A renowned director despises vast landscapes in his movies: ‘Humanity reveals itself only in cramped quarters’, he mused. Apply that to one month in quarantine and he’s right: barely recovering addicts circle their troughs, the mildly anxious teeter on paranoia, sad persons fade, party creatures crash, and binge-watchers without a hint of faith perform exorcisms on the faltering Internet (apparently Satan is in league with most providers.)
Easter is timely this year. Jesus shows up in real time—our time—and saves us from ourselves. He may just join us for breakfast; He deftly walks through walls into strained small gatherings and brings life, hope, light. Disease and death don’t have the last word. He does; He is the Word of Life, inexhaustible in exchanging our little scandals for His mercy that makes all things new.
Yep. In this plague-weary Easter time, the cry for mercy is the best ticket to the free elevator. Heading up. After all. St. Paul exhorts all who claim to be Christian: ‘If you are risen with Christ, set your hearts on things above’ (Col. 3:1). OK, OK. We need help to ascend. Cry for mercy. Rise with Him.
We at the Desert Stream staff are in a 9-day prayer cycle leading to this upcoming Divine Mercy Sunday. A week after Easter Sunday, the Church sets apart this day as a lush opportunity for every person on the planet to open him or herself to Living Water, ‘the blood and water that gushes forth from the heart of the Savior as a fountain of mercy for YOU…’
St. Faustina received that little prayer and we as a ministry pray it all the time (in the context of a bigger one called the Divine Mercy Chaplet—download it here). An uneducated Polish nun, just out of her teens in the 1930’s, she obeyed Jesus’ revelation to her that His mercy could alter the course of the whole world. Instead of judgment, Jesus wants to immerse rebels in the healing flood emanating from His heart. She endured the battering ram of hell itself for mercy’s sake and now Divine Mercy is honored throughout the global Church.
She wrote pithy things like sin’s ‘misery invites the depth of His mercy’, always punctuated by ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’ Last night, tossed by financial and moral and ministry-related concerns, I cried for mercy then sealed it: ‘Jesus, I trust in You…’
I awoke refreshed, in full agreement with the Psalmist: ‘You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place’ (Ps. 31:8)