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Photo: Titian (c. 1490-1576), Jesus Christ and the Good Thief, c. 1563

No, It's Never Too Late

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By Bryan Thatcher, MD (Feb 26, 2012)
Is it ever too late to receive God's mercy? I remember as a child reading about St. Therese of Liseaux (St. Therese of the Little Flower), and how she wrote about a condemned sinner named Pranzini. This man had continually refused God's mercy and it seemed would die as unrepentant. She prayed for him and asked God to give her a sign of Pranzini's repentance to encourage her. As Pranzini was walking up the steps to the guillotine, he suddenly turned to the priest beside him and grasped and kissed the crucifix before him!

God's mercy flowed to Pranzini. Her prayers had been answered.

The Gospel has it that the "Good Thief" to the right of Jesus at the crucifixion also was a recipient of God's great mercy. Scripture tells us that there was a criminal on either side of Jesus being crucified. The criminal on the left joined the rulers, soldiers, and many in the crowd in mocking Jesus as He die on the cross. But it was Dismas, the criminal on the right side of Jesus, who said to the other criminal, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward for our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." And [Dismas] said, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingly power." And [Jesus] said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise'" (Lk 23:40-43).

Many of us go through life thinking that our sins have been so terrible, so numerous, and so heinous that we could never receive God's mercy. But the message of Divine Mercy tells us that His mercy is endless, unfathomable, and ours for the asking. He told St. Faustina, "the greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy" (Diary, 723).

Try not to look back and try not to look too far forward. Stay in the moment, and, as St. Paul writes, let us try to keep our eyes on the finish line. God never gives up on us, so let us never give up on ourselves.

Do not doubt God's mercy, and take comfort in the words, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (Jn 3:16).

Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.

Learn more about EADM.

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Debbie - May 1, 2012

My aunt is dying of cancer. I have been praying the Chaplet for her since the Novena. I prayed and cried to St. Faistina, our Blessed Mother and Lord Jesus last night that they would have Mercy on my aunt and she would let the Hospice Chaplain come to see her. My mother
Told me today the Chaplain came and he was Catholic! My aunt was receptive to him being there. He shared with her God's Mercy and asked if he could call her parish priest to
Come to anoint her . She told him
She believed in God but had not been to church in many years but it would be ok for the
Priest to come. A miracle of love from St. Faustina , Blessed Mary and Lord Jesus took
place today. My aunt has experienced the Divine Mercy of our Lord. It is never too late.

Bea - Feb 27, 2012

For Lent I've been reading the Diary and some books on St. Faustina, and it has given me more peace than I've had in years. I actually felt like a huge weight has been lifted (God's Mercy) and it's helped me feel so much better about my life.

Andrea - Feb 26, 2012

I am always moved by the Divine Mercy message. I appreciate your words of encouragement, especially, stay in the moment and let us never give up on ourselves. I just referred two family members to this website...