October 5, 1979, Chicago’s Grant Park. I was here with (now) St. John Paul II, celebrating Holy Mass. I have spoken about this before in this blog. The other day, it finally dawned on me. The bigger picture. Before arriving for Holy Mass, the I, twelve year old me, was blessed on the side of the road, by a passing Pope John Paul II. I stood in awe that moment.
This day was amazing. Like a lot of things we take for granted, the day came and went, and I continued on my path of self destruction for another 17 or so years. Until the death of my father. At that moment was the realization that I needed to change my life. Although I turned back to our Lord that day, the journey out of that pit I placed myself in was rather deep. We do not realize how far we fall, until we try to get out.
Another 12 years had passed, and that Easter Morning came when our Lord talked to me in my heart asking me “Where are you? What are you doing”, in which I responded by returning back to Holy Mass, Divine Mercy Sunday and never missing Mass again, nor receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving our Lord.
What does any of this mean? To me, it is a completed puzzle and that one piece I had been looking for was placed into the big picture.
You see, October 5th is the Feast day of Saint Faustina Kowalska, “Secretary of Divine Mercy”. No one believed this beautiful Saint, when she, Helena Kowalska, told them she needed to dedicate her life to our Lord, because He had called her.
In 1924, at the age of 19 years, Helena went with her sister Natalia to a dance in a park in Łódź. Faustina said that, while at the dance, she had a vision of a suffering Jesus. She then went to the Cathedral. From there, she said Jesus instructed her to depart for Warsaw immediately and to join a convent.
No one wanted her, even being told, “we do not accept maids here”. The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, took her in. St. Faustina knew nothing about them, but knew our Lord opened the door and needed her there. On 30 April (Keep that date in mind) 1926, at the age of 20 years, she received her habit and took the religious name of Sister Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament.
O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life (Diary 1242).
On (the anniversary of taking the habit) Sunday, 30 April 2000, the now St. John Paul II, canonized this wonderful Saint, and proclaimed that the Second Sunday of Easter would be known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
4. It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”. In the various readings, the liturgy seems to indicate the path of mercy which, while re-establishing the relationship of each person with God, also creates new relations of fraternal solidarity among human beings. Christ has taught us that “man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but is also called “to practise mercy’ towards others: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’ (Mt 5: 7)” (Dives in misericordia, n. 14). He also showed us the many paths of mercy, which not only forgives sins but reaches out to all human needs. Jesus bent over every kind of human poverty, material and spiritual.
His message of mercy continues to reach us through his hands held out to suffering man. This is how Sr Faustina saw him and proclaimed him to people on all the continents when, hidden in her convent at £agiewniki in Kraków, she made her life a hymn to mercy: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.
We never can see what our Lord is doing to us, we only know its something good. Even through the extremely dark times, His mercy endues forever. The key is trusting His Divine Mercy. Not allowing our own ideas to quash His. Forty years ago, I was blessed by this Saint. Sometimes it takes us a very long time to realize the GOOD is all of what our Lord is trying to do for us because we ourselves, stand in the way.
Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
On this coming Feast of St. Faustina, I ask her to intercede for us all today, along with St. John Paul II, to bring us closer to our Lords Sacred Heart, through His Divine Mercy. May He replace our hearts of stone, with His Heart of Flesh and may be be open to receive Him, without hindrance, without saying no, without fear and may we be filled with Holy Desire, to do His will.
Lord, come quickly. Save souls.
I love these two wonderful Saints of our Lord. I am grateful for them.