Friday, November 07, 2008

Divine Mercy: What does it look like?

This meditation is being submitted to the November edition of "Mary Moments." If you'd like to contribute, contact Sarah at

In the famous Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, the words that the saint hears Jesus speak are recorded in boldface type; those of His mother are in italics. As might be expected, the words of the Blessed Mother are few and far between – all true Marian devotion draws the heart toward Jesus.

What she does say, however, speaks volumes. In paragraph 625, St. Faustina writes: “In the evening, when I was praying, the Mother of God told me, Your lives must be like Mine; quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the second coming of God.”

In paragraph 635, the Blessed Mother continues: “Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspirations of His grace! I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepared the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. I sympathize with you.”

In these passages, we glimpse the nature of God’s abundant mercy: Not weak or indecisive, neither pandering nor aloof. Supreme Being by whose power brought heaven and earth into existence, and by whose design all creation will be restored.

What is most remarkable about this plan, however, is that the Creator of the Universe has deigned to involve us in it. And yet, the most powerful among us are not the flashy, the ornate, the wealthy, or the articulate … at least, not by the world’s standards. It is a conspiracy of kindness, a momentary rush of grace that comes to us when we are at our weakest and most desperate. For only when we have come to the end of ourselves, and surrendered to those divine ministrations, can the celestial surgery begin.

“Let it be done to me according to your word…” This is the song of the handmaid, the tribute of the warrior, and the offering of the priest. And as we take up the song, in imitation of our Mother, we find in surrender the courage to persevere to the end.