‘My Heart is mercy itself’

By Chris Sparks

Here is a passage from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska that reads as though it was written for the present time:

[Jesus said:] My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain. My daughter, I desire that your heart be an abiding place of My mercy. I desire that this mercy flow out upon the whole world through your heart. Let no one who approaches you go away without that trust in My mercy which I so ardently desire for souls.

Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners. Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul (Diary, 1777).

Let’s break this passage down.

  • "My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world."

In these difficult times of closed churches and no public Masses, devotions that we can practice in our own homes are more important than ever. If you don’t have a copy of the Divine Mercy Image or the Sacred Heart Image, you can print one out or save it to a digital device. (Download a free image.) Each image has powerful graces attached to its veneration and use at home. You need these graces now more than ever.

  • "No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain."

Whether we feel His consolations or not, still we are promised by Truth Himself: When you come to Me, I console you.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him (Mt 7:7-11).

We should approach Jesus with loving trust, confident in His mercy, His power, and His love for us. We should speak to Him like we would to a wise, discerning friend, knowing that nothing is hidden from Him, and so we might as well be completely open and honest with Him. Then He is most free to help us. The more childlike and trusting we are, the more generously paternal He can be.

  • "My daughter, I desire that your heart be an abiding place of My mercy. I desire that this mercy flow out upon the whole world through your heart. Let no one who approaches you go away without that trust in My mercy which I so ardently desire for souls."

We were made in the image and likeness of God, intended to be sons in the Son from the very beginning. We have always been intended to share in the divine life and love of God. When we open ourselves to God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, through receiving the Sacraments, being transformed by the renewal of our minds through the study of truth (especially in Sacred Scripture) — in short, when we say yes to all the ways in which God reaches out to us, then we become like God. Then our hearts become lit afire with mercy like the Sacred Heart. Then we become living members of the Body of Christ, afire with the Holy Spirit, branches attached to the Vine and drawing our sap, our life from Him.

When we receive the graces of the rays of Divine Mercy, of the Blood and Water flowing from the side of Christ (see Diary, 299), then we become Divine Mercy Images ourselves.

  • "Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least."

It may seem grim, and yet in a time of pandemic, there’s more need than usual for prayers for the dying. We have more opportunities in our homes as we obey the guidelines for social distancing and “shelter in place” orders to pray for the dying. Make the Divine Mercy devotions given to us by Jesus through St. Faustina. Pray the Rosary often. Pray the “O Blood and Water” prayer, offering the graces it brings for those who are dying this day.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You! (Diary, 84).

Save souls! Pray!

  • "Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners."

We who believe in Jesus, who hold the Catholic faith, and who have trustingly received the Divine Mercy message and devotion are incredibly, incomparably rich. We have been blessed with spiritual treasure the likes of which the saints of the days before Jesus longed to receive. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Lk 12:48). We must be earnest and active in our efforts to share those treasures with the world. They’re badly needed.

  • "Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul."

Jesus invites us to collaborate with Him on His salvific mission. If we do not play our part actively, that role and the graces attached to it will be given to someone else (see Diary, 367).

So, let us take up the blessed task of the Divine Mercy message and devotion in these days of pandemic and unleash a flood of grace upon the world. Let us meet this crisis with the one thing of which we truly have an infinite supply: the mercy of God.

Chris Sparks serves as senior book editor for the Marian Fathers. He is the author of the Marian Press book How Can You Still Be Catholic? 50 Answers to a Good Question.

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