Friday, October 05, 2007

Dives in Misericordia (for the feast of St Faustina)

Thanks again to Saint of the Day for this quote from Pope John Paul II's visit, four years after St Faustina's beatification, to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki (near Krakow in Poland) where he addressed members of her congregation. He said:

The message of divine mercy has always been very close and precious to me. It is as though history has written it in the tragic experience of World War II. In those difficult years, this message was a particular support and an inexhaustible source of hope, not only for those living in Krakow, but for the entire nation. This was also my personal experience, which I carried with me to the See of Peter and which, in a certain sense, forms the image of this pontificate. I thank divine providence because I was able to contribute personally to carrying out Christ's will, by instituting the feast of Divine Mercy. Here, close to the remains of Blessed Faustina, I thank God for the gift of her beatification. I pray unceasingly that God may have 'mercy on us and on the whole world.'

It's fascinating to compare this with the teaching on the Jesus Prayer, where, over time, the prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" comes to "pray itself" in the heart of the believer: precisely the Pope's prayer. Truly, mercy is at the centre of all we do as Christians, or we are just hollow shells.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
   nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
   nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
   so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
   so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
   so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
   he remembers that we are dust.

(Psalm 103.8-14)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy...

(Jesus, from the Beatitudes, in Matthew 5)

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