The Novena may, of course, be said at other times, too. The nine intentions can provide a basis for an Examination of Conscience. On the final day, Jesus’ words are particularly challenging: “Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: “Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.” For them, the last hope (65) of salvation is to flee to My mercy.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1228). Are we Apostles of Divine Mercy to the lukewarm?
Of course, our final bliss in Heaven is dependent, not just on God’s Mercy but upon each of us having freely co-operated with his Grace. 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 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 for 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; ‘scars’ may well remain and it may be hard, if not impossible, to forget wrongs done to us. We have the beautiful example of Saint Pope John Paul II who, following Mehmet Ali Ağca’s attempt on his life, visited and publicly forgave his would-be assassin in prison. 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! Saint Faustina and Saint Pope John Paul II, Pray for us!
From St. Bart's
Thoughts on the traditional teachings, devotions, seasons and matters of the Catholic Church