Day 18 of our 40 Days of Mercy Fast

The Gaze from the Cross, Part 3 (Please also read Part 1Part 2 and Part 4)

‘I desire that you know profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and You will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My Mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation.’ (102)

The beauty that becomes ours from the Crucified is never intended to be only a personal work. The test of Mercy lies in our releasing that Mercy to others.

For such a deeply wrought work of grace to remain locked up within us belies the gift itself. God digs a deep well of Mercy in us for a purpose–the saving of many lives. Without welling up and finding other thirsty souls, the waters of Mercy in us become dank then drain away altogether. We must provoke one another with this truth: He made us alive in order for us to make others alive in Christ.

The personalization of Mercy to the exclusion of others is a unique temptation of our ‘Living Waters’ ministry. We major on the sanctifying of the saints more than evangelism; we emphasize the nuances of the damaged soul in which healing may be described as a slow, cylindrical ascent.

An important work! And yet ‘inner healers’ can lose sight of a bigger, urgent picture: the blinding power of the flesh, world and devil upon non-believers in contrast to the eye-opening power of the Blood and Water; Heaven’s rescue at Calvary in contrast to an eternal Hell for those who fail to turn to Mercy.

St. Faustina calls us simply to remember the dire state of sinners and to lay them constantly before the Crucified. ‘When I see Jesus tormented, my heart is torn to pieces and I think: what will become of sinners if they do not take advantage of the Passion of Jesus? In His Passion, I see a whole sea of Mercy.’ (948)

Extending the Mercy we have received onto the lost is essential–for their eternal destiny and for our own spiritual maturity. Let’s seek in this fast to make prayer for the lost an ongoing part of our prayer lives.

St. Faustina’s witness helps us here; her focus on the Cross and its flood of Blood and Water can become the locus of these prayers. Following her example, I simply cry out for this ‘liquid love’ to become apparent to loved ones far from Him; I implore Jesus’ Mercy on their behalf, and place them in the pool of healing awaiting them.

In this we imitate Jesus who upon the Cross did not think of Himself but rather of sinners, crying out for them to the Father, as He did for the two criminals hanging alongside of Him at Calvary. Rather than get stuck on their sinfulness, He prayed to the Father to forgive them for their sin: ‘they don’t know what they are doing,’ He prayed (Lk. 23:34). And one surrendered to Him, guaranteeing the ex-con a place in Paradise (vs. 42, 3)

Let us pick up our little crosses and pray. Such intercession primes the way for holy words and action; we are preparing ourselves to be one of many answers to our merciful prayers for others! Let our prayers pave the way. We lay the lost down on the healing ground of Calvary, then we seek to be agents of Mercy for them.

‘Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:20)

‘Jesus, grant us Your urgent heart for the lost. Forgive us for becoming insulated in our Christian communities. Remind us of our former states, when You rescued us from the judgment of sin and death. Might You use our prayers to reclaim sinners? Would You also prompt merciful action toward them? Activate us, Your merciful evangelists. Like St. Faustina, prepare us to give an account for souls.’

Author’s note – Each day’s entry is based a passage from St Faustina’s diary. The passage entry is the number in parentheses at the end of each opening quote or simply a page number in parenthesis. Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska – Divine Mercy in My Soul (Association of Marion Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263) is available through the publisher or Amazon.com.

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