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Friday, September 30, 2005

Divine Mercy



Visionary St. Faustina

Poland, like France, was also a nation that would be torn apart by war and divisions, from within and outside its borders.
It is a nation that has suffered much persecution and destruction in its immense history, which has enfolded the world in the impact that Poland would have on many generations to come.
Poland became a unified country around, 1320 under the leadership of King Wladyslaw I. But it was in the 16th century that Poland truly came into its own and the country was proud of its democratic constitution, as it set the precedent for the rest of the world to follow.
But difficulties dogged its steps as wars with Russia, France, Austria and other intruders disturbed the peace which Poland had enjoyed. This path of destruction would follow for many centuries to come, in this troubled and tragic land.
But it was in 1905 that a child would be born to Poland who was named Helena Kowalska, this child would herald in one of the greatest Prophecies in the twentieth century, which would become known as 'Divine Mercy'.
Helena first received an inner calling in 1912, when she was just 7 years old, this would be followed by many more, once she came of age. And it was in 1924 that Helena could no longer ignore the promptings of Jesus to enter the Religious life, she joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1925 and received her habit in 1926, when she then took the name Sister Maria Faustina.
Our Lord deeply touched Sr. Faustina's heart on Good Friday 1928, where her spirit became inflamed by the suffering of Jesus, who suffered in our place. This was to have a lasting and profound affect on Sister Faustina, and the rest of the world.
It was in 1931 that Jesus appeared before Sr. Faustina and requested an image be painted which portrayed His ineffable love and mercy for His children. By showing equal streams of blood and water, as His Heart was pierced for the transgressions of all. The image was painted in 1934 by artist kazimirowski, though Sr. Faustina was unhappy with it, the image achieves what Jesus wished to portray, His Merciful love for all those who seek it.
Jesus' message illuminates in a more profound way that which is already revealed in the Gospels, that God loves all His children and wishes to have all men saved. This can only be accomplished by a filial love for God and obedience to His Commandments. But our Heavenly Father understands the human condition so it is Jesus who instructs all those who have willing hearts to return to the Sacrament of Penance and to restore what has been broken through sin.
Sister Faustina was to receive many dire warnings for mankind if it refused to follow the Commands of God, but also the revelation that no matter how dark a man's sin, God will forgive the penitent heart, through the Sacraments of the Church.
This is a revelation where God wishes to be seen as He truly is a Loving and Merciful Father who wishes to give all things to His beloved children, and that there is NO end to His Mercy if a soul is contrite. God does not wish to be portrayed as a fierce dictator, who harshly judges His children, but as a Loving Father who longs to have a relationship with His beloved children. This vision would help all peoples to see and to acknowledge that God is a tender Father, who longs for the well being of His people, most especially His lost children.
It was in 1935 that the Divine Mercy image was venerated and in 1937 that Holy cards were printed to hand out to all peoples so they too could know of God's infinite Mercy to all, irrespective of how far they had strayed from the Faith.
The Divine Mercy revelation is one of inestimable hope, but also of dire warnings for the world if it continued on a destructive path.
Some of our Lords revelations are, "I promise, that the soul that will venerate this picture will not perish. I further promise to that soul victory over its enemies already here on earth and especially in the hour of death. I, Myself, shall defend that soul as my own glory.....When punishments for sins shall come upon the earth, and your native land shall be in extreme abasement, the only salvation will be hope in Divine Mercy. I shall preserve the cities and homes which this picture shall be found; I shall protect likewise those persons who shall venerate and have confidence in My Mercy."
Also included, these words of infinite and Divine Love, "The greatest sinner has the greatest right to have hope in My Mercy. The soul which invokes My Mercy brings Me untold delight. I grant it graces beyond its expectations. I cannot punish a soul which has recourse to My pity and compassion even though it be the greatest sinner . . . In My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy, I seek to justify it."
But also this warning, "Write that before I come as the just one, I first open wide the gates of My Mercy. He who does not want to pass through the gates of mercy, will have to pass through the gates of justice." And Jesus continues to instruct and warn Sr. Faustina with these words, "I have eternity for the punishment of these. Now, I prolong the time of My Mercy. But, woe to him who does not recognize the time of My visitation.. Secretary of My Mercy, you are obliged not only to write and proclaim My Mercy, but also to implore graces for sinners, that they too may praise My Mercy."
Jesus also tells Sr. Faustina this dire warning for the world if it does not repent and turn to the Father of Mercy, “all light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole Earth. Then the Sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the Hands and the Feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the Earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day”.
Jesus continues to Sr. Faustina in this direction for souls, “lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep them alive” ......“And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My Mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves!”
Our Lady also warned Sr. Faustina with this, “I gave the Savoir to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great Mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savoir, but as a Just Judge! Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the Day of Justice, the day of divine wrath! The Angels tremble before it!”
But always Jesus emphasises His Mercy to all those who listen and another warning to any who would obstruct this message with these words, “place within their own hearts obstacles to My Mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. … Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My Mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My Mercy. I desire that these souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in My Mercy. … The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much”.
And on a more individual basis the Lord gave this warning to Sr. Faustina to warn those who fall away from the Faith willingly, "There are souls with whom I can do nothing. They are souls that are continuously observing others, but know nothing of what is going on within their own selves. They talk about others continuously...Poor souls, they do not hear My words; their interior remains empty. They do not look for Me within their own hearts, but in idle talk, where I am never found. They sense their emptiness, but they do not recognise their own guilt....Instead of correcting themselves, their hearts swell with envy, and if they do not come to their senses, they plunge in even deeper. A heart, which thus far is envious, now begins to be filled with hate. And they are already at the edge of the precipice. They are jealous of my gifts in other souls, but they themselves are unable and unwilling to accept them.".
But always our Lord leaves us with words of hope, "Strive for a life of recollection so that you can hear My voice, which is so soft that only recollected souls can hear it."
But at the core and centre of these Divine Prophecies for the world delivered to us by the Saintly Sister Faustina are words of Divine hope and joy in knowing of God's tremendous Love for His wayward children. These words though strong are also a sign to each of us to once again embrace the love of God and of our fellow man as we enter the new millennium.
For to each of us a measure has been given, do you wish to drink from the cup of God's Divine Mercy or the Cup of His Divine Justice, the choice is yours..
I would encourage all to read the book of Divine Mercy written by Saint Faustina.
Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.