A MEMORABLE TRIP – Part 2
(continued from June/July)
“Go to the Lord of the House and ask whether He would accept you.” How these words ring in my heart! These words were spoken to young Helena Kowalska more than eighty years ago and now, in a similar way, spoken to me by Sister Benedicta as she directs me to the Chapel where the Sisters had just begun praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I was overwhelmed with the Sisters’ angelic voices praising God and giving Him glory.
In the Chapel, there were twenty-four new postulants ready to walk in the footsteps of Saint Faustina. I presume that some of them are filled with great expectations, some with great joy and still others with a holy fear of what the Lord will do in their souls. All of them, no doubt, would have asked the same question Helena asked “Lord of this House, do you accept me?” and would have anticipated the Lord’s answer to her: “I do accept; you are in My Heart.”
My journal entry from that day follows:
“Oh Lord, my Beloved and my sustenance, take me into Your arms. Hold me close to Your Heart; otherwise, I will die. I cannot utter one word of the Chaplet; although my heart and soul are conversing with you, my lips are silent. Then, You hear my prayer and You hold my hand. (A young handicapped man, perhaps twenty-four years old, had come into the Chapel, knelt beside me and held my hand.) Our eyes meet, Yours and mine! Peace, oh holy peace, how I have longed for you! How I have desired you! How afraid I was that my heart would not be able to sustain this pace. But now, peace, Your Peace, I find in these eyes, Your eyes – words cannot describe it. In spirit, I am laying my head onto Your Bosom and resting, knowing that You walk with me, holding me to Your Heart, ever so full of mercy. Jesus, I trust in You!
Oh heart, as you rejoice, my poor body nearly dies.
I am so weak and yet I seek the One who gives, the One who lives!
The more I walk and hear the Sisters talk
The more I long, where I belong.”
Again and again, I had to beg the Lord for strength to continue to walk the hallways and pathways of the Shrine and Convent. Sister Tymoteusza, my guide, led me to St. Faustina’s bedroom, where I was taken from the ecstasy of life to the peace of death. As I knelt on the bedroom floor, gently touching the bed frame where the Lord’s Secretary of Divine Mercy died, I was moved beyond words. From there, I was taken to the Chapel where the earthly remains of St. Faustina are kept. The grace of prayer filled the air. As I knelt, crouched in the corner, supported by the railing and the wall, I was able to see and touch the bones of the Saint who brought the message of mercy to the world. I became totally oblivious of what was going on around me as I heard the Lord say “Walk with Me” over and over again in my heart. Let it suffice to say that it was an experience I will never forget, for words could not express my soul’s delight!
In the evening, I met with some dear friends from Ottawa who happened to be in Krakow on their Wedding Anniversary tour. They showed me around the old city at night with all its lights, songs, musicians and artists. At midnight, I saw and heard the trumpet player from the Tower of St. Mary’s, an ancient tradition, still worthwhile to take in. THANK YOU, Waclaw and Elzbieta, for an unforgettable evening in old Krakow!
The next day was filled to capacity. First, I toured the Royal Castle Wawal; then a tour of Krakow ended with a beautiful lunch at an old-fashioned farmer’s restaurant where I had rainbow trout with walnuts and lots of garlic on a bed of small salted potatoes with lots of onions and steaming hot butter. It was an outstanding spread with no room for salad or dessert – just a cup of steaming hot apple cider. It was an enjoyable step back in time! From there, I boarded the bus to Wadowice, the late Pope John Paul II’s birthplace, two weeks prior to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit there.
(Part 3 coming next month)