“Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that He had said these things to her.” (John 20:18
I am thinking, on this eve of the feast of the Divine Mercy, of four women raised up by the Spirit of God in the course of the last century to deliver a message to the Church. Each one prophesied the mystery of the Divine Mercy in her own language, using her own vocabulary, images, and unique feminine sensibility.
Two were French: Thérèse and Yvonne-Aimée; one was Spanish: Josefa Menendez; and one was Polish: Maria Faustina Kowalska. Two were humble laysisters charged with the lowliest tasks in their convents, all the while receiving the secrets of Heaven: Josefa and Faustina. One, Thérèse, was a young Carmelite hidden away in her cloister, and dreaming of doing great deeds for France (like Jeanne d’Arc), for missionaries, and for the salvation of sinners. And one, Yvonne-Aimée, was a heroine of the French resistance during World War II, a spiritual mother to priests, a divinely-inspired risk-taker for love for her Jesus, and a bold and prudent renovator of religious life.
Our Lord to Sister Josefa Menendez (1890-1923)
“I am He Who forgives thee thy sins, Who wipes out thy offences, and Who sustains thy weakness! The greater is thy nothingness, the more My power upholds thee: I will enrich thee with My gifts, and if thou art faithful I will take sanctuary in thy heart and fly to it when sinners repudiate Me. I will rest in thee, and thou shalt have life in Me.”
“If thou art an abyss of wretchedness, I am an abyss of sweetness and of mercy. My Heart is thy refuge, come there to seek all thou has need of; even such things aas I require at thy hands.”
“Instead of looking at thy nullity, look at the power of My Heart that upholds thee and have no fear. I am thy strength and shall heal thy wounds.”
“What canst thou fear from Me? Never question My love for thee, or the clemency of My Heart. Thy misery draws me to thee . . . without Me what art thou? Never forget that I am all the closer to thee, in proportion to thy lowliness.”
“Never grieve overmuch at thy falls –cannot I make a saint of thee? I will seek thee out in thy nothingness to unite Myself to thee, only never refuse Me anything.”
“The void and misery in thee are as magnets that attract My love to thee. Yield not to discouragement, for my Mercy is honoured in thy infirmity.”
Saint Faustina Before the Blessed Sacrament
In her quest for Divine Mercy for herself, for poor sinners, for priests, for the dying, and for the whole world, Saint Faustina knew where to go. She was drawn to the tabernacle: the dwelling and fountainhead of Divine Mercy.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the infinite price of mercy which will compensate for all our debts, and especially those of poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fountain of living water which springs from infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the fire of purest love which blazes forth from the bosom of the Eternal Father, as from an abyss of infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the medicine for all our infirmities, flowing from infinite mercy, as from a fount, for us and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom is contained the union between God and us through His infinite mercy for us, and especially for poor sinners.
O Blessed Host, in whom are contained all the sentiments of the most sweet Heart of Jesus toward us, and especially poor sinners.
Saint Faustina’s Aspirations to the Most Blessed Sacrament
Surrendering to Mercy
Thérèse was inspired to make her Oblation to Merciful Love on Sunday, June 9, 1895:
“In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!
Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.
In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!
May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.”
To Josefa, Our Lord said, “Believe in My love and in My mercy.” Faustina has taught the world to say, “Jesus, I trust in Thee.” And Yvonne-Aimée’s miraculous little invocation has changed the lives of thousands: “O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in Thy merciful goodness.”
No Limitations to Trust in My Mercy
“I feel somehow that the time is at hand when Your Infinite Mercy will come to our aid.” Yvonne-Aimée after a Gestapo search during World War II
“Do you know?” Jesus said to me, “that there are souls that don’t dare to think of Me as their best Friend and don’t realize that My Heart is always waiting to receive them . . . I am pure Love and I find my happiness in knowing them close to Me and giving them My Love in full measure. . . . They should approach Me with humility and respect, but I also want them to think of Me as their Father and feel at ease with Me. Affection and childlike trust are what they need to talk to God and it saddens Me to see them come to Me almost suspiciously, in fear and trembling, when all I want is their love.”
“My Mercy is infinite,” Jesus said; “all souls can reach My Divine Heart and rise to whatever heights they wish within that Heart. I make no distinction between the innocent and the guilty — the more they love Me, the dearer they are to Me. No soul will ever find limitations to its trust in My Mercy, for I want that trust to go on growing for ever . . .” Mother Yvonne-Aimée’s Diary — 1922