"...I keep a constant watch..." (St. Faustina)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

St. Faustina’s great graces did not keep her from feeling her own human nature, as she writes in her Diary; but hear her courage:

  1. My Jesus, despite these graces which you send upon me, I feel that my nature, ennobled though it be, is not completely stilled; and so I keep a constant watch. I must struggle with many faults, knowing well that it is not the struggle which debases one, but cowardice and failure. (Underlining is mine)

Yes, by God’s Grace, the saints all had courage, despite the knowledge of their faults. They did not run away from the spiritual battle. They knew by God’s Grace that His strength was their strength. They could fight the good fight against evil because God was faithfully giving them all they needed.

Come Holy Spirit kindle in us the Fire of Your Love that we may keep a constant watch against evil in order to overcome evil with Your Good, working within us.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray with us and for us, your children.

Makes me think of Matthew 25:13- you do not know the day nor the hour. It is “nice” to know even holy Faustina fought or realized her faults. I guess it is humbling. I do become frustrated with my own imperfections often. I guess keep trying - fight the good fight. A righteous man falls seven times a day but gets back up.

That’s one of the things I am intrigued with saints, the perseverance in faith, it is heroic. You perceive their love of God by their trust in Him. And they tell us that struggle and difficulty is part of their life, part of the climb, and that faith should tell us to always trust for He is our God (a God that is true love).

“The certainty of hope is part of true repentance, a certainty that is born from faith, in which the Light has greater power and has become flesh in Jesus.” From “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection” by Pope Benedict XVI

Here are some of the other readings that I found after I read this thread, because if you start reading it you are compelled to read more:

From Diary of St Faustina:
1758 My daughter, consider the life of God which is found in the Church for the
salvation and the sanctification of your soul. Consider the use that you make of
these treasures of grace, of these efforts of My love.

1759 Application: O most compassionate Jesus, I have not always known how to profit from these
priceless gifts, because I have paid too little attention to the gift itself and too much to the
vessel in which You were giving me Your gifts. My most sweet Master, it will be different
from now on. I will put Your gifts to the best use of which my soul is capable. Living faith
will support me. Whatever the form might be, under which You send me Your grace, I will
accept it as coming directly from You, without considering the vessel in which You send it. If
it will not always be within my power to accept it with joy, I will always accept it with
submission to Your holy will.

Conference on Spiritual Warfare.
1760 My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare. Never trust in yourself,
but abandon yourself totally to My will. In desolation, darkness and various
doubts, have recourse to Me and to your spiritual director. He will always answer
you in My name. Do not bargain with any temptation; lock yourself immediately in
My Heart and, at the first opportunity, reveal the temptation to the confessor. Put
your self-love in the last place, so that it does not taint your deeds. Bear with
yourself with great patience. Do not neglect interior mortifications. Always justify
to yourself the opinions of your superiors and of your confessor. Shun murmurers
like a plague. Let all act as they like; you are to act as I want you to.

Observe the rule as faithfully as you can. If someone causes you trouble, think
what good you can do for the person who caused you to suffer. Do not pour out
your feelings. Be silent when you are rebuked. Do not ask everyone’s opinion, but
only the opinion of your confessor; be as frank and simple as a child with him. Do
not become discouraged by ingratitude. Do not examine with curiosity the roads
down which I lead you. When boredom and discouragement beat against your
heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart. Do not fear struggle; courage
itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us.

Always fight with the deep conviction that I am with you. Do not be guided by
feeling, because it is not always under your control; but all merit lies in the will.
Always depend upon your superiors, even in the smallest things. I will not delude
you with prospects of peace and consolations; on the contrary, prepare for great
battles. Know that you are now on a great stage where all heaven and earth are
watching you. Fight like a knight, so that I can reward you. Do not be unduly
fearful, because you are not alone.

Dear Cratus,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, the Saints “echo” the Gospel in their words and deeds. Ah, yes, the wisdom of the Saints comes from God! :slight_smile:

Thanks so much!

You went far beyond my reading. I’m taking it more slowly, but thanks for I want to learn more and more and more. How good it is to know Jesus, as the saints knew Him, and to trust Him as they did on this earth. :slight_smile:

Yes indeed.

Its interesting what its states about obedience, detachment (which we still think we shouldn’t have), and also about the purgatory (not a very “walk in the park” kind of place, to be thinking its ok to put that as “top place” for us). Things that we catholics need to meditate on. And that humility is a must. Very difficult thing to achieve, but what I like, is in fact that, the point is that our “weaknesses” doesn’t matter, in the sense that we trust in Him (persevere in Him). For His mercy and goodness takes us, if we are docile to HIs call,if we are child like to His call.

Dear edlinked,

God’s Word reminds us to receive with joy all the trials God permits in our lives. (cf James 1:2-4). By Grace, we can begin to see how imperfections and even our venial sins, can actually help us to practice humility. By His Grace, we can grow in faith, hope and above all charity, by getting up from any fall and going forward in His Grace. If we ask we will receive, seek and we will find, knock and the door will open for us. (cf Mt 7: 7-11)

It is not exactly that our “weaknesses” don’t matter – because we need to keep renouncing and detaching ourselves from the tendencies we inherit from original sin. They matter in as much as we will always need to fight against any sin that clings to us, and to resist the temptaion to keep sinning and give up hope. There is always hope in God – no matter how hopeless we may feel about ourselves or other members of our human family.

The saints, like St. Faustina, help us to see the beautiful balance in becoming like children in depending on God’s Grace, while at the same time growing mature in Faith, Hope and Charity. We are called to grow as Mary our Mother and all the saints grew in grace, learning more and more from the Humble Heart of Jesus. Thanks so much for your reply.

Maria Christi,

Thanks, you explained it very well, because it’s true, we need to be clear on the weaknesses part, as what I wrote can be misinterpreted, as we can believe that we don’t need to “fight” against those weaknesses (by just “believing” in God). Like I heard a priest say, we need to fight for the graces that we can be given, so that we maintain them and keep them going, as the evil one wants them gone. Good point to clear up.

We are always in a battle while we are alive, and the point is to trust, to keep believing for only He is hope, and only He can give the strength to persevere in the road towards our perfection and holiness.

It’s interesting that trust is about faith, as faith gives us trust. Faith is a light which shows us hope. Very important to dwell on this a little bit (in my opinion), because in the means we feel, we can feel discouraged, alone, sad, begin to despair (if we are losing hope), etc, but (and like you said) there is always that light, that only faith in Him can give, a hope, which can make us grow, regardless of feelings, if we trust in who He is (our loving God).

And just wanted to add, that the diary tells us that obedience help us in our humility too, as obedience is a certain act of humility. But of course, obedience toward God is also an act of faith (and therefore of trust).

Dear edlinked,

Thanks for your reply. St. Thomas Aquinas explained that the Theological Virtues of faith, hope and charity work together. So it is that believing in God truly brings us to trust Him . Knowing Him by faith leads us to love Him and trust in Him. These virtues do work together. Mortal Sin, however, kills charity. We cannot serve two masters. We will hate God if we choose to commit mortal sin – yet we may still have enough faith and hope operative in us to believe God is merciful and forgives sin. We can yet hope by the power of His Love that He will forgive us if we repent and confess our sins.

There is obedience in our faith each time we say “Yes” to God and “No” to sin. There is always humility in denying ourselves in favor of God. St. Faustina is referring to her vow of obedience often which she lived as a consecrated religious, and God blessed her humility in obeying her Religious Superiors. When we are obedient to the Commandments and to God’s Will revealed to us in Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church, then as lay persons, consecrated by our Baptism, we are also blessed by God and enabled to grow in His humility as well. Our obedience, as you said, stems from our faith, working with hope and love.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful. Kindle in us, the Fire of Your Love.
Jesus, we trust in You!
Mary, our Mother, St. Faustina and all you holy saints and angels, pray with us and for us.