St. Faustina on the tram?

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Sunday. A sunny, lazy afternoon. I’m waiting at the tram stop. Last week’s tormenting thoughts are crazily running through my mind, and I’m thinking of all that’s going to happen next week. An incident brings these annoying thoughts to an abrupt end. Suddenly a group of people come to the tram stop out of nowhere: 12 persons, including 3 nuns, and each of them holding some thick book in their hands. Some of them are reading, flicking through the book, others are talking. Did a new bestseller just come out? Puzzling! What’s going on? Finally, one of them comes up to look at the tram schedule. I can see a picture of a nun on the book cover, but I can’t read the title!My tram—“No. 8”—is here. The group of readers follows me onto it. I validate my ticket. When I turn around to look at them, everybody is sitting down and reading. They are holding the books in such a way that I can at last see the title:

My tram—“No. 8”—is here. The group of readers follows me onto it. I validate my ticket. When I turn around to look at them, everybody is sitting down and reading. They are holding the books in such a way that I can at last see the title: “The Diary of Saint Sister Faustina”.

Seriously? On the tram? Why do they feel like reading sacred books in such a public place?  Or does this seem strange only to me? I glance at the other passengers. Their eyes are restless, everybody is looking in a different direction. Somewhere down the tram, I hear loud, annoying music. It looks like I’m the only one who noticed the group of people with their books. At the next stop, a few people who get on the tram look at the covers with Merciful Jesus or Saint Faustina—but without being surprised!

I really don’t know what to make of it? What’s up with them? Why are they reading it with such intensity? Do they think they are better than other people? I am looking at their bright faces, and I can see something in common. Some kind of warmth… a kind of happiness, a smile and sincere concentration on the book. I have no clue what this diary is about, but it looks like they’re hooked on it.

All of a sudden, I can hear a couple of German tourists at my side. It looks like I’m not the only one who noticed that this tram has become a public reading room! The Germans have discovered that everybody’s reading the same book, and has a happy face!

At each tram stop, the passengers secretly look at the cover of the book, reading it over a shoulder. The readers of the diary are giving out some tiny cards.

I’m approaching my stop. It’s time to get off. When I reach out to the door, one of the guys stops me and gives me the tiny card. I look questionably “What is this?” but I don’t have time to hear out the answer. The door opens and I have to get off.

I’m walking down the road but I can still see their smiling faces, calm as if they don’t have any worries in life. Where is this peace coming from? Don’t they have families, jobs, aren’t they fed up with anything? Maybe this was some kind of a prayer or a religious group… but a civil one? I must admit that even though they don’t look like it, they are very strong and brave. These days, it doesn’t happen that people make the sign of the cross when passing a church or before eating in a restaurant. Does anybody still say “God bless” when going past the clergy? And they read “The Diary of Saint Faustina” without any shame, on public transport.

The only thing I’m still wondering about is why? Are they insane? They really ask for sarcastic comments, maybe even mockery, outrage, criticism. Did they want to shock people? Maybe there was a hidden camera and they were checking out people’s reaction? No, this makes no sense…

My thoughts about meeting this group of readers are trying to get rid of my worries, of a feeling of not being understood by others, of all devastating and annoying thoughts relating to my friends and work. All these small and big disappointments, resentments, wounds, which probably most of us have in our hearts… and suddenly I remember the card, still crushed in my hand.

„Tell me about everything, be sincere in dealing with Me, reveal all the wounds of your heart. I will heal them, and your suffering will become a source of your sanctification.”

                                                                                              Jesus (Diary 1487)

Gosh! Why this quote exactly? As if somebody was digging into my mind. I am looking around to see if maybe it’s like in the movies and my thoughts are being heard over the speakers. Breathe in, breathe out…. Relax… I’m calm. Nobody knows what’s going on in my heart. Just me and JESUS.

OK, but going back to what’s still happening on tram No. 8. For whom do they do it? And suddenly I hear these words in my ears: For Jesus, „for the sake of His sorrowful Passion.”

Oh… right…

M.Cz.

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