Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Year of Mercy: The Common Spirituality of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and St. Faustina of Divine Mercy

St. Therese-Victim of God's Merciful Love

St. Faustina-Apostle of Mercy

I recently read the diary of St. Faustina during the same period our community was studying St. Therese's, Story of a Soul . I noticed similarities in their spirituality, with the common thread of spiritual childhood weaved through each of their writings.

St. Therese desired to be a victim of Merciful Love.

St. Faustina desired to be an Apostle of Mercy.

St. Therese desired to make an oblation of herself to God's merciful love to show that He is loved in return for his love (from man to God).

St. Faustina made an act of oblation to show that God loves us. She taught that God wants all souls to be aware of his love and mercy (from God to man).

St. Therese desired to sing the "mercies of the Lord."

St. Faustina desired to be a "mist" before the eyes of the Lord. She did not want him to see all the offenses against His love and mercy. She wanted to shield the Lord from the world!

Abandonment to the will of God is at the heart of St. Therese's Spiritual childhood, in which humility is the foundation.

Jesus demanded of St. Faustina a childlike spirit and calls her to greater simplicity.

St. Therese's abandonment was an imitation of Christ's total abandonment to the will of the Father. This abandonment was reflected in Therese's life; she obeyed her superiors in the smallest of details.

St. Faustina was obedient to her superiors, especially in things concerning the growing devotion of Divine Mercy. Jesus tells her he is pleased by her great obedience.

St. Therese sought permission to make the act of Total Abandonment. She has a priest approve the text she wrote.

St. Faustina sought permission to make the Oblation to Divine Mercy on Holy Thursday (she made a holy hour every Thursday).

After St. Therese makes the Act of Oblation she describes a transport of Love in which she realized God accepted her offering of self. She described the great love that filled her being and states she has no fear of purgatory.

St. Faustina suffers great torments after her act of oblation-she undergoes dryness, despair, distrust, all the torments of sinners enters her heart.

St. Therese desired to be a priest, missionary and martyr.

St. Faustina desired to be a priest, missionary and martyr.

Mercy is the heart of the Gospel. As Carmelites, we are called to be apostles of Mercy by living the Beatitudes in imitation of the merciful heart of Jesus. It is preparation for the kingdom where we will live this life of beatitude forever.

St. Therese's Act of Oblation to the Merciful Love of God:

O my God, Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make You loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!

I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels. Finally, I offer You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: "Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you!" I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God! that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul. Ah! I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.

I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of You to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.

I thank You, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the Last Day carrying the scepter of Your Cross. Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.

After earth's Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.

In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!

Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant, prepare me to appear before You.

In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I offer Myself as a Victim of the Holocaust to Your Merciful Love, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up with You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God! May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love. I want, O my Beloved at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to you an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face!

St. Faustina's Oblation to Divine Mercy:

Before heaven and earth, before all the choirs of Angels, before the Most Holy Virgin Mary, before all the Powers of heaven, I declare to the One Triune God that today, in union with Jesus Christ, Redeemer of souls, I make a voluntary offering of myself for the conversion of sinners, especially for those souls who have lost hope in God‟s mercy. This offering consists in my accepting, with total subjection to God‟s will, all the sufferings, fears and terrors with which sinners are filled. In return, I give them all the consolations which my soul receives from my communion with God. In a word, I offer everything for them: Holy Masses, Holy Communions, penances, mortifications, prayers. I do not fear the blows, blows of divine justice, because I am united with Jesus. O my God, in this way I want to make amends to You for the souls that do not trust in Your goodness. I hope against all hope in the ocean of Your mercy. My Lord and my God, my portion – my portion forever, I do not base this act of oblation on my own strength, but on the strength that flows from the merits of Jesus Christ. I will daily repeat this act of self-oblation by pronouncing the following prayer which you Yourself have taught me, Jesus: O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!”

St. Therese, victim of Merciful Love, pray for us!

St. Faustina, Apostle of Divine Mercy, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

1 comment:

Erin said...

Thank you so much for your informative posts! You are helping me with my own journey before my Carmelite Spirituality Retreat. I leave on Friday! I'm so excited, and a little scared too! But I know it will be life-changing! Thanks for being such a wonderful prayer partner and friend!

God bless you always,