Divine Mercy: Spiritual Salve for Today’s Soul
Apr 27, 2021
As we continue celebrating the Easter season, and having recently celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy, I found myself reflecting on the state of our world: how far we’ve come and where we’re going. Having lived through the turbulent 1960s, I never dreamed our world could be even more topsy-turvy. Our present issues seem insurmountable, and the ensuing fallout manifests itself in fear, anxiety, isolation, anger and lack of communication (or logical thought). The chaos has permeated throughout our institutions, i.e., academia, churches, government and even in families. People no longer talk to but at each other. The days of intelligent, articulate debate with a dose of jovial wordplay are long gone. To quote an old Motown tune, “Just a ball of confusion, that’s what the world is today.” What are Christians and all people of good will to do?
During this Easter season, Catholics and all Christians can look back over the years - over two-thousands years to be more precise. We can all reflect and rejoice on and over that Sunday morn when Our Lord and Savior rose from the tomb and changed the world. We too can and must continue His mission.
The task may seem daunting and even impossible, but when we recall that Jesus took a band of ragtag fishermen - sinners of all stripes – and commissioned them to preach the gospel throughout all the lands and to all people, our brothers and sisters in Christ altered the course of the world. Our Christian forebearers created a civilization like none other. Art, literature, architecture and music were lifted to heights of unspeakable beauty. Much of it was for the glory of God. Family foundations were laid and societies flourished. Martyrs and saints inspired and continue to lift souls from confusion, darkness and sin.
So where do we begin? Jesus kept his Word and did not leave us orphans. He not only sent the Comforter and the Eucharist: He reinforced the Our Father prayer by reminding us to forgive and to impart mercy. Furthermore, He enlisted a secretary in the form of a young, Polish nun - Maria Faustina Kowalska. Like many of His early converts, she was young, uneducated and poor. She was, however, pure of heart, which brimmed over with love for Jesus Christ. Known today as St. Faustina, Maria had many visions of Jesus and was blessed with some visions of the Blessed Virgin Mother and even sightings of St. Joseph. The Holy Family, definitely a model for today, were all part of the message of Jesus’ mercy.
Mercy is the desire and will to forgive past wounds and misdeeds. Jesus loves us so much that He enlisted St. Faustina as His secretary and had her draw up a roadmap for us to follow. He dictated over 600 pages that is now known as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul.
God in His mercy has revealed to us that He is willing to forgive all. There is no sin that is beyond His forgiveness. The key is simple: to ask for mercy and sin no more. Sin is what has gotten us into this “ball of confusion.” Mercy is the only thing that will get us out. Once we can truly recognize where we have wounded others by our words or deeds, hence owning up to our need for mercy, we can extend it to others. Next, we have to familiarize ourselves with Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, along with the messages from the Diary. We have to be ready, willing and able to explain Jesus’ message with charity, clarity and love.
Finally, as children of the Most High, we must be able to articulate the futility of critiquing the past and the fruitfulness of building on the Words of Christ. The salve of mercy will heal old wounds and set us on the path to lasting and eternal peace.
Brendalyn is a current student pursuing a Master of Arts (Theological Studies) at St. Bernard's. She has a B.A. in History with a concentration in English Literature from Buffalo State College. She is a 2008 convert to the Catholic faith, a co-chair of the Breath of Life Ministries, and is the secretary for the Mary Our Queen Legion of Mary. Brendalyn teaches English Language Arts at Archangel School. When not studying or working, she enjoys reading, writing, swimming, traveling and doting over her grandchildren.