Tomorrow the Church celebrates the Feast of Mercy. Up to now many have been reciting the Novena to Divine Mercy. If you haven’t been following the Novena thus far it’d be a worthwhile effort to do so now, even if you’ve got some catching up to do.
In this devotion and celebration we fix our gaze upon the infinite mercy of the Lord. Jesus chose St. Faustina for this important mission to make known and spread devotion to His Divine Mercy.
In her diary, Jesus once said to St. Faustina, “Do all you possibly can for this work of mercy… My Heart rejoices on account of this feast.” St. Faustina concluded: “After these words, I understood that nothing can dispense me from the obligation which the Lord demands of me”
The love and mercy of the Lord certainly go hand-in-hand. If Jesus did not love us, or felt any compassion for us, He would not have willing offered Himself up as a sacrifice on the cross, saving us from sin. This is an important thing to keep in mind on the Feast of Mercy. The passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Our Blessed Lord was not all for naught. It is living, and repeating, expression of His merciful and loving Heart. A Heart which bleeds continuously for the sinner in need of this glorious love and mercy.
In our failures and guilt, we can sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that God looks upon us with such disgust that we are completely cut off from His mercy.
This is, of course, without a doubt absolutely false.
On the contrary, Jesus told St. Faustina:
Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice… (1146)
No sin is too great for His mercy. No wrong is too beyond the scope of repair to correct.
We are not locked out of His mercy. The door of His mercy is wide open for us!
Jesus was not born, and did not die on the cross, to condemn us to hell. He was born, and died on the cross, to save us and take us home to heaven!
Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to My mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy. (1577)
Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My mercy. I desire that these souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in My mercy. I myself will attend to the sanctification of such souls. I will provide them with everything they will need to attain sanctity. The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is—trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts. (1578)
We have nothing to lose, and so much to gain in the Divine Mercy of the Lord! We’d do well to strive each day to trust more and seek His boundless mercy and love.
There is a reason why we are at times so tempted into believing God wants to punish us and not forgive us. The enemy of the soul detests God’s mercy. And it is the mercy of Our Lord Jesus that restores, heals, purifies, sanctifies, and gives us new life united with Him!
This is precisely for so long what Our Blessed Mother continues to speak of in her numerous messages:
Seek and trust in the mercy of God! Leave sin and say yes to God!
Our Lady, too, appeared to St. Faustina many times as a loving Mother to console and reassure her during her mission. St. Faustina also held a great devotion to the Mother God as well.
As Mediatrix and Co-Redeemer, Blessed Mother also plays an important part in the mercy of God. In His mercy, she was given to us at the foot of the cross to be our Mother, and has sent her out among us to call souls back to God.
She intercedes for so many of her children, obtaining for them mercy and graces. How? When a soul looks to the Heart of Mary, they will always find Jesus. It is impossible to separate Mary from Jesus. She keeps nothing for herself, giving everything to Him.
On one occasion when the Blessed Mother appeared to her with the Child Jesus, St. Faustina heard Our Lady say, “I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy and your Mother.” (330)
Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote an entire chapter on the Mother of Mercy and her successful intercession for sorrowful souls. Here’s an excerpt:
As Christ intercedes for us at the throne of His Father, so Mary intercedes for us to her Divine Son. But this role of mercy she cannot fulfill unless there are those who are miserable.
In her Revelations, St. Bridget of Sweden quotes the Blessed Mother as saying: “The people of earth have need of a triple mercy: sorrow for their sins, penance to atone for them, and strength to do good.” And Mary promised these mercies to all who would call upon her. As the Son shows the Father the wounds He received in saving man in the Battle of Calvary, so Mary shows the body pierced with seven swords in the same Siege against Sin. No sinner in the world is beyond the hope of redemption; no one is so cursed that he cannot obtain pardon if he but calls on Mary. It is necessary to be in the state of sanctifying grace to be saved, but it is not necessary to be in the state of grace to call on Mary. As she was the representative of sinful humanity who gave consent to the Redemption, so she is still the representative of those who are not yet in the state of friendship with God. It is easy for the brothers of Christ to call on the Father, but it is not easy for the strangers and the enemies. This role Mary plays. She is not only the Mother of those who are in the state of grace but also the Queen of those who are not.
The true name of Satan is “Without Mercy” (Hos 1:6, 8), one who’s nature cannot ask for pardon. He first tries to convince a soul that evil is not evil; then, when evil is done, he tries to convince it that there is no hope. Thus does presumption beget despair. Satan refuses the humiliation of pardon both for himself and for others, but Mary asks pardon even for those who, as agents of Satan, would recrucify her Son. Her name is the antithesis of Satan: “One who has received Mercy” (Hos 2:1), and therefore one who dispenses it.
(The World’s First Love, p. 239)
Our Lady carried in her womb, and bore Mercy and Love Itself. It should be no surprise to find that when one appeals to her Immaculate Heart it is swiftly taken to the merciful and Sacred Heart of Jesus. She is the Mother of Mercy, leading us to the Divine Mercy of Jesus, her Son and our Savior.
In preparation of tomorrow’s feast, let us contemplate the words of mercy from both Jesus, the Divine Mercy, and Mary, the Mother of Mercy. Let them fill our hearts with hope, consolation, and strength as we strive to grow in trust in His great mercy, which is waiting for us always everyday.
Below I’ve shared five Medjugorje messages on mercy we could use in our daily Rosary.
Oh, thank you, Sweet and Merciful Lord for your Divine Mercy! Thank you for never giving up on us, and giving us more than what we deserve. Seal us inside your merciful Heart. May the Mother Mercy always lead us and keep us in your infinite grace, and help us to increase our love and trust in your Divine Mercy and Love.
February 25, 2007 – “Dear children! Open your heart to God’s mercy in this Lenten time. The Heavenly Father desires to deliver each of you from the slavery of sin. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time and through meeting with God in confession, leave sin and decide for holiness. Do this out of love for Jesus, who redeemed you all with His blood, that you may be happy and in peace. Do not forget, little children: your freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with seriousness. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
November 2, 2009 – “Dear children, Also today I am among you to point you to the way that will help you to come to know God’s love, the love of God Who permitted you to call Him Father and to perceive Him as Father. I ask of you to sincerely look into your hearts and to see how much you love Him. Is He the last to be loved? Surrounded by material goods, how many times have you betrayed, denied and forgotten Him? My children, do not deceive yourselves with wordly goods. Think of your soul because it is more important than the body, cleanse it. Invoke the Father, He is waiting for you. Come back to Him. I am with you because He, in His mercy, sends me. Thank you.”
December 25, 2012 – “Dear children, give the gift of your life to me and completely surrender to me so that I may help you to comprehend my motherly love and the love of my Son for you. My children, I love you immeasurably and today, in a special way, on the day of the birth of my Son, I desire to receive each of you into my heart and to give a gift of your lives to my Son. My children, Jesus loves you and gives you the grace to live in His mercy, but sin has overtaken many of your hearts and you live in darkness. Therefore, my children, do not wait, say ‘no’ to sin and surrender your hearts to my Son, because only in this way will you be able to live God’s mercy and, with Jesus in your hearts, set out on the way of salvation.”
March 18, 2016 – “Dear children, with a motherly heart filled with love for you, my children, I desire to teach you complete trust in God the Father. I desire for you to learn by an internal gaze and internal listening to follow God’s will. I desire for you to learn to boundlessly trust in His mercy and His love, as I always trusted. Therefore, my children, cleanse your hearts. Free yourselves from everything that binds you to only what is earthly and permit what is of God to form your life by your prayer and sacrifice so that God’s Kingdom may be in your heart; that you may begin to live proceeding from God the Father; that you may always strive to walk with my Son. But for all of this, my children, you must be poor in spirit and filled with love and mercy. You must have pure and simple hearts and always be ready to serve. My children, listen to me, I speak for your salvation. Thank you.”
March 25, 2017 – “Dear children! In this time of grace, I am calling all of you to open your hearts to God’s mercy, to begin a new life through prayer, penance and a decision for holiness. This time of spring moves you to a new life, to a renewal, in your thoughts and hearts. Therefore, little children, I am with you to help you to say ‘yes’ to God and to God’s commandments with resoluteness. You are not alone; I am with you through the grace which the Most High gives me for you and your descendants. Thank you for having responded to my call.”