In my previous post, Change, I promised that I would focus on trust in the next one. I’m a woman of my word, so here it is!
Trust is a theme that will appear in many of my posts (either directly or indirectly). While there are several reasons for this, the main reason is because trust is the key to our faith and relationship with God.
When we put our trust in the Lord, our lives and souls are transformed. The more we trust, the more graces we receive and the closer we’re united to Him.
One’s confidence in God is increased and strengthened when the soul is nourished with prayer, Sacred Scripture and writings aligned with Church teaching, Mass, and the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation). One way that I’ve increased my trust in God has been through my devotion to Divine Mercy.
Although I don’t normally provide a lot of history or quotations in my posts, I’m going to do so now. This message is too important and rich to leave out some of the details…
The Divine Mercy devotion was given to Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska (an unknown Polish nun) in the 1930’s by Jesus Himself. Years later, her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, was published. The diary contains her personal thoughts as well as countless apparitions from Jesus.
[Saint] Pope John Paul II officially declared her to be a saint in 2000, and now she’s known as St. Faustina. There are numerous components to the Divine Mercy devotion; my focus has been on honoring the image and praying the chaplet.
On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and told her to paint that particular image of Him. He wore a white garment, and two large rays radiated from His heart. One hand was raised in the gesture of blessing, while the other touched the garment at His heart (Diary, 47). Jesus later explained,
“The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls…These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross” (299).
The image illustrates the overwhelming love that Jesus has for each of us. I have it in many visible places as a constant reminder to place my trust in God. After all, the signature “Jesus, I trust in You” is at the bottom of the image! I say this prayer throughout the day (especially if I feel unsure of a situation).
When Jesus first requested for this image to be painted, He said,
“I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory” (48).
How could I have anything to fear when the Lord grants a promise such as this?
Jesus taught St. Faustina how to pray the chaplet in September 1935. It’s a simple prayer recited on rosary beads. (It takes me only ten minutes to recite the full chaplet, and I tend to pray slowly!) The following are some of the Lord’s words regarding the chaplet:
- “Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet…” (848).
- “…by saying the chaplet you are bringing humankind closer to Me” (929).
- “When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one” (1541).
- “…when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior” (1541).
- “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask is compatible with My will” (1731).
Once I read about the significance and power of the chaplet, I started to pray it daily. As a result, my awareness of God’s mercy increased —and then my trust in Him increased as well.
It’s incredible how much God is willing to offer us through simple acts of prayer and devotion. He longs to pour out these graces upon us. All we have to do is turn to Him with confidence!
Jesus told St. Faustina,
“Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy” (300).
Don’t we all want to have peace in our lives? (In this sense, “peace” doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of difficulties or challenges; it means that we can experience inner peace if we allow God to be the “anchor” in our lives.) If we trust in His goodness and mercy, we can accept anything that may happen and be at peace in our souls.
“Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace” (1074).
Yes, you read that correctly, the Lord wants us to “snuggle” and draw close to Him! He is gentle and gracious, always ready and willing to embrace us with His love and mercy. God does not want us to live in fear; He wants us to live with complete confidence in Him.
Even though the devotion was given to St. Faustina, the message of mercy is not new. God’s mercy is infinite; this truth is demonstrated throughout Sacred Scripture, and Jesus is the greatest evidence of it.
The Lord told St. Faustina to spread the devotion because of His never-ending desire to extend His love and mercy to the world. Even after giving His life on the Cross, Jesus continues to come to us and provide ways to draw us closer to Him.
The other components of the devotion are the Feast Day (which I mentioned in my last post), the Hour (3:00 pm – the time of Christ’s death) and the Novena. If this is your first encounter with the devotion, I recommend getting a copy of the image, looking at it regularly and praying: Jesus, I trust in You.
My hope is that others will be encouraged to begin or deepen the devotion to Divine Mercy. If you feel moved to do so, it’s because you hear Jesus calling; and you’re responding. Wherever we are on our spiritual journey, our trust in God can always increase. I know mine can!
“…I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” ~ Jesus (Diary, 1074)