Tag Archives: Isaiah

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False Mercy

Join us today at 3pm (CST) as we intercede for loved ones in need of God’s mercy.

False Mercy

40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012 – Day 7

The great sins of the world are superficial wounds on My Heart, but the sins of a chosen soul pierce My Heart through and through… (1702)

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness… (Isaiah 5:20-21)

Father, grant us clarity as to what pleases You and what does not. Thank you for the clear witness of Scripture and the Church. Help us to discern ‘blind guides’; most importantly, help us to discern our own tendency to conform the truth to our lusts. We especially pray for Christians caught in lies of their own design. Set them free before it is too late. Let the truth set us free for Mercy.

For the complete 40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012, click here to download.  For a paper copy, United States only, please call Desert Streams Ministries at (866) 359-0500. 

Author’s note – Each day’s entry is based a passage from St Faustina’s diary. The passage entry from the diary is the number in parentheses at the end of each opening quote. 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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Prisoners of Hope

Join us today at 3pm (CST) as we intercede for loved ones in need of God’s mercy.

Prisoners of Hope

40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012 – Day 5

‘In spite of everything, Jesus, I trust You in the face of every sentiment which sets itself against hope.’ (14)

‘In the time of my favor, I will answer you; on the day of salvation, I will help you…I will say to the captives, ‘Come out!’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’  (Isaiah 49:8-9)

Who is like You, Father of Mercy? Even our sin is not stronger than Your Mercy. You woo us with a Love sweeter and stronger than any the world offers. In that Love, we cry out for all those who have fallen into waterless pits. We rebuke the enemy of their souls, and ask for Mercy to come quickly to meet them. Release those imprisoned by hope with Your Divine Mercy.

For the complete 40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012, click here to download.  For a paper copy, United States only, please call Desert Streams Ministries at (866) 359-0500. 

Author’s note – Each day’s entry is based a passage from St Faustina’s diary. The passage entry from the diary is the number in parentheses at the end of each opening quote. 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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Faithful Mother for an Adulterous Generation

Join us today at 3pm (CST) as we intercede for loved ones in need of God’s mercy.

Faithful Mother for an Adulterous Generation

40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012 – Day 3

‘Rejoice, for you are closer to God in His mercy than a baby to its mother’s heart.’ (423)

‘The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all that He has made.’ (Psalm 145:8,9)

‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; you are ever before Me.’ (Isaiah 49:15,16)

Humble us, O God, by the tender and mighty nature of Your ‘rachamim’. You feel deeply for our needs, and ache over our afflicted state. Would You move us with the Mercy that moves Your heart? Grant us a share in Your Mercy. May our prayers for the release of Mercy promote healing action. Bring the unfaithful home! Transform them through Your (and our) faithful love.

For the complete 40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012, click here to download.  For a paper copy, United States only, please call Desert Streams Ministries at (866) 359-0500. 

Author’s note – Each day’s entry is based a passage from St Faustina’s diary. The passage entry from the diary is the number in parentheses at the end of each opening quote. 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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birthday

No More Angels?

As I begin my 54th year (my birthday was January 13th), I am aware of a tendency to lock into familiar ways and to resist what is peculiar, untested by my experience.

Wisdom? Nah…More likely the hardening of the arteries, the closing of the womb, that menopausal tendency in both men and women to rebuff angels and resist the new life they announce.

I pray for the simple, elastic faith of Mary, Jesus’ mother; I marvel at her response to angel Gabriel. His announcement that she will become the mother of God troubles her, but she believes it. All she wants to know is: ‘How will this come about?’ She trusts God, even though it means yielding to Him at the most personal and vulnerable manner conceivable (pun intended).

I relate more to Zechariah who was also visited by Gabriel. The old man’s response to becoming a father so late in life? Prove it to me! ‘How can I know this?’ Time had clogged his heart valves, gave him a spiritual vasectomy. We know from scripture that religious disciplines and duties had kept Zechariah righteous. Such rituals may have also made him rigid, controlling, suspect of dreams and angels and heavenly babies leaping in wombs and saving the earth.

Religion did not necessarily incline him to new life; you could say that its rules gagged him, rendered him mute, unable to grant God a humble ‘yes’, let alone a song of praise for His sovereign control!

I take note, and consider who will define me more as I age—Mary or Zechariah? Both were afraid of an unfathomable future, but while the old man wanted proof, Mary surrendered, in fear and trembling, trusting that God was good, His will fruitful regardless of its cost.

God is patient and merciful to those like me whose hearts and wombs bear the normal scars of age—unhealed wounds, losses yet to grieve, disappointments that tempt one to unbelief.

It is a new year. Let us pray together on my 54th in the spirit of Isaiah 54, that our youth would be renewed, a marvel of elastic, expectant faith.

“‘Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of she who has a husband,’ says the Lord. ‘Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen the stakes’…For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is His Name–the Holy One is Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth. ” (Is 54:1,2,5)

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The Gaze from the Cross, Part 2

Day 17 of our 40 Days of Mercy Fast

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

‘Remember My Passion; if you don’t believe My Words, at least believe My wounds!’ (379)

We meditate on the Cross, or Passion, of Jesus because His Cross is His most exquisite and profound manifestation of Mercy for us. St. Faustina says it best: ‘The greater the suffering, the purer the love.’ (53) He endured a slow, agonizing death to give us everything He had: His water for washing away our sin (or the burden of another’s), His blood as the source of our new life.

Such Mercy deserves meditation. Understanding its concept in words is not enough. We learn through seeing, so Mercy’s visual witness matters as well. For many, the image of the Cross suffices, for others, the crucifix.

St. Faustina received a glorious, life-giving image of Christ Crucified that may help another group. Its uniqueness lies in His wounds flowing with colorful, healing power.

The wounds matter. Isaiah prophesied that ‘by His wounds we are healed.’ (Is. 53:5) The marks of God’s suffering have a unique healing power; the visual reminder of them can meet us in our misery, draw us out of isolation, and unite us with Himself, the Source of our healing.

There we wait, often in pain, for the Mercy that meets us in our suffering. We can know that in the depths of our grief or loss or shame His Mercy for us is deeper still.

That is where meditation upon the Passion is crucial. Alone with my twisted thoughts and emotions, prayer can become a torturous exercise in rehearsing the suffering at hand. Yet with eyes and heart open before the visual witness of His Passion, we can hand over the unbearable weight.

We entrust it to Him. That is why Jesus told St. Faustina to write at the bottom of her image of Christ Crucified, ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’ We are agreeing with Him: ‘Jesus, Your Mercy is greater than my sin (or wound, loss, etc.); I trust You and Your Mercy more than my capacity to work it out alone.’

Then we can listen for His healing word, as St. Faustina beautifully models throughout her diary. Our hearts are unencumbered, able and ready to receive. We can attend to His still, small voice; we wait expectant of the encouragement, wisdom, or insight we need from our good Father.

Trusting in Mercy is the key to a clear and free heart, a heart that can attend to others’ need for Mercy. As we learn to meditate upon His Passion, allowing His wounds to assume ours, we lay the ground for becoming genuinely merciful. St. Faustina received this word from Jesus: ‘By mediating upon My Passion, your soul acquires a distinct beauty.’ (1657)

‘Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.’ (Ps. 34:5)

‘Jesus, we ask for the grace to meditate upon Your Passion. Help us to witness in Your suffering a place to go in ours. Free us from the strife and stress of merely recycling our woes in our head. Open our hearts! Through our gaze on Your Passion, summon the unbearable and bear what only You can. Give us listening ears as well. Incline us to Your Merciful Word toward us in our need.’

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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