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Christ All Merciful
“Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest...”
This year for Divine Mercy Sunday instead of the St Faustina Icon, I decided to show a very early icon, (number 22) Christ All Merciful, which resides in a small Orthodox Chapel with a companion piece, Mother of God of Vatopedi. It shows another image of Jesus’ Divine Mercy. I remember so well, painting this icon and the joy I felt especially doing His face. For some reason, with some icons, you can never get the full radiance in a print but I hope you experience His love for you, the way I did while working on it.
“Heart of My Heart, be filled with joy!” (Faustina’s Diary #1669)
“O God of fathomless mercy, who allow me to give relief and help to the dying by my unworthy prayer, be blessed as many thousands times as there are stars in the sky and drops of water in all the oceans! Let your mercy resound throughout the orb of the earth, and let it rise to the foot of your throne, giving praise to the greatest of your attributes; that is, your incomprehensible mercy...
“When you reflect upon what I tell you in the depths of your heart, you profit more than if you read many books. Oh, if souls would only listen to My voice when I am speaking in the depths of their hearts, they would reach the peak of holiness in a short time.”
(Jesus speaks in the Diary of St Faustina #584)
“Be at peace, My daughter. This work of mercy is Mine; there is nothing of you in it. It pleases Me that you are carrying out faithfully what I have commanded you to do, not adding or taking away a single word.” #1667
Faustina asked the Lord about the meaning of the rays on the painting or image of the Divine Mercy, Jesus told her in reply:
“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... Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My goodness. My Heart rejoices in this title of Mercy. Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.” #299
According to the spirituality of St Ignatius one is advised not only to refrain from defending oneself when reproached, but to rejoice in the humiliation. As Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me...” Matthew 5:11
“You will encounter disapproval and persecution. They will look upon you as a hysteric and an eccentric, but the Lord will lavish His graces upon you. True works of God always meet with opposition and are marked by suffering. If God wants to accomplish something, sooner or later He will do so in spite of the difficulties. Your part, in the meantime, is to arm yourself with great patience.” #270
“My daughter, if you knew what great merit and reward is earned by one act of pure love for Me, you would die of joy. I am saying this that you may constantly unite yourself with Me through love, for this is the goal of the life of your soul. This act is an act of the will. Know that a pure soul is humble. When you lower and empty yourself before My majesty, I then pursue you with My graces and make use of My omnipotence to exalt you...Do not fear anything. I am with you. These matters are in My hands and I will bring them to fruition according to My mercy, for nothing can oppose My will... I am always in your heart; not only when you receive Me in Holy Communion, but always.” # 575
Because Pope Francis has written so much on the Mercy of God, (Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et Misera” 20 November 2016) and he, himself is being persecuted just like Faustina, I have been particularly devoted to the Feast of Divine Mercy.
On October 5, 1938, Sister Faustina whispered to Sister Felicia, “The Lord will take me today.”
Fr William Hart McNichols 💮 Divine Mercy Sunday 2022
PS) The Nobel Peace Prize In 1976 was awarded jointly to Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams “for the courageous efforts in founding a movement to put an end to the violent conflict in Northern Ireland.” They received the prize in 1977.
After my father died in November of 1997, I was able to travel through Ireland, to Belfast in January 1998 with Fr Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Fr John Dear, and meet Mairead. She is absolutely irrepressible with her sense of non-violence within the Gospel, and a forever memorable gift to be with. Her incredible joy is contagious. One of my favorite jokes she’d often say, when things got really violent in Ireland or around the world is “Mi non-violence is being sorely tested !” Only a woman like Mairead who has lived mercy can show us the way. In these days of senseless violence and war I look to people like Mairead to teach us the virtue of hard-won Mercy.
And with everything going on , right outside now, spring is in full bloom...
“Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east...”
Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ