Mercy, Mercy Alone

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The sum and substance of  the Bible is nothing but the  unfathomable mercy  and infinite  love of   God.  The merciful Father  opened up  His  ocean of mercy to Adam and Eve who voluntarily severed  their  relation with   God by obeying Satan more than the God. He  promised a saviour to  them. He made  garments of skin for  them when they realised that they were  naked, after eating  the forbidden  fruit. In His infinite  mercy, God  expelled them from the garden of Eden lest they would, in a state of  sin,  eat from the  tree of life  and live forever, which is nothing but eternal damnation.

Then we see God warning Cain that  his mind was  scheming evil against his brother.  Yet Cain murdered his brother. But  God’s mercy follows Cain too in the  form of a mark on him so that no one would kill him. Old testament is the history of persons like  Noah, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob and  David who  drew as much as they could and as much as they needed  from the  ocean of  Divine Mercy. God’s mercy  followed  Hagar  and  her son Ishmael even into the wilderness of  Beersheba. When  we read the history of His chosen people, what strikes us is that it is also the history of a  God,  who in His abundant mercy,  redeeming  the Israelites every time they sin against  Him.

But then,  the Divine Mercy  did not have a concrete face. It was only an abstract concept. Divine Mercy took a tangible form in a manger in Bethlehem in the silence  of a holy night. To know what  God’s mercy would look like, we need not read the  whole of  the BIble. A single verse  will  suffice to convey  the nature and depth of   God’s mercy: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again’ (Jn 8:11).

As humans, it is our limitation that   the depths of   Divine Mercy are  much  beyond what we can comprehend. But if this  inability to  know the  extent of   God’s mercy  leads  us to  either ignore or reject it, we need to  do only one thing. It is to kneel down and  trust in the very same  Divine Mercy.  Let our prayer be, ” Lord,  help us understand  the depths of your mercy”.

Has anyone ever told you like; ‘I will not leave you orphaned’ (Jn 14:18) or ‘ He will give you another Advocate, to be with you  forever’ (Jn 14:16)? Yet, why do we fail to  understand the mercy of this God who forewarned  us about  everything  that is to happen till the second coming of Jesus Christ, in the  form of prophecies?

The Scripture  records: ‘ For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that  everyone who believes in him may not perish  but may have eternal life’ (Jn 3:16). It means that even today  no one who believes in Jesus Christ will  be lost forever. The biggest folly of man is to set a limit to the mercy of God.  We know the tragedy of many  souls who, in a moment of weakness, thought that  they would not  get  God’s mercy any further.

During the  end times, when the  hurricane of  apostasy strikes hard   putting out  even the  last  remaining flames  of faith and when  many   towers of faith boasting themselves to  be built on rock, simply collapse like a  house of  cards, our last resort is Divine Mercy. But this is something  the Devil  never  wants us to know. His strategy is simple. Before falling into sin, he will tell us; ‘ Go ahead. Your  God is a merciful God.  He will forgive all your sins. So do not shy away from  sin. You can live as you  like”. The very same Devil will change  tone once this hapless man commits a sin. Then  he will say; “See, what a grave sin you have done! God will never   forgive you”.  A person who is  ignorant about the true nature and extent of  God’s mercy will be  easily trapped in this way. Once he loses the  hope of redemption and   falls into despair, the Devil knows how to make him do  more and more  sins. 

It is  probably because  of this reason, that  in these  end times Jesus gave us   great messages  about  Divine Mercy through St Maria Faustina Kowalska. Jesus told St Faustina that the  greatest sinner  is the one who   deserves God’s Mercy the most. Yet why do  sinners  turn away  from  God, instead of  coming  closer to him  with a  contrite heart? It is  because  they do not  know about  the mercy of God. In this backdrop, it is all the more important to  spread the message of Divine Mercy to as many people as we can. Jesus  promised  special gifts to  all those  who tell others about the  mercy of  God, especially  those priests who preach about it .

An important part  of the messages of mercy  as recorded in the book of St Faustina are  the  chaplet of mercy and the feast of  Divine Mercy. Some of those messages are given below.  We  recommend  all  to   read  the book ( Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul) containing  the entire set of   messages numbering  more than  1800.  This book is a  compilation of her diary   for the  period from 1925 to 1938. 

‘My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it 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. I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them (message 367).  This is  the true picture of an unlucky person who  rejects the free gift of  Divine Mercy.

We are familiar with the image of the Divine Mercy.   Faustina writes: ‘During prayer I heard these words within me: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls…… ( message 299).

These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy ( message 299).

Ask of my faithful servant [Father Sopocko- Faustina’s confessor] that, on this day, he tell the whole world of My great mercy; that whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will 

be granted complete remission of sins and punishment (message 300).

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 and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (message 699).

The Lord‟s Promise: The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death (message754).

These words are for you. Do all you possibly can for this work of My mercy. I desire that My mercy be worshiped, and I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is, recourse to My mercy. My Heart rejoices in this feast (message 998).

I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy (message 1109).

At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. When  this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God‟s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son (message 811).

While going through the diary of  St Faustina, one thing that catches our attention is that  Jesus often   repeats  a message several times.  This is perhaps his way of  calling an unrepentant and unbelieving world to  conversion. Let  us  hope that  everybody will heed this call. For us, who  know what Divine Mercy means, it is our duty to pray for them as well.

There is a special Novena of  Divine Mercy  to be said in preparation  for the  Feast. It starts on Good Friday.  Millions of Christians devoutly say these prayers and prepare themselves for the great feast of Divine Mercy, when the Lord has promised to  shower  His inconceivable  mercy upon them. 

We know that many  of us, including priests,  religious and  laity  are passionately spreading the message of  Divine Mercy telling others about it.  Those who  are not  thorough with these messages would often wonder: ‘Why are these people  so passionate about the mercy of God?’. We will get the answer from  message no 83: 

‘Write this: before I come as the Just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day’.

So, this is the point. They want to take this message of  Divine Mercy to as much  of the  humankind as they can, before the  door of  mercy  closes and the  day of justice arrives. Let us  trust in  Divine Mercy when  it is available in plenty. But do not stop there. Take it as a mission to tell  every person we meet about  Divine Mercy and   encourage them to  draw from the  ocean of God’s mercy.

Let the knowledge that our  only refuge in these end times is Divine Mercy be firmly engraved in our hearts. Let us  pray: ‘Jesus, I trust in you’.

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