I Will Have Mercy Upon Whom I Have Mercy

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Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

One might say that Saint Maria Faustina belongs to the spiritual family of the Little Thérèse whom we remembered last Sunday, and of Saint Francis, the icon of Crucified Love whom we celebrated yesterday. She is certainly numbered among the little and the poor to whom the Father reveals the mysteries of the Kingdom. “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will” (Lk 10:21). Our Lord spoke to Faustina in 1934, saying: “Although my greatness is beyond understanding, I commune only with those who are little. I demand of you a childlike spirit.”

Trust

God chose Faustina, a humble religious with little education, to glorify His Mercy and make it known to souls. On April 4, 1937, Our Lord said to her, “Tell all people, My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls. . . . Souls who spread the honour of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Saviour. . . . Everything that exists is enclosed in the depths of My mercy, more deeply than an infant in its mother’s womb. How painfully distrust of My goodness wounds me! Sins of distrust wound me most painfully.”

Jezu, ufam tobie!

Preaching at the Mass of Faustina’s canonization on April 20, 2000, Pope John Paul II, said: "This consoling message is addressed above all to those who, afflicted by a particularly harsh trial or crushed by the weight of the sins they committed, have lost all confidence in life and are tempted to give in to despair. To them the gentle face of Christ is offered; those rays from his heart touch them and shine upon them, warm them, show them the way and fill them with hope. How many souls have been consoled by the prayer "Jesus, I trust in you", which Providence intimated through Sister Faustina! This simple act of abandonment to Jesus dispels the thickest clouds and lets a ray of light penetrate every life. Jezu, ufam tobie."

The Invocation and the Chaplet

Saint Faustina passed on what she herself received from the Lord. She faithfully transmitted the practices given her by Our Lord: simple means of opening oneself to Divine Mercy and to obtaining Mercy for souls. First, there are Saint Faustina’s two prayers: the simple invocation, “Jesus, I trust in you,” and then, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a prayer that, in the most amazing way, has spread from the rising of the sun to its setting. Immense graces are attached to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It has obtained the conversion of hardened sinners, the reconciliation of enemies, and very, very often, when prayed at the side of the dying, the grace of a holy and peaceful death.

The Three O’Clock Prayer and the Feast of Divine Mercy

There is her Three O’Clock Prayer: the daily practice of recalling the pierced Heart of Jesus -- the mystery of the blood and the water --and of imploring mercy for the whole world. There is the Feast of Divine Mercy prepared by a Novena beginning on Good Friday. Pope John Paul II inscribed this feast in the universal calendar of the Church on the Second Sunday of Easter. He was to die on that very feast, after the First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday. Surely Saint Faustina came for him.

The Image

There is the image of the Merciful Christ: He is depicted with his pierced side exposed. From His Heart flows a double stream of blood and of water. Written on the image, according to Our Lord’s specific instruction, is the invocation, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

The Practice of Mercy

Finally, there is the practice of mercy. One who has received mercy from God cannot refuse mercy to another. There is but one way of depriving ourselves of the mercy of God: it is by refusing to show mercy to one’s brother or sister. One who seeks vengeance, even in little things, cuts himself off from the mercy of God.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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