By Melanie Rigney
Everyone was having a wonderful time at the dance—everyone, that is, except Helena Kowalska. The nineteen-year-old servant was in spiritual turmoil, and suddenly, she saw Jesus. It wasn’t the first time of course, but this time his words were painful, asking when she would stop deceiving him.
Helena slipped away to a nearby church, where the Lord told her to get on a train to Warsaw, about 70 miles away, and join a convent. She paused long enough to tell her sister what had happened and then, packing nothing else, left for Warsaw.
A few years later, Jesus came to Helena, by then Sister Faustina, for the first time as the King of Divine Mercy. Her single-minded obedience to the Lord and drive to do His will ultimately led to the establishment of Divine Mercy Sunday, declared on the day of her canonization.
I spent Lent 2015 contemplating Faustina’s example. I knew in my soul the Lord was asking me to get on a train that involved leaving behind a romance that was less than pleasing to Him. But I kept delaying, month after month, telling myself it wasn’t doing anyone harm and besides, God wanted me to be happy, right? I halfheartedly prayed for a message as clear as the one Faustina received.
I was at a retreat center in North Carolina the Sunday before Pentecost when it came. A woman I’d gotten to know slightly came up to me as I was departing, a bit earlier than the other attendees. “I have a message for you from God,” she said quietly but with confidence. “He desires you to move to a higher slope.”
The romance ended as soon as I was back home, without drama or tears or angry words, actually, without words at all. Maybe God spoke to him that weekend, too. There was surprisingly little pain … and so much more peace, knowing I was right with the Lord.
And so, this Divine Mercy Sunday, in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, I will be giving thanks for the example of Faustina’s obedience … for Sandy, who provided the Lord’s message to me … and for the courage and faith to rise and get on the train immediately when He asks, confident that He always knows what’s best for me.
Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32, NAB)
Is the Lord asking you to get on a train to parts unknown? Ask a close friend to join you in a prayer of discernment, faith, and obedience. Bon voyage!
About the Author:
Melanie Rigney loves to share stories of how women saints can help us on our journeys today. She is the author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith and Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration (both Franciscan Media). A South Dakota native, Melanie lives in Arlington, VA. Check her out at www.melanierigney.com.