First Notebook – Paragraphs 11-20
11. When I got off the train and saw that all were going their separate ways, I was overcome with fear. What am I to do? To whom should I turn, as I know no one? So I said to the Mother of Go, “Mary, lead me, guide me.” Immediately I heard these words within me telling me to leave the town and go to a certain nearby village where I would find a safe lodging for the night. I did so and found, in fact, that everything was just as the Mother of God told me.
12. Very early the next day, I rode back into the city and entered the first church I saw [St. James Church at Grojecka Street in Ochota, a suburb of Warsaw], There I began to pray to know further the will of God. Holy Masses were being celebrated one after another. During one of them I heard the words: Go to that priest [Father James Dabrowski, pastor of St. James’ Parish] and tell him everything; he will tell you what to do next. After the Mass I went to the sacristy. I told the priest all that had taken place in my soul, and I asked him to advise me where to take the veil, in which religious order.
13. The priest was surprised at first, but told me to have strong confidence that God would provide for my future. “For the time being,” he said, “I shall send you to a pious lady [Aldona Lipszycowa (note4)] with whom you will stay until you enter a convent.” When I called on this lady, she received me very kindly. During the time I stayed with her, I was looking for a convent, but at whatever convent door I knocked, I was turned away. Sorrow gripped my heart, and I said to the Lord Jesus, “Help me; don’t leave me alone.” At last I knocked on our door. (note5)
14. When Mother Superior, the present Mother General Michael (note6) came out to meet me, she told me, after a short conversation, to go to the Lord of the house and ask whether He would accept me. I understood at once that I was to ask this of the Lord Jesus. With great joy, I went to the chapel and asked Jesus: “Lord of this house, do You accept me? This is how one of these sisters told me to put the question to You.”
Immediately I heard this voice: I do accept; you are in My Heart. When I returned from the chapel, Mother Superior asked first of all, “Well, has the Lord accepted you?” In answered, “Yes.” “If the Lord has accepted, [she said] then I also will accept.”
15. This is how I was accepted. However, for many reasons I still had to remain in the world for more than a year with that pious woman [Aldona Lipszycowa], but I did not go back to my own home.
At that time I had to struggle with many difficulties, but God was lavish with His graces. An ever greater longing for God began to take hold of me. The lady, pious as she was, did not understand the happiness of religious life and, in her kindheartedness began to make other plans for my future life. And yet, I sensed that I had a heart so big that nothing would be capable of filling it. And so I turned with all the longing of my soul to God.
16. It was during the octave of Corpus Christi [June 25, 1 925]. God filled my soul with the interior light of a deeper knowledge of Him as Supreme goodness and Supreme Beauty. I came to know how very much God loves me. Eternal is His love for me. It was at vespers – in simple words, which flowed from the heart, I made to God a vow of perpetual chastity. From that moment I felt a greater intimacy with God, my Spouse. From that moment I set up a little cell in my heart where I always kept company with Jesus.
17. At last the time came when the door of the convent was opened for me – it was the first of August , in the evening, the vigil [of the feast] of Our Lady of the Angels. I felt immensely happy; it seemed to me that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving.
18. However, after three weeks I became aware that there is so very little time here for prayer, and of many other things which spoke to my soul in favor of entering a religious community of a stricter observance. This thought took a firm hold of my soul, but the will of God was not in it. Still, the thought, or rather the temptation, was growing stronger and stronger to the point where I decided one day to announce my departure to Mother Superior and definitely to leave [the convent]. But God arranged the circumstances in such a way that I could not get to the Mother Superior [Michael]. I stepped into the little chapel (note7) before going to bed, and I asked Jesus for light in this matter. But I received nothing in my soul except a strange unrest which I did not understand. But, in spite of everything, I made up my mind to approach Mother Superior the next morning right after Mass and tell her of my decision.
19. I came to my cell. The sisters were already in bed – the lights were out. I entered the cell full of anguish and discontent; I did not know what to do with myself. I threw myself headlong on the ground and began to pray fervently that I might come to know the will of God. There is silence everywhere as in the tabernacle. All the sisters are resting like white hosts enclosed in Jesus’ chalice. It is only from my cell that God can hear the moaning of a soul. I did not know that one was not allowed to pray in the cell after nine without permission. (note8)
After a while a brightness filled my cell, and on the curtain I saw the very sorrowful Face of Jesus. There were open wounds on His Face, and large tears were falling on my bedspread. Not knowing what all this meant, I asked Jesus, “Jesus, who has hurt You so?” And Jesus said to me, It is you who will cause Me this pain if you leave this convent. It is to this place that I called you and nowhere else; and I have prepared many graces for you. I begged pardon of Jesus and immediately changed my decision.
The next day was confession day. I related all that had taken place in my soul, and the confess\or answered that, from this, God’s will is clear that I am to remain in this congregation and that I’m not even to think of another religious order. From that moment on, I have always felt happy and content.
20. Shortly after this, I fell ill [general exhaustion]. The dear Mother Superior sent me with two other sisters for a rest to Skolimow, not far from Warsaw. It was at that time that I asked the Lord for whom else should I pray for. Jesus said that on the following night He would let me know for whom I should pray.
[The next night] I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames which were burning them did not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in Purgatory. The souls call he “The Star of the Sea.” She brings them refreshment. I wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. We went out of that prison of suffering. [I head an interior voice] which said, My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it. Since that time, I am in closer communion with the suffering souls.