“With You, Jesus, I go through life, amid storms and rainbows, with a cry of joy, singing the song of Your mercy.. There is no power that can stop me in my flight toward God.”
– Diary of Saint Faustina, para.761
There is no doubt that the world is an alluring place, filled with many wonders and trinkets, all of which do their best to grab – and to keep – our attention. And although there is so much suffering in the world, there is also immense beauty – the beauty of humanity in all it’s colours and variations and spread across so many lands; and the beauty of the natural world, filled as it is with such splendour. And yet lovely as all of this most certainly is – every bit of it is passing. The world and all it contains is temporal and we are here only for a little while; as Saint Teresa of Avila famously said – ‘all things pass, God alone remains’. And St Thérèse of Lisieux reminds us that ‘the world is our ship, not our home’.
While this world is temporary, the next one is eternal – and our hope is that we reach there one day and spend that eternity in the very presence of God. The message of Divine Mercy is a support and a defense in this life, that we might ultimately enjoy the next. That is the very reason for Divine Mercy.
All of us are sinners. Divine Mercy recognises this very explicitly – we are in need of that mercy, simply because we are sinners. The prayers of the Divine Mercy devotion are very clear about this – “have mercy on us and on the whole world”. Any thought that this devotion espouses the view that ‘we can do whatever we like, because we’ll be forgiven anyway’ is utterly untrue and that view is not the Catholic view. The Church tells us clearly that we are all sinners, in need of mercy – but also that this mercy is freely offered, if only we will ask for it and accept it.
As sinners, all of us fail in one way or another; and often we fail over and over again. That is the nature of being a sinner and also of being a human person. Blame Original Sin for this predicament! But that is our situation. Divine Mercy is the heavenly remedy for that situation. No matter how often nor how badly we fall, so long as we sincerely ask the Lord’s forgiveness, He will give it.
And with Divine Mercy comes Divine Grace – this supports us in our weakness and human frailty, and gradually (sometimes immediately) enables us to do better, so that we fall less often, or less badly, or just get back up a little quicker.
No matter, then, how alluring this present world might appear, let us always keep our minds and our hearts on the world yet to come; and let us beseech the Lord to grant us His mercy at every moment, and especially in those moments where we are most in need.