Welcome to the Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club! We're reading Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of Saint Faustina, by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet.
Divine Mercy for Moms, by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet, is a book that is beautifully-written to help today’s mothers live the messages of Jesus as they were given to St. Faustina of Kowalska.
Both Michele and Emily have their own stories of how the message of Divine Mercy helps them in their daily lives, and I think that both of them would agree that they could have never foreseen just exactly how Divine Mercy would be integral to their vocation as Catholic wives and mothers.
Chapter 1 of Divine Mercy for Moms is part of Michele’s story, and also tells us about the life of St. Faustina. Michele admits that when she visited the shrine of St. Faustina in Krakow, Poland, as a college student, she had not yet completely embraced the faith that she grew up with.
I think many cradle Catholics, including me, can relate to that experience. We come to our faith through our families, but truly embrace it in our own ways, and through different periods in our lives.
Michele’s visit to the shrine of St. Faustina was a seed planted in her heart that slowly grew, and the graces of that pilgrimage have since revealed themselves through Divine Mercy.
I read the diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul, many years ago and it was probably way over my head theologically and ideologically, but the message “Jesus, I Trust in You” was planted like a tiny seed in my heart.
I was especially affected by Jesus’ request to St. Faustina to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the presence of the dying, as He would stand between the dying and His Father as a merciful Savior.
“When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior.” (Diary, 1541)
I read that passage over and over in disbelief. Jesus would stand between me and His Father as a merciful Savior. He would save me. Of course, I’ve always known that Jesus saved all of us, but it’s a very powerful image -- there I am, sinful and sorrowful, in the words of the Memorare, and there is Jesus, my protector, my Savior, standing between me and my judgment. The Divine Mercy image helps us. There He stands with rays of red and white pouring from His heart -- water, which washed us clean at Baptism and gave us sanctifying grace, and blood from the Crucifixion, which gave us salvation.
“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. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.” (Diary 299)
That particular passage regarding praying the chaplet from Divine Mercy in my Soul came back to me often, prompted, I’m sure, by the Holy Spirit, and I began to pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy often, the words coming easily and often, just as they did with St. Faustina.
"Once, as I was going down the hall to the kitchen, I heard these words in my soul: Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you.” (Diary 687)
As a wife and mother, I came to depend on the Divine Mercy of Our Lord, and those words stayed with me…“When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior.”
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Several years after I read the diary, I gave the prayers of that chaplet to Jesus in the presence of my dying brother-in-law at the very moment he passed from this life into the next, and I have faith that those prayers not only helped to save the soul of my brother-in-law, but gave comfort to his parents and brothers, as they, too, pictured Our Lord as a merciful Savior.
In my vocation as a mother, I have raised my children, from innocent young babies, to teens and adults who use their God-given free will as they live their lives, and I take great solace in those words, “not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior,” and pray that my children will find their own way to Divine Mercy.
“Jesus I trust in you.”
To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:
- Have you read the diary of St. Faustina?
- The chaplet briefly describes the life of St. Faustina and how she came to be the recipient of Our Lord's revelations. What part of her story do you most relate to?
- Have you seen the Divine Mercy image? How does it speak to you?
Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.
Download this week's printable journal:
Next week, we'll cover Chapter 2: Developing Trust in Jesus through the Divine Mercy Devotion. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Divine Mercy for Moms Book Club page.
Copyright 2016 Barbara Stein
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