First Notebook – Paragraphs 21-30
21. End of postulancy [April 29, 1926] – My superiors [probably Mother Leonard and Mother Jane (note9)] sent me to the novitiate in Cracow. An inconceivable joy reigned in my soul. When we arrived at the novitiate, Sister [Henry (note10)] was dying. A few days later she came to me [in spirit, after her death] and bid me to go to the Mother Directress of Novices [Sister Margaret (note11)] and tell her to ask her confessor, Father Rospond, (note12) to offer one Mass for her and three ejaculatory prayers. At first I agreed, but the next day I decided I would not go to Mother Directress, because I was not sure whether this had happened in a dream or in reality. And so I did not go.
The following night the same thing was repeated more clearly; I had no more doubt. Still, in the morning I decided not to tell the Directress about it unless I saw her [Sister Henry] during the day. At once I ran into her in the corridor. She reproached me for not having gone immediately to Mother Directress and told her everything that had happened to me. Mother responded that she would take care of the matter. At once peace reigned in my soul, and on the third day this sister came to me and said, “May God repay you.”
22. The day I took the [religious] habit (note13), God let me understand how much I was to suffer. I clearly saw to what I was committing myself. I experienced a moment of that suffering. But then God filled my soul again with great consolations.
23. Toward the end of the first year of my novitiate, darkness began to cast its shadow over my soul. I felt no consolation in prayer; I had to make a great effort to meditate; fear began to sweep over me. Going deeper into myself, I could find nothing but great misery. I could also clearly see the great holiness of God. I did not dare to raise my eyes to Him, but reduced myself to dust under His feet and begged for mercy. My soul was in this state for almost six months. Our beloved Mother Directress [Mary Joseph (note14)] encouraged me in these difficult moments. But this suffering continued to grow stronger.
The second year of the novitiate was approaching. Whenever I recalled that I was to make my vows, my soul shuddered. I did not understand what I was reading; I could not meditate; it seemed to me that my prayer was displeasing to God. It seemed to me that by approaching the Holy Sacraments I was offending God even more. But despite this, my confessor [Father Theodore (note15)] did not let me omit one single Holy Communion. God was working very strangely in my soul. I did not understand anything at all of what my confessor was telling me. The simple truths of the faith became incomprehensible to me. My soul was in anguish, unable to find comfort anywhere.
At a certain point, there came to me the very powerful impression that I am rejected by God. This terrible thought pierced my soul right through; in the midst of the suffering my soul began to experience the agony of death. I wanted to die but could not. The thought came to me: of what use is it to strive for virtues; why mortify oneself when all this is disagreeable to God? When I made this known to the Directress of Novices, I received this reply, “Know, dear Sister, that God has chosen you for great sanctity. This is a sign that God wants to have you very close to Himself in Heaven. Have great trust in the Lord Jesus.”
That dreadful thought of being rejected by God is the actual torture suffered by the damned. I fled to Jesus’ Wounds and repeated the words of trust, but these words became for me an even greater torture. I went before the Blessed Sacrament, and I began to speak to Jesus: “Jesus, You said that a mother would sooner forget her infant than God His creature, and that ‘even if she would forget her infant, I, God, will never forget My creature.’ O Jesus, do You hear how my soul is moaning? Deign to hear the painful whimpers of Your child. I trust in You, O God, because heaven and earth will pass, but Your word will last forever.” Still, I found not a moment of relief.
24. One day, just as I had awakened, when I was putting myself in the presence of God, I was suddenly overwhelmed by despair. Complete darkness in the soul. I fought as best I could till noon. In the afternoon, truly deadly fears began to seize me; my physical strength began to leave me. I went quickly to my cell, fell on my knees before the Crucifix and began to cry out for mercy. But Jesus did not hear my cries. I felt my physical strength leave me completely. I fell to the ground, despair flooding my whole soul. I suffered terrible tortures in no way different from the torments of hell. I was in this state for three quarters of an hour. I wanted to go and see the Directress, but was too weak. I wanted to shout but I had no voice. Fortunately, one of the sisters [another novice, Sister Placida Putyra] came into my cell. Finding me in such a strange condition, she immediately told the Directress about it. Mother came at once. As soon as she entered the cell she said, “In the name of holy obedience (note16) get up from the ground.” Immediately some force raised me up from the ground and I stood up, close to the dear Mother Directress. With kindly words she began to explain to me that this was a trial sent to me by God, saying, “Have great confidence; God is always our Father, even when He sends us trials.”
I returned to my duties as if I had come out from the tomb, my senses saturated with what my soul had experienced. During the evening service, my soul began to agonize again in a terrible darkness. I felt that I was in the power of the Just God, and that I was the object of His indignation. During these terrible moments I said to God, “Jesus, who in the Gospel compare Yourself to a most tender mother, (note17) 1 trust in Your words because You are Truth and Life. In spite of everything, Jesus, I trust in You in the face of every interior sentiment which sets itself against hope. Do what You want with me; I will never leave You, because You are the source of my life.” Only one who has lived through similar moments can understand how terrible is this torment of the soul.
25. During the night, the Mother of God visited me, holding the Infant Jesus in Her arms. My soul was filled with joy, and I said, “Mary, my Mother, do You know how terribly I suffer?” And the Mother of God answered me, I know how much you suffer, but do not be afraid. I share with you your suffering, and I shall always do so. She smiled warmly and disappeared. At once, strength and a great courage sprang up anew in my soul; but that lasted only one day. It seemed as though hell had conspired against me. A terrible hatred began to break out in my soul, a hatred for all that is holy and divine. It seemed to me that these spiritual torments would be my lot for the rest of my life. I turned to the Blessed Sacrament and said to Jesus, “Jesus, my Spouse, do You not see that my soul is dying because of its longing for You? How can You hide Yourself from a heart that loves You so sincerely? Forgive me, Jesus; may Your holy will be done in me. I will suffer silently like a dove, without complaining. I will not allow my heart even one single cry of sorrowful complaint.”
26. End of the novitiate. The suffering does not diminish. Physical weakness dispenses me from all [community] spiritual exercises; that is to say, they are replaced by brief ejaculatory prayers. Good Friday [April 16, 1928] – Jesus catches up my heart into the very flame of His love. This was during the evening adoration. All of a sudden, the Divine Presence invaded me, and I forgot everything else. Jesus gave me to understand how much He had suffered for me. This lasted a very short time. An intense yearning – a longing to love God.
27. First vows [First profession of temporary vows, April 30, 1928]. An ardent desire to empty myself for God by an active love, but a love that would be imperceptible, even to the sisters closest to me.
However, even after the vows, darkness continued to reign in my soul for almost a half year. Once, when I was praying, Jesus pervaded all my soul, darkness melted away, and I heard these words within me: You are My joy; you are My heart’s delight. From that moment I felt the Most Holy Trinity in my heart; that is to say, within myself. I felt that I was inundated with Divine light. Since then, my soul has been in intimate communion with God, like a child with its beloved Father.
28. Once Jesus told me, Go to Mother Superior [probably Mother Raphael (note18)] and ask her to let you wear a hair shirt for seven days, and once each night you are to get up and come to the chapel. I said yes, but I found a certain difficulty in actually going to the Superior. In the evening Jesus asked me, How long will you put it off? I made up my mind to tell Mother Superior the very next time I would see her.
The next day before noon I saw Mother Superior going to the refectory and, since the kitchen, refectory and Sister Aloysia’s little room are all close to each other, I asked Mother Superior to come into Sister Aloysia’s room and told her of the wish of the Lord Jesus. At that, Mother answered, “I will not permit you to wear any hair shirt. Absolutely not! If the Lord Jesus were to give you the strength of a colossus, I would then permit those mortifications.”
I apologized for taking up Mother’s time and left the room. At that very moment I saw Jesus standing at the kitchen door, and I said to Him, “You commanded me to ask for these mortifications, but Mother Superior will not permit them.” Jesus said, I was here during your conversation with the Superior and know everything. I don’t demand mortification from you, but obedience. By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself.
29. One of the Mothers [probably Mother Jane], when she learned about my close relationship with the Lord Jesus, told me that I must be deluding myself. She told me that the Lord Jesus associates in this way only with the saints and not with sinful souls “like you, Sister!” After that, it was as if I mistrusted Jesus. In one of my morning talks with Him I said, “Jesus, are You not an illusion?” Jesus answered me, My love deceives no one.
30. + On one occasion I was reflecting on the Holy Trinity, on the essence of God. I absolutely wanted to know and fathom who God is In an instant my spirit was caught up into what seemed to be the next world. I saw an inaccessible light, and in this light what appeared like three sources of light which I could not understand. And out of that light came words in the form of lightning which encircled heaven and earth. Not understanding anything, I was very sad. Suddenly, from this sea of inaccessible light came our dearly beloved Savior, unutterably beautiful with His shining Wounds. And from this light came a voice which said, Who God is in His Essence, no one will fathom, neither the mind of Angels nor or man. Jesus said to me, Get to know God by contemplating His attributes. A moment later, He traced the sign of the cross with his hand and vanished.