One of the most important parts of our healing retreats is the small group time.…
Throughout the centuries and even before the birth of St. Faustina, our Lord has been sending us the message that Mercy is His greatest attribute. Repeatedly, He has told Saints and sent Mary, Mother of Mercy, to plead with us to trust in His Merciful Love and to be merciful to others.
Mercy is the key that unlocks all our hearts, even those hearts most hardened by sin and disbelief in a loving God. The wounds we inflict on one another necessitate a mercy far beyond what our weak and impure human hearts can muster. And so, we must continually pray for the help of Mary, our Mother of Mercy and for the Father of all Mercy to pour His Divine Mercy into our hearts. In His love and mercy, He sent His Only Begotten Son to be Mercy and pour out His Most Precious Blood for the forgiveness of our sins. He, Who is Love and Mercy Itself, became a victim of human sacrifice so we might be reconciled to God.
In our time, human sacrifice continues in many forms. It is the sacrificing of the bodies and hearts of women to the gods of lust, violence, and selfish gratification in the name of love and marriage that especially weighs upon my heart. Sexual abuse in any form is soul murder. And sexual abuse in marriage is the murder of not only souls but of a covenant with God Himself. The desecration of the sign and symbol of the Holy Trinity desecrates and offends the Thing signified.
Mercy is God’s response to our crimes against His beloved sons and daughters. As I look back at a few of the moments in history when He has intervened to save us by sending Mother Mary or coming to us Himself, I see that Mercy was His message. His Mercy is the remedy for the victims and the perpetrators of abuse and human sacrifice.
God sent our Lady to Guadalupe to tell the would-be victims of human sacrifice that she and Jesus are with them and God hears their cries. The tilma image of Our Lady spoke to the Aztecs of the sanctity of life and of marriage. And through her God sent His message that He is the one true God who loves them and that His Son, Man and God, born of this woman, is and was the only Sacrifice ever needed. Their gods demanding human sacrifice were false gods. Jesus Christ died once for all and God demands that human sacrifices be stopped. He demands Mercy and Love.
Then God sent our Lady to Fatima to tell the world we must pray. We must pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners, the conversion of nations, the conversion of His Church. Our Lady’s message of mercy gives us hope and tells us that we need not fear even in the final battle against marriages and families because her Immaculate Heart will triumph. God has promised and He is faithful to all His promises.
And then Jesus Himself came to Saint Faustina and told her to beg for His Father’s Mercy for all souls but especially those in the abyss who cannot pray for themselves. He instructed her to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the conversion of sinners. This Chaplet can crack open the door in hardened hearts so the first glimmers of His Light may enter and healing and conversion may begin. We must show mercy, His mercy flowing out from within us. Mercy first, always, and then the scales will be removed from their eyes and their hearts will turn to Him and be transformed.
And then there was St. Maria Goretti and Alessandro who is being considered for beatification now. He was finally able to repent and allow his heart to be converted to Christ after God sent Maria to him in a vision to forgive him for each of the 14 wounds he inflicted upon her. God sent her to her abuser and murderer to offer this unrepentant sinner mercy and forgiveness and with this he was transformed. The scales were removed from his eyes and he saw not only his sins and felt true remorse but he saw the Truth of the inherent dignity and worth of his victim, of himself, of every person. He saw the Lord and gave him his life and now the Church is preparing to name him a saint.
There is always hope for each and every one of us, abusers and victims, all the wounded and broken-hearted. The key that unlocks the hardened hearts of those who abuse and commit human sacrifice in all its evil forms is Mercy, Divine Unfathomable Inexhaustible Mercy and Compassion, filling our hearts and flowing through us into the abyss, seeking and finding those drowning in darkness.
God first proved His Love and Mercy by sending His dearly beloved Son to suffer and die for us. It is only through the power of Christ living within us that we can hope to grow in love and mercy for one another, especially those who hurt us.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, you are our model of what it is to be merciful to those who cause us the deepest sorrow and pain. For you love us as your dear children who are the cause of your only Son’s death. Merciful Mother, pray for us! Teach us to be merciful as you are merciful. May we pray with purity of intention for those who cause us deep sorrow and suffering. And may all hearts be softened and opened to the Mercy of God through your prayers and motherly love.
My Jesus, You have revealed that no soul is beyond Your Mercy. The oceans are contained by the shores, but the ocean of Your Mercy cannot be contained. I am but a droplet in Your great boundless ocean, riding the wave of Your mighty Love. You hold me so firmly, so closely, I can go nowhere but where Your will carries me, yet I do not fear because Your will is Love and Mercy Itself and You desire only good for me.
Lord, please pour Your mercy into my heart. Fill me to overflowing so that Your perfect Mercy spills forth from me into the world. This is how the world will come to know that You are Love and Mercy Itself… when we are merciful to one another as You have been and will be merciful to us.
Jesus, I trust in You! Amen.
A note to victims of abuse… The Lord does not want any of His beloved daughters or sons to be abused. Just as He does not want any of His beloved daughters or sons to defile their own bodies and souls by being abusive. Therefore, it is an act of mercy towards anyone, including a spouse, to enforce boundaries that protect ourselves from harm and abuse.
Divine Mercy Sunday