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María Faustina Kowalska.Essence , the Devotion to the Divine Mercy.9.2.22

María Faustina Kowalska


Essence , the Devotion to the Divine Mercy


At first, the Devotion to the Divine Mercy was spread the way other devotions were: litanies, chaplets and novenas were popular parts of them and Sister Faustina’s confessor from Vilnius, the blessed Rev. Michał Sopoćko, spread the Devotion to the Divine Mercy by popularizing these forms. It was only the Rev. Professor Ignacy Różycki who laid the theological foundations for this Devotion in the forms conveyed by Saint Faustina – for the needs of the beatification process of the Apostle of the Divine Mercy he analyzed her ‘Diary’ fully. The analysis shows that the attitude of trust in the Lord God is the very essence of the Devotion. This is the biblical attitude of faith, trust in God. In practice, it consists in fulfilling His will expressed by the Commandments, obligations of one’s state in life, the Beatitudes, the evangelical counsels or discerned inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The attitude of mercy towards neighbour is the other essential condition for this Devotion. Thanks to it, the Devotion to the Divine Mercy does not consists only in prayers but it demands that we shape the evangelical attitude of active love of people in ourselves. Only trust in God and mercy towards neighbour provide the foundation for the new forms of the Devotion, which the Lord Jesus conveyed to Sister Faustina: Christ’s image with the words Jesus, I trust in You at its bottom, the Feast of Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter, the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, the Hour of Mercy and spreading honour of the Divine Mercy. As regards the new forms of the Devotion, the promises attached to them pertain to all people that will practise the forms. This is what differentiates them from other prayers noted down in Saint Faustina’s ‘Diary’ – promises attached to the latter, for instance, to the act ‘O Blood and Water’ or the Novena to the Divine Mercy, pertain to Sister Faustina only. In order to benefit from the great promises it is necessary to practise these forms of worship in the spirit of the Devotion – that is, what is needed is the attitude of trust in God and mercy towards neighbour


In Sister Faustina’s works trust is not one virtue, but it is a lifelong attitude of a human being towards God – the Father rich in mercy. Theological virtues: faith, hope, charity as well as moral ones: humility and contrition, are the precondition for trust: it is impossible to trust God without them because we cannot trust someone who we do not know, on who we do not count and who we do not love. It is also not possible to trust Him unless we come to know our weakness and acknowledge that there is evil in our life. Thus trust is neither a pious feeling nor intellectual acceptance of the truths of faith, but it is an attitude which resides in man’s will and finds its expression in fulfilling God’s will, which can be found in the Commandments, obligations of one’s state in life or in the discerned inspirations of the Holy Spirit. He who comes to know the mystery of the Divine Mercy and trusts God, knows that God’s will aims exclusively at attaining man’s good, therefore, with love, he accepts it as a gift and tries to carry it out


Trust is the essence of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy to such an extent that the Devotion does not exist without it – because the first, basic expression of praise given unto the Divine Mercy is an act of trust. In order to venerate the Divine Mercy, first, we are to trust and, then, to practise the forms of the Devotion. Secondly, the Lord Jesus attached a general promise to trust in the Divine Mercy itself, namely that of obtaining all graces and rewards in this world. He told Sister Faustina: I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (Diary 687). Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul (Diary 1777). If a person approaches the sources of the Divine Mercy with trust, if he is a sinner – he will attain justification and if he is just – he will be confirmed in good (cf. Diary 1520). Whoever places his trust in My mercy – promised the Lord Jesus – will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death, even if the person has not practised the forms of the Devotion


Attitude of mercy towards neighbour


The attitude of mercy towards the neighbour is the other indispensable element as regards the practice of the Devotion. The Lord Jesus said to Sister Faustina and, through her, to every Christian: I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it (Diary 742). In this manner He reminded us about the fundamental Christian duty and, at the same time, He said how it is to be carried out: mercy can be exercised in three ways: the first – by deed, the second – by word, the third – by prayer. The intention with which acts of mercy are to be performed should be emphasized here: they are to be performed out of love for Jesus, who identifies Himself with every person because – as He said – just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me (Mt 25:40).



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