St. Faustina’s life of Intercessory Prayer
St. Faustina’s life of Intercessory Prayer
St. Faustina's Concern for Mankind
"Jesus, I have so much to tell You." And the Lord said to me with great love, Speak, My daughter. And I started to enumerate the pains of my heart; that is, how greatly concerned I am for all mankind, that "they all do not know You, and those who do know You do not love You as You deserve to be loved. I also see how terribly sinners offend You; and then again, I see how severely the faithful, especially Your servants, are oppressed and persecuted. And then, too, I see many souls rushing headlong into the terrible abyss of hell. You see, Jesus, this is the pain that gnaws at my heart and bones. And, although You show me special love and inundate my heart with streams of Your joys, nevertheless, this does not appease the sufferings I have just mentioned, but rather they penetrate my poor heart all the more acutely. Oh, how ardently I desire that all mankind would turn to trust in Your mercy. Then, seeing them glory Your name, my heart would be comforted." Jesus said, My daughter, those words of your heart are pleasing to Me, but by saying the chaplet you are always bringing mankind closer to Me. (Diary 929)
The Sacrifice of the Cross
Jesus was to teach St. Faustina that intercessory prayer was the way to answer all her concerns. The cross on Calvary stands as the greatest evidence of the power of sacrifice, as intercession. For this intercessory sacrifice to the Father was to allow mankind to share in the Divine Life for ever. The Cross from which came the greatest intercessory prayer ever, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. (Luke23:34)
The Definition of Mercy
The definition of mercy is undeserved love, and it was from the cross that man got the greatest undeserved love of all, which is Divine Mercy. St. Faustina made a way of life out of intercession, seeking undeserved Love through her sufferings and prayers for the sick, for sinners, for the Church, for her country, and for the whole world. Throughout her Diary, you see a special concern for the miserable, the suffering, the souls in purgatory, but most of all for the dying.
One of St. Faustina ways to intercede for others, was to reinforce her prayers, by first praying to the Saints asking them to pray with her, in her prayers of intercession, keeping St. Pauls words in mind, when he said, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and petition, appealing to all the Saints, to intercede with you”. (Eph 6: 18-20)
Compelling God to Grant Graces
St. Faustina also believed that you can in fact compel God to grant a grace by sacrifice and prayer. On one occasion St. Faustina’s sister, who had many needs came to asking her for her help. St. Faustina spent two weeks in sacrifice and prayer for her sister and at the end of two weeks, she had received everything she needed without exception. St. Faustina said that she had compelled Jesus not only to help her sister but also to change her completely. St. Faustina said, “When I reflect on all this, I see that it was truly a miracle. Now I can see how much power intercessory prayer has before God”. (Diary 202)
God wants us to compel Him to be merciful by offering constant prayer and sacrifices for others. He wants us to pray like Abraham and Moses, arguing with God; for as long as our hearts are right, our lips can be bold. Indeed, St. Faustina thought if your own soul is in grace, there is nothing that you cannot pray to the Lord for.
Interceding During Holy Mass
One of the greatest intercession prayers she made was during Holy Mass. In her diary she writes, “During Holy Mass, I felt the closeness of the Lord in a special way. After Holy Communion, I turned my gaze with trust toward the Lord and said to Him, "Jesus, I beg You, by the inconceivable power of Your mercy, let all the souls who will die today escape the fires of hell, even if they have been the greatest sinners ever.” This is a beautiful prayer composed by St. Faustina, we should all remember it and say it with sincerity after Holy Communion. And because of her pure love, the Lord answered, “You have come to know well the depths of My mercy. I will do what you ask, but unite yourself continually with My agonising Heart and make reparation to My justice. Know that you have asked Me for a great gift, but I see that this was influenced by your pure love for Me; that is why I am granting your request" (Diary 873).
We have a great tradition in Ireland of praying for the souls in purgatory, which is great, and necessary intercessory prayer, but even more important are the souls who are about to die each day unprepared, and may be on their way to eternal damnation.
St. Faustina's Daily Prayer
St. Faustina had also one daily prayer that she never missed which was, “O Jesus inspire people to pray for the dying”. St. Faustina said that by prayer, “God's mercy can touch the sinner even at the last moment, in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything is lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God's powerful final grace, can turn to God even in the last moment, with such a power of love that in an instant, it receives from God, forgiveness of all sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things”. (Diary 1698)
It goes without saying, of course, that your soul should be in grace to receive these great favours from God, but as an Apostle of God’s Mercy, you are required to receive the act of reconciliation and communion as often as you can, so say St. Faustina’s prayer, as often as you feel you can, but especially after communion and the prayer is, "Jesus, I beg You, by the inconceivable power of Your mercy, let all the souls who will die today escape the fires of hell, even if they have been the greatest sinners ever. (Diary 873)