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Feast of Divine Mercy

Today marks one of my favorite feasts of the year, Divine Mercy Sunday.   This feast day was created to commemorate Jesus' message of absolute mercy.  It is believed that Jesus appeared numerous times to a Polish nun, Sr. Faustina Kowalska.  In these encounters Jesus commanded her to write down his message of mercy. Sr. Faustina obeyed and these writings were compiled and published under the title,  Divine Mercy in My Soul.  So great were the impact of these writings that in 1968 Sr. Faustina was beatified.  Pope John Paul II instituted the Second Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.  To read more about this devotion click here.

Divine Mercy in My Soul was a diary that was written by St. Faustina from 1934 to until her death in 1938.  St. Faustina was a mystic which means that she was able to communicate spiritually with Jesus in an extraordinary way. Throughout this diary St. Faustina writes down Jesus' specific words.  After an exhaustive process the Catholic church approved this work and has stated that her writings were authentic.

It is important to note that Jesus' mercy is always  geared towards our salvation. Salvation in the long term is heaven. Mercy isn't a license to keep on sinning and relying on it as a cheap insurance policy. In order for Jesus' mercy to be operative it must be met with a firm desire to improve ones actions.  The truth is that we all sin. We are all weak and we constantly need God's grace just to survive.  God gives his gift of mercy as a way of drawing us to him and giving us the strength to walk through the inevitable trials of life.  Jesus speaks about his insurmountable desire for mercy as he tells St. Faustina,
"Gather all sinners from the entire world and immerse them in the abyss of my mercy.  I want to give Myself to souls; I yearn for souls, My daughter. On the day of My feast, the Feast of mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of my mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them." (206)
Jesus again elaborates on his desire for mercy as he says,
"...tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of my mercy." (699)
 The most hopeful thing about Jesus' message of mercy is that it is available to everyone.  No matter how far one has fallen God's mercy is always there.


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