Misery and Mercy
Misery and Mercy
‘The more miserable my soul, the more I feel the ocean of God’s mercy engulfing me and giving me greater strength and power.’ (255)
St. Faustina was a weak woman with a mighty calling. She learned early on to entrust her afflictions to the God of Mercy. This is our key as well. Any being-healed one who seeks to restore others must acknowledge profound weakness in order to access the Mercy that is deeper still.
We live first from the fount of Life: Christ Jesus at the point of His greatest weakness, abandoned, pierced and pouring out Blood and Water. We weak ones live from that Source. His weakness is the purest, strongest expression of Mercy.
Similarly, our weakness can be the threshold for powerful Mercy. The servant is not greater than his/her Master. Real life grants us many little crosses that invite us to slow down and kneel before His Cross. Its fruit floods in; the Crucified is our Strength in weakness.
One ‘cross’ applies to temptations of many kinds—the ways we weak ones want to bypass the hard work of loving others well, be it in seduction, addiction, lying, isolating, etc. The challenge here is not in the temptation itself but rather in not facing it squarely with the help of God and others.
St. Faustina writes: ‘I must struggle with many faults, knowing well that is not the struggle that debases me but cowardice and failure.’ (1340) Bold confessions grant us freedom from fear and cleansing from our failures! Then Mercy can flood us and strengthen us where we are most in need.
Another weakness lies in our woundings—the truth that others disappoint, even betray us. We must learn to suffer well before the Crucified. ‘All my tears flowed silently toward the One who alone understands what pain and suffering is.’ (1454)
If we do not abide with Him who bears our sufferings, we become conformed to those wounds—bitter, unbelieving, unmerciful. Only through communing with Mercy Himself can we find the Mercy we need to extend to our betrayers.
As He arose from suffering unto glorious Life, so His wounds grant us patience to bear ours, certain that release will come.
We wait with Him, bearing our wound or temptation in fellowship with Him and trusted ones. When we do this, we can be confident that God is growing something merciful inside us. He is digging a deep well of Mercy in us.
Apart from Jesus, weakness does nothing for us. It makes us a target of cruel adversaries. We must choose the Merciful Cross. Surrendering weakness there transforms misery into life-giving power.
So we must first acknowledge affliction, then we kneel. Water cleanses, Blood give life. We arise to do His will, our weakness overcome with Mercy.
‘Nothing disturbs the depth of my peace. With one eye I gaze on the abyss of misery, with the other, the abyss of Mercy.’ (1345) ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor 12:10)
‘Jesus, we trust Your Mercy in our weakness. Lead us to the Cross once again. Grant us courage to behold our sin or injury. Help us to abide there with You, that we would not forfeit the grace that could be ours. Our world is merciless and cruel. Show us Your Mercy, that we in our weakness would not be conformed to this world but rather transformed, overflowing with Mercy.’
Author’s note – Each day’s entry is based a passage from St Faustina’s diary. The passage entry is the number in parentheses at the end of each opening quote or simply a page number in parenthesis. Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska – Divine Mercy in My Soul (Association of Marion Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263) is available through the publisher or Amazon.com.