“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” (Psalm 27).
God never gives up on us, but we often fail to rely on Him! The Divine mercy of God brings us back to His open arms of love. In the busyness of our day, we may not fully appreciate this amazing love, but God is constantly thinking of us.
The Paschal Mystery is one of the central concepts of Catholic faith relating to the history of salvation. In the Passion, death and Resurrection of Christ, we see the work of God the Father. Human and vulnerable; He came down from heaven to save us from our sinfulness. We are blessed with hope through redemption!
The private revelation of St. Faustina Kowalska, in 1930 Poland, and the wisdom of the Church have given us an appreciation for the power of God’s mercy. The image described by St. Faustina of merciful Jesus with blood and water coming from His Sacred Heart emphasized an urgent message for troubled times. “Jesus I trust in you.” Father George W. Kosicki, CSB, an authority on Divine Mercy wrote, “Trust is our faith, hope and love in action. Trust is an action that takes in all three. It combines the past focus of our faith in what Jesus did, the present dimension of His love for us now, and the future dimension of hope because of what He has prepared for us in heaven.”
On April 30, 2000, Saint Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and declared the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. John 20:19-31 is the Gospel on this Sunday in all three cycles of the liturgical calendar. In this gospel, Jesus appears to the apostles after His Resurrection and comforts Thomas, who was hesitant until he placed his finger in the wounds of Christ. Jesus said, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Then Jesus breathed on the Apostles and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
The Sacrament of Reconciliation not only provides us the opportunity to be free of our sins but also challenges us to pardon those who sin against us. In the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, we read, "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned." We need to atone and recover the grace in friendship with God. Through the priest, we are absolved – and not only reconciled to God, but also to the entire Church. The truth is, we cannot live without God and His Church!
St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “It is proper to God and to His Angels in their movements to give true spiritual gladness and joy, taking away all sadness and disturbance, which the enemy brings on.” Furthermore, “It belongs to God our Lord to give consolation to the soul without preceding cause, for it is the property of the Creator to enter, go out and cause movements in the soul, bringing it all into love of His Divine Majesty.”
If you are looking for ways to enhance your experience in the sacrament of Reconciliation; Jesuit Father William M. Watson wrote, “The Whole-Life Confession: Four Weeks of Awakening to Mercy, Healing, and Peace.” This book is modeled on the practice of a life confession St. Ignatius made early in his conversion. A Carthusian Monk anonymously wrote “Doors of Silence,” available from Angelus Press. In the book, there are key points of examination like closing the door to worry and ways to impose silence on the noise of our memories. Fostering a close relationship with God is the only way to have inner peace in this world. Jesus, I trust in you! Amen!