As we must never forget, our final bliss in Heaven is dependent, not just on God’s Mercy but upon our each having freely co-operated with his Grace. God will not force us to be obedient and go to Heaven; the choice is ours! As the highest of God’s creations, we are endowed, from conception, with a spiritual Soul and Free-Will; we are capable of coming to know and understand His Will for us, aided in the formation of our Conscience by our Parents, Priests and Catholic schools and, as we mature (a status marked by the Sacrament of Confirmation) by our own careful study of the often challenging Teachings of the Church. We must pray, often, that we will clearly discern exactly what Vocation (or call) God is giving us. As we see, in following the news media, the traps set by Satan are numerous and, in some cases, presented under the guises of ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Love’, of which they are, in truth, a denial.
One might say that the “bottom line”, regarding our hope to receive God’s Mercy, lies in the words we say, sometimes, sadly, with little thought, virtually every day of our Life: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” or, to put it another way “Do not forgive me if I refuse to forgive others”. That is not to say that to forgive is easy; hurts and harm can penetrate deeply. It may well be, too, that it is hard, if not impossible, to forget wrongs done to us. Pope Francis, among other matters, referred to the abuse, not by strangers, but by those close to the victims. Christ, in His Passion, showed just how forgiving we must be; In the end, it is Satan who thrives on hatred and unforgiveness.
As Christians, we are called to be merciful as God is merciful. That means that we must, as well as forgiving, not forget our duty to correct error; it is just as merciless to, for instance, fail to warn someone we know to be living in a sinful state as it is to refuse to forgive those who repent and ask forgiveness of us. It is NOT being judgmental and may see us fall in the ‘popularity ratings’ but this duty supersedes our possible inclinations. God, grant us the Graces we need to spread your Divine Mercy.
The image above, entitled Divina Misericordia, was painted by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski in 1934. This is the only painting which was done under the indications of Sister Faustina
From St. Bart's
Thoughts on the traditional teachings, devotions, seasons and matters of the Catholic Church