When we read the Diary of St. Faustina, we must always try to remember that we are reading the actual words of Jesus. In many ways, we have been extremely blessed to live in a time when a book of this magnitude exists. A countless number of saints and holy people would have loved to have had in their possession a book which contained the actual words of Jesus, other than the Bible of course.
As we read through the Diary of St. Faustina, we get a profound insight into the personality of Jesus. His words are always gentle and kind. We get a sense of the suffering He feels as He looks at mankind and the countless sins we commit, and yet He remains committed to His promises of Mercy for everyone who repents and seeks His mercy.
The Diary is not a man-made item. St. Faustina did not create the Diary as a clever way to promote the mercy of God. In the Diary, we read that she was reluctant to even write down her experiences and only did so in accordance with the commands of her spiritual director. She often suffered serious doubts as to the authenticity of the locutions and visions she was experiencing and often wondered if she was mentally ill. Fr. Sopocko actually doubted her too for a long time and had her examined by a psychologist who reported that she was perfectly healthy psychologically. Fr. Sopocko, who was an esteemed theologian, had grave reservations as to the validity of the messages of Divine Mercy. But we learn in the Diary that his prudence was actually pleasing to Jesus.
One of the occasions that convinced Fr. Sopocko that the locutions and visions of St. Faustina were genuine was the message which Jesus gave to St. Faustina to relate to him. At that time, Fr. Sopocko was still very unsure as to what he believed about the revelations of Divine Mercy. He had had the Image of Divine Mercy painted, but as he was still unconvinced, so he hid it in the corridor of a local convent. Soon after, St. Faustina came to him and told him that Jesus asked that the Image be displayed in public and not hidden away in a convent. There was no way that St. Faustina could have known that he had done this, so this message helped him to realise that the locutions and visions of St. Faustina were genuine. By the time of her death in 1938, Fr. Sopocko was absolutely convinced that the experiences and messages which St. Faustina was recording in her Diary and reporting to him personally were authentic and he became one of the most important promoters of the new messages of Divine Mercy to the world.
Since St. Faustina’s death, there have been a remarkable number of astounding miracles through the intercession of St. Faustina and the prayers of Divine Mercy. It would seem that every Divine Mercy devotee has a personal story regarding a grace or miracle they have received through their Divine Mercy prayers. But the miracles which have been granted to people are to confirm to the world that the messages of Divine Mercy which were given to St. Faustina, who recorded them in her Diary, are genuinely from Jesus.
It is this fact which makes the Diary so incredibly special because we can read the Diary and know that we are reading the actual words of Jesus. This is an amazing aspect of the Diary. In the Diary, through the life experience of St. Faustina, we can often find answers to many of the personal and spiritual questions we have from time to time. The remarkable honesty of St. Faustina allows us to see the inner workings of her soul, which we will see are often related to the problems, trials, joys and hopes we all experience as we make our way through life. The questions she often poses to Jesus can often be the questions we ask ourselves during our daily life. What is wonderful about the Diary are the answers and revelations which Jesus gives back to St. Faustina. If we had any doubts as to the accuracy of our deliberations or the wisdom of our decisions, we will often find an answer to our problems in the Diary.
To a greater degree however, the Diary answers our spiritual questions in a more precise manner. As we engage with the challenges of being a Catholic, we will constantly have questions and doubts as to what is the correct response to a situation or what is expected of us by Jesus. Throughout the Diary of St. Faustina, Jesus reveals to us the answers to our questions. Obviously, it will not be a direct answer to our specific question, but through the Diary, Jesus gives us His wisdom and council as to how we should live and respond to the world we will in. He shows us the dangers which beset us and how to avoid them. He teaches us how to live in accordance with His holy Will, which is and can only be the best and surest way to live. His words comfort us in our afflictions and help us to find the strength to cope with the sufferings we will all experience during our earthy life.
The Diary also reveals to us the sublime holiness of each Mass and the Eucharist and the myriad of supernatural events which occur, but we can never see. The Diary shows us that images like the Mother of Mercy Shrine in Vilnius and the Divine Mercy Image are living images, and not just ordinary paintings of a religious icon. The Diary reveals truths about Heaven and the mind of God which were hitherto unavailable to humanity. Outstanding theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Anthony of Padua would have been amazed and astounded by the Diary of St. Faustina.
It is the fact that we are reading the actual words of Jesus is what makes the Diary of St. Faustina so special. It is amazing to hold such a holy and special book in our hands and be so privileged that God has chosen to reveal this mystery to us, as it is not everyone in the world who believes what we believe or has access to the treasure of knowledge and wisdom contained within the covers of this unique book.
The words of Jesus in the Diary captivate our souls and our imaginations and teach us with one simple passage what might otherwise take years to learn. Furthermore, as the years go by and we read and re-read the Diary, we will notice that we are continuously learning about the Devotion and the revelations of Divine Mercy but also about the Church, our spiritual life, St. Faustina and the other significant people in the Diary and many other fascinating insights about the visible and invisible worlds. As we read the Diary, we must never forget or lose sight of the fact that we are reading the words of Jesus. We must continually renew our spirit to be inspired and taught by Jesus through His wonderful messages to St. Faustina which were meant for us all.