God's Mercy is a Genuine Pearl
By Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC (Apr 17, 2007)
This Feast [Divine Mercy Sunday] emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the very depths of My tender mercies. Every soul believing and trusting in My mercy will obtain it.
— Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, 420
Many years ago I heard of a mother who took her daughter shopping. As the little girl observed the variety of items on display, the beauty of a pink pearl necklace caught her eye. She couldn't keep her eyes or hands off them, even though they were merely imitation. She pleaded with her mother to buy them.
The wise mother thought it best to teach the child to postpone immediate gratification, and she suggested that she save her money to buy them herself. At first the child balked, but then accepted the decision of her Mother.
Time passed, and the little girl saved enough to purchase the necklace. She wore them continuously, as pink was her favorite color. Eventually the pearls began to deteriorate . The father, who took turns putting her to bed at night, saw the condition of the pearls and said: "Honey, would you give me those pearls?" The daughter shrieked in obvious refusal.
Several weeks passed, and the father again tucked his daughter in for the night and repeated the request. The girl still refused to give them up. Another week went by, and the young girl carefully thought about this strange request of her father. In time, she became aware that the pearls were losing their luster, so she decided that if her father requested them, she would comply.
Finally, the father did ask for the worn-out pearls. With trembling hands and a small tear coming down her face, she bravely surrendered them. The father thanked her and then went to his room. He came back with a red oblong velvet box and gave it to the daughter. Upon opening it, the daughter screamed with delight. The father had given her a genuine set of pearls.
This story beautifully illustrates for me the great mercy of God. The father represents Our Lord of Mercy and the little girl represents so many us, myself included, who cling to imitation pearls, which is anything not of Him. Whereas the Lord gives genuine gifts through His incomprehensible mercy, just so I can trust Him more each day, I just as incredibly reach out for things that are not genuine, that is, not of Him. I think so many things are important and cling to doing things my way, and yet the Lord always shows me that His way is the only way to achieve true peace and harmony with Him.
Jesus gives us genuine pearls of truth and invites us to accept His mercy so that we can be merciful to others. He asks for our imitation pearls of past wounds and painful experiences that we cling to, thinking we have something of great value. He asks us to forgive others so that He can forgive us and provide us with genuine pearls of peace of soul. He wants to replace our negative and draining thoughts with His energizing pearls of great wisdom. We can do no better than to accept His mercy. We can trust in Him and never allow ourselves to loose the luster of His grace within our souls.
With St. Faustina we pray:
O Blessed Host, I trust in You when Your judgments will resound over me; it is then that I will trust in the sea of Your mercy.
— Diary, 356
Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, is on the staff of the Marian Seminary in Washington, D.C. He also provides spiritual direction, retreats, and seminars.