First Notebook – Paragraphs 171-180
171. Struggle to keep silence. As usual, sisters from various houses came to the retreat. One of the sisters whom I had not seen for a long time, came to me cell and said she had something to tell me. I did not answer her, and she saw that I did not want to break silence. She said to me, “I didn’t know you were such an eccentric, sister,” and she went away. I was well aware that she had no other business with me than to satisfy her own curious self-love, O God, preserve me in faithfulness.
172. The father (note58) who preached the retreat came from America. He had come to Poland for only a short time, and it so happened that he conducted our retreat. A deep interior life was reflected from his person. His bearing testified to the greatness of his spirit. Mortification and recollection characterized this priest. But despite these great virtues, I experienced much difficulty in revealing my soul to him in regard to graces received; as for sins, it is always easy to do so, but in respect to graces I really have to make a great effort, and even then I do not tell everything.
173. Satan’s temptations during meditation. I felt a strange fear that the priest would not understand me, or that he would have no time to hear everything I would have to say. How am I going to tell him all this? If it were Father Bukowski I could do it more easily, but this Jesuit whom I am seeing for the first time. . . . Then I remembered Father Bukowski’s advice that I should at least take brief notes of the lights sent to me by God during the retreats and give him at least a brief report on them. My God, for a day and half all has gone well, and now a life and death struggle is beginning. The conference is to start in a half hour, and then I am to go to confession. Satan tried to persuade me into believing that if my superiors have told me that my inner life is an illusion, why should I ask again and trouble the confessor? Didn’t M.X. [probably Mother Jane] tell you that the Lord Jesus does not commune with souls as miserable as yours? This confessor is going to tell you the same thing. Why speak to him about all this? These are not sins, and Mother X. told you that all this communing with the Lord Jesus was daydreaming and pure hysteria. So why tell it to this confessor? You would do better to dismiss all this as illusions. Look how many humiliations you have suffered because of them, and how many more are still awaiting you, and all the sisters know that you are a hysteric. “Jesus!” I called out with all the strength of my soul.
174. At that moment the priest came in and began the conference. He spoke for a short time, as if he were in a hurry. After the conference, he went over to the confessional. Seeing that none of the sisters were going there, I sprang from my kneeler, and in an instant was in the confessional. There was no time to deliberate. Instead of telling the father about the doubts that had been sown in me in respect to my dealings with the Lord Jesus, I began to speak about these temptations I have just described above. The confessor immediately understood my situation and said, “Sister, you distrust the Lord Jesus because He treats you so kindly. Well, Sister, be completely at peace. Jesus is your Master, and your communing with Him is neither daydreaming nor hysteria nor illusion. Know that you are on the right path. Please try to be faithful to these graces; you are not free to shun them. You do not need at all, Sister, to tell your superiors about these interior graces, unless the Lord Jesus instructs you clearly to do so, and even then you should first consult with your confessor. But if the Lord Jesus demands something external, in this case, after consulting your confessor, you should carry out what He asks of you, even if this costs you greatly. On the other hand, you must tell your confessor everything. There is absolutely no other course for you to take, Sister.
Pray that you may find a spiritual director, or else you will waste these great gifts of God. I repeat once again, be at peace; you are following the right path. Take no heed of anything else, but always be faithful to the Lord Jesus, no matter what anyone says about you. It is with just such miserable souls that the Lord Jesus communes in this intimate way. And the more you humble yourself, the more the Lord Jesus will unite Himself with you.”
175. When I left the confessional, ineffable joy filled my soul, so that I withdrew to a secluded spot in the garden to hide myself from the sisters to allow my heart to pour itself out to God. God’s presence penetrated me and, in an instant, all my nothingness was drowned in God; and at the same moment I felt, or rather discerned, the Three Divine Persons dwelling in me. And I had such great peace in my soul that I myself was surprised that I could have had so many misgivings.
176. + Resolution: Faithfulness to inner inspirations, even though I would have no idea how much I would have to pay for it. I must do nothing on my own without first consulting the confessor.
177. + Renewal of vows. From the moment I woke up in the morning, my spirit was totally submerged in God, in that ocean of love. I felt that I had been completely immersed in Him. During Holy Mass, my love for Him reached a peak of intensity. After the renewal of vows and Holy Communion, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, who said to me with great kindness, My daughter, look at My merciful Heart. As I fixed my gaze on the Most Sacred Heart, the same rays of light, as are represented in the image as blood and water, came forth from it, and I understood how great is the Lord’s mercy. And again Jesus said to me with kindness, My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me – clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness. Suddenly Jesus disappeared. But throughout that whole day my spirit remained immersed in God’s tangible presence, despite the buzz and chatter that usually follow a retreat. It did not disturb me in the least. My spirit was in God, although externally I took part in the conversations and even went to visit Derdy. (note59)
178. Today we are beginning the third probation. All three of us met at Mother Margaret’s, as the other sisters were having their probation in the novitiate. Mother Margaret began with a prayer, explained to us what the third probation consists of, and then spoke on how great is the grace of the perpetual vows. Suddenly, I began to cry out loud. In an instant all God’s graces appeared before the eyes of my soul, and I saw myself so wretched and ungrateful toward God. The sisters began to rebuke me, saying, “Why did she break out crying?” But Mother Margaret came to my defense, saying that she was not surprised.
At the end of the hour, I went before the Blessed Sacrament and, like the greatest and most miserable of wretches, I begged for His mercy that He might heal and purify my poor soul. Then I head these words, My daughter, all your miseries have been consumed in the flame of My love, like a little twig thrown into a roaring fire. By humbling yourself in this way, you draw upon yourself and upon other souls an entire sea of My mercy. I answered, “Jesus, mold my poor heart according to Your divine delight.”
179. Throughout the third probation it was my duty to help the sister in the vestiary. (note60) This duty gave me many occasions to practice virtues. Sometimes I had to take linen to certain sisters three times and still one could not satisfy them. But I also came to recognize the great virtues of some sisters who always asked for the poorest things from the vestiary. I admired their spirit of humility and mortification.
180. + During Advent, a great yearning for God arose in my soul. My spirit rushed toward God with all its might. During that time, the Lord gave me much light to know His attributes.
The first attribute which the Lord gave me to know is His holiness. His holiness is so great that all the Powers and Virtues tremble before Him. The pure spirits veil their faces and lose themselves in unending adoration, and with one single word they express the highest form of adoration; that is – Holy The holiness of god is poured out upon the Church of God and upon every living soul in it, but not in the same degree. There are souls who are completely penetrated by God, and there are those who are barely alive.
The second kind of knowledge which the Lord granted me concerns His justice. His justice is so great and penetrating that it reaches deep into the heart of things, and all things stand before Him in naked truth, and nothing can withstand Him.
The third attribute is love and mercy. And I understood that the greatest attribute is love and mercy. It unites the creature with the Creator. This immense love and abyss of mercy are made known in the Incarnation of the Word and in the Redemption [of humanity], and it is here that I saw this as the greatest of all God’s attributes.