“In one instant, the Lord gave me a knowledge of the sins committed throughout the whole world during these days.. I was surprised that God allows humanity to exist. And the Lord gave me to know who it is that upholds the existence of mankind; it is the chosen souls.” (Diary of St Faustina, para.926)
At face value, this quotation from the Diary of Saint Faustina may initially seem quite strange. It was written in February of 1937, on Shrove Tuesday – the last day of celebration prior to the start of Lent the following day, Ash Wednesday. For the few days beforehand, Faustina had been conscious in her soul of the sins of humanity and of the need for reparation to be made to the God who is so deeply offended by sin. Pouring out her soul to the Lord, He tells her –
‘By saying the Chaplet, you are bringing humankind closer to Me’.
Reading this passage, I was reminded of a similar passage in the book of Genesis. Standing in the presence of the Lord, Abraham sees the sins of the people and is aware the Lord intends to destroy them. Abraham pleads on their behalf, asking the Lord “will You sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”. He then asks the Lord how many good people it would take to save them – would He spare them if there were fifty amongst them? Thirty good people? Even ten good people? The Lord relents and says that He will spare the people if there are even ten ones people amongst them.
One of the features of Faustina’s writing which reminded me of Genesis, is the easiness with which she speaks with the Lord. In this sense, she is similar to Abraham, who converses with the same easiness. Sometimes our prayers can sound stiff even to ourselves, and yet, throughout the Diary, the Lord constantly tells Faustina how dear it is to His Heart when she opens her own heart to him and speaks with Him as though she were a little child, filled with frankness and simplicity. Perhaps there is a lesson there for us.
But there is another lesson, too.
It is the possibility that we might be one of those good people spoken of by Abraham, a person such as Faustina herself – one of those souls whose goodness and prayers uphold mankind and shield it from the just wrath of the Lord. In the same way that her prayers bring humanity nearer to the Lord, perhaps our own prayers do similarly. I touched on this idea in The Mystical Body, a couple of days ago. Our prayers resonate out throughout humanity, they do not stop with us – they have an effect on others, obtaining grace and divine mercy for souls.
Looking around at the world today, it can seem so dark and so very far from the Lord; and yet, perhaps there are still sufficient good souls to uphold it and to keep it going, to gradually bring it closer to the Lord. Please God, as we take up our beads and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we will be among those souls.