Home / News & Events


Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Deluxe Burgundy Leather


The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul is... Read more


$29.95


Buy Now

Feeling Vengeful?

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

By Marc Massery (May 14, 2019)
Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

A few days later, this lady [who had asked me to pray for a specific intention] came back to me and thanked me for not having prayed for her intention ... because she had been motivated by a spirit of revenge toward a certain person to whom she owed respect and veneration in virtue of the fourth commandment. The Lord Jesus had changed her interior [dispositions], and she herself acknowledged her guilt ... (958).

It's inevitable. People in our lives, even people we love, will wrong us in one way or another. Look at Jesus. He never did anything wrong. Still, He was gravely wronged, to the point of death.

When someone wrongs us, often we have the natural urge to want to harm them back. Like this woman in St. Faustina's Diary, we're all susceptible to giving in to the spirit of revenge. But we must try our best not to give in. Though exacting revenge may feel like it will relieve us and set things right, it never does. In fact, trying to get revenge only ever makes things worse.

It says in Scripture, "Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' No, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.'" (Rom 12:19). It's OK to be angry. It's OK, even good when appropriate, to express feelings and emotions. But to channel our anger into exacting vengeance only breeds more hurt. We must replace desire for revenge with mercy, as Jesus did.

Scripture commentator Scott Hahn says of this Scripture passage, "Heaping coals of kindness on one who has wronged you can cure him of vices, burn away his malice, and move him to repentance."

Love and mercy can bring healing into just about any situation. God, of course, transformed the death of His innocent Son into the saving act of Redemption.

On the other hand, prudence requires us, in certain situations, to take reasonable steps to protect ourselves from harm. For example, avoiding someone who has shown they mean you harm is not revenge so much as mercifully protecting the innocent.

Though we should not seek revenge, this does not mean that God is unfair. Hahn continues, "God overlooks no evil or wrongdoing but will exact justice on the Day of Judgment." The Lord will set everything right at the end of time. For now, we can trust that God can bring forth a greater good from our suffering if we let Him.

In the end, God is the only one whom we can count on to never hurt us. No matter how much we might harm Him, He is all-merciful. He merely asks us to treat our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way.

Jesus says to us: The revenge of the saints is the love and mercy of God. Turn to my saints, turn to my mother, turn to Me when others wrong you. Ask for the grace to overcome your anger and resentment with love and mercy, and I will heal the wounds of your heart.

My prayer: Jesus, please give me the wisdom to recognize any time I feel the need for revenge. Please give me the strength to treat even my worst enemies with love and mercy, knowing that You are the only one who can set things right and make us whole.

View the previous Discovering the Diary.

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

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