Chapter 1- New Year's Eve
“Give us grace, almighty God,
so to unite ourselves in faith with your only Son,
who underwent death and lay buried in the tomb,
that we may rise again in newness of life with him,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
The Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
After the Compline, the sisters filed out of the chapel to their respective cells to retire for the night.
For Faustina, her night had just begun! Mother Superior had given her permission to keep Vigil at the chapel instead of sleeping. She was bubbling with excitement as she walked briskly back to her cell to fetch her notebook and pen.
To be able to spend an entire night with her Beloved . And of all days, on New Year’s Eve! There was nothing else she’d rather be doing.
Wait for me Lord, I ll be back!
Her heart sang. She could scarcely believe she was granted leave to do this.
Due to her poor health, Mother seldom granted her permission to perform “big” mortifications such as fasting or staying up for prayers. So she could only content herself with “little” mortifications, such as sleeping without a pillow, going a little hungry or praying the chaplet with her arms outstretched. Just little things.
While it used to perturb her, the Lord had made known to her on a few occasions that He valued obedience more than mortifications.
Yes, when you are obedient I take away your weakness and replace it with My strength. I am very surprised that souls do not want to make that exchange with Me.
Her eyes crinkled as she recalled the time He had insisted that she ask permission to wear a hair shirt for a week and go to the chapel at night. He knew very well that it would never be granted.
She had felt like a fool, going to Mother, only to be rebuffed rather harshly. When she told Him later that His request was rejected, He didn't bat an eyelid and simply 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.
The Lord had a divine sense of humour. On hindsight, she realised that He was teaching her to be humble and obedient.
To be a happy fool for Christ.
And indeed, by the grace of God and the daily Eucharist, she had grown a lot from seven years ago, when she first made her vows. Like a good shepherd, He was leading her day by day.