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What it Means to be Merciful

And What it Means to Live the Message of The Divine Mercy

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Today's theme is the Divine Mercy Message and how we are to live mercy; that is, it must be a "way of life."

Let us reflect on God's mercy and what He told St. Faustina: "My daughter, do you think you have written enough about My mercy? What you have written is but a drop compared to the ocean. I am Love and Mercy itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted - it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I Myself take care of it" (Diary, 1273).

Mercy is love that seeks to forgive, console, assist, and care for others in time of need. Mercy is an act of love done without expecting anything in return; it is done for love itself. Our Lord gave of Himself on Holy Thursday when He instituted the Most Blessed Sacrament; the Eucharist perpetuates this act of self-giving occurring daily on altars throughout the world.

Jesus made it clear in Sacred Scripture that love of God and neighbor is the greatest commandment: "But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him: 'Teacher, what is the great commandment in the law?' And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets'" (Mt 22:34-40).

Our Lord wants us to know both of His unfathomable mercy, and to be merciful to others, as He is merciful to us. Jesus told St. Faustina: "Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy" (Diary, 301).

Imagine the love and pity our Lord had for the repentant sinner, Mary Magdalene. He read her heart and knew how penitent she was, much more so than the self-righteous Pharisees who thought that the Kingdom of God belonged to them because of their social status. "Because this people draws near with their mouths and honors me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me" (Is 29:13). And when we sin, He wants us to humble ourselves, coming back to Him, and asking for forgiveness. He told St. Faustina: "The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of My hands. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are Mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool" (Diary, 723).

The Lord wants us to return to Him with humility. "For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if you return to Him" (2 Chr 30:9). "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments" (Joel 2:12).

Many of us fall into a downhill spiral of sin and guilt, believing we could never be forgiven, let alone approach God, because of our pathetic wretchedness and sinfulness. But Jesus shared meals with tax collectors and prostitutes, saying, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Lk 5:32). He told St. Faustina that He is ready to grant graces to souls, but few are willing to accept them. "My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy" (Diary, 367).

And as in the parable of the prodigal son, the Lord will always take us back with open arms: "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5).

Let us reflect on how we are called to be merciful, and how today we can show mercy to our loved ones and our coworkers in the workplace. Let us do a small deed of mercy today, expecting nothing in return and done out of love of God. Let us be merciful to others as the Father is merciful to us!

Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Learn more about EADM.

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Bea - Jun 25, 2007

Thanks for the lovely inspiration.

donna .e. - Jun 25, 2007

A few years ago i was in such spiritual trouble. surrounded by tumultuous times, turmoil surrounded me & my marriage. i was not a practicing catholic at this time but i was told to call the church for help & a priest(father dave) told me to clean my house of any occult activities (i.e. ouija board etc.)so that he could pray there over us and our home, and as i was cleaning in preparation for him, i found under my bed, covered in an inch of dust- The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. (neighbors had given it & a rosary to us years earlier at our old house) i dusted it off and read the entire prayer, i cried my eyes out in repentance and begged for mercy and i have received it 10,000 fold since then and that was in 2003. we are now devout catholic and going strong because he carries us daily in our faith and in our very lives,hearts and souls. he saved our lives and our marriage. the blessed mother helped so much too at the time of need she continued unceasingly to guide and pray for our souls salvation, they are part of our family now, and im proud of my husband for converting to catholicism. Thank you Lord Jesus for your truly Divine Mercy. Jesus I Trust In You!