Faith for the Journey of Life

My Thoughts on Faith, Life, and 2,000+ Years of Catholicism / Christianity

14 January 2007

A New Year for Divine Mercy

My Knights of Columbus council recently hosted a Holy Hour with a Divine Mercy icon. Our Supreme headquarters circulates this icon amongst Knights councils to inspire greater devotion to Divine Mercy. The Holy Hour featured Gospel readings, hymns, a Homily on Divine Mercy, the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the praying of the Divine Mercy Litany.

If you are not familiar with the Divine Mercy devotion, please allow me to offer a brief overview. The Divine Mercy devotion is based upon the private revelations of our Lord and Savior to a Polish nun in the 1930s - St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. As the world was precariously perched between world wars, our Most Merciful Father saw fit to bless mankind by reminding us of His great mercy and deliver us a message of great hope amidst the impending horrors of renewed war and totalitarian oppression. Over the period of several years, Jesus delivered numerous messages to St. Faustina about God's mercy and instructed her in several ways to promote and honors his mercy. This includes the Divine Mercy Chaplet (said on the Rosary), Divine Mercy Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter), the Divine Mercy Novena and the Divine Mercy image.

The Divine Mercy image (which the aforementioned Knights icon depicts) shows a resurrected Jesus with rays emanating from his chest. The best description comes from St. Faustina's own diary...

"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. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him (299). By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (742)."

Jesus spoke these descriptive words to St. Faustina and as the dutiful recorder that she was, St. Faustina conveys His words to us to remind us of God's great mercy for us all.

Today, we do not need look to very far in this world to see why we are all in such great need for God's mercy. Anti-family advocates are ramming gay marriage through courts and legislatures in New Jersey and other states. Babies continue to be killed in the womb in the publicly stated name of "choice" and the publicly denied name of "profit" and "convenience." War rages in various parts of the globe. Christians and Jews are persecuted for their faith. Islamo-fascism threatens the lives of millions of innocent people. Our culture's pop icons are promoting licentiousness and greed amongst our young people. And so on and so forth...

In spite of all the millions of ways in which we provoke God's justice and push His patience, God still loves us and provides us with the means to make amends. Through His Son's Cross and His incomprehensible love and mercy, eternal damnation need not be our ultimate fate. As Jesus's personal secretary of Divine Mercy, St. Faustina reminds us of that.

Divine Mercy, Crown of All God's Handiwork...I place all my trust in You!



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