Read any comment section of a tragic human interest story and you can see the rage that comes forth from people. My facebook, lately, has been filled with story after story of parents who are neglecting their children, leaving them to starve or physically punishing them for being “a burden”. I can’t read these stories…..I just can’t. However, I do often look over the comments and so many strangers cry for justice for these little souls.
“An eye for eye”…
” I hope they starve those parents like they starved their kids”.
“Put me in a room with them”.
People want justice.
Now, it’s easy for me to read those comments and think how crazy these people sound.
Unfortunately, the truth is that I want justice in my own life.
When someone “wrongs’me, I want justice. I want to call my close friends and explain to them how “difficult” this person is being and how I need “prayers” in dealing with them.
I don’t want to take any time trying to “understand” any reasoning behind why someone would insult me or hurt me, I just want to be able to lash out on them in anyway I please.
I want to mentally “cross my arms” and feed that part of me that desires to hate, that demands that “hurt” to be returned.
What about you?
People don’t know how to handle the evil that pervades our world. Racism, infantcide, euthanasia, murder, kidnapping, torture, abortion, sexual abuse…the list is endless. Our gut reaction is to demand atonement for these sins. To demand that the attacker meet some sort of fair punishment or justice. The definition of “justice” is the “quality of being fair and reasonable”. In order to handle the “injustices” of this world, it seems rational that we demand justice. But in order to demand “justice”, we must sit in judgement of another. We must “judge” their deeds worthy of justice.
To the Christian…..Justice is not enough.
The Lord asks for Mercy.
This beautiful image was given to Sister Faustina by Our Lord. In her beautiful book, “Diary of Sister Faustina:Divine Mercy in my Soul”, sister’s countless conversations and visions with Our Lord, in which he spoke to her about His Mercy, are detailed. Sister Faustina was asked, by Our Lord, to have the following image painted.
So what does the image mean?
The Image of The Divine Mercy represents the risen Christ whose hands and feet bear the marks of the Crucifixion. When asked about the meaning of the rays from His pierced Heart, Jesus explained, “The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. … These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross” (Diary, 299).
The Lord is calling us to receive His Mercy.
Have you ever wanted to give someone a gift and yet, they were never home for you to drop it off? You wait in anticipation of the joy that you know this gift will bring, but it never seems to happen. You call, but your phone calls aren’t returned. You know this gift will bring this person so much joy, but you can’t get through to them.
Can you imagine that you are this person?! That Jesus has this gift of His Mercy that he is waiting to pour upon you but you can’t make time to see Him. Would it hurt you to find out that His Mercy would fill all those insecurities and pains of your past? That you would feel truly, and unconditionally accepted and loved.
I am not a reader. I’ve never loved reading but during Advent, Lent, and over the summer, I try to read at least one inspirational book. The following book by Fr. Mike Gaitley has been life-changing for me. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I read this book this Advent, and then again this Lent. I found something “profound” each time that I read it. It’s a beautiful book to add to your library. This is definitely one that you will want to read over and over, and highlight and write in. haha.
In his book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, Fr. Mike Gaitley writes that mercy is ” love when it encounters suffering”. It is “first an emotional movement, in which we feel compassion, and then a movement of action”.
It is first “feeling” compassion for someone, and then acting on that. It is a call to action. God is calling us to action. He is calling us to receive the gift of His Mercy, and then to act on that Mercy. Jesus wants us to be emotionally moved by His Love for us, and then “called to action” by that same love.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared this the Year of Mercy. How will you live out this year?
Kendra, over at Catholic All Year, has started a Year of Mercy Challenge with her family. Their family has created a challenge, for the year, to fulfill each of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as a family. She has produced a fantastic printable which you will find here:
Our family has printed out this form and will be challenging ourselves as well.
Additionally, when my girlfriend, Michele, asked me to consider being one of the few “early readers” of her new book, Divine Mercy for Moms, I jumped at the chance. Having just finished Fr. Mike Gaitley’s book, this seemed to be a great book to continue this same message of Divine Mercy. It seemed only “fitting” that, as I opened this book, I found that Fr. Mike Gaitley had written comment promoting this book.
This book didn’t disappoint.
Divine Mercy for Moms is a beautiful book, written by two of my friends from Franciscan University, that speaks to the heart of every busy mom who is trying to live her faith. These women have done a wonderful job of breaking down the message of Divine Mercy from Sr. Faustina into small reflective chapters that any mom can follow. Each chapter ends with how we can live that chapter’s message through three practical ways: in deed, word, and prayer. This book is also set up for small group discussion.
******I was going to wait until I finished this book…but after reading the first three chapters, I couldn’t wait to share it with you. This book is the perfect Easter basket gift for yourself….and a wonderful pre-cursor to Divine Mercy Sunday.******
This book is perfect for the busy mom, as you can read a chapter on Sunday to begin your week, and then use the practical suggestions on ways to “live” that chapter during the week. These moms, Emily and Michele, know how to speak to the mother’s heart and give practical tips for living this message of Mercy.
These ladies have also provided us with so many wonderful resources on their website, Divine Mercy For Moms.
They have two “special gifts” for this year of Mercy…download your free copies of the Mom’s Checklists for the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.!
Definitely “click” on this book and order yours today!
If you have read both of these, please join me in reading Fr. Mike Gaitley’s new book, 33 Days of Merciful Love. This book is a blend of a retreat and the journey of growing closer to St. Therese, the Little Flower. Sounds like a great way to start into this summer.
My prayer is that some of these resources will provide invaluable on your spiritual journey.
May we seek God’s mercy that He so readily awaits to lavish upon us, mere sinners.
May we fully embrace this year of Mercy!