Mercy me: Trust in his

| Kathleen Eischens | April 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Imagine you are part of a college tennis team. You are scheduled to play doubles in a meet with your main rival. Unfortunately, the week before the meet, you skip one of the five scheduled tennis team practices and totally blow your plan to eat healthily. Match day arrives. Your partner is in top form and plays really well. However, your serve is embarrassing, your return is out-of-bounds several times, and you completely miss what should have been an easy backhand. You and your partner lose the match. You feel responsible and remorseful.

You throw yourself at your partner’s mercy, apologize and vow to attend all practices, eat well and work out conscientiously before the next match. You can ask for your partner’s mercy because you trust your partner not to judge you harshly, to forgive you and to give you another chance.

And your partner does!

Infinitely more than the human mercy offered by your doubles partner in this scenario is God’s love and mercy. In Exodus 34:6, God declared to Moses that he is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” In “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” Father Michael Gaitley, director of evangelization for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and director of Formation for the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy, writes, “All of salvation history can be summarized as … God’s great effort of trying to get us skittish, fearful creatures to give up our fear of him and to trust in his love and goodness.”

St. Faustina, whose visions and revelations from Jesus in the 1930s brought into today’s world the message of divine mercy, wrote of divine mercy in her diary: “On one occasion, I heard these words: ‘My daughter, tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy. I desire that the feast of mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of my mercy. The soul that will go to confession (the Church says within 20 days of Divine Mercy Sunday) and receive holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. … It is my desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of my mercy.”

With Easter and the feast of Divine Mercy just around the corner, the following are some ways to experience the depths of God’s mercy:

  • Meditate on the image of Jesus as the divine mercy.
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
  • Pray the Novena to the Divine Mercy.
  • Pray during the afternoon’s 3 o’ clock hour, known as
    the “hour of great mercy.”
  • Celebrate the feast of divine mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday.

Although St. Faustina’s revelations about receiving God’s mercy are relatively new in terms of salvation history, they remind us of God’s timeless message of merciful love. As Jesus told St. Faustina: “My heart overflows with great mercy for souls and especially for poor sinners. … [I]t is for them that the blood and water flowed from my heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy.”

Eischens, a longtime member of St. Hubert in Chanhassen, is a wife and mother, photographer and freelance writer.


DIVINE MERCY RESOURCES

  • Learn more about the history of the divine mercy devotion with “Divine Mercy in the Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” a video featuring Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, available at augustineinstitute.org/divinemercy.
  • The Image of Jesus as the Divine Mercy is available and explained in a booklet “The Divine Mercy Chaplet” from Lighthouse Media at lighthousecatholicmedia.org.
  • The Divine Mercy Chaplet, a prayer given to St. Faustina by our Lord, is said daily at 3 p.m. on 1330 AM Relevant Radio.
  • The novena — a nine-day prayer — to Jesus as the Divine Mercy begins on Good Friday and culminates on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 28.
  • Local parishes’ celebrations of Divine Mercy Sunday, including the Divine Mercy Chaplet, can be found at TheCatholicSpirit.com/divinemercy.

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Category: The Local Church