Living through the pandemic and all its challenges that have been exposed has been tough. From job loss, health crisis, identity crisis and watching the social injustice, it is easy to become hopeless and feel like there is nothing one person can do. But there is. Each and every one of us can say these five words which will profoundly impact our world:
Jesus, I trust in you.
Saying these five words when I was overwhelmed, anxious, scared, alone, and in doubt saved me from despair. It strengthened my faith, gave me peace of heart, and helped me focus on all the good things that God has provided in my life. After all, He promises that if I am aligned with Him, He will always provide what I need.
This small intentional action over the past year softened my heart and broke down the walls of self-reliance I had built up over the years. In giving up worry for Lent, I was able to sit in the role of observer and learned to get curious about the why I was worrying. I learned how my worry feeds despair and scarcity thinking which is not conducive to a peaceful heart. Everything from God’s goodness provides peace. Evil causes division and despair. I want to be an instrument of peace.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Focus on His truth Hebrews 4:16
Being a convert to Catholicism, there is a lot I am learning about the richness and beauty of our faith tradition. I had heard these five words before but did not know their connection to the Divine Mercy devotion.
As we have seen, the Resurrection is a supreme revelation of Divine Mercy. In its brilliant light, we see the Lord’s victory over our sinfulness. Divine Mercy is God’s love reaching down to meet the needs and overcome the miseries of His creatures – us! The Bible, the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Pope John Paul II all assure us that this is so. This is Divine Mercy.
In Catholicism, Divine Mercy is a devotion to Jesus Christ associated with the apparitions to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. The image of the Divine Mercy, depicted above, is based on the devotion initiated by Sr. Faustina and is described as “God’s loving mercy” towards all people, especially for sinners. Who are the sinners? Sinners are those who offend human nature, God’s creation, and the dignity of man.
Sr. Faustina was granted the title “Secretary of Mercy” by the Holy See in the Jubilee Year of 2000. She reported a number of apparitions which she recorded in her 1934-1938 diary, later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul. The two main themes of the devotion are to trust in Christ’s endless goodness, and to show mercy to others acting as a conduit for God’s love towards them.
St. Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland as was Sr. Faustina, had great affinity towards this devotion and authorized it as part of the liturgical calendar on the same day that he canonized her (April 30, 2000). The Feast of the Divine Mercy is celebrated now on the Second Sunday of the Easter Season (the first Sunday after Easter). Worshippers of the Divine Mercy commemorate the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.), which according to Sr. Faustina’s diary is the time of the death of Jesus. Another very popular form of the devotion is the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. You can listen to a beautiful version in song here. I am haunted by the words that are repeated throughout the chaplet: For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
The primary focus of the Divine Mercy devotion is the merciful love of God and the desire to let that love and mercy flow through one’s own heart towards those in need of it. As he dedicated the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, St. Pope John Paul II referred to this when he said: “Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind”.
There are seven main forms of this devotion:
- The Divine Mercy image with the specific inscription Jesus, I trust in You;
- The commemoration of the Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday
- The recitation of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
- The recitation of the Divine Mercy novena
- The designation of the Hour of Mercy at 3:00 a.m. or p.m.
- Spreading mercy by word, deed, or prayer
- The spreading of works of mercy to the whole humanity, in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to Earth and proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God.
Five small but powerful words that can heal our broken world, bringing light to the darkness, hope in despair. Jesus, I trust in you. I trust in your endless goodness and let me be a conduit of your love for others.
Smitten with Goodness,