HE IS. HE IS IN VIGIL. I TRUST HIM.
Mateusz Wyrwich talks with Halina Łabonarska – a prominent theatre and movie actresss
MATEUSZ WYRWICH: – When was the first time you ‘met’ with s. Faustyna?
HALINA ŁABONARSKA: – It was the year 1983. I bought ‘A Diary’ of the God’s Servant sister Faustyna Kowalska. Soon after I read the first pages, I felt that I had met with an incredible work – saying about a close relationship and meeting of the man with God. I wanted to see if it was possible. And it happened that I had earlier written a book for the blind about St. Theresa from Lisieux – ‘A Little Great Saint’. Its content helped me understand that there is the world which I do no know. The world of holiness, at which we should be aiming and which we are afraid of. We do not believe that it may become close to us. The ‘Diary’ was a confirmation of these reflections for me.
– What did you know about St. Faustyna at that time?
– At that time I did not know her life yet, her spiritual road. At that time I did not know about the encyclical of John Paul II ‘Dives in misericordia’, about Divine Mercifulness which came about in 1980. But I knew that John Paul II had started the beatification process of sister Faustyna, which was taking on a kind of acceleration. And one could believe that with energy of our pope it would end quickly and successfully. Then I decided to develop my knowledge about the cult of Divine Mercifulness proclaimed by sister Faustyna.
– How did you become fascinated by the ‘Diary’? After all, on the one hand it is a book which is theologically difficult, but, on the other hand, it is infantile in some places, characterized with childish religiousness?
– Yes, but this childish religiousness results from a deep feeling that God is close. Very close. When God reveled Himself, then emotions which accompanied her in her meetings with Christ, were natural. She described what she felt, following a great adoration of God. After all, she did not know literary examples, nor she was educated which would allow her describe her feelings in a poetic way. However, what she described was incredible. For me this simplicity was something extremely close and real,. I saw greatness in this simplicity. I knew that the poetry which appears in it, as some people say ‘naïve poetry’, flows out from the deepness of soul and is an expression of boundless trustfulness.
– And after years, you decided to record the whole ‘Diary’. Why did you think about it?
– In 2000 it was the first time I had recorded selected poems from the ‘Diary’ for Radio Maryja – it was a 40-minute program for canonization of sister Faustyna. In this way, an hour before the canonization, everyone could hear the call of s. Faustyna on Radio Maryja:
‘Be adored, our Creator and Lord,
The whole universe, adore Lord in humility,
Thank your Creator, as much as you can,
And praise His boundless Divine Mercifulness’.
– So, on Sunday of Divine Mercifulness, there is going to be the premiere of your CD with the whole ‘Diary’ of the Saint Sister?
– After many attempts, we managed to gain content of the Convent of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercifulness to make a record. A CD will come out soon. For these all years of my cooperation with the Radio and presence of fragments of the ‘Diary’ at 3 p.m. before the Chaplet of Divine Mercifulness, listeners can hear my voice – for so many years I have been present on radio. Everyone got used to this narration – and wherever I was, not only in Poland – I was always asked where it was possible to get this ‘Diary’ recorded by me. And I am very glad that it is being realized now and an audiobook will come out with the recorded whole ‘Diary’ of St. s. Faustyna. I hope that it will converge with the Feast of Divine Mercifulness in April 2015.
– Who is Faustyna for you today?
– When I pray I speak to her with humility: ‘St. Faustyna, my sister’ and I feel that she accepts it. For, if I treated her in a different way, not in such an ordinary way, it would be difficult to get such a strong spiritual bond. And it results from the need of direct talk. St. Faustyna teaches us, as Jesus taught her, to talk with Him – in an ordinary way. So that we could treat her like our closest friend. And I treat Faustyna in this way. The ‘Diary’ is the most popular mystical work of XX century, beside works of St. John Paul II, translated into many languages- therefore I just recommend it to everybody whom I meet and therefore I decided to publish the ‘Diary’ in whole.
– What is mercifulness to you?
– Christ taught that He is the Road, Truth and Life. The ‘Diary’ of St. Sister Faustyna brings this Road closer to the man and allows him to find a spiritual relationship with God. His mercifulness reveals not only in forgiving faults and sins, but, first of all, in presence in human life. The work of s. Faustyna teaches us to trust God and shows that if we are ready to entrust ourselves to this Road, we will never feel lonely. I trust Him and, therefore I believe that this recording will get to Polish homes all over the world and make it easier for people to get to know Divine Mercifulness.