By: Laura Worhacz
“All this is for the salvation of souls.”
(Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul, #1184)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Easter Blessings! Tomorrow our Catholic Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. This is a glorious day that has been inserted into our church calendar ever since Saint Pope John Paul II blessed us with his own dedication to Jesus in His Divine Mercy. Jesus blessed us in His visits to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. He appeared to this humble servant and she experienced “the journey of her soul” (Diary Preface).
We hear little in our everyday lives about our souls; we are concerned with the heart, mind and body. They are all good and deserving, yet the reality of our eternal salvation is united to the soul of God. In the depths of Jesus’ Divine Mercy is the message to us to lessen the misery of others. The very reason Jesus was born and lived for us, the very reason He suffered and passionately died for us, the very reason He has risen from the dead for us is “all for the salvation of souls.”
We see through the eyes of our souls when we offer mercy, true humility. This humility is found in placing others before ourselves. There is an interior Eucharistic enthusiasm when we live in the grace of the moment of mercy. The unseen God is seen in His creative powers through an awakening of our souls.
To become children of Divine Mercy we must be attentive guards of our souls. The Eucharistic mission entrusted to God’s baptized lives in the message of mercy. If we take a high dive into the deep waters, there is an immersion in AWE that awakens our senses. It is the same with our soul's immersion into mercy. God lives there; our soul rises. St. Paul teaches us that “if Christ has not been raised then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith” (Cor. 15:14). The resurrection must be carried with us for us to be Easter people, otherwise we will be overwhelmed with grief.
We receive Divine Mercy in the Blessed Sacrament, where Jesus lessens our misery. We are then strengthened to lessen the misery of others. Jesus promises that at the time of death, He will hand over to the Heavenly Father the soul dedicated to His Divine Mercy, not as a judge, but as the Merciful Savior. For this reason, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy has become a great prayer for the sick and dying, sick souls, dying souls. Jesus promises to be with those who call upon Him in His Divine Mercy.
I would like to share a story of Divine Mercy. Although we do not need signs and wonders, the reality is they are right before us at every moment. In 2006 my grandmother, Catherine, was in hospice care. I was already dedicated to praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily for those who would pass that day. I was praying the rosary and chaplet of Divine Mercy by my grandmother’s side in her last hours. It was well after midnight when I went home to attend to my household responsibilities. My husband encouraged me to stay home and get a little sleep since the nurse thought Catherine had a few days of life left. At 1:23 a.m. I quickly rose out of bed, knelt and began praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. My husband asked, “What are you doing? You prayed all day, get some rest.” Compelled to finish my prayers, I followed the inspiration. A half hour later my father called to tell me that my grandmother passed from this life. Through my tears I asked him at what time. It was 1:23 a.m.! I recalled the Divine Mercy image I had placed next to my grandmothers’ bed and was reassured that Jesus was with her. I knew she would be resting in His Eternal Promise!
“Eternal God in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, increase Your mercy in us that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is love and mercy itself. Amen”
-Divine Mercy Chaplet Closing Prayer