The devotion that answers everything.
I grew up pretty Catholic, so the words “Divine Mercy” were not foreign to me.
But it was one of those “oh, that’s nice” devotions.
I didn’t really get what it actually meant.
After reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley, (and then again after reading I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée), my spiritual life was totally changed.
I totally got it. And this was what I was missing all those years:
Divine Mercy is all about people like us: poor, miserable, sinful, weak souls. So every one of us who thinks our mess is too great for God – think again. The weaker we are, the more miserable we are, the more we attract His mercy.
The more He wants to run to us and save us with His merciful love.
So if you struggle, Divine Mercy is for you. (Basically, it’s for every single soul.)
So getting close to Him? Ain’t no thang. Jesus comes to us Himself – to scoop us up in His arms and draw us to His Heart.
Jesus said to St. Faustina, “I want you to be very little, because when you are little, I carry you close to My Heart. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.”
The only thing He needs from us for Him to do that? Trust.
What does trust look like practically?
It’s believing. Believing, no matter how great your sin, your weaknesses, your circumstances, whatever — believing that He is God, and He can do everything.
In I Believe in Love, d’Elbée writes about the Good Thief:
Then he looks deep into the eyes of Jesus and reads there who He is: the gentle Savior… And the ineffable answer is “Amen, I say to you, this day, you shall be with Me in Paradise”’ For you, no Hell, not a second of Purgatory. The confident look you gave me, this meeting of our eyes, in my mercy and in your faith, has purified you in an instant and rendered us inseparable… Jesus needs nothing but your humility and your confidence [trust] to work marvels of purification in you.
It’s literally that simple. Jesus can bind up and heal your soul in an instant, according to the measure of your trust in Him. The more you trust and believe in His everlasting love and His almighty ability to transform you into Himself — that’s how much He’ll change you.
So whenever you struggle in any circumstances, whenever you fall into sin — stop yourself when you feel discouragement, anxiety, or worry coming. Look to Jesus in your heart, and tell Him you trust Him in an act of your will, even if your feelings of trust aren’t there.
Jesus said to St. Faustina, “My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and exaggerated anxiety.”
Don’t let discouragement of your failures keep you from Him. Don’t ever think that your problems are bigger than He is. He’s waiting for you. Simply run to Him and trust.
It’s simple to trust, but not easy.
Trust is scary. But jump anyway. He knows of your fears. He knows about everything. He was both God and man. He had a man’s heart. He understands. And He’s right in front of you, waiting for you to jump into His arms.
Jesus told a mystic, Sister Consolata Betrone, “You only worry about loving me, and I will take care of everything else to the smallest detail.”
If you still struggle with trust, take it to Mary, His mother. She takes care of everything.
Here’s how you can live it.
One way to practice devotion to Divine Mercy, to practically live this trust, is to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
You can pray this anytime, but praying it at 3:00 in the afternoon is especially powerful.
Even more powerful, praying the Divine Mercy novena, which starts Good Friday and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Jesus said this to St. Faustina:
Encourage souls to say the Chaplet, which I have given you. … Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. … When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior. … Even if there were a sinner most hardened, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My Mercy… Say the Chaplet I have taught you, your storm will cease… Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.
Jesus also said, “When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion.”
Obtain everything if it’s compatible with His will. That includes the conversion of souls. He isn’t kidding, folks.
So take a step toward the most merciful Heart of Jesus. With every baby step of yours, He rushes toward you with sheer delight in being your Savior.
Here’s how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.