The Work of Divine Mercyby Susan Fox
March 3, 2010 --- Today I emptied the dishwasher and loaded it.
What one has failed to do -- I discovered -- is very important when facing a deadline like death.
It was a very sudden and unexpected deadline as I’ve struggled with illness for 15 years, but I thought it was my mundane stomach that troubled me, and I never realized that it was really a silent killer -- my heart.
Thankfully, I poured out my fears to the Lord and He reassured me. Though my sins were indeed scarlet, He Himself would make up
what I lacked. I could trust Him. So I went into surgery in that frame of mind after receiving the Catholic sacraments of Eucharist, Confession and Sacrament of the Sick.
But don’t imagine that grace of trust came out of the blue without years of preparation.
Eight years ago, I joined a group called the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy. We study the Diary of St. Faustina, the Catholic Catechism and the Scripture. St. Faustina was the first saint canonized in this millennium, and Our Lord called her the Secretary of His Mercy. Our Lord said that His Mercy was His greatest attribute. He said the greater the sinner the more he had the right to God’s Mercy. Now I can attest to that. But until two weeks ago it was just intellectual knowledge.
The Church is a bride conceived on the cross from the blood and water that poured from the side of Christ. “But one of the soldiers pierced
His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (John 19.34) And such a bride has to resemble her husband in suffering. That’s why children are baptized to be priest, prophet and king. Priest means victim. Christ is the Suffering Servant and so is His Bride, the Church. The triumph of each Christian life is the cross.
And so it was with Divine Mercy. Eight years ago I was not attracted to it. But I joined the Eucharistic Apostles anyway because when I looked at my daily experiences and asked God, “What are you teaching me?” the word mercy came up repeatedly.
In fact, it seemed like His plan of Mercy would play a big role in my life – whether I liked it or not.
So for eight years I went to a weekly meeting to discuss God’s mercy. I read St. Faustina’s Diary multiple times, all the Scripture passages about God’s Mercy and the Pope’s encyclical on Divine Mercy. Like Jacob wrestling with God all night, I struggled with His Mercy up until two weeks ago.
Suddenly, facing death I understood His Mercy. Yes, I wasn’t ready. In fact, NOTHING I could ever do could prepare me for death or suffering. But He would take care of everything.
I stood at the foot of the cross as the soldier pieced his side and blood and water came out. And I caught the grace of that blessed moment. “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)