April 5, 2017
The great Polish Apostle of Mercy, St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, as well as instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy on the Sunday following Easter. St. John Paul II saw the promotion and institution of Divine Mercy as his particular mission as Pope. Pope Benedict XVI called mercy the “nucleus of the Gospel Message.” At the close of the first World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, which Pope Benedict instituted, he gave the mandate to the participants and the worldwide faithful, “Go forth and be witnesses of God’s Mercy, a source of hope for every person and for the whole world.” Pope Francis called for the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy just four days after being elected to the papacy.
Now is the time for Mercy!
The Association of Marian Helpers of Stockbridge, Mass., promoters of St. Faustina’s Message of Divine Mercy simplified the message and devotion through the acronyms A.B.C. and F.I.N.C.H.
The A.B.C.’s of the Message: Ask for Mercy, Be Merciful, Completely Trust in Mercy
A: Ask for God’s Mercy. Jesus tells St. Faustina , I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to my compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in my inscrutable mercy, (Diary 1146). The Lord makes it clear that through the Sacrament of Reconciliation His merciful healing begins, When you approach the confessional, know this, that I myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. (Diary 1602, 703).
B: Be merciful to others. Jesus spoke to St. Faustina, If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or another, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourselves from it… even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (Diary 1317, 742).
The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy:
• Feed the hungry
• Give drink to the thirsty
• Clothe the naked
• Shelter the homeless
• Comfort the prisoners
• Visit the sick
• Bury the dead
• Teach the ignorant
• Pray for the living and the dead
• Correct sinners
• Counsel those in doubt
• Console the sorrowful
• Bear wrongs patiently
• Forgive wrongs willingly.
C: Completely Trust in Jesus. Trust in Jesus entails surrendering everything: I have opened My Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide with the lance for all souls—no one is excluded! The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. (Diary 1520, 1182, 1578).
In the Sunday, April 16 issue of The West Texas Catholic—an explanation of the acronym F.I.N.C.H.