“Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense: He is Father not only in being Creator; He is eternally Father in relation to His only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to His Father: ‘No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him’ (Mt.11:27).”
– Cathechism of the Catholic Church, para.240)
The Catechism tells us that –
“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them.. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals Himself to men ‘and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin’..” (para.234)
Another way of describing this ‘reconciliation and union with those who turn away from sin’ is to call it ‘mercy’. And mercy is the greatest of all the attributes of God, as the message of Divine Mercy proclaims. Central to this work and action of mercy is the Most Holy Trinity – throughout salvation history and here in the message of Divine Mercy.
You may wonder where the Holy Trinity features explcitly in the Divine Mercy devotion.
Looking at the promise made to Saint Faustina regarding the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the dying, we read this –
“At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this Chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, indulgence is the same. When this Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender Mercy are moved, for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son.”
What you may notice in these words, is that they are spoken not by the Merciful Jesus, but by God the Father, Who refers at the end to “My Son”.
Also, in the prayers of the Chaplet itself, notice that the prayer prayed on each ‘Our Father’ bead is as follows –
“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world”
This prayer is addressed directly to the Eternal Father, offering Him the Merciful Lord in atonement for sins. We are offering the Son to the Father.
Equally, the prayer for the Hail Mary beads echoes this offering and adds to it –
“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world”
The concluding prayer of the Chaplet emphasises our offering –
“Eternal Father, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us; that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to You holy will, which is love and mercy Itself.”
The Eternal Father, then, is centrally present in the Divine Mercy devotion, as much as the Merciful Lord, the Son of the Father. And it is precisely this offering of the Son to the Father which gives the Chaplet – and the entire devotion – it’s immense efficacy; for the sake of the Passion of Christ, we ask the Father to have mercy on us and on the entire world, mindful of what the Son has offered for love of us. We can offer nothing greater to the Father than His Son.
All of this was echoed succinctly by Pope Francis in his Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy, entitled ‘Misericordiae Vultus’, in which he wrote –
“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by His words, His actions, and His entire Person, reveals the mercy of God.” (MV, para.1)
When next we pray this beautiful Chaplet of Divine Mercy, let us take a moment to pause and to consider what it is we are offering by our prayers – for it is the Son, given to the Father, by means of His Passion and Death for love of us.
And may that same Father, Whose face and Whose mercy is revealed to us by the Son, hear our prayers.