Our Lady Taught St. Faustina to Do These Things During Advent

The fruit of living “silence and humility,” of adoring and dwelling with the Lord interiorly, of limiting communications, is a deeper union with the Lord.

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Some years ago now I read Saint Faustina’s Diary, after seeing a teenager reading and finding benefit from it.

I had known of this book for years, with its home on my mother’s shelf of spiritual reading, but somehow witnessing a teen reading from this lengthy spiritual work gave me the desire to pick it up myself and read it cover to cover.

The book is full of encouragement and the revelation of God’s mercy to Saint Faustina, but there were also a number of little things that surprised me as I read. One of these is that Our Lady “taught [Saint Faustina] how to prepare for the Feast of Christmas!” (Diary 785)


“Silence and humility”

In paragraph 785 of her Diary, Saint Faustina relates that on Nov. 29, 1936, she “saw [the Mother of God]…without the Infant Jesus.” It is unclear from the way it is written here whether this is an exterior or interior vision, but the instruction that follows is worthy of taking note as it is given as a message from Our Lady on how to live Advent and is introduced with the words, “She said to me.”

Here is the beginning of Our Lady’s message as presented in the Diary:

She said to me: My daughter, strive after silence and humility, so that Jesus, who dwells in your heart continuously, may be able to rest.

What a beautiful instruction! Pursue silence and humility that Jesus may rest in your heart! If this was the guidance for Saint Faustina, who was already a professed religious sister, how much more important is this “silence and humility” for those of us who are living in the 21st century, with the constant noise of smartphones, news and social media, and in a society that often upholds pride rather than humility as a virtue. We should not, however, allow the modern situation to be an occasion of discouragement but rather seek to “strive after silence and humility” and so give Jesus an interior place to rest.


Adore Him in your heart”

The next instruction of Our Lady to Saint Faustina in this same paragraph of the Diary is also noteworthy:

Adore Him in your heart.

We know that by the grace of baptism the Blessed Trinity dwells within us. While we can lose the life of grace through mortal sin, God’s mercy is always there for us to “begin again,” particularly through the Sacrament of Confession. (Ven. Bruno Lanteri is often associated with this teaching on “Nunc Coepi” – “Now I begin.”)

The instruction here continues in this way:

Do not go out from your inmost being. My daughter, I shall obtain for you the grace of an interior life which will be such that, without ever leaving that interior life, you will be able to carry out all your external duties with even greater care.

While the life of a religious is different from that of one living in the world, there is still much that can be applicable here. We are all called to develop the interior life of communion with the Lord, who is present by grace, and gives Himself sacramentally in the Eucharist; nevertheless, we are not to neglect our duties or to turn in on ourselves in selfishness.

The latter part of the above instruction by the Mother of God is consoling. Our Lady offers to “obtain for” Saint Faustina an “interior life” that would allow her to “carry out…[her] eternal duties with even greater care.” The pursuit of the life of prayer is not to turn us into passive persons, but rather persons who are attentive to duty and acts of charity. May Our Lady obtain for each of us this gift as well!

 

“Dwell with Him continuously in your heart.”

As we prepare for Christmas, we are called to quiet our hearts and to give ourselves to the presence of Jesus. Our Lady’s instructions to Saint Faustina continue:

Dwell with Him continuously in your heart. He will be your strength. ... You are a dwelling place pleasing to the living God; in you He dwells continuously with love and delight.

What a beautiful instruction from the one who carried the Incarnate Lord interiorly! The one who truly became a dwelling place for the Lord in the Incarnation! We are called to immerse ourselves in the presence of the Lord. Saint Faustina is also promised here that “He will be your strength.” This section also speaks of limiting communications:

Communicate with creatures only insofar as is necessary… and is required by your duties.

While this may apply more to a religious sister than to a layperson in the world, there are still ways in which we can create opportunities for silence and limiting communication that are still in tune with charity and living the lay vocation.

Our Lady’s message does not only teach Saint Faustina how to live Advent, but also gives a promise of the fruit of these practices:

Try to act in this way until Christmas Day, and then He Himself will make known to you in what way you will be communing and uniting yourself with Him.

The fruit of living “silence and humility,” of adoring and dwelling with the Lord interiorly, of limiting communications, is a deeper union with the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord for this revelation to Saint Faustina and make this proposal of Our Lady of how to live Advent our own in our own little way, that we too may enjoy His presence in a deeper way at Christmas. “Come, Lord Jesus.”             

Nicolas Poussin, “Sts. Peter and John Healing the Lame Man,” 1655 — “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” ... He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.” [Acts 3:6, 8].

No Reason for Being Sad

“For man was made an intelligent and free member of society by God who created him, but even more important, he is called as a son to commune with God and share in his happiness.” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 21)