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From the Depths of Despair, Discovering God's Mercy

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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.

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Grace Cashman - Sep 25, 2006

I am a faithful catholic and I pray alot that it be Gods will that my prayers be answered.I am having some finical problems and asked for the help to get help some where and it seems like things just keep getting worst all the time and I am starting to lose my faith and I no that is not rigth, please tell me what more I can do.

Moderator - Sep 27, 2006

I commend you for your openness and for your good "spiritual sense" you recognize that your faith is being challenged but that losing it would be "not right". Please know that what you are experiencing is relatively common in many people's spiritual journeys. We may go through a time when we feel totally abandoned by God. We wonder, if God is all good and loving, why does He permit this to happen, especially to those who are trying to be faithful? The first thing to consider is that God never directly wills that we suffer; He permits suffering so that He can bring a greater good out of it. In your situation, that "greater good" may be any number of things. Could the Lord be inviting you to a new opportunity such as a different line of work? Or is He stretching you in order to test and strengthen your trust in Him? Very often, we don't see the benefit until after the ordeal is over. But we can still get through it "even with joy" if we keep praying, "Jesus, I trust in You." Know too that, when we suffer, that is when we are most closely united to Our Lord on the Cross. I encourage you to discuss the details of your situation with someone close to you like a priest at your parish or a trusted spiritual friend. Sometimes, being able to talk about it may help bring clarity and peace. Also, the Marians and their prayer team will happily pray for you just call the prayer request line at 1-800-804-3823.

edwin - Dec 15, 2006

I am in a similar situation like you grace in fact i maybe in a much worst situation what i do is pray and trust that God of Mercy will answer it someday i always think that there is a lesson to be learn to all of this problem i just hope and pray that i will have enough faith to God that he will hear my prayer because i am desperate