Day by Day with St. Faustina

 

by Barb Ernster – 

Author Susan Tassone is known as the “purgatory lady,” but she may well soon also be referred to as “St. Faustina’s secretary” after now completing her fourth book based on the nun’s Diary.

Her latest, Day by Day with St. Faustina: 365 Reflections, helps break down the Divine Mercy message into bite-size pieces focused on the Diary’s key themes of love, mercy, trust and humility; recognizing, accepting and living God’s will for each of us; praying for the dead, praying for conversion and growing closer to Jesus in adoration. It’s very much a “prayer companion,” providing short daily passages from the Divine Mercy message with original reflections and prayers for daily life.

Tell us about your relationship with St. Faustina, how she has inspired you and helped you in your work.

I discovered St. Faustina’s Diary in the early ‘80s, before she was a household name and it fascinated me. St. Faustina invites us to learn how to live the message of conversion, to avoid purgatory and to become more faithful in praying for others, living and deceased. Promoting prayers for the Holy Souls has long been a personal mission dear to my heart, but it was Father Dan Cambra of the Marian Helpers who suggested writing about that in relation to St. Faustina’s Diary. He then recommended similar books on different Diary-based themes.

The first was St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, which came out in 2016. The second was St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners, published in 2017. The most recent was St. Faustina Prayer Book for Adoration, and now Day by Day with St. Faustina: 365 Reflections.

Together, they offer both a comprehensive introduction to her writing and a solid answer for those asking how to apply her teaching and example in daily life.

I pray to her and with her daily so that others can draw closer to her and know the love of God.

What has stood out for you most in her Diary and the Divine Mercy message; is there anything that surprised you?

Those key themes became more apparent. Love, mercy, trust, and so on.

What surprised me or, more accurately, what took my breath away was God’s love. He loves us more than anybody can. And we were chosen before time to be with Him for all eternity! (Then, too, there are the Divine Mercy Promises Jesus made to her for those who would pray to, promote and trust in Divine Mercy; and the promises attached to the Divine Mercy Chaplet.)

Here’s one example and one of my favorite quotes: “When I received Holy Communion, I said to Him, ‘Jesus, I thought about You so many times last night,’ and Jesus answered me, And I thought of you before I called you into being. ‘Jesus, in what way were You thinking about me?’ In terms of admitting you to My eternal happiness. After these words, my soul was flooded with the love of God. I could not stop marveling at how much God loves us” (Diary, 1292).

Jesus says to her: If I call creatures into being, that is the abyss of My mercy. He could have called anybody into being, but He picked you and me; it’s a tremendous grace to be born. He doesn’t need us. He is self-sufficient. But because we are made in His image and likeness, we all have a spark of Him in us and He can’t live without us. There was something about you that drew Him to create you. In fact, St. Catherine of Sienna says, “You absolutely do not need us, but You act as if You can’t get along without us.”

That’s what jumped out at me in this latest book — He is crazy for us!  So I made sure these passages and reflections were included at the end of each month.

How is Jesus’ message of Divine Mercy similar to Mary’s message at Fatima?

As you know, Mary’s message to the three Fatima children was that they work for the conversion of sinners through prayer and sacrifice. That we all do that.

In addition to asking St. Faustina to spread the message of Divine Mercy to help save souls, Jesus asked her to pray for the conversion of sinners. And he said we must pray for the dying. St. Faustina shares the value of suffering and how our daily work — including its smallest activities — can be transformed into a sacrifice for the living and the deceased when offered to God.

Day by Day with St. Faustina has been described as a “spiritual storehouse” revealing the beauty, truth and wisdom found in St. Faustina’s diary. What can people expect from this book?

If you’re familiar with the Diary, it will help you apply what St. Faustina teaches. If you’re new to it, this is a lovely introduction. In either case, it’s a readable, pray-able, use-able way to grow in your love of, and appreciation for, Divine Mercy.

God is good … and full of surprises. I just feel so tremendously blessed to be allowed to play a role in helping people learn more about St. Faustina and what she has to share with all of us. She will be declared a doctor of the Church in the not too distant future. Now we have these books that address the topics that played a prominent role in her mission Jesus gave her. 

Day by Day with St. Faustina: 365 Reflections is available in our Gift Shop. The Diary of St. Faustina is also available.

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