Happy Divine Mercy Sunday (and Greek Easter! Christos Anesti!) everyone!!! 🙂
On this special day of beautiful grace, I would like to remind us of God Our Father’s beautiful promise to all His beloved children, no matter who we are or what we’ve done:
“I see all. I will judge every action. I will reward every decision made by one soul for the benefit of another. In the same way, I will challenge every decision made by one soul to the detriment of another. Children, all is being recorded. You will account for your life. I am merciful. I am merciful to a degree that will astound you. But you must allow Me to be merciful. You must accept My mercy. You cannot scorn My mercy, child. Allow Me to exercise My mercy in your life. “How must we do that, Father?” you ask. I will tell you. You must say this to Me:
“God, my Father in heaven, You are all mercy. You love me and see my every sin. God, I call on You now as the merciful Father. Forgive my every sin. Wash away the stains on my soul so that I may once again rest in complete innocence. I trust You, Father in heaven. I rely on You. I thank you. Amen.”
I am acting as the merciful Father in these days, children. Pray this prayer to Me and I will respond in mercy. Your soul will be washed clean.”
Indeed, if we accept God’s tender love and forgiveness in our final moments of this life, we will live forever with Him and the entire family of Christ in the “indescribable and glorious joy” of the heavenly Kingdom (1 Peter 1:8). So let us accept Him now, and let go of all pride and bitterness, searching our hearts for even the smallest residue of resentment or hint of a grudge. For if we allow ourselves to step into the constant, steady stream of God’s pure goodness and infinite grace, we will be spiritually strengthened and sanctified, humbled and healed. Only then, will we be able to pursue the path of holiness and perfection, patiently and peacefully accepting our own faults and failings, as well as those of others. As C.S. Lewis once said:
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
On this day in particular, there is an incredible opportunity for obtaining a clean slate, a “fresh start” -so to speak- for our souls. Listen to the way Jesus Himself described it to Saint Faustina, in her Diary, “Divine Mercy in My Soul”:
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. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy (699).
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 (1109).
Under normal circumstances, all that it would take on our part to receive this full forgiveness for an entire lifetime of sins and full remission for all the justice due them, would be to simply have a good confession with a priest and then receive Our Lord in Holy Communion in a state of grace. However, given the constraints that have arisen from the Coronavirus for receiving the sacraments, all you need to do to obtain this plenary indulgence is make a heartfelt act of contrition and spiritual communion.
The following photo explains how to do just that:
Maybe you think it would be impossible that God could love you at your darkest (Romans 5:8) and forgive you of everything, yes…everything! That is a very legitimate hesitation… After all, we have all been hurt and wounded in many ways, knowingly or unknowingly, by the human beings around us. Yet we are made in God’s image, not the other way around! The eternal, all-powerful, Triune God is not bound by our fickle human weakness, narrow-mindedness, and sin. Yes, God, far more than even Mary Poppins, is perfect in every possible way! As Jesus revealed to Blessed Gabrielle Bossis in “He and I”:
“Aren’t you attracted by intelligence, warmth, kindness? Multiply by infinitely all the gifts that you look for in those you love; God is more. For there are depths of tenderness in Me that you have never known. And this very God wants to possess you! …You, little nothing, loved by the all!”
Amazingly though, despite all God’s wonderful and glorious divine attributes, such as STRENGTH, JUSTICE, WISDOM, PASSION, and CREATIVITY, St. Faustina in her Diary tell us that “we resemble God most when we forgive our neighbors. God is Love, Goodness, and Mercy…” (1148). Why is this the case? Just think of radical love of Jesus Christ on the Cross, willingly accepting all of the whips, shouts, rods, scorns, nails, spit, and hellish hatred of the soldiers crucifying Him. Instead of lashing back in any way, He was like a lamb lead to the slaughter, silently and submissively (Isaiah 53:7), and He was even actively loving all those who were killing Him, crying out to God, begging and pleading for their ignorance, for their salvation…for our ignorance, for our salvation: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Perhaps you’re still not fully convinced of Christ’s merciful message to St. Faustina, put so plainly in the following words He gave to the modern visionary Maureen Sweeney Kyle: “Do not be discouraged by the numbers or types of sins you have committed. The greatest sinner deserves most My Mercy.”
). Here, I would like to remind you that some of the greatest of all sinners really did become the greatest of saints! Take for example, murderer turned Martyr and Missionary St. Paul, playboy turned Bishop and Church Doctor St. Augustine, satanic priest turned knight for Our Lady, Blessed Barolo Longo
or imprisoned drug addict turned Catholic priest and worldwide evangelist, Father Don Calloway, the “Poster Child of Divine Mercy,” who’s beautiful conversion story video has brought tears to my eyes:
And then, of course, much less dramatic and acclaimed, but certainly no less raunchy and rebellious, is my own conversion story
…of how God saved me by showering me in the warmth of His tender, burning Love…even and especially when I definitely didn’t deserve it. Truly, the only limit on the power of His Graces and amount we can receive are the limits we place on them, by our own lack of faith. For as Saint Faustina herself put it:
“Let no soul, even the most miserable, fall prey to doubt; for, as long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great is the power of God’s grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God’s action” (283).
Once, I heard a talk by Father Mike Schmitz about a certain saint who lived a disobedient and wild life and had a child out of wedlock. At age 28, she had a conversion experience after seeing her lover dead on the ground (and perhaps contemplated the shortness of the life of the body compared with the length of the eternity of a soul!). Scorned by her own townspeople, she was taken in by some Franciscan Friars and ended up becoming a very devout and holy penitent woman, consecrated to Christ! Later on, I discovered who this amazing princess, bride, virgin of our Lord was! Her name is Saint Margaret of Cortona and her body is incorruptible, and Our Lord revealed to her that not only had He entirely restored her purity and innocence, but that she would be praising God in Heaven one day with even the highest choirs of Seraphim, among the holiest of Virgins! The following is an excerpt of one of their conversations, from the book, “A Tuscan Penitent: The Life and Legend of St. Margaret of Cortona”:
Thus, one festival of the royal virgin, St. Catherine, Margaret was at the altar receiving Holy Communion when she heard Christ say to her: “My child, thy place shall be amongst the Seraphim, with the virgins aflame with divine love.” At these words Margaret was astounded and replied: “Lord, how can this be with one so stained with sin?” But He Who has promised by the prophet: “return to Me and I will receive thee, made answer: “Thy manifold sufferings shall cleanse thy soul from all attraction to sin, and in thy suffering and contrition thou shalt be restored to virginal purity.”
Hearing these words, Margaret feared the more: “Christ, my Master!” she exclaimed, “and is Magdalene amongst the virgins in the glory of heaven?” Christ, the only Truth, replied: “Except Mary the Virgin and Catherine the Martyr there is none amongst the virgins greater than Magdalene.”
Saint Mary Magdalene? The highest in glory of the female saints in Paradise, only short of Saint Catherine of Siena and the Blessed Mother, the Queen of Heaven?! She who was known as an adulterer possessed by seven demons? Talk about the power of God’s Mercy, which truly “makes all things new” (Revelation 21:5)
Indeed, Not only has He revealed to us that all sin is forgivable, but Saint Mary Magdalene herself revealed the following in “Heaven Speaks on Abortion
“Also, if you have fallen victim to the modern deception that sinful physical intimacy is acceptable, you are not alone. Many holy souls have also made these mistakes. But here is God’s promise to you. Confess your sins. Pour them all out where they cannot hurt you and He, Jesus, will take them away. They will be cast into the fires of His Sacred Heart and they will be incinerated and gone forever. Jesus will grant you complete healing. Be patient and let Him do this for you. Your purity will be returned to you and your beautiful sexuality will be restored to its original state. Remember that I told you that heaven speaks with great authority? Well, you can be assured that this promise comes from the throne of God. Walk in joy, dear sister of mine, because Jesus loves you.”
Another time, I remember coming across a description I once read of St. Augustine in particular which astounded me. It came from the Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great:
“As she reflected thus, he [Saint Augustine] appeared to her in glory, bearing a globe on his head, enriched with an infinite variety of rare colors, and covered with brilliant stars, which indicated the reward that God had bestowed on him for his holy thoughts during life: such as the application of his mind to the things of God; the contempt which he had for the pleasures of life, from his desire of finding pleasure only in God; the care which he had taken to make his heart pleasing to God, who, as the Wise Man says, finds His delight in conversing with the children of men; and all the occupations to which he had devoted himself with his whole soul, either by speaking, writing, or by promoting the love and glory of God by his example; and the pleasures which he enjoyed were so great and so admirable, that he could pour them forth on all.
Then our Lord said to Gertrude: “Consider how perfect My beloved is in purity, humility, and fervent charity.”
She replied, in great admiration: “Lord, how can he be so pure, when he must have contracted so many stains in his wanderings from the faith before his conversion?”
He replied: “I permitted these wanderings, awaiting his return with patience and mercy, and then overwhelming him with My gratuitous favors.”
After these words, as she examined the ornaments of
this prelate very attentively, he appeared vested in a garment of crystalline purity, beneath which she saw three colors, which indicated his purity, humility, and charity; and these shone forth as gold shines through crystal.”
If “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20), imagine how much . Not only does St. Mary Magdalene tell us
that “There is enough for every bit of spiritual and emotional healing that is necessary for every soul who has ever been injured in any way.”
Our Lord actually goes as far as to say the following, from Volume 2
“Come back to Me now, My little lost soul, and I will lift all punishment due you. Repent and throw yourself into My arms. I will forgive you immediately. I have already done so. But in order to heal and to be comfortable in heaven, you must repent and seek My forgiveness. You must come to Me to seek My forgiveness. You must come and get it from Me. I am here, in the tabernacle. Come to Me here and I will forgive all sin. I will make you as pure as if you had never sinned. My children, all in heaven are awed at the scope of this promise. I want you to consider that this is an opportunity you should take advantage of.”
Of course, we will not have forever to take advantage of this incredible opportunity Our Lord offers us, so let us seize the day and receive His Merciful, Healing Grace…today! And the more we trust, the more we shall receive!
If for any reason, you are tempted to doubt the beautiful and powerful promise of Jesus these words of His to us, this is precisely where an exercise in true TRUST must comes in…and hence, that simple yet powerful prayer that Jesus told St. Faustina He wanted inscribed at the bottom of the Image: “Jesus, I Trust in You!” After all, as St. Monica tells us in “Heaven Speaks to Parents Who Worry About Their Children’s Salvation”:
“It is good to tell God that you trust Him. It is good for God to hear this because it consoles Him. It is also good for you to hear yourself telling God that you trust Him as you will begin to believe.”
Therefore, keep praying this prayer, even all day long if you have to, and I promise you, you will soon you yourself will experience a peace beyond all understanding, a peace that evades the enemy’s snares of distraction, worry, or regret, a peace that only Christ can give (Philippians 4:7). Believe that truly everything? (yes…everything!) is being taken care of by your all-knowing, all-loving, all-forgiving, good, good Father, and then leave everything in His Hands! If you want, you can even pray the following refrain of the Surrender Novena
which Jesus revealed to Servant of God Don Dolindo as the most efficacious novena of all! “Jesus I surrender myself to You! Take care of everything!”
Remember! No mater what you have ever said, thought, or done and no matter what anyone else may think, say or do, YOU are a CHILD of GOD! Indeed, you are perfectly KNOWN, infinitely LOVED, tenderly CHERISHED, and, as long as you have the humility to simply say, “Sorry”… fully FORGIVEN by the God of highest heavens, who dwells in the deepest depths of your heart. Tell Him that you trust Him often- even when you don’t believe it. Tell Him that you love Him often- even when you don’t feel it. And most of all, serve Him- even when you don’t desire it. Let Jesus Christ lead your life, your work, your heart, even in the most monotonous moments and down to the most minute details and soon, all the faith, hope, and love you could ever ask for or even imagine will follow.
Thank you so, so much for (hopefully) taking some time to read through another rather lengthy email message of mine! May God bless you and your families in this time, and especially all those affected by the virus. And may you always trust in His His Unconditional, Unfathomable, Unlimited, and Unending Love and Mercy.
Peace be with you (John 20:19).
PS- Please enjoy the following excerpts from St. Thomas the Apostle in Volume 5
about having FAITH in Our Lord, even when it’s not easy:
“I had the greatest of faith on earth, truly, but when you live on earth, and you are following Jesus, there are times when you are asked to believe what is inconceivable to the limitations of human thinking. It is at that time that you must turn joyfully to heaven and say, “Jesus, I trust in you, I believe in you, and I will follow you.” Those simple words should be said all the day long. There will come times when you will feel your faith wavering. This is perfectly normal, dear followers. You may expect to confront doubts at some time during your service. This should not affect your service in any way. Say those words and cry out to me, Thomas, and I will console you and comfort you while I simultaneously turn to the Throne and pray, interceding for you until the time of challenge has passed.”
I am the saint who will help you with your doubts. You must call on me often, as often as you have doubts, and I will rush to you because I understand the pain and anguish of wanting to serve but struggling to believe. You must understand how much I love you. Believe, dear soul, that your times are changing. This is a mercy and you should thank heaven for it. You are being well prepared and this opportunity for enhanced unity between earth and heaven is part of that mercy. We are with you at every moment. You have many friends in heaven. Use them.
I, Thomas, pledge to walk with you in times of doubt so that your service to the Kingdom is unaffected. In that situation, you gain the most powerful of graces and rewards because it is far more difficult to serve when you are struggling. What you must concentrate on always is service. I will serve! That is your refrain. God can do great things with a soul who speaks that way all day.”