Day 37 of our 40 Days of Mercy Fast
Mercy for a Broken Church
‘Observing myself and those who are close to me, I have come to understand how great an influence I have on other souls, not by heroic deeds, but by small actions like the movement of a hand, a look, and many other things too numerous to mention, which effect and reflect in the souls of others.’ (1475)
We as the Church have been tainted and shamed by her sexual brokenness. St. Faustina is right: the holiness and hellishness of each member impact the whole church. That is a call to action. We who have received Mercy do well to take seriously our part in making the Church a deep well of healing. That applies pointedly to us who have been set free from sexual bondages.
Mary Magdalene is our patron saint here. Jesus entrusted an ex-prostitute with the most important truth about Himself and the entire Church—His resurrection. Neither a priest nor a scholar, her pedigree lay in her healing.
As one set free from the deception and humiliation of homosexuality, I envision an army of churchmen and women in the spirit of Mary Magdalene. Like her, we can together proclaim and administer His healing authority to any soul who has prostituted him/herself and cries out for Mercy.
We can follow her lead in Luke 7:47 —‘having been forgiven of much, she loved Him much.’ Therein lies our authority to heal others—the gratitude that flows from a broken, unclean heart made pure by Mercy. What else can we do? We live only to give away the Blood and Water that has given us real life.
He has washed us in our deepest, lowliest places, so He calls us to wash the feet of His broken ones with His Mercy.
That is not merely the domain of ordained priests; we are each priests as we walk in nearness to the High Priest of Heaven. None can place the healing burden of the broken upon ordained priests alone. They are too few for the millions of broken ones awaiting release, the healing journey too long and arduous. We who are called to this Magdalene army must be bold in asking: ‘Send me, Lord!’
We must be careful to not sit back and passively allow the ‘experts’ to do the work. We are weak, yes, but we can take courage at the words Jesus spoke to St. Faustina in her impossible charge: ‘Do not fear; I Myself will make up for everything that is lacking in you.’ (435)
Our pedigree lies in being extraordinarily dependent upon Jesus. We rely on Him deeply, in light of the depth of our weakness and our healthy regard for wickedness. We want the broken to be healed, not further damaged by our care!
Toward that end, we must also be submitted to Church leaders, and our fellow healing soldiers. The integrity of our care for others depends on our reliance upon trustworthy ones. As we gather around the Cross and discover the grace of humble disclosure, proper boundaries, and truthful nurture, we declare with authority: His Mercy is better than our old way of life!
Among His greatest sufferings are those caused by impure church leaders. So naturally, God wants His healers to embody purity in our innermost parts. He delights in granting us Mercy together; united with likeminded pilgrims, we discover holiness ‘in the secret depths of the soul.’ (443)
We each can and must do our part. I long to see both Protestant and Catholic churches welcoming Magdalenes in their midst. We gather before the Cross in healing groups for the purpose of granting Mercy to each other; we then open her doors for all who cry out for Mercy in their sexual brokenness.
We mobilize, but it is Jesus, alive with Mercy, that raises us up and makes a way for others to know the Life that surpasses all counterfeits.
‘I find pleasure, not in large buildings and magnificent structures, but in a pure and humble heart.’ (532)
We ‘prepare God’s people for works of service…so that the body of Christ may be built up…and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ (Eph. 4:12, 13)
‘Jesus, raise up Your Magdalene army. You did not suffer in vain; You suffered to raise up a people pleasing to You, that would live only from Your Mercy and live only for extending that Mercy. Send us as a gift to Your Church.’
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.