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Open Your Hearts to Jesus

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As I travel all over the world speaking to people on the message of Divine Mercy and the difficulties of my own spiritual journey, it has become obvious to me that many people understand the devotional aspects of the Divine Mercy message; many know about the Chaplet or the Image or the Feast Day, but fewer know how to integrate the message into their daily lives by taking the needed steps in the conversion process to bring them closer to Jesus, The Divine Mercy, and His Merciful Mother.

Our ministry, Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), emphasizes and promotes the concept that the Divine Mercy message is more than a devotion; it is a Way of Life. While it is important and appropriate to venerate the image of the Merciful Savior and to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily, if these actions do not lead us to a deeper trust in God, a greater ability to forgive those who have hurt us, and to a stronger desire to be merciful to others, then the devotional aspects have done little to bring us closer to Jesus.

We want everyone to realize that this is a message to be lived! And, as you know, the message of the Lord is all about love. I have come to know and believe in a deeper way what is written in 1 Jn 4:16: "So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."

God is love. When we look at the world crises, we see people killing each other in the name of God! And we do the same. We kill with our tongue, our arrogance, our pride, jealousy, and lack of forgiveness.

It is all about love!

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal" (1Cor 13:1).

It is more important to love than it is to worry about all the "rules and regulations" of being a Christian. And the greatest attribute of God is His mercy. We will never understand or comprehend it. But, we are to let that mercy radiate to us and through us and out to a hurting world. We are to be icons and vessels of mercy and the light of the world. So, let's get going — we have a lot of darkness in the world!

Last week, I heard a story about a couple who go to Mass weekly and consider themselves devout Catholics. They have been estranged from their son and his wife for several years for no good reason and have rejected the son's efforts at reconciliation. Recently, the son called to wish them a merry Christmas, and they told him that he was dead as far as they were concerned. How could a father and mother reject their son?

Ghandi once said that he never converted to Christianity because he never saw anyone practicing it; when I read that I felt like my heart had been pierced with a sword.

In Ezekiel, it is written, "I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezek 36:26). What does this mean? It means we need to be filled with joy and the love of God! We need to forgive those who have hurt us, place our trust in God, and be vessels of mercy to a hurting world.

I hear from so many people that they are not speaking to family members because of disagreements over the family inheritance, favoritism, or arguments that happened years ago. We all pray the Our Father, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," and yet we refuse to forgive!

Recently, we had our annual EADM Christmas party in our home. My elderly parents attended; I knew that the socialization would be good for them. It was an ordeal getting them there, since mom has Alzheimer's disease and getting her in and out of the van was a bit difficult. At the end of the party, I noticed Becky staring at my mother as we loaded mom into the van. Shortly thereafter, Becky broke down and sobbed. You see, her mother was just diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She looked at my mom and wondered what the future would be like for her mother.

And her husband responded with great wisdom when he told her, "All we can do is trust. We will take one day at a time and place our trust in God."
Trust in God does not mean that we believe that our crosses will be lighter because we trust; no, it is the acceptance of life's trials and trust in God that gives us the strength to persevere and carry on. We must allow trust to be an active verb. We must live it and act upon it.

Jesus asked that the Divine Mercy Image be signed with the words, "Jesus I Trust in You." This Christmas season, let us turn our bruised and scarred hearts over to Our Lord. He is the Great Physician. He can turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. And let us be filled with the love of God, and in turn love each other. And may the baby Jesus be born in your heart this Christmas season, and may you radiate His love and mercy to your family and friends.

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MKV, Newburyport, Mass. - Dec 11, 2006

In my opinion, this is an excellent article and Dr. Thatcher makes his point very clearly. Over the last year and a half, I realized that in promoting Divine Mercy my words and example must affirm the other in order for people to receive this message. When I began to feel like a hypocrite, I sought God's healing hand for help. I discovered the importance of frequent participation in the sacraments especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, healing Masses, daily prayer and meditation, and being surrounded by a network of people who live the love and mercy Jesus proclaimed and support and encourage you as you struggle to persevere in holiness. Through God's many graces, I've witnessed the power of God's love and mercy in my life and in those around me. I pray that others will also sincerely look into their hearts to see what needs to be purged so God's love and mercy can reign in their hearts and in their lives.

Good To read your work again - Dec 11, 2006

hi Dr Bryan,
I have been wanting to reach you for sometime now but it has been difficult. This becuase since my ordination have been in a place where internet services are difficult to come by. My name is Rev. Fr. Tukura we met at the first Conference of the Divine Mercy in Ibadan Nigerian then I was still a student. Please can you sent me those introductory audio tapes on the devotion particularly the one that talks about difference in devotion to the divine mercy and the sacred heart. My email is tukuramichael@yahoo.com or Our lady of fatima cathloic church P.O.Box 69 Gusau Zamfara state, Nigeria. I will be grateful if I can get that as soon as possible for I will be giving a talk on that. Say me well to all members of your family especially John Paul, he should be a grown man now. God bless your apostolate.

Bridget Robinson - Dec 11, 2006

Dear Bryan,
Thanks so much for your encouragement and support in spreading the Divine Mercy Devotion by taking the time to write this article for all those seeking to open our hearts to the Great , Unfathomable Mercy and Love of God in Jesus, His Son in order to be filled to overflowing so as to enter into the lives of others. That is our spouses, children, friends, neighbors, the sick and dying , strangers and everyone we meet.
The key for me being opening my heart and letting Him love me and so here it begins.....
I often times wonder why I have been given the gift to know the depth of His Love and the answer I recieved was that He comes to reveal Himself to those who are well aware of their need....
For all IS mercy.. all IS grace. We have nothing to boast of other than His Great and Wondrous Love.
Pray that I may persevere in carrying this message no matter what the opposition may be.
May I trust Him even more.....

Fr. Silvio, MIC - Dec 13, 2006

Hy Bryan,
Again your thoughts push us to the heart of the Divine Mercy Message: to live it in very concrete ways. John Paul II emphasized the same in his Encyclical "Rich in Mercy". It's by living what touches us that we can spread to others this Devotion.
May America be filled with people in love with the Lord!
Fr. Silvio, MIC (Brazil)

marsha and siaosi - Dec 13, 2006

Bryan-----this is just wonderful! You are so very "right on" sometimes this is a tough to do, but God is truly asking this of us----It is all about love! Keep upthe good work ------And Colorado loves EADM!!

Ana Paula Rodrigues - Dec 13, 2006

Thank you Dr Bryan for bring to Brasil this message about this "way of life", about the trust we must have in Jesus, in every situation, everyday, in our lifes etc..
It was very good to realize this and the Apostles here in Rio that works with women who gave up abortion,are living this message and teaching this to anothers, especially this women who choose the life of their babies, and saied YES to their sons.
Thank you for opening my eyes.
Continue to spread this message around the world, God is with you.

Eager to Trust - Dec 13, 2006

Dear Dr. Thatcher,
As I read your article, I realize how important it is to believe in the power of God's Divine Mercy. Every day I struggle to find solace when my children say that they cannot love one another as Jesus asked us to do. To forgive seems to be something that we ask for from God, but will not accept those who need/ who ask forgiveness. I am so grateful that God's Divine Mercy helps me to pray constantly for peace and love for my children. My hurt is deep, but I thank God every moment from the time I wake and even as I go to rest. He is at my side, giving me the strength to deal with the madness of this unforgiving world. Please pray for my family (children) that they will return to God & our Blessed Mother and say "Jesus, I Trust In You" and truly mean it.

Trish- Great article! - Dec 13, 2006

Good stuff Bryan! We all know the challenges
of this. I also recommend a great column I
read for anyone faced with an especially
difficult situation in the area of forgiveness.
It was written by Father E. Tobin from
Ascension Catholic. I found it very helpful
in clarifying what forgiveness is and what it
isn't. There are tremendous prayers and
exercises also included in this article.

Keep up the great work, my friend!

Luci - Dec 13, 2006

How very true what Bryan said is! It is so easy to speak without thinking first. We must first close our mouths, think, then speak, lest we hurt those closest to us. And we must practice forgiveness daily. No matter how hard it is, no matter haw hard the situation is, we must still practice forgiveness just as Jesus teaches us, lest we not be forgiven. I know many people who have wronged others and daily I pray for them to be forgiven and I make a conscious effort to say out loud daily that I forgive them for what they have done. That helps me to remember that we all have to practice forgiveness.

Manena, Akron, Ohio - Dec 13, 2006

Bryan..this is a very touching article !! I just love it..I will send a copy to all the members of my Rays of Mercy Cenacle...Its inspiring !!
I just delivered ( gave as gifts) 160 pairs of heavy socks, 100 pairs of gloves , hats and headbands to the homelessin our town,,a truck load of canned food for the hispanic community and clothes and toys to 2 migrant families...
PS: I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion( I just finish the class) and i am assigned to visit and take the Eucharist to shut -in lady,,,and was asked to teach her how to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy...
I also helped to start a Cenacle at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church..
I am glad to have " met" you.
A very Merry Christmas to you and your family

Bob from DivineMercySunday.com - Dec 13, 2006

Great article, Bryan.
This is a message that needs to be continually thought. Jesus emphasized the importance of being like little children and that alone speaks volumes about forgiving one another.
We all need to be reminded that it is very important to walk the talk, and by this i mean "practicing what we preach". Thanks Bryan, i am always in need of hearing this.

Keep up the good work with the EADM!

Marie-Nurses and Doctors for Divine Mercy - Dec 13, 2006

Hi Dr. Bryan,
I am very touched that a physician has such concern for the souls of not only patients, but those around the world. Bringing the message of mercy as a way of life is life shattering and changing-once we all realize we cannot do things the way we used to in light of the mesage of mercy.
May your dynamic message resound throughout the world and I hope each reader will take this message of mercy into their heart and realize "Jesus I Trust in You" is the way to true happiness and inner freedom of heart to love the good Lord and Our Lady.

tom - Dec 13, 2006

Thank you Dr.Bryan for the inspiration your writing brought to me. Working as you do on a rought and challenging road to inspire minds and hearts, that souls might be brought closer to Jesus,
makes you a role model. It is through the eyes of others, their good example and their use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that 'we' are formed. I've learned from you, understand and more important have come to practice my faith more confidently. If my faith is based on "Jesus I Trust in YOU" I can bear my cross, not fear, have Hope, learn to Love, and with His Graces, work and pray that I do His will.
Thank You Doctor, GOD Bless You.

TONIA MAFIANA - Dec 14, 2006

Hi Bryan,even before i read your article,i guessed it will be a beautiful write up.I share your view that prayers and Masses without the corporal and spiritual works of mercy is like faith without works.Do you know?I was glad yesterday when after 3 o'clck prayer,the leader announced that there will be a visit to Kano prisons this weekend.He said exactly what you have in your article that it is an opportunity to show what we pray daily and that those who cannot go can contribute.I was deeply touched.I am travelling for Christmas tomorrow and will not be able to go with them.When i go for prayers today,i will suggest that they take pictures there so i can send you a report when we return in the New Year,God willing.When i was in Jos,i also encouraged them to carry out the works.So,once again,well done and may The Almighty Father continue to shower MERCY on you,your family and your ministry.God bless

Bill Thatcher - Dec 14, 2006

Many of the things my Brother Bryan wrote about have happened in our own famly,and I drew inspiration from his words-I will try to live by the tenets expressed by Bryan,and I feel if done,will help me
achieve serenity in this turbulent world

Rose - Dec 14, 2006

Hi Bryan,
Mahalo for the inspiration. Just wanted to let you know too that some people mentioned to me that your talks during our Divine Mercy Conference here in Hawaii inspired them so much and they were deeply touched with the message of God's mercy. In reading this article, I myself received consolation from God (through your words) when you said that "Trust in God does not mean that we believe that our crosses will be lighter because we trust; no, it is the acceptance of life's trials and trust in God that gives us the strength to persevere and carry on." I am going through a lot of difficulties and I am being tested to really practice what I preach when I would tell people "Trust in God". My first instinct or request from God when I would tell Him "I trust in You" is to ask Him to take away my problems or make my burdens lighter. The opposite happens...I would receive more crosses. But it hit me hard when I read your article. So now I want to remember to ask God to strengthen me more in carrying my cross especially in regards to doing His work. Thanks again for all your encouragement and support for us here in the islands. Aloha in Jesus and Mary.

Fran - Dec 14, 2006

Hi Dr. Thatcher,
Your article truly touched my heart. During our EADM cenacle Christmas party, each of us brought a small stone up to the empty Christmas crib placed before our statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The stone represented our hearts and each of us gave a silent petition as the stone was placed asking for hearts of flesh filled with love and TRUST in the newborn King. We asked to be renewed in the Spirit of Hope which the re-enactment of His birth each year brings to us all. Thank you for this "reminder" article. I will share it with our EADM group in the New Year when we begin meeting again and all the resolutions will be promised. Let us hope that we hold true to them and to ourselves with full TRUST IN THE LORD.....MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS, FRAN +JMJ+

Dolores Kelley - Dec 15, 2006

In 1989 my youngest son was deep into drugs, I turned to my faith to give me the strength to do all that I needed to do. On a trip to Medjugoria I discovered the Divine Mercy Chaplet which of course led me to the entire devotion. This in turn, led me to acts of mercy and love of others. The joy I have experienced in allowing Jesus to fill me with His love and mercy and to feel that very same love and mercy flowing out to others is the greatest joy I have ever known. Through prayer my son is drug free and a devoted husband and father. But my journey of faith because of the need I had many years ago has changed my life. We all suffer in this life, our savior suffered and we His servants must also suffer. How we use that GIFT will make a difference in our lives. Either we accept it and unite it to the suffering of Christ, where it can become a positive force for good or we become
angry, frustrated and bitter, and our suffering bears no fruit. Because of reaching out to others in need and sharing the mercy of God with them. God has given me so much more than I could ever give. He fills me with His love every day, I am unable to keep it to myself. It flows.

Becky - Dec 18, 2006

Bryan, thank you for sharing that moment. No matter where we are in our life journey, there are times that we need to be reminded of God's love and mercy and that we must Trust in HIM. As much as we may know that He is in charge and that we can do and endure all things if we Trust in HIM, there are human moments that we reach out to those who also trust in Him to offer up encouragement and support. I don't expect the future to be easy and I know that I will again find myself in moments of dispair (afterall, I am only human) but I know with the help of my loving husband Jerry, my family, dear friends and our Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy community, we will be able to continue to trust in Him and praise Him in all things. Please pray for my mother and father and all our family as we continue to walk this uncertain journey; for Bryan and his family and for all those who find themselves faced with the challenges of this disease. May God bless you all. Jesus, We Trust in You (in all things)

Love for the poeple of Southern Sudan - Dec 20, 2006

Iam a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Juba-Southern Sudan.I met Dr.Thatcher five years ago in Eldored Kenya where he told me about the divine mercy and I remember one day he told me that (Jesus will bring peace to Southern Sudan)I trusted his word and the power of God over all creation.From that moment I began to develope greater Love in promoting divine mercy message to the poor and the Orphane in Juba/Southern Sudan.What I need is your encouragement to carry this message of Love to the poeple of Southern Sudan who suffer mony years in war for Christ Love. Pray for the poeple of Sudan especiall Juba to understand and unit their suffering with that of Christ Jesus who suffer for justice and to set the poor free .Thanks to Dr.Bryan for giving me hope and light to do what Christ demanded form us.

Paul - Dec 29, 2006

I came aross your website the immediatly aftr praying the chaplet. Yesterday, at my brothers invitation on Christmas day, I returned home fom a two day visit with him after being seperated by a difficult incident for over six months. The mercy of God in bring us together again is wonderful to experience. I thank God for his great mercy.

ethan ruben d. vargas - Dec 28, 2014

We <3 Jesus is christmas day! Merry christmas all the christ of god on divine mercy or mary catholic church

ethan ruben d. vargas - Dec 28, 2014

You're Coming Hoory! Now Beacause We going out

ethan ruben d. vargas - Jan 2, 2015

Hey! HAPPY NEW YEAR For. Jesus Christ