I must admit that as time passes I have become fonder and fonder of our current Pope Francis. It has nothing to do with the fact that he is smart enough to tell people the exact same things that I have been telling friends and directees for years. Things like: Read scripture every day or memorize a bible passage. His Wednesday catechesis has pretty much mirrored my thinking and speaking. LOL! So I really like him!
One of the themes that he weaves through all of his teachings and catechesis is the idea that as we go forward day by day nothing is perfect and few things will ever fall into perfect order. In other words: “Life is messy.” He has said this directly and indirectly many times.
Recently I have been taken by a devotion that many people just love and I have even had an inkling of how this particular devotion validates and supports this particular Pope even though it was a devotion before he ever came to be Pontiff. As a matter of fact this particular prayer started getting popular around the 1930’s. The devotion is the Divine Mercy. It is a particularly potent devotion that is not hard to do. The entire prayer takes less than fifteen minutes. However, it’s the promises of the devotion that amaze. If you follow the Divine Mercy web site you can really learn quite a lot in a few minutes daily. In a nutshell the Devotion teaches over and over how generous God is and how he desires, every second, to be near us, heal us, and show us mercy in a million ways. This desire never stops and may even become more urgent as we age. But more than anything the Devotion, along with daily readings from Sr. Faustina’s diary teaches us that God’s biggest heartbreak is when we do not trust Him. If you recall the Divine Mercy image that Faustina commissioned after her visions, Jesus specifically told her to inscribe: “Jesus I trust in you.” on the painting itself. She did as requested.
One could write volumes about this devotion but that’s not the point of this particular piece. Instead I have found a stunning confirmation between the work of our current Pope and this one devotion. In Charismatic parlance, this is a kind of confirmation of the idea that He is right on target for implementing the completion of ministry and teaching that was set in motion for our particular society and times almost a century ago. As they say, the Lord’s timing is perfect.
The clue to that lies in the beginning of the Divine Mercy Prayer. It goes like this:
“Oh blood and water that gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a font of mercy for us, I trust in you.”
If you think about it, the prayer is gruesome. Isn’t it interesting that when God gave this prayer to Faustina he chose such vivid language. The thought of blood and water gushing almost makes my stomach flip. This is no soothing poetry: Oh blood and water that flowed or seeped, or ran or trickled. No the verb is “gushed”. This fully forms the picture of something violent, soaking, sticky, staining, and messy and unable to wash away! This an age where shocking language and insult are simply part of the public discourse. We have become crude and uncompassionate in this particular age. Messy, life is messy. Amen!
Copyright© 2017, Kathryn M. Cunningham