In my first article about Loved, Lost, Found: 17 Divine Mercy Conversions, I introduced Felix Carroll, the author. In the second article, I described just a few of the gripping and emotional stories from the book. I conclude this series with gleaned and discovered aspects of Divine Mercy – all through and because of Felix’s book.
St. Thomas is my namesake and over time I have had many similarities to him… not the least of which has been my own desire to seek proof, to put my hands into Jesus’ side, to touch his wounds… to see Jesus face to face. As I began reading this new book, I recall these thoughts from Sister Faustina and from the author: If you don’t trust my words [that is, the words attributed to Jesus in Sister Faustina’s Diary], then trust His wounds. And about His words: Jesus assures us “I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
The stories in the book are so important because they teach me and convince me that in spite of being a continuing sinner, but a continually confessing penitent, that the Lord Jesus sees my brokenness differently than I do. But note that I said ‘continuing reconciliation.’
In my reading, I learned some from the quotes of Jesus and Sister Faustina. Jesus says: “Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to My mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy.” And so if you are mired in sin, or if you’ve confessed and confessed, Divine mercy tells us conversion and perseverance comes from Jesus.
One obstacle to Christ’s mercy is presuming upon it. The more one ignores Confession, the Eucharist and the Divine Liturgy of the Mass – the more that person places obstacles to Christ’s mercy. The more one participates in the work of Jesus in and through the Church, the more open the soul will be to accepting and acting on the graces of the Mercy of Jesus.
You might ask how to view this in light of the story I shared about the Polish doctor, Bruchalski, who had been an abortionist. His heart and mind were opened when he began to see the enormity and the reality of what he was doing. His first steps to accepting mercy.
I want to highlight something new I learned from Loved, Lost, Found: 17 Stories of Divine Mercy Conversions. When you pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet as many of us do each day, what are you praying for? What are you asking for? I ask you to consider the following in your prayers.
Pray to Divine Mercy for three things. First: Pray for anyone who will die this hour… this day. Second: Pray for the souls in purgatory. Third: Pray for someone, anyone, who will commit a mortal sin that hour of your prayer. Got it? Anyone who will die, souls in purgatory, and a person about to commit mortal sin.
Somewhere, I came upon the ABC’s of Divine Mercy: A – Ask for His Mercy. Continually ask in spite of (and because of) your continuing sin. B – Be merciful. God’s Mercy received by us needs to flow to others. Directly or indirectly it will help them to respond to the gift of mercy. And finally – C – Completely trust in, adore and kneel at the feet of Jesus’ Mercy. More trust equals more Mercy.
In these actions, we will be participating in the power and the graces of His most Divine Mercy. Jesus said “Let Souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My mercy.”
There is a story near the end of this book – a story about a woman named Kellie who said that she spent the first half of her life offending God. Her younger years were out of control and with many bad choices. But having accepted this grace, Kelli says that in the second half of her life, Divine Mercy is her ministry of reparation. She now runs the House of Mercy in Manassas, Virginia which feeds thousands of children not only in northern Virginia but in developing countries around the world.
We come to Church and we start asking for forgiveness. For Mercy. And then we participate in the nourishment and power of bread made Divine. The stories remind us we are to be transformed and take that Divinity within us in a new direction. That’s what John Paul II did. I saw a quote by Jesus to Sr. Faustina: “From Poland will come the spark that will ignite the whole world and prepare it for My final coming. Could that ‘spark’ be His Divine Mercy? Spread by the Pontiff from Poland?
Divine Mercy freely given. To those whose hearts are ready and open. Reading Loved, Lost, Found is a way to prepare your heart or the heart of a friend. Or a sinner. Or a lukewarm Catholic. Or a former Catholic.
“My compassionate and loving Heart is inflamed with an intense longing for the salvation of souls. When they turn to Me, I can hardly restrain My joy, and I rush forth to meet them.”
As a special gift and to invite you to consider the book by Felix Carroll, the folks at Marian Press have extended a special ‘peek’ chapter from the book. Here’s the link and I hope you enjoy this so much you’ll consider buying and sharing this book with others in your family and your parish. Our parish gift shop has ordered copies after hearing me speak about it – I hope yours will as well.