Catholic at Home: Let No Soul Fear to Draw Near to Me
For the past few weeks, Jesus has repeatedly placed His Divine Mercy into my path: Initially through a close friend, then in my Bible study, and still again through a priest’s homily. When devotions show up over and over, it’s time to say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”
Christ’s Divine Mercy came to the world through a Polish nun named Sister Faustina Kowalska, now St. Faustina. Jesus appeared to her for several years, communicating the depth of His mercy for her and for all sinners, as well as the holy image of Divine Mercy – a likeness of Jesus with red and pale rays beaming from His heart, representing the life and righteousness accessible to souls. St. Faustina grew in confidence that His grace would sustain her.
She kept a detailed diary of her visions as well as her own reflections. The book, Divine Mercy in my Soul, is full of quotations from Jesus that offer tremendous hope as well as instruction.
Though spoken directly to St. Faustina, Christ clearly meant for everyone to take these words to heart and live them with courage. With Lent wrapping up and the lively season of Easter on the
horizon, facing the day with the words of Christ will give us new life.
1) Trust that God’s got this.
In one vision, Jesus said, “Let the sinner not be afraid to approach me. The flames of mercy are burning me – clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls.”
Anyone steeped in marriage and family life knows that it comes with deep challenges. In our imperfection we hurt those dearest to us, and experience pain ourselves. Because the family is the building block of society, we need to bring our relationships with our families to Christ. In light of Jesus’ words, we can entrust our shortcomings and those of others to Him. In the holy sacraments of the Eucharist and reconciliation, Jesus cleans us and makes us new.
Jesus continued, “Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be scarlet.”
Jesus is not only willing to forgive, he pines for it. Opening ourselves to Christ not only relieves us of so much unnecessary stress, we will also receive His mercy. Jesus is Lord of every
circumstance, so there’s no such thing as “bothering” Him with something small or “burdening” Him with a seemingly impossible situation.
2) Go for greatness.
“True greatness lies in loving God and in humility.” The Lord appeared as a child to St. Faustina when He said this. Greatness measured by the world’s standards often equates to renown, financial gain and big movement; but if we look at these things in the grand scope of eternity, do any of them matter?
As parents and spouses, loving God means devoting ourselves to those He placed in our care and making them a priority in our time. Ultimately, we have an audience of One who measures our greatness not how mankind does, but according to how much love and humility we have.
During Lent we fast and abstain, add to our prayer lives and give to the poor. While these are good and holy things to do, they don’t reflect a successful Lent in and of themselves; doing out of love for Jesus and our fellow man is what makes them significant.
3) Swim in the Ocean of His Mercy
Jesus told St. Faustina that He wanted the first Sunday after Easter to be a Feast of His Mercy. He said, “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My Mercy. The soul (person) that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”
The Church offers a plenary indulgence to the faithful on Divine Mercy Sunday. What does this mean for us? In short, the souls that are in a state of grace – having received absolution in Confession – should receive Holy Communion and “have the interior disposition” of total detachment from all sin. Though no short order, it’s entirely possible by God’s grace. And, according to Christ’s promises, a flood of infinite Divine Mercy awaits us.
Katie Sciba is a national speaker and six-time Catholic Press Award-winning columnist. She holds a degree in theology from Benedictine College. Katie and her husband Andrew have been married for 11 years and are blessed with six children.