difficult to hear.  This is much like the Voice of God.  When God speaks, He whispers.  He speaks gently and quietly and only those who are truly recollected throughout the day will notice His Voice and hear what He says.  The Lord wants us to eliminate the many distractions of our day, the constant noise of the world and all that drowns out His gentle command of love.  Seek to be recollected, silencing the noise of the world, and the Lord’s gentle Voice will become crystal clear (See Diary #1779).

Do you hear God speak to you?  If not, what is it that distracts you and competes for your attention?  Look into your heart and know that the gentle Voice of God speaks to you day and night.  Try to be absolutely attentive to His Voice of perfect love, and follow all that He asks.  Ponder His Voice not only today, but always.  Build a habit of attentiveness so that you will never miss a word that He says.

Lord, I love You with a burning love and desire to hear You speak to me always.  Help me to eliminate the many distractions of life so that nothing will ever compete with Your gentle Voice.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 364: Prayer for the Dying

In regard to your eternal salvation, the hour of your death is so very important.  When you pray the “Hail Mary” prayer, you pray specifically for this sacred hour.  It is a holy hour.  But it is also an hour when the evil one will lash out at you one more time to try to steal your soul for all eternity.  It is essential that you spend your life preparing for this sacred hour by your prayers, a life of sacrifice, and a life of charity.  But it is also essential that you pray for those who are in their last hour.  For some, this is a moment of true spiritual battle.  See it as a duty of charity to regularly remember those who are in their last hour in your prayers.  They will thank you in Heaven (See Diary #1798).

Reflect upon your death this day, and especially try to pray the rosary for this moment.  Consider, also, making a commitment to pray for those who are dying.  Death brings many temptations, such as fear, and is a time when much grace is needed.  Pray that every soul, including your own, will enter this hour with confidence and faith, trusting in the abundant Mercy of God.

Lord, I offer You my last hour in this life and pray for all those who will face this moment today.  May it be a sweet hour in which we are surrounded by Your angels and saints.  May we especially receive the consolation of knowing the prayers of Your dear Mother at this moment.  Mother Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

Reflection 365: The Queen of Mercy

This last reflection is dedicated to the Queen of Mercy, the Most Glorious Mother of God.  She, more than any other, was and continues to be a perfect instrument of the Mercy of God.  She brought forth Mercy Himself into this world by her fiat, her “Yes,” at the Annunciation.  She suffered greatly as she watched her Son suffer such brutality, and offered her motherly love to console His Heart and to win much grace in the world through her sacrifice.  She was taken body and soul into Heaven and given the Crown of Glory by her Son, so that from her glorious throne in Heaven, she may continue to lavish Mercy on the world.  Seek her prayers, trust in her intercession, consecrate yourself to her motherly care, and know of her perfect love for you.  She will never abandon her children and, therefore, she will never abandon you.

Dearest Mother, my Queen, I love you with a profound love and I desire to consecrate myself to your Immaculate Heart.  Your heart, dear Mother, is a heart overflowing with the Mercy of Your Son.  He has given you all grace and entrusted you with the dispensation of this grace upon the world.  May I never doubt your maternal care and intercession.  I love you, dear Mother.  I give myself entirely to you so that you may bring me to Your Son, Jesus.  Mother Mary, my Queen, pray for me.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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