Photo: Felix Carroll
When We Step Through the Doors of His Mercy
By Jay Hastings (Dec 24, 2006)
I have had a year in which I have grown deeper in my faith through the message of Divine Mercy — a year in which I've witnessed firsthand how mercy is poured out by our Lord when we turn to Him in trust.
Jesus tells St. Faustina: "The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is — trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1578).
This Christmas, we are filled with joy for the coming of our Lord - He who calls upon us to trust in His mercy. I want to share with you one particular story of trust. It's about a man I met through our Divine Mercy prayer group.
Years ago, when he was born, his mother gave him the middle name of "Faustina," so inspired she was by the trust in the Lord shown by then-Sr. Faustina.
Recently, her trust and her son's were put to the test.
He was crossing the street to go watch the Super Bowl when a truck hit him — a hit-and-run. He suffered bodily trauma, broken bones and a brain injury. He was left in a coma.
Suddenly, his family was in distress! The man's wife, mother and all the family were seeking prayers from everyone. Many people came to the hospital trauma center. All were allowed in and prayed.
How I got involved is throough a member of our Divine Mercy prayer group. She is a cloistered nun, and she is related to this man. She had talked with the family, and they wanted members of our group to go downtown with a 1st-class relic of St. Faustina that we have and pray for him. We gladly said yes. We gathered together — Fr. Peter, myself and two other members of our prayer group — and headed downtown to see him.
Here I am reminded of a passage in the Diary of St. Faustina when Jesus says: "My daughter, too great are your demands." Saint Faustina responds: "Jesus, You know that for You it is easier to grant much rather than a little." Then, Jesus says: "That is so, it is less difficult for Me to grant a soul much rather than a little, but every conversion of a sinful soul demands sacrifice" (961).
When we first arrived at the hospital, we had difficulty finding the ward where this young man lay. When we finally found the ward, we asked the staff if we could go back and pray with him. Although many people had prayer with him without incident, we were suddenly met with hesitancy. We were told that, if at all possible, to please only take a few minutes. While the staff had been kind to allow all the prior people to pray for him, they drew the line when we got there.
Then, Fr. Peter, wearing his collar, was questioned and had to prove he was a priest. While this was taking place, we had the opportunity to talk to the family and find out that his middle name was Faustina and explain to them about our Divine Mercy prayer group. What we found was a faith-filled family who knew St Faustina well. We were very impressed.
Saint Faustina writes: "When I steeped myself in prayer, I was transported in spirit to the Chapel, where I saw the Lord Jesus, exposed in the Monstrance. In place of the Monstrance I saw the glorious face of the Lord, and He said to me, 'What you see in reality, these souls see through faith. Oh, how pleasing to Me is their great faith! You see, although there appears to be no trace of life in Me, in reality it is present in its fullness in each and every Host. But for Me to be able to act upon the soul, the soul must have faith. O how pleasing to Me is living faith!' " (Diary, 1420).
After Fr. Peter and our group were cleared to pray we were told that we only had a few minutes. We went to his room. Father Peter began with the Sacrament of the Sick while we prayed the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. It was one of the fastest Chaplets we have ever said. Minutes later we had to leave, but we had done what we set out to do. We talked with the family, and then we left.
Jesus said to St. Faustina: "Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to My mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy" (Diary, 1577).
Weeks went by, and then we got word. He was out of the coma and in physical therapy with no brain damage. He was going to recover. We sent prayers of thanks to God.
What are the chances of a man named Faustina being rescued through St. Faustina's intercession? It was our Lord's will. Weeks later, we received another call. The man and his family wanted to come to our church so we could pray over him again because he was going to have to have a broken bone in his leg re-set and wear a cast longer than expected.
His mother commented about our hospital visit weeks earlier. She noted how everything was calm at the hospital until our group arrived. That's when things started to become difficult. Why is this, we wondered. There seems to be resistance to our calling on Him. But not discouraged, we brought God's love and mercy to this man, through St. Faustina. The family knew it was God's Divine Mercy that brought him back to health.
We prayed a Chaplet over him again. A short time later we received a call that he didn't need a cast and that the doctors said bone had grown where it shouldn't have grown. They were surprised. We were awestruck. We asked for much and were given much. The faith of his mother and family was great.
Merry Christmas to all, and thanks to God once again for His mercy and goodness!
Jay Hastings, of Bartlett, Tenn., is the founder of a growing group of Divine Mercy devotees who ensure that the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is being prayed every hour of the day. The 24-Hour Chaplet members now consist of more than 500 people from across the United States, as well as from Mexico, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Belize, India, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Iraq, who are assigned an hour each day in which to pray. They pray for three things: the promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion; the sick and dying in the hour that you pray; and people about to commit mortal sin. To join the 24-Hour Chaplet, contact Jay via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone, 901-438-7772.