Photo: Felix Carroll
From the Depths of Despair, Discovering God's Mercy
By Purisima V. Narvaez (Aug 1, 2006)
My husband and I nearly lost our business. Then, we nearly lost each other. Maybe extreme suffering is what it took for us to finally understand what God's mercy is all about.
In 1995, our family business started to fall apart. Scared and distraught, my husband and I turned to God like never before. We attended daily Mass and prayed all the time. From the fruit of our prayer and from the mercy of God, we rebuilt our business in two years.
Still, in terms of holiness and our trust in God, we had a long way to go. By 1999, our marriage was under a lot of stress. The reason was that while I desired to have God at the center of our lives, my husband seemed ambivalent.
One day a friend advised me to read the Diary of St. Faustina, and after reading just one page, I desired to attend a seminar on Divine Mercy. I called another friend who, providentially, had a flier advertising an upcoming "Ocean of Mercy" seminar in Houston, Texas. I invited my husband to join me. He, at first, said no. I was disappointed. Hoping for God's intervention, I prayed my novena of Chaplets of The Divine Mercy, and my prayers were answered. My husband agreed to go with me, and he attended nearly all of the conferences.
Our marriage wasn't out of the woods yet, though.
For reasons I don't even remember anymore, I was very frustrated, and I entertained the notion of separating from my husband. In that moment of anguish and confusion, I was immediately enlightened by God's grace and made aware of the pain that I would cause my children and parents.
I prayed: "It is You, God, I will be turning my back on. I will be running away from my marriage vow, which I made to you. It was Your will I am married to this man. I will stay for my love of You, my God. I trust in Your mercy and love. You'll give me the strength to bear this pain with You."
Then, eventually, the pain evaporated. The following year, God's tremendous mercy and love powerfully worked its way into my marriage, transforming and healing my husband and me. God is now the center of our daily lives.
Together, my husband and I sponsor Divine Mercy seminars. We coordinate conferences for parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and form cenacles of Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy.
In the 11 years since Divine Mercy has taken hold of my heart, I have learned the greatest lesson of all. That is, we must surrender in trust to Him, our Lord. Whatever little desire we make with childlike trust in God, if purely acted out of love for Him and mercy toward our neighbor, He magnifies it.
As it says in Psalm 89:1, "I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever!"
Purisima V. Narvaez and her husband Dario live in Glendale, CA. They have been married for 35 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.