Divine Mercy

“Apart from the mercy of God, there is no other hope for man.”
– Blessed John Paul II

Divine Mercy Letter from Bishop Isern

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            “God is love” (1 John 4:7). The Holy Trinity knows each one of us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:6), and loves us anyway with a love that is beyond understanding. The Father showed the depth of his love and mercy to sinful humanity by sending his only Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that all might be saved and return to their heavenly homeland in the embrace of the Holy Trinity (cf. John 3:16). It is from this love that each one of us is capable of loving another and each one of us is capable of mercy (1 John 3:16; 4:7).

God’s mercy knows no bounds, but we must pray to the Lord for deliverance. With the Psalmist we pray for ourselves and for one another, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2). God hears the prayers of His people and seeks to envelope them in his Fatherly embrace. However, created in His image and likeness, God has given us freedom, and he will not take that away. God will not act for us.

We are in the midst of an age of self destruction, of what Blessed John Paul II rightly called the “culture of death.” This is a time where every aspect of the world tells us to focus on ourselves, on our own self-fulfillment, on our own satisfaction at the expense of others. And, our faith tells something very different. Our faith tells us that we are the keepers of one another, that we live not for ourselves but for each other in Christ Jesus, for the “love of Christ urges us on” (2 Corinthians 5:14). Our faith tells us that we must love one another as Christ loves us and sacrifice ourselves for our brothers and sisters (John 13:33). Our faith calls us to a “culture of life” in which we seek and show and pray for mercy.

We see in the Scriptures and throughout history countless examples of men and women, saints and sinners, humbled before the Lord, seeking Divine Mercy and often times paying the ultimate price for their faith. I am often reminded of a Polish priest from late1800s who embodied the Gospel ideal of self-sacrifice and Divine Mercy. In 1941 Saint Maximilian Kolbe was arrested and sent to the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz. There he offered his life in exchange for another prisoner, a young husband and father, who was one of ten men to be executed because of an escape. Saint Maximilian suffered starvation and torture for two weeks before he finally died. Saint Maximilian endured his suffering at the foot of the Cross, by the grace of God, so that this young man might be spared. He showed the world God’s love by unwavering trust – the vessel which we use to avail ourselves to God’s Divine Mercy.

            Albeit more subtle than Nazism, the attacks upon life, faith, truth, beauty and goodness are persistent and fervent. If we do not seek mercy we will be unable to show mercy and we will be unable to receive mercy on the Day of Judgment.[1] We will not only fall victim to the attacks against life, but we will actually cooperate in the culture of death. “In the world it calls itself tolerance, but in hell it is called despair...sloth...the accomplice to the other sins and their worst punishment. It is the sin which believes nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for.”[2]  

The need for Divine Mercy is even more urgent now than ever before. In 1931, Jesus began appearing to Sister Maria Faustina Kawulska, a Polish nun, proclaiming the message of Divine Mercy. For seven years Sister Faustina recorded the message of Jesus in her diary, Divine Mercy in my Soul. The message is simple, yet profound: Jesus desires that we trust in Him and come to Him for mercy so that He may engulf us in the flame of His infinite mercy, the wellspring of conversion, as we meditate upon His Passion and call upon his mercy.[3] “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Psalm 50). Jesus desires that we continue his ministry of mercy. Do not be afraid, “mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.”[4]

This page contains instructions on how to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This beautiful and powerful prayer implores the mercy of God upon the whole world. Over time it enables us to experience the unique fruit of God’s mercy and teaches to act with mercy toward all of our brothers and sisters. Following the example of Jesus’ ministry of mercy, through prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments, we make present the joy of the Kingdom here on earth. Nothing can compare to the uplifting peace that flows from Divine Mercy. As the great disciple of mercy, Blessed John Paul II, said, “apart from the mercy of God, there is no other hope for man.”

Please pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Show mercy at all times so that lasting peace may reign in the world and God will come to our aid now and at the hour death. Jesus I trust in you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Fernando Isern, D.D.
Bishop of Pueblo

[1] cf. Kawulsak, Sr. Maria Faustina. Divine Mercy in my Soul. Trans. Stockbridge, Mass: Marian, 1987., par 1317.

[2] Shoemaker, H. Stephen. The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome. Nashville: Broadman, 1987., pg 40.

[3] Kawulska, par 186.

[4] ibid, par 301.