Jesus, I trust in you.
I was awake. Again. There was something weighing heavily on my heart. During the day, it had had free reign in my brain, pushing aside my to-do list, asserting itself aggressively. That night as I lay me down to sleep, I prayed the Lord would “keep” both my soul and my beleaguered brain in peace. As an internal processor, my brain is constantly analyzing, scrutinizing, second-guessing. It is exhausting. I often fall blissfully to sleep, only to awaken again and again in frustration.
As I bolted awake for the tenth time, I prayed, “Jesus I trust in you.” I reached for the Rosary under my pillow. Those words and those beads bring me comfort. As time passed, my brain processed through the issues of the day and I was able to fall, finally, into a truly peaceful sleep.
I have learned to be grateful for these restless nights because they have become a little school for me, a school in which I am taking lessons in trust and mercy. My teacher along this journey has been a little Polish nun, dead for nearly a century now, but whose writings have left a lasting imprint on my soul: St. Faustina Kowalska, the patron saint of Divine Mercy.
St. Faustina’s birth name was Helena Kowalska, and she lived in Poland in the early part of the 1900s. She joined the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy with minimal education and was given simple jobs in the kitchen and garden. Despite her humble background, Jesus came to her often and in remarkable ways.
St. Faustina didn’t just pray to Jesus, she conversed with him. Theirs was a loving conversation between two close friends. Jesus came to her in countless visions, and throughout her life she repeatedly saw him, and clearly heard his voice. Her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, is filled with direct quotations from the Lord. This grace was given to St. Faustina not only for her own spiritual benefit, but for that of the whole world: the Lord explicitly commanded her to write down his words so that others may read them. Thanks to her faithfulness, we can read and pray with these words ourselves today. No less a saint than St. Pope John Paul the Great has honored St. Faustina for her great mission in the message of Divine Mercy.
St. Faustina had tremendous trust in Jesus. She knew, like Julian of Norwich, that “all would be well.” After hearing about her encounters with Jesus, some questioned her sanity, but she never faltered in her fidelity to the Lord’s commands. She knew that he was giving her a special task that would bear great spiritual fruit. Like the Virgin Mary, she became the handmaid of the Lord. She “let it be done unto her according to his word,” and the Church is richer today for her fidelity.
When I lay awake at night, I ask for St. Faustina’s prayers, knowing that she is the patron saint of this Divine Mercy. Her words “Jesus I trust in you” help me remember that I am not alone, and that the only way I am going to get through my struggles is by relying on the Lord, just as she did.
When I struggle to trust – and with so many challenges in life, who does not struggle to trust in God! – I cling to the Lord’s promise to St. Faustina: “Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace” (Diary, 1074). Those are his words to St. Faustina, for our benefit. He asked her to become his “secretary of divine mercy” so that we could know his lavish offering is available for each of us today, if only we will trust in him.
So I keep striving for this complete trust. day by day, little by little. I practice with the small things: that I will get to my meeting safely and on time despite the slow traffic – Jesus I trust in you. That it will be okay if I don’t accomplish my to-do list – Jesus I trust in you. That the sun will rise again in the morning – Jesus I trust in you.
My holy confidence builds, and I dare to trust in the bigger things: that my prayer time will be fruitful – Jesus I trust in you. That my loved ones will be okay – Jesus I trust in you. That our nation and world will someday be united in true peace – Jesus I trust in you.
St. Faustina, please intercede for us. Ask Jesus to help us trust him fully. Help us remember his words to you that “when a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls” (Diary, 1074). Help us to desire that grace.
Jesus, we trust in You.
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Merridith Frediani’s perfect day includes prayer, writing, unrushed morning coffee, reading, tending to dahlias, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three teenagers. She loves leading small faith groups for moms and looking for God in the silly and ordinary. She blogs and writes for her local Catholic Herald in Milwaukee.