Franciszek Cardinal Macharski, former Archbishop of Krakow, wrote that the Devotion to the Divine Mercy is more than one devotion. His actual words were:
“This is not just one more devotion, just another booklet or picture. It is incomparable with anyone or anything. The Devotion to the Divine Mercy is determining the destiny of the world, the destiny of humanity. No diplomacy, politics, or any human faculty or skill can save that which seems to be heading for the destruction man has prepared – not just for one individual, but for humanity. Only Jesus, the Crucified One and the Risen One can do this; and, this I maintain – through Mary”.
When we talk about the Divine Mercy Devotion, we must speak about the Essence, the Elements and the Message of the Devotion. In the following pages, brief reflections are offered on each of these facets of the Devotion.
We must be instruments for the salvation of others, but we also must attend to our own salvation. God gives us the tools, the helps, the gifts, the graces, through the understanding of the message of the Divine Mercy – its applications and teachings found in the Diary and spirituality of St. Maria Faustina.
God wants us to be aware that the time will come when our soul will come before Him and we will be judged. “Before I come as the Just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy” “He desires everyone to know this before He comes again as Judge. He wants souls to come to know Him first as King of Mercy” (Diary 378)
Let’s pat attention to the urgency of the message: “My daughter: Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize my unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end of times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them” (Diary 848).
Notice Jesus’ insistence and urgency in asking us to come to the sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. In another passage He calls it the Tribunal of His mercy. “Pray for souls that they be not afraid to approach the Tribunal of My mercy” (Diary 975) “Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy, the sacrament of Reconciliation. There, the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated” (Diary 1448) Oh, what a tribunal! Have you ever heard of a tribunal that does not condemn, that it rather forgives?
When mortal sin takes control of our soul, it is very difficult for us to cooperate with God’s graces. Mortal sin, as well as all sins, is forgiven after being properly confessed to a priest who has received God’s power to forgive them in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and in the name of the Church. “Whose sins you forgive, are forgiven, and whose sins you retain, are retained”
So, it is imperative and necessary for us to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation: “It suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative (the priest) and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. When a soul looks like a decaying corpse so that, from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late” (Diary 1448)
Jesus emphasizes the urgency of His message. When he appoints her His secretary and apostle of His mercy, in fact, He is telling us that His instructions are not only for her, but for all humanity: “You will prepare the world for My second coming” (Diary 429)
“My daughter, look into the abyss of My mercy and give praise and glory to this mercy of Mine. Do it in this way: Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy” (Diary 206)
“Jesus looked at me and said: Souls perish in spite of my bitter Passion… If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity, Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near” (Diary 965)
God is so patient, loving and merciful that He is always giving us the opportunity to collaborate with His graces by humbling ourselves and coming to Him to receive forgiveness for our sins: “I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is: recourse to My mercy” (Diary 998) “I have eternity for punishing, and so I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners” (Diary 1160)
Reading through St. Faustina’s biography one can see how she was chosen by God to be the Apostle of His message of Divine Mercy. First her vocation to a religious life followed by her acceptance in her congregation. It is very revealing to read how she knocked at the doors of so many convents and yet, none would accept her, except the very last one, the convent of The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.
And it is also very revealing being told by the Mother Superior of the convent, that if the Master of the house would accept her, she would also accept her. God inserted Sr. Faustina into a community totally guided by their mission of love for others in need. They really were and still are very merciful religious Sisters.
Her earlier years of religious life were years of preparation for the task awaiting her. The Lord begins to reveal His message to her and she, with the little schooling she had, but with the incredible spiritual formation she had received from her parents, the teachings received from her community and her confessors and spiritual directors, but above all, under the guidance and the charisms of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Himself, learned and grew in knowledge of Jesus’ message of His unfathomable mercy for her and for the whole world.
The following passages in her Diary are samples of the Lord’s feelings and desires entrusted to her to share them with souls like yours and mine to induce us to personal holiness and the salvation of all souls:
“I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion and offer them to the Heavenly Father for sinners” (Diary 1032)
“My daughter, do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to my merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace.” (Diary 1074)
“Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it” (Diary 1075)
“How painfully distrust of My mercy wounds Me! Sins of distrust would Me most painfully” (Diary 1076)
“My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of My goodness? For you I descended from Heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of My mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy…You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and grieve. I shall pour upon you the treasures of My grace” (Diary 1485)
“The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is – trust” (Diary 1578)
The Diary is filled with many more quotes from her colloquium with Jesus. It’s good for us to read it slowly – little by little – sometimes going back to read certain passages again. Some persons have expressed that while reading the Diary, they have felt like in their first moment of conversion; like rediscovering the joy and happiness they found after having attended a Cursillo of Christianity, a Life in the Spirit Seminar, a Marriage Encounter, etc.
All the new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy of God that Jesus revealed to St. Faustina are directed to the same purpose – the conversion and salvation of all souls. The Image, the Chaplets, the Feast, the Hour, the Novena and the propagation of the message – are all given to her by Jesus Himself. All focus on the salvation of all souls. They all come together on the day of the Feast of the Divine Mercy, and the veneration and praying of all provide us with the most profound promise: “Complete remission of sins and punishment” (Diary 300)
For a more in depth and still brief reflection, please refer to the Book of the Month entitled “The Message of the Divine Mercy – an Actual Grace for the Conversion and Salvation of all Souls” – February 2010