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’.